Com­pen­sa­tion open to abuse sur­vivors

Weekend Courier - - Opinion -

AF­TER years of ill health and stress, Rock­ing­ham man Dean Wright has cau­tiously wel­comed the pas­sage of a Bill end­ing lim­i­ta­tion pe­ri­ods for child sex­ual abuse sur­vivors.

On April 10, the Civil Li­a­bil­ity Leg­is­la­tion Amend­ment (Child Sex­ual Abuse Ac­tions) Bill 2017 was passed by the WA Par­lia­ment.

With the bar­rier re­moved he can now seek com­pen­sa­tion for the abuse he suf­fered by his abuser, for­mer St John Am­bu­lance paramedic trainer Stu­art An­drew Mac­Fadyen.

Mac­Fadyen was sen­tenced to two-anda-half years in prison on Au­gust 10, 2016.

Even though his abuser was con­victed, Mr Wright (54) had no le­gal right to com­pen­sa­tion un­til now.

“It’s been a rough go; I have had strokes and post-trau­matic stress disor­der. I wouldn’t wish what I’ve been through on my worst en­emy,” he said.

“John Quigley emailed me to let me know it had been passed; he has been ab­so­lutely amaz­ing with his sup­port.”

“When La­bor won the elec­tion they had a party where I spoke briefly to Mark McGowan; he promised me he would do it and he did.”

Mr Wright will now await the le­gal process to ob­tain his com­pen­sa­tion.

“I have good lawyers; Re­nee from Bradley Le­gal has been amaz­ing,” he said.

“I have been lucky; through the sup­port of my fam­ily, fel­low sur­vivor Kristy Pratt and politi­cians Paul Pa­palia, John Quigley and Mark McGowan, I have been able to get through this.

“You trust peo­ple when you’re grow­ing up; you would never think they could do it.

“I re­ally wanted to be a paramedic but that was taken from me. I’m cau­tiously op­ti­mistic. You can’t give in; you have to fight.”

The Bill has many pro­vi­sions to fur­ther pro­tect sur­vivors, in­clud­ing caps on le­gal fees and over­rid­ing Fed­eral cor­po­ra­tions law to ac­cess as­sets of in­sti­tu­tions in­volved.

At­tor­ney Gen­eral John Quigley said many in­di­vid­u­als had been de­nied jus­tice for years.

“Sur­vivors of child sex abuse in WA will fi­nally be able to seek jus­tice and com­pen­sa­tion in our civil courts,” he said.

He said time should not be a bar­rier to seek­ing jus­tice.

‘Cau­tiously op­ti­mistic’: Dean Wright.

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