Our movement joins the National Redress Scheme
We are pleased to note that on 17 May 2019, Baptist Churches of South Australia, including all member churches, was officially declared by the Minister for Families and Social Services as participating in the National Redress Scheme. This declaration is the result of a series of steps we have taken in seeking to respond well to the recommendations of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse. As survivors of abuse shared their stories with the Royal Commission, it became apparent that many had spoken up and reported abuse to institutions, including churches, but were sadly dismissed, ignored or mistreated.
Our vision as Baptist Churches of South Australia (BCSA) is to be a movement of local churches thriving in Jesus, transforming the world. Part of our mission and commitment to build healthy churches is to ensure our churches are safe places. We are committed to responding as sensitively and pastorally as possible, and as quickly as possible, to any notification of abuse which involves, or potentially involves, BCSA, its member churches or any agency of BCSA.
The National Redress Scheme provides acknowledgement and support to people who experienced institutional child sexual abuse. The Scheme can provide access to counselling, a payment, and a direct personal response from an institution for those who want it. While the Scheme is not perfect, we believe it is a way of providing a measured response in the most compassionate way possible. Redress is not an attempt to restore or repay what has been stolen, but to ‘re dress’ the wounds and help with what is often lifelong, ongoing healing.
The process of joining the Scheme has included significant thinking, discussion, and interaction with government by state and national Baptist leaders; unanimous resolutions to join the Scheme by our Assembly Board in June 2018 and Assembly in November 2018; agreement by our churches to discharge any obligations under the Scheme and to contribute financially to a Support Pool; and training and work undertaken behind the scenes by BCSA staff over the last few months to facilitate the process. We are grateful to all those involved in getting us to this point, and trust God will continue to guide us as we respond to the hurting with the love and compassion of Jesus.
For any queries regarding the participation of BCSA in the National Redress Scheme, please email email@example.com or call 8357 1755. For more information about the Scheme itself, visit nationalredress.gov.au or call the National Redress Scheme line on 1800 737 377.