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Silence clause in Queensland nuns abuse settlement

A Queensland woman was barred from revealing details of her abuse by nuns after receiving a $6000 settlement, a document obtained by a victims' support group shows.

``It is a condition of the settlement of the claims and the payment of the agreed sum and the counselling costs that (X) agrees not . . . to make or publish or cause to be made or published or contribute to, or allow herself to be quoted in any article . . . relating to any allegations,'' the four-page deed of agreement says.

It calls on the woman to use ``her best endeavours to ensure'' her children, siblings or spouse do not disclose any information relating to the allegations.

The woman suffered psychological and emotional abuse and physical deprivation in the order's care. The payment was made on the basis the victim would not take any further action and would accept the order was not liable. The document was uncovered by abuse victims' support group, Esther Centre, as proof of gagging settlements in Queensland.

Yesterday Esther Centre project worker Mark Reimers told The Courier Mail he could not identify the nuns involved because of agreement breach concerns. The agreement had been settled in the past six months.

``They get a payment so the abuse is confirmed, but they are told they cannot tell anybody not even their spouses. People feel confused and wounded and they are abused by the system.''

Ballarat's good men of the cloth (The Age)
The church must pay for what it did to my girl (The Age)

Courier Mail (payment required)

14 Jun 2002