No sum of money will ease the pain and effects of abuse, but it can help you access the care and resources you need.

Physical, sexual or mental abuse from an institution, organisation or individual can have debilitating and wide-reaching effects that last a lifetime. Following the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sex Abuse, survivors have new options available to them to seek compensation. We recommend getting legal advice from a specialised lawyer to navigate through these new options.

Expert Abuse Lawyers – Our lawyers are experienced and understand the fragile nature of these kinds of cases and approach each one with genuine care and empathy.

No win. No fee. – Every Queenslander deserves the right to legal representation and to make their voices heard. Gouldson will fight against injustice on your behalf, and you won’t pay any legal fees unless your claim is successful.

Free case review – Unsure if you’re entitled to compensation? Have your case reviewed for free and completely confidentially by one of our qualified lawyers.

Lower fee cap – We believe that the bulk of your settlement should go directly to you. So, while other lawyers may operate on a 50% fee cap, Gouldson’s fee cap is just 30%.

Commitment free advice from a qualified lawyer

Here’s how the claims process works

Have your case reviewed for free

When you’re ready, start by telling us what happened. One of our qualified abuse lawyers will carefully and respectfully listen to the details of your case and offer free advice as to the next steps to take.

Get started with your lawyer

From here, your lawyer will begin gathering all necessary evidence to begin your claim. Our lawyers understand the sensitive nature of these cases, so this will always be done with the utmost respect and integrity. You’ll also have the same lawyer from the start of your claim to the end.

We negotiate for you

Your lawyer will handle all paperwork and negotiate with the relevant institution or individual, giving you time to access the support and care you require.


If successful, we’ll reach an agreement with the institution or individual you’re claiming against and secure your compensation amount. If we are unsuccessful in your claim, you will not be charged.

Frequently Asked Questions

Due to the broad and complex nature of abuse claims, there are several different factors that may affect your ability to claim, including: 

  • The abuser; did they act alone or as part of an institution or organisation? 
  • Is the institution in question still operating? 
  • When did it occur? 
  • The available evidence on the incident(s) and the institution. 
  • The impact the incident(s) have on your life.  
  • Have there been other traumatic events in your life? 
  • Your eligibility to make a claim under a redress scheme. 
  • Have you previously received a payment for the abuse? 

As you can see, there are several moving parts to the legal process and the nature of these claims make them very delicate. We recommend seeking legal advice from one of our lawyers versed in abuse law, who will empathetically and respectfully gather all necessary evidence.  

The Australian Human Rights Commission defines sexual harassment as “any unwanted or unwelcome sexual behaviour where a reasonable person would have anticipated the possibility that the person harassed would feel offended, humiliated or intimidated. It has nothing to do with mutual attraction or consensual behaviour”.  

Examples of sexual harassment include: 

  • Staring, leering or unwelcome touching 
  • Suggestive comments or jokes 
  • Unwanted invitations to go out on dates or requests for sex 
  • Intrusive questions about a person’s private life or body 
  • Unnecessary familiarity, such as deliberately brushing up against a person 
  • Emailing pornography or rude jokes 
  • Displaying images of a sexual nature around the workplace 
  • Communicating content of a sexual nature through social media or text messages. 

If you are unsure as to whether you have experienced sexual abuse, consider seeking legal advice.  

Recent reforms in Queensland have removed the time limitations placed on sexual abuse cases involving child victims. Regardless of how long ago the incident(s) were, Queenslanders have the right to sue those responsible. 

For other sexual abuse claims, the time limit to apply to pursue compensation is 3 years after the date the incident(s) occurred. However, due to the delicate and often secretive nature of these cases, claims can be made outside of these prescribed limits.  

For a more accurate assessment of your individual case, we recommend you get in contact with our legal team.  

We understand the effects of abuse can severely impact your wellbeing, your family and your ability to earn an income and access the support services you need.  

Due to the complex and varied nature of institutional abuse claims, it is impossible for us to provide a general estimate on the compensation amount. 

To get a better idea of the compensation that you may be entitled to, get in contact with one of our expert abuse lawyers. Our team of lawyers understand the situation that survivors find themselves in and that survivors may not be in the best mental state, so will act compassionately and delicately throughout the process.

With our team of expert institutional abuse lawyers, Queensland clients can be sure that the Gouldson Legal team will always resolve claims as quickly as possible.  

Unfortunately, there are many moving parts to the legal process, making it is impossible to give an estimate as to how long it will take to receive compensation. Each claim reflects a unique situation and, as such, will have its own outcome times.   

You can, however, put yourself in the best position for a quicker outcome by being responsive to your lawyer’s requests. 

Institutional abuse is broad and covers countless different situations, institution, people and timeframes. As such, please only use below as a rough guide.  

If you feel yourself to be the victim of institutional abuse but feel you don’t fit into any of the below, please get in contact with our legal team. We’ll be able to delicately and respectfully explore your eligibility and options.  

Redress claims 

Under new legislation, Queensland survivors who received money in the past are eligible to be assessed for compensation under redress.  

Religious institution abuse claims 

Claim against religious institutions like the Church.  

Foster care claims 

Claim against boys’ and girls’ homes, orphanages, foster homes and mission farms. 

Educational institution abuse 

Claim against state, church and privately run schools, as well as universities.  

State-run institutions 

Claim against detention centres, remand centres, training schools etc.  

Private institutions 

Claim against private institutions, like care facilities.  

Community organisations 

Claim against organisations like Girl Guides Australia, Scouts Queensland etc.  

Commonwealth-run institutions 

Claim against commonwealth-run institutions, like the Defence Force.  

Sporting organisations 

Claim against sporting groups and organisations, such as gymnastic or Surf Life Saving Australia. 

We’re here to help

Institutional abuse covers a range of crimes, including physical and mental abuse, as well as sexual abuse and harassment. Survivors have new options available to them to seek recourse that were previously unavailable, including:

  • Claims for common law damages
  • Redress applications as per the National Redress Scheme
  • Various redress schemes for individual institutions
  • In select cases, previous settlement of claims may be renegotiated.

There are more options available to abuse survivors than ever before. That’s why we recommend seeking legal advice and having one of our expert lawyers carefully walk you through your options. Fill out a free case review today or call 07 3144 7143 for a free, confidential chat with a qualified lawyer.