Historical & Institutional Abuse | Be Heard, Be Helped

No amount of compensation can make up for the lifelong physical, emotional, relational and financial damage caused by historical and institutional abuse. However, we can ensure those at fault pay for their actions. It’s not your guilt, pain or shame to bear – it’s theirs.

Who can make an institutional abuse claim?

Institutional abuse is when an organisation is accountable for causing physical, psychological, or sexual harm to an individual or a child. In Queensland, if you were under 18 at the time of abuse, you can make a claim at any time. If you were 18 or older, you generally have 3 years from the date of each instance of abuse to bring a claim.

Examples of institutions include:

  • Churches and other religious institutions
  • Orphanages and Foster homes
  • Detention centres
  • Prisons and Correction centres
  • Schools and Universities (public and private)
  • Childcare centres
  • Youth and community groups
  • Medical centres

Many individuals who experience institutional abuse carry the scars of their experience for the remainder of their lives. If you have experienced abuse, you may have the right to seek compensation for the irreversible harm caused.

Rogalski Lawyers handles all institutional abuse claims with patience and empathy, regardless of when it happened or your current age. We ensure full accountability for perpetrators and those who try to cover up the abuse.

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What does institutional abuse compensation cover?

Institutional abuse isn’t always physical violence – it can also be sexual in nature. Depending on your situation, you may be eligible to claim for:

Pain and suffering

Past and future loss of income

Past and future medical costs and rehabilitative care

Commercial value of care and assistance

Associated legal costs

Common Examples of Institutional Abuse

Experiencing abuse, even if it occurred only once, can have a lasting impact on you. There are multiple types of abuse, including:

  • Physical abuse
  • Mental abuse
  • Sexual abuse

After the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sex Abuse, survivors now have additional avenues to obtain compensation. It’s best to seek personalised legal guidance from one of our specialised lawyers to explore these new options.

Don’t go it alone – we’re here for you

It can be overwhelming and triggering to take legal action for any reason, let alone abuse. When an institution in power is at fault, you may feel the law will dismiss or invalidate your story. However, with an experienced abuse lawyer fighting for your case, you may receive more compensation than you ever imagined.

At Rogalski Lawyers, we understand the weight of your situation and the difficulty in sharing your story. Our skilled lawyers respect and strive to ease your concerns with caring attention and tailored support. We offer in-person meetings at your home or our office, whichever makes you feel most comfortable.

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What is the claim process for institutional abuse?


Free Initial Meeting

When you’re ready to share your story, we’re ready to listen. We can meet you at your home, our office or chat on the phone to discuss your case background and the impact it has had on your life. We take your claim very seriously and will do everything we can to obtain justice on your behalf.


History Collection & Review

After our initial talk and signing the agreement to move forward, your lawyer collects evidence and statements of the historical abuse. This process might involve contacting doctors, psychiatrists, employers, police, Centrelink, correctional services, school friends, government records, family, friends, etc.


Claim Selection

There are a variety of compensation pathways open to survivors of historical abuse; a common law claim for damages (due to negligence) or the National Redress Scheme. It is also possible to revisit previously settled matters. We can help you decide how to proceed and skillfully handle all lodgement forms and processes on your behalf.


Claim Lodgement

The overall process at this point will vary depending on the type of claim you submit. Either way, you will need to submit a claim form. This will prompt a response to your allegations which may require further research and investigation. In the meantime, you may be required to undergo an examination of your injuries arising from the abuse.



We will fight for you throughout the entire process. A settlement can easily be reached if both parties agree on a suitable compensation amount. If your claim proceeds to court, we can provide strong representation and guidance.

Want to know if you have a claim?

Our lighting-fast, user-friendly online claim checker can confirm if you have a valid claim.

Institutional Abuse FAQs

I was abused many years ago but I was under 18 years of age at the time. Can I still make a claim?

Yes. In Queensland, the time limits for bringing a common law claim for damages were abolished for any abuse endured by individuals under 18 years of age. Laws may differ in other states and territories, so it’s important to seek legal advice without delay.

The National Redress Scheme is also open to applicants that were abused under 18 years of age. However, an application must be made by 30 June 2027. It will no longer accept applications after that date.

Other time limits apply for anyone that was abused at the age of 18 or older in Queensland. If this applied to you, we strongly recommend that you seek legal advice without delay.

What is the National Redress Scheme?

The National Redress Scheme was made after recommendations from the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse. It allows victims to receive a redress payment, counselling, and psychological support. It also can obtain a response from the institution responsible, such as an apology and acknowledgment of the harm done.

To get compensation through the National Redress Scheme, the organisations being claimed against must be registered with and actively involved in the scheme.

Do I need a witness to support my claim?

No. Evidence from a witness would be helpful, but it is not necessary. A claimant can tell their story first-hand without any corroborating evidence and be accepted.

How long will my abuse claim take to complete?

A claim of this nature is often very complex and requires a significant amount of investigation. Generally speaking, the National Redress Scheme applications are shorter in duration compared to a common law claim for damages.