Laws Regarding Compensating Abusive Parents to be Reviewed.
The Victorian Government has been involved in two cases in the past year where an abusive parent has been compensated for the death of their child. The Government has now reviewed how these laws apply to children whose injuries (or cause of death) can be traced to the parent’s abuse.
According to Jane Lee, reporter for The Age, the “forfeiture rule” is being revised, which states that an offender cannot inherit from his/her victim. This correlates to the fact that some abusive parents have been inheriting money from their children despite being partly responsible for their death.
Commissioner Bernie Geary asked the commission to review how the rule applies to children whose “deaths are connected to abuse or neglect by a parent,” for example where children sustained serious injuries as a result of the abuse. “There is a high degree of moral and ethical concern that parents who have allegedly caused life threatening injuries to their child should not benefit financially in the longer term, in the event of that child’s death,” he stated.
It was also stated by a spokesperson of the Human Services Department that “it would seem perverse and unfair for a parent who has injured a child to receive funds from the child’s estate upon their death”.
One of the factors the tribunal must consider when deciding whether to award financial assistance is whether a person who committed an act of violence “will benefit directly or indirectly from the award”.
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