Child sexual abuse victim launches Sabre Foundation to fund lawsuits against paedophiles

A new foundation to help fund lawsuits against perpetrators of child sexual abuse has been launched in Adelaide by one of the "two masked brothers", who have long campaigned for justice for victims.


The not-for-profit Sabre Foundation aims to raise $1 million through donations and will use the profits from successful civil legal action to help victims and survivors.

Founder John Elferink said many child sexual abuse victims had never had the opportunity to seek redress.

"Basically, [for] the victims of childhood sexual offences, there is no statute of limitation so it doesn't matter how historical it is," the former Northern Territory attorney-general said.

Victims would not have to pay any legal fees, whether they won or lost their case.

"The idea will be that we will take the uplift fee — the fee that would normally be charged by a lawyer — and we'll roll that back into the foundation, so each victim that is successful in the foundation can pass on the pattern to the next," Mr Elferink said.

The name "Sabre" was chosen to represent the foundation as a "weapon in the hands of the victim", Mr Elferink said.

Legal cases important for victims to be heard

The foundation was launched in Adelaide today by one of two brothers who were victims of paedophile Vivian Deboo in the 1990s.

The pair, known as the "two masked brothers", were successful in lobbying for laws preventing sex offenders from serving any part of their sentence in home detention.

They led protests outside his court hearings while wearing masks, and used displays in Adelaide's CBD to create awareness of the number of child abuse victims in Australia.

The man known as Brother A said the foundation was "really important", especially for child sexual abuse victims who could not access a redress scheme.

"For many victims, being heard is a huge part of the healing process, and that's been really important for me personally, but I think for others it's the fact they can have the opportunity to go somewhere," he said.

"They may not feel comfortable going for a criminal conviction, and this is at least a stepping stone or somewhere they can at least go further with their questioning."

Former NT chief minister Adam Giles demoted Mr Elferink when he was corrections minister in the wake of the 2016 ABC Four Corners report into the mistreatment of teenage prisoners, alleging there had been a "culture of cover-up" within the corrections system.


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