Sexual abuse survivors in Victoria to be able to sue churches

New law is being enacted in the state of Victoria in Australia. It’s emphasis is in being able to sue the church for the actions of someone acting in the name of the church, i.e. survivors don’t have to name an individual publicly as a part of the Betrayal of Trust report . Though it is primarily focused on child sex abuse survivors in the Catholic church, the change in legislation brings forward the ability of those who were hurt in any church, including the Mormon church to come forward.

 

Within the last 2 decades in Australia, some lay leaders in the Mormon church advised that “as the church is a family,” then members of the primary presidency and even general church members could “use [corporal punishment] at church, in Sunday school and in primary.” In some wards, this unofficial policy has resulted in a generation of “less active” church members who, as children, were hit by random ward members and therefore chose to not remain in the church, and did not raise their children in the church.

 

It will be interesting to watch over the next few years as (former) LDS church members decide to file lawsuits for their childhood church corporal punishment, and/or sexual abuse they suffered at the hands of the LDS church’s lay leadership.

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