The Catholic Church and religious institutions in Victoria are committed to a safe environment for all children and vulnerable persons with safeguarding embedded within its culture and operations.
Commencing in 2022, Pathways Victoria will offer a consistent state wide model to respond to disclosures of Catholic Church abuse in Victoria replacing Towards Healing and the Melbourne Response.
Through the Pathways Victoria model and processes, the Church and participating religious institutions seek to take responsibility for addressing wrongs that have been committed. The model responds to the need of those who wish to connect at a pastoral level with a one-to-one connection with a care coordinator who will walk alongside victims and survivors on their journey. It facilitates a compassionate approach with the opportunity to restore faith and trust with every step of engagement.
Nationally, the National Redress Scheme also offers an independent model to report institutional abuse. This commenced on 1 July 2018, with survivors of child sexual abuse able to approach the Scheme at any time until 30 June 2027. Under the Scheme, applications for redress are made by independent assessors who decide on the appropriate levels of financial and other support, such as counselling services. The Catholic Church and other institutions participating in the Scheme will meet the costs of redress that the Scheme determines. People wishing to access the Scheme can visit the National Redress Scheme website or phone 1800 737 377.
Knowmore is an independent service giving free legal advice to assist survivors of abuse by providing them with information and advice about the justice and redress options that may be available to them. Legal advice is available through the Knowmore website or phone 1800 605 762.
National Redress Scheme
For people who have experienced institutional child sexual abuse
Call 1800 737 377
From 1 January 2022, new complaints of abuse received by the Catholic Dioceses of Victoria will be responded to through Pathways Victoria, rather than through the Melbourne Response or Towards Healing, with professional support available from the first contact with the process. In matters already being investigated, survivors will have the option of continuing in their current process or transferring to Pathways Victoria.