‘Champagne moment’ as Gymnastics Australia opts in to compensate child abuse survivors

Five years after Gymnastics Australia’s former leader said there was “no evidence” of child sexual abuse in the sport, the organisation will today join the National Redress Scheme for abuse survivors. 

The organisation now holds a different view, with current chief executive Alexandra Ash describing any abuse inside the sport as “abhorrent”, “unacceptable”, and capable of causing a “catastrophic impact” on the lives of athletes, families, and friends.

More than 90 per cent of Gymnastics Australia’s 800,000 members are under the age of 12.

Ms Ash said children and young people were “the heart of our communities”.

“Gymnastics Australia believes the safety of all children comes first, and that abuse — no matter when it occurred — is abhorrent and unacceptable,” she said.

“We have a zero tolerance to abuse in gymnastics.

“We want to ensure that every person who walks into gymnastics clubs feel safe and supported to achieve their personal goals.”

Ms Ash said Gymnastics Australia “recognised survivors’ bravery” and would work with them through the redress process.

‘Nothing will take away the trauma and suffering’

Social Services Minister Amanda Rishworth and Sports Minister Anika Wells made the announcement on Thursday morning, with 11 other groups and institutions, including Little Athletics, also joining the scheme.

She said being part of the scheme would make it easier for those who experienced abuse to seek redress.

“However nothing will take away the trauma and suffering experienced by those who were abused,” she said.

Ms Wells said adding more institutions and groups was an “important step”.

“Abuse haunts and stays with athletes for life, so this is welcome news for survivors and their wellbeing,” she said.

Once part of the scheme, survivors may be eligible for a personal response, counselling and psychological care, and up to $150,000 in compensation for individual claims.

Survivors say sign-up is ‘change for good’

Source link

#Champagne #moment #Gymnastics #Australia #opts #compensate #child #abuse #survivors