Senior Associate, Hassan Ehsan, leads our Institutional Abuse practice. In response to questions we often receive from the public, Hassan explains the process MEJ follows to ensure the privacy and safety of those who want to discuss child sexual abuse claims.
What happens when I call MEJ?
We understand that it can be quite nerve wracking picking up the phone for the purposes of calling a lawyer. We take that very seriously. You will speak directly with Hassan or a female expert solicitor – whoever you feel most comfortable speaking to.
We understand the time that it takes to build up the courage to speak with a lawyer. Bearing that in mind, your lawyer will take you through the process and give you some initial advice as to whether we can assist. This is confidential and also obligation and cost free.
Does it matter where the abuse happened?
It does not matter where the abuse happened. Our team deal with claims across the country.
Can I bring a claim if my abuse was physical only?
Yes absolutely. The laws in the ACT have also recently been amended to allow for claims to be brought for serious physical abuse. The ACT is now in line with every other jurisdiction in the country on this aspect.
Can I speak to you if I have made an application to the National Redress Scheme?
Yes, accepting an offer from the National Redress Scheme can potentially negatively impact any claim that you may have against the institution directly. Please speak to a lawyer before you accept any offer.
Will my matter go to Court? Will I be able to settle outside of Court?
Your lawyer will give you advice if we think it’s suitable to commence proceedings. Often proceedings are commenced in Court, however, settle prior to the matter reaching a hearing day.
Do you bring claims against religious institutions only?
Unfortunately, following the final report of the Royal Commission, it was evident that historical abuse was prevalent in many parts of society.
Claims can be generalised as follows:
- Clergy members and Church Claims
- School Claims
- Defence Department Claims
- Claims against The Commonwealth & State Governments
- Sporting organisations