I would also like to add from my experience with the Ministry of Social Development.
As people know who have been through the experience, we are “invited” to share our experience and form of complaint with a room full of strangers. WTF. Whose there to protect who.
Following that we have to wait until they do their own investigation. In other words, until they can prove we are telling the truth.!!! In my opinion, the whole experience was just a government public relations exercise to cover their own butts and look to be doing something to address the historical claims being made public.
If you think about it, this investigative committee was set up on the back of historic abuse claims coming forward from people abused within Catholic institutions. We may be damaged but we’re not fuckin idiots!!
Also, When I asked for information showing how they came to that financial amount I was told “you’re lucky to get anything, some people got nothing”.
Also, for people who are seeking to get their records. It’s easy enough but for me it was another “slap in the face” because so much was erased (blacked out) and apparently missing. Leaving me once again, with no factual evidence to back up my complaint.
In my case, the person admitted the abuse but when I approached the police over 20 years ago, I was told “in our opinion, its more of a moral complaint than a legal complaint”.
After the Ministry did their own investigation, they wanted me to approach the police again (they had spoken with police) in order to try and convict this man. I told them what they could do with that suggestion!
In the end I too was “awarded” 30k by Ministry of Social Development. The way I was treated during and towards the completion of investigation was appalling.
I was told “now you’ll have some money to go on a nice little holiday” now you can “move on”. WTF you cant just erase the memories. Especially in my case as I overdosed (because of the abuse) and am now legally blind. Not a day goes past where I don’t feel “branded” by my abuser. I can have all the counselling available but I will always have to live (exist) with the consequences of my actions in a desperate attempt to stop the abuse. I believe institutional abuse is the most horrific forms of abuse in terms of the degree of trust that is exploited upon an already damaged, vulnerable teenager. In my opinion, the 30k and the “generic letter of apology” was an insult.