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VIC Charging a Parent with Child Molestation Under Criminal Law?

Discussion in 'Criminal Law Forum' started by Rachel45, 27 January 2015.

  1. Rachel45

    Rachel45 Member

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    New to this, so I don't really understand how it works... But my question:
    How do I go about charging my father with child molestation? I was abused when I was around 6/7, and I also have an aunt (his little sister), and his two step daughters (from a previous relationship) who have shared similar stories. First case dated back to around 1988, and the latest known case dates back to 2005. I no longer live with him, and he has another daughter residing with him. I'm not sure what I need to do to charge him, nor do I know my chances of succeeding in charging him under criminal law. Thoughts?
     
  2. Sophea

    Sophea Well-Known Member

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    Hi Rachel45,

    this is a terribly difficult thing to deal with and I admire your courage to do something about what has happened.

    With regard to filing charges for criminal prosecution, you will need to report the matter to police. Generally even when such cases are reported a long time after it took place, they will proceed to court. It is common for those who experience such crimes as children, only to speak out as adults regarding what they suffered. The police will conduct investigations and take evidence from you and likely your relatives who were also abused (this will add weight to the case if they are willing to give evidence). If the police decide there is sufficient evidence to proceed they will lay charges. You can get more information on reporting a sexual offence here: http://www.lawhandbook.org.au/handbook/ch04s03s01.php

    You may also have grounds to bring a civil claim, if as a result of the offences as a child you now suffer with physical or psychological injuries. Usually personal injury claims must be made within 3 years, however there are special provisions in Victoria regarding situations where minors are injured by close relatives or associates that enable the cause of action to be "discoverable" by the victim when they are 25. Essentially I believe you have 12 years from the date you turn 25 to bring an action. It is Limitation of Actions Act 1958 (Vic) s27I you can check it out here: http://www.austlii.edu.au/au/legis/vic/consol_act/loaa1958226/s27i.html

    However even these time limitations are currently under review such that I believe they will abolish time limitations for actions involving sexual assaults and abuse entirely in the near future.

    I would recommend speaking with a lawyer if you are comfortable doing this and they will be able to advise you on your prospects of succeeding in getting damages for your injuries suffered. If you and your female relatives are interested in bringing a joint action, you may be able to do this - by retaining the same lawyer, it will save on legal costs.
     

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