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Claims Process – survivors of sexual abuse in Victorian government schools

This page explains how survivors of sexual abuse in Victorian government schools can make a claim for compensation from the Department of Education.

Information on reporting abuse in a Victorian government school is available at:

This page also includes a range of additional options and supports to survivors of child sexual abuse.

You can download and print a Word version of the content on this page: 

Sexual Abuse Claims Process and Other Supports
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This document also includes information on additional options and supports available on the Report abuse if you're a current or former student webpage.

If you are concerned that you or someone else is in danger or at risk of sexual abuse, you should contact these police services:

Department’s approach to managing civil claims

We acknowledge that for many survivors of sexual abuse, seeking compensation may be one part of a long and painful recovery. We also acknowledge the potential for re-traumatisation in the litigation process.

For this reason, the department follows the Common Guiding Principles for child sexual abuse civil claims when responding to claims for compensation. The department also follows the Model Litigant Guidelines. These guidelines require the State to act with complete propriety, fairness and the highest professional standards. The department understands that the time taken to resolve a claim may be distressing for survivors. They seek to minimise delays where possible.

Am I eligible for compensation?

You may be eligible for compensation if the sexual abuse was suffered due to a Victorian government school or the department failing in its duty to protect you from harm and injury.

If you would like to make a claim for compensation, the department strongly recommends that you seek independent legal advice. An independent lawyer can give you information about your options and legal rights. The following organisations may be able to assist you with options:

Making a claim for compensation (also known as a ‘civil claim’, or ‘personal injury claim’ or a ‘negligence claim’)

With lawyers

If you have engaged a lawyer, they will help you to make a claim for compensation.

Without lawyers

The department notes that it is very rare for a survivor to make a claim for compensation without engaging lawyers. There are many law firms and options available for survivors and it is strongly recommended that you seek legal advice. The Law Institute of Victoria referral service can provide referrals for law firms who can help with claims for compensation.

If you choose not to use lawyers to support your claim for compensation, the information below outlines how to make a claim for compensation from the department. We also recommend reviewing the additional options and supports that might be available. These are set out at Report abuse if you're a current or former student.

To make a claim for compensation without legal representation, you will need to provide the department with the following information and supporting documentation:

1. A written statement which explains what happened to you, including:

  • Your name
  • Name of the Victorian government school or schools where the abuse occurred
  • Year(s) you attended the school or schools
  • Name of the perpetrator of abuse
  • Any police or other reports made at the time of the abuse, or since, and/or a brief statement of what happened to you, including the date(s) or approximate period of time
  • Any other relevant information you wish to provide

2. Proof of identity

Please provide proof of your identity. This can include a certified copy of your driver’s licence, passport, or birth certificate. You only need to provide the department with one form of proof of identity.

3. Supporting medical documentation

To allow the department to properly assess your claim, please provide a written report from your treating practitioner. This report must include the physical, emotional and/or psychological impact of the abuse, and details of your health condition(s). The medical report should be no more than 12 months old.

4. Specific details of the compensation you are seeking

Please tell us about the types of compensation and amounts that you are seeking, for example, compensation for:

  • Past or future medical expenses
  • Loss of income
  • Pain or suffering.

Submitting your claim for compensation (if you are representing yourself, without lawyers)

Please submit your written statement, proof of identity, supporting medical report(s) and details of the compensation that you are seeking to the Legal Division of the Department by email or by post.


Email address:

Subject line: 'New Claim'


Legal Division, Department of Education

Ground Level, East Wing, 2 Treasury Place East Melbourne VIC 3002

What will happen after you submit your claim?

The department follows the Model Litigant Guidelines and the Government’s Common Guiding Principles – child sexual abuse civil claims. This means the department acts fairly and promptly, does not rely on overly technical legal arguments and does not ordinarily require confidentiality clauses in the terms of settlement. The department makes an early assessment of claims and seeks timely resolution where possible.

1. Investigation

Once your claim has been received and acknowledged, the department’s Legal Division (or its external claims managers) will review the information you have provided and any relevant records held by the department. Part of this process may include contacting people who may have supporting evidence or who were involved in the circumstances of your claim.

Once the department has carried out initial inquiries, a department representative will contact you or your lawyer to offer further counselling or therapeutic supports. They will also discuss a statement of apology and acknowledgement about the abuse and its impacts, should this be something you would like to explore.

The department will endeavour to finalise these inquiries as efficiently as possible. However there are occasions when investigating allegations is difficult and might mean a delay in the resolution of a claim. The department understands that the time taken to resolve a claim may be distressing for survivors. They will seek to minimise delays where possible.

2. Independent Medical Assessment

Depending on the nature of your claim, the department may also ask you to attend an independent medico-legal assessment. The purpose of this assessment is to help understand the extent of your injuries. If you are asked to attend a medical assessment, the department will pay all reasonable costs associated with the assessment. This includes travel to and from your appointment. You will also receive a copy of the medical report for your records.

3. Resolution of your claim

Once the department’s inquiries are completed, the department will inform you of the outcome of your claim in writing. If your claim is successful, you may be asked to sign a release. This is a legal document that will set out the terms of agreement and compensation to be paid to you. This document may release the department from any further payments. The Department strongly recommends that you seek independent legal advice prior to signing a release, although you are not obliged to do so.

Privacy protection

The department must comply with Victorian privacy law when collecting and handling all personal and health information. To read more about this, please refer to the department’s Privacy Policy.


If you have any questions about this process or any aspect of making a legal claim against the department, please email us at or call us on (03) 9637 3146.