Sex abuse survivor Steve Fisher knows the traumatic process of fighting for compensation all too well.
That is why the founder of Beyond Abuse has thrown his support behind alleged victims of historic abuse at Ashley Youth Detention Centre.
It was revealed on Thursday a former detainee had threatened to take the state government to court over allegations of physical, sexual and mental abuse at the facility in the early 2000s.
More than 100 other ex-detainees have also claimed physical abuse, with a class action being prepared and expected to be before the Supreme Court by the end of the year.
Mr Fisher said it was encouraging to hear of other victims coming forward from institutions beyond churches and schools.
“Institutions like Ashley have not been discussed as much in regards to abuse, and it needs to come out,” he said.
“The fact that now, with all the publicity around the redress scheme, people are realising they might qualify, I think is fantastic.
“Up until two years ago you never had any option to take action against an institution, you had to take whatever the institution gave you and that was it. All of a sudden survivors have got options.”
While many victims of child sexual abuse in the state had accepted funds through the scheme, Mr Fisher described it as a “farce”.
“The government was given something inherently good by the Royal Commission, and they just pulled it apart and made it a joke,” he said.
“For starters they dropped the maximum amount from $200,000 down to $150,000, and nobody, or very, very few people will even get the maximum.
“I would encourage anyone that has been abused in a setting such as Ashley, or while they were incarcerated, if they have the strength to go through the litigation process.”
Last month, an independent review into the scheme was announced.
“Beyond Abuse will be putting a submission in, there are just so many flaws with the scheme it really needs to be pulled apart again and redone in my opinion,” Mr Fisher said.
Tasked with the job was Robyn Kruk AO, who penned an open letter about the review process.
“The scheme helps people who have experienced institutional child sexual abuse to access counselling, a direct personal response and a redress payment. It is, more importantly, also a formal and important acknowledgement that many children were sexually abused in Australian institutions, and it holds institutions to account for this abuse,” she wrote.
“The review I am undertaking is required by legislation. It will consider such matters as the implementation, operation and administration of the Scheme, and people’s experiences.
“I would like to hear views from as many people as I can.”