Friday, 12 April 2024

    Compensation for Yooralla victims

    It took eight years for a woman to be moved out of the room where she was repeatedly raped by a disability support worker, Yahoo News reports.

    Some – but not all – of the people sexually abused by a number of Yooralla employees have received personal apologies, years after the crimes.

    Some – but not all – have been paid compensation.

    At the disability royal commission, Yooralla again publicly apologised for the abuse of people in its care.

    CEO Sherene Devanesen said personal apologies were made “recently” by the Victorian disability services provider.

    “(It was) before the announcement of the royal commission but after the events, long after the events and after the perpetrators were sentenced,” she told the Melbourne hearing.

    But during further questioning, Dr Devanesen revealed some survivors had not received personal apologies.

    And only those who have taken Yooralla to court have received compensation, through confidential settlements.

    All four of the people raped or sexually assaulted by disability care worker Vinod Johnny Kumar still live in group homes run by Yooralla.

    All four had severe levels of physical or intellectual impairment and were “trapped within their own bodies”, noted the judge who in 2013 jailed Kumar for 18 years.

    Only one, a woman given the pseudonym Jacqueline, was paid compensation.

    The royal commission was told Kumar’s other victims had not received any compensation because they did not take legal action, nor were they supported to seek independent advice about their rights.

    “And as a result, you paid money, presumably a substantial amount of money, to one survivor and nothing to the others,” commissioner Roslyn Atkinson told Dr Devanesen.

    Dr Devanesen confirmed that was the case, before later agreeing Yooralla would consider compensating other survivors.

    Other Yooralla victims have received compensation.


    Compensation for some Yooralla victims (Yahoo News)


    Matthew Paul Argall / Flickr / CC 2.0