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In the recent matter of Double v The Salvation Army (Victoria) Property Trust  VSC 452, the plaintiff, Ms Cara Double, had commenced civil proceedings on 28 June 2021 in which she sought damages from the defendant, the Salvation Army (Victoria) Property Trust, as a result of psychological injuries sustained as a result of historical childhood sexual abuse perpetrated by an employee of the defendant at Brayton Youth Hostel.
The plaintiff alleges that in or around 2002, the plaintiff was groomed and sexually abused and assaulted by an employee of the defendant over a period of around 6 months.
The defendant denied essentially every element of the plaintiff’s case, however, the focus was upon the alleged occurrences of abuse, being the grooming and sexual assaults, which were strongly denied by the defendant. The central issues concerned the credit and reliability of the plaintiff and other witnesses and, in that regard, whether the plaintiff had discharged her onus of proving, on the balance of probabilities, that the grooming and sexual abuse had occurred.
On 7 August 2023, the Victorian Supreme Court found in favour of the defendant, noting that it did not feel an actual persuasion as to the occurrence of the grooming and the sexual assaults, noting at :
We are specialist abuse lawyers and can help you receive acknowledgement, meaningful apology and financial resolution from those institutions and systems of power that failed to protect you from harm. If you would like advice in relation to a childhood or adult sexual, physical and/or psychological/emotional abuse claim in any jurisdiction in Australia, please reach out to the author, Emily Wright, at Littles Lawyers today.
Further Abuse Law information and case law updates written by our Emily Wright can be found on our website.