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Compo victory for abused women

WOMEN who were sexually abused, drugged and physically assaulted at Brisbane's former Wolston Park adult mental health facility as children will finally be given financial compensation.

Health Minister Cameron Dick said today nine women who were locked up despite not having a mental illness would receive ex gratia payments to acknowledge they should have never been sent to the facility.

The decision has come from a review by community advocate Betty Taylor, who was appointed as an independent mediator to liaise with up to 60 women who were wrongly labelled as "delinquent girls" and sent to the asylum from the 1950s to 1980s.

Nine women came forward to participate.

Ms Taylor's appointment followed an expose by The Courier-Mail of life inside the mental asylum, with survivors telling of being placed in straitjackets, dosed up on antipsychotic medication, taken for shock treatment and sexually assaulted by male wardens.

01 Jun 2007 Wolston Park now called The Park Centre for Mental Health. Osler House front entrance. PicCampbell/Scott. buildings exterior hospital qld
01 Jun 2007 Wolston Park now called The Park Centre for Mental Health. Osler House front entrance. PicCampbell/Scott. buildings exterior hospital qld

"The payments form the basis of a substantial support package," Mr Dick said today.

"The Government will also offer counselling and financial and legal advice to the women, and make arrangements for their ongoing support."

They will receive personally tailored support services from community organisation Micah Projects and access to health services.

Mr Dick said women would still retain legal rights to pursue compensation in the future, should they wish.

"They Government has given an undertaking to the women involved to keep the amount of the ex gratia payments confidential," he said.

"This further acknowledges the deeply personal nature of the impact on them of the decision to place them in the Wolston Park adult mental health facility."

The Reconciliation Plan report, prepared by Ms Taylor, has been released.

Another report, which details each of the women's experiences at the facility, has been deemed too personal to be released.

Topics:  compensation editors picks victim



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