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Royal Commission Seeks Information From Faith-based Abuse Survivors On Their Claims For Redress

The Abuse in Care Royal Commission of Inquiry is appealing for information from survivors who reported the abuse they suffered while in faith-based care and sought redress either directly from the Church or other Faith-based Institution or by filing civil proceedings in Court or the Human Rights Review Tribunal.

It would like to hear about their experiences of seeking and receiving redress in the form of financial settlement or non-monetary processes (such as an apology, counselling, etc.), and any suggestions for how claims processes could be improved or made more effective.

The Commission is also keen to hear from anyone who may have knowledge of a claim of abuse in Faith-based care, or claims related to abuse in the Catholic Church, Anglican Church or Salvation Army, whether as family or whānau of a survivor, a legal representative, a professional, or defendant in any claim.

The Royal Commission Faith-based Redress public hearing will take place from 23 November – 11 December 2020. The Royal Commission will investigate the adequacy of the redress process of the Catholic Church, Anglican Church and the Salvation Army and what needs to be done to support people who have been abused or neglected in Faith-based institutions.

Catholic Church abuse survivor Mike Ledingham said he encourages other abuse survivors to come forward and speak with the Royal Commission so that they can collectively “hold the Catholic Church and other faith-based institutions to account.”

“As a former soldier, nothing the SAS threw at me physically or mentally phased me as much as the sexual and mental abuse I suffered as a child in that convent. Abuse has life-long effects.

“To all the survivors out there – come forward, speak up, you are not alone,” said Mr Ledingham.

The Royal Commission acknowledges the disproportionate numbers of Māori in care and wants to hear from Māori about their experiences of the Faith-based claims processes.

The Inquiry also wants to hear the experiences of Pacific people as well as vulnerable adults, including people with disabilities or mental illness.

If you are interested in providing information to the Royal Commission on redress processes, involving the State or any Faith-based institutions, but would like advice on how to do that, please contact 0800 222 727 or email contact@abuseincare.org.nz.

Otherwise, please send in writing to the Royal Commission of Inquiry, PO Box 10071, The Terrace, Wellington 6143.

About the Abuse in Care Inquiry

The Abuse in Care Royal Commission of Inquiry is investigating the abuse and neglect that happened to children, young people and vulnerable adults in care from 1950 and 1999. It will also consider experiences of abuse or neglect before 1950 and after 1999. After completing its investigations, it will make recommendations to the Governor General on how New Zealand can better care for children, young people and vulnerable adults.

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