South Eastern Centre Against Sexual Assault: Crisis website

Applying for compensation

In all States, victims of sexual assault are entitled to apply for monetary compensation by the state for the crime which has been committed against them.Compensation for this crime will not take the pain away. A victim/survivor can never really be compensated for what happened to them. If a victim/survivor is thinking about applying for Crimes Compensation, it is advisable for her to contact a sexual assault service, community legal service worker or to talk to a sympathetic lawyer.

In some states an interim award is available for a person who is in severe financial hardship, either caused by the act of violence or through fear of further violence. Although such awards are rare, if there is some urgency, a solicitor should be consulted about the possibility of an interim award. Each State and Territory has specifically described the terms in which they will be understanding the nature of injury. Children, partners or significant persons may also be eligible for compensation under strict guidelines.

Claims may generally also be made for;

  • loss of clothing (if taken by the police for evidence at the time of the assault);
  • removal expenses (if the victim has moved house), and the installment of security devices in the house (if relevant);
  • a sexually transmitted disease caused by the offence;
  • pregnancy;
  • the cost of counselling and medical services (if not covered by health insurance);
  • the loss of income (if too traumatised to work, or if the offender is in the work environment, and this is not covered by Worker's Compensation).

There are time limits in most States as to when compensation can be granted, although these can be extended if a good case can be made.

To prepare an application for Crimes Compensation, evidence is required in each State to prove that the crime occurred on the balance of probabilities, with the exception of Queensland and South Australia - which requires proof beyond reasonable doubt. Receipts for expenses incurred are also required, as are medical reports and any other documents information which reflect the victim/survivor's losses and will help the Tribunal to make an award.

Return to top