NSW Child S*xual Abuse - Can Legal Action Be Taken?

Discussion in 'Criminal Law Forum' started by KMS, 20 January 2015.

  1. KMS

    KMS Member

    20 January 2015
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    My relative is 27 years old and recently revealed he was sexually abused as a child by another child. This child was a “friend” who lived across the road from him. The abuse started when my relative was approximately seven years old. The abuser was one to two years older but physically larger, and stronger. Always more advanced mentally.The abuse continued for at least four years.

    My relative describes the abuse as unwanted and premeditated. My relative was not aware of what sex or sexual acts were at this age. He has said there was no penetration. He has described the abuser as a bully and manipulative. My relative came from a highly dysfunctional home and was desperate for a friend in this other boy. The other boy knew my relative did not like his family life. My relative said he hated what this boy did to him but he hated being at home even more.

    My relative is severely damaged by this experience. He has deep psychological issues, trouble sleeping, anxiety, and depression, has used drugs, has not been able to hold down a job, has identity and self-image issues and lacks confidence in many areas of his life. It’s fair to say he has lived a troubled life and until this recent revelation we have not known what his problem was.

    My relative is very ashamed and embarrassed and does not want anyone to know. He does not want to talk any further about it (at this stage) because he blames himself and makes excuses for the abuser.

    Can you tell me please what legal action can be taken, if my relative ever chooses to do so? It is horribly unfair the abuser has done this. It was clearly not curiosity or experimentation. The abuse was set up when adults were not around and it only stopped when the abuser's younger brother caught this happening. My relative claims he asked the younger brother to help him but nothing was done.

    The abuser now has young children of his own. All those involved live in NSW and did so at the time of events.
  2. Sophea

    Sophea Guest

    Hi KMS,

    When it comes to children, if they are under 10 when commit an offence it is assumed that they are too young to understand what they are doing is wrong and they cannot be found guilty. However whether a child between the ages of 10 - 14 can be found guilty for a criminal act will be determined based on the circumstances and the individual child. I am guessing the offences in question took place within this age band, so there is potential that the offender may be charged, especially since it was pre-mediated and ongoing.

    That would of course only be relevant in terms of criminal charges. To receive a recognition payment as a victim of violence involving child abuse or sexual assault he would have to make it within 10 years after turning 18. So he has to think about doing something in the very near future.

    He may also have grounds to make a personal injury claim for psychological injury, however I believe the limitation of action for this is 3 years, however this may be a circumstance where a longer limitation applies or a court would award an extension. I'm not 100% sure.
    Sarah J likes this.

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