The Australian Catholic Church has paid A$276m (£171m; $213m) to victims of sexual abuse since 1980, an inquiry has heard.The money was divided between thousands of victims, the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sex Abuse was told. The data, released on Thursday, showed the average payment was A$91,000. The landmark royal commission was set up in 2013 and is also investigating abuse at non-religious organisations. The Catholic Church made the payments in response to 3,066 of 4,445 child sexual abuse claims between 1980 and 2015, the inquiry heard. More than 40% of claims were received by a handful of male orders. They included compensation, treatment, legal and other costs, said Gail Furness, the lead lawyer assisting the commission in Sydney. “The royal commission’s experience is that many survivors face barriers which deter them from reporting abuse to authorities and to the institution in which the abuse occurred,” Ms Furness said. “Accordingly, the total number of incidences of child sexual abuse in Catholic Church institutions in Australia is likely to be greater than the claims made.” The average delay between an alleged abuse and it being reported was 33 years, she said. Earlier this month, the commission heard 7% of the nation’s Catholic priests allegedly abused children between 1950 and 2010.

No Comments

Leave a Comment