Armidale child abuse survivor Robyn Knight wants more action after PM announces national apology following Royal Commission into child sexual abuse

CHILD ABUSE SURVIVOR: Armidale Loud Fence survivor Robyn Knight said the national apology for child abuse victims isn't enough without action on redress.
CHILD ABUSE SURVIVOR: Armidale Loud Fence survivor Robyn Knight said the national apology for child abuse victims isn't enough without action on redress.

CHILD ABUSE survivor Robyn Knight wants less talk and more action after the prime minister announced a formal apology for victims of child sexual abuse.

On Wednesday, Malcolm Turnbull said he will deliver a national apology in response to the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse on October 22.

“The apology means nothing unless it’s backed up by an action – the redress scheme needs to get moving, that would mean more to us,” Armidale resident Ms Knight said.

“To actually see money in people's pockets to support them so these people who have struggled all their lives without jobs because they’ve been too damaged to actually achieve their goals have something to put behind them.”

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Ms Knight was abused by former Ben Venue Public School teacher John Ferris, who was jailed in 2016 for the abuse of eight girls in the 1960s and 70s, for at least three-and-a-half years.

Leaving school in Year 10, that breach of trust has had an irreconcilable affect on Ms Knight’s life.

“We’re not in this for the money by any means, never was that the case,” she said.

“But, the Department of Education aren’t going to make changes to their everyday activity if it doesn’t cost them and it’s the same as the church, if it doesn’t hurt them in the hip pocket they’re never going to change.

“When I sat down and looked at what happened over my lifetime it had affected me in so many ways I was unaware of.”

Every state and territory will sign on to the National Redress Scheme from July 1.

The government will fully or partially accept 104 out of 122 commission recommendations, but Ms Knight said it’s not enough.

“Who’s Malcolm Turnbull to say he knows better? All of them need to be implemented, they wouldn’t have been recommended if they weren’t important,” she said.

Survivors are encouraged to make submissions to the government on the wording of the apology.

This story ‘Less talk, more action’ Armidale child abuse survivor tells Prime Minister first appeared on The Northern Daily Leader.

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