Sexual abuse victims turned away by Church

RIGHT: Bishop Keith Slater. Photo: Leigh Jensen
RIGHT: Bishop Keith Slater. Photo: Leigh Jensen

THE Bishop of the Anglican Diocese of Grafton has resigned because some victims of sexual abuse who came to the diocese for support or compensation were turned away.

The Right Reverend Keith Slater yesterday issued a statement admitting he failed in his duty to follow protocol by not referring sexual abuse cases at Lismore's North Coast Children's Home to the professional standards director "as they should have been".

The abuse took place at the home over a number of decades between the 1940s and 1980s.

The bishop's comments relate to cases reported to the diocese from 2006 on.

Yesterday he apologised to victims who were not given access to the professional standards director which could have helped with ongoing police investigations.

Abuse cases allegedly occurred at the home between 1940 and 1980

In 2006, complainants started to come forward

In 2007 the diocese settled 39 claims through payments. Two others were not ready to settle.

"After the majority of claims had been settled, seven more people came forward," Rev Slater said.

"The Diocese received these additional claims between 2008 and 2011.

"A few, but not all, alleged sexual abuse while resident at the home."

Some claims received between 2008 and 2011 were finalised through a financial settlement, which met the request of the complainant, in a manner similar to the majority of claims settled before them.

Others were advised that the Diocese was no longer willing to make financial settlements in regard to claims associated with the North Coast Children's Home.

In November 2012 the Diocese resolved to support the work of the Royal Commission and started an audit of all professional standards matters in the diocese.

In January 2013 The initial findings from the audits flagged protocol had not been consistently applied, specifically in matters associated with claims of abuse at the North Coast Children's Home. This was then referred to the Royal Commission.

Topics:  church north coast children's home sexual abuse

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