Legal Representation and Support for Survivors of Abuse in Schools

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The trust placed in educational institutions to provide a safe and nurturing environment is fundamental. Yet, the distressing reality is that too often, instances of abuse within schools, perpetrated by those in positions of authority, shatter this trust.

Carbone Lawyers are dedicated to championing the rights of survivors, offering legal guidance and support with a deep understanding of the complexities involved in teacher abuse and school sexual abuse cases.

Understanding Your Rights and Legal Options in Victoria

In Victoria, every child and adolescent within the school system is entitled to protection from harm under what’s called a non-delegable duty of care towards students. This duty extends to ensuring that all reasonable measures are taken to prevent abuse by educators or staff and means that while individual staff members may also have this duty of care, the duty of care cannot be assigned to another party, so the school itself and its leadership team will always be responsible for at least ensuring that appropriate systems are in place and followed to prevent, recognise, and/or stop abuse. 

This encompasses a broad spectrum of abuse, including physical, emotional, and sexual abuse by teachers or other school staff. When this duty of care is breached, resulting in harm to a student, legal avenues are available for survivors to seek justice and compensation including:

  1. Common Law Claims: These claims are based on negligence, where it must be proven that the school owed a duty of care, breached this duty, and caused harm to the student. Examples of reasonable measures that schools may need to undertake to avoid a finding of negligence could include:
    • Comprehensive background checks of staff and volunteers including Working with Children and Criminal Record checks.
    • Appropriate supervision of students and staff at all times.
    • Risk assessments.
    • Investigating and responding promptly to complaints or allegations of inappropriate behaviour.
  2. National Redress Scheme: This scheme offers a streamlined, less adversarial alternative for survivors specifically of childhood sexual abuse, providing access to counselling, a direct personal response, and a redress payment. This is limited in its maximum payout and will preclude those who accept compensation under the scheme from seeking compensation for this abuse through other legal avenues.
  3. Section 85B Compensation Application or Sentencing Act Claim: This legal avenue allows survivors to claim compensation directly related to the abuse from the individual that perpetrated the abuse within 12 months of their being found guilty of or convicted of a related criminal offence.

How Carbone Lawyers Can Assist You

Our dedicated team are experienced in handling sensitive cases like abuse compensation claims against schools. We approach each case with discretion, understanding, and a commitment to securing the best possible outcome for our clients. Here’s how we can support you:

  • Legal Representation: We provide comprehensive legal representation, guiding you through each step of the compensation claim process and speaking on your behalf where possible.
  • Empathetic Support: Understanding the emotional toll of coming forward, we ensure a supportive and confidential environment for our clients.
  • Expert Advice: With our extensive experience in Victorian law, we offer expert advice on the most suitable legal avenues for your situation.
  • No-Win No-Fee Policy: We stand by our commitment to providing access to justice without any upfront financial burden in most cases.

Take the Next Step with Carbone Lawyers

If you or someone you know is a survivor of school abuse, it’s crucial to seek legal advice from a teacher abuse lawyer as soon as possible for the best chance of obtaining the compensation you deserve. Our team are prepared to listen to your story, outline your legal options, and stand by your side throughout this challenging journey. With our no-win no-fee policy, you can pursue justice without the stress of immediate legal fees.

Contact Carbone Lawyers today to discuss your case in a confidential setting and learn how we can help you navigate the path to compensation and healing.

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