• Catholic Clergy Abuse - General
    Catholic Clergy Abuse - General
    Dr Viv Waller has acted in claims against Catholic Clergy since 1995. Waller Legal has recovered compensation for the victims of Catholic Priests such as Frs Baker, Ridsdale, Kevin O'Donnell, D'Cruz, Gannon, Glennon, Gubbels, Frank Klep, Bernard Day & Pidoto.
  • Catholic Clergy Abuse - Melbourne Response
    Catholic Clergy Abuse - Melbourne Response
    Melbourne Response is an alternative dispute resolution process designed to provide redress to victims of sexual abuse perpetrated by priests, religious and lay persons who fall within the jurisdiction of the Melbourne Archdiocese.
  • Civil Litigation
    Civil Litigation
    Civil Litigation in the County And Supreme Courts of Victoria. In our pursuit of justice for sexual assault survivors Waller Legal has run common law cases for compensation against; Individual offenders such as family members, teachers, doctors, psychologists and religious figures;
  • Claims for Indigenous & Travel to Remote Communities
    Claims for Indigenous & Travel to Remote Communities
    If you have been the victim of a crime of violence or sexual assault then please contact our office so we may assess your application and obtain financial assistance, counselling, medical or other expenses that may help with your recovery.
  • Royal Commission & Redress Schemes
    Royal Commission & Redress Schemes
    Established in January 2013, the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse is investigating how institutions like schools, churches and sporting groups responded to allegations of child sexual abuse.
  • Sentencing Act Applications
    Sentencing Act Applications
    If you have been the victim of a crime for which the offender was convicted please contact our office urgently. Any Sentencing Act Application for compensation must be made within 12 months of the date of the conviction.
  • State Ward Claims
    State Ward Claims
    Dr Viv Waller has acted for former wards of the state of Victoria since 1997 when she commenced group litigation on behalf of many former residents of the Ballarat Orphanage who were abused in care.
  • Victim of Crimes Assistance Tribunal
    Victim of Crimes Assistance Tribunal
    If you have been the victim of a crime of violence or sexual assault then please contact our office so we may assess your application and obtain financial assistance, counselling, medical or other expenses that may help with your recovery.

The Trauma Informed Practice Model

Waller Legal adopts a trauma informed practice approach to providing legal services. We are aware that a person may be triggered or re-traumatised by a re-telling of their history.

The Trauma Informed Practice Model

We know that talking about sexual assault can be hard.

Waller Legal adopts a trauma informed practice approach to providing legal services. We are aware that a person may be triggered or re-traumatised by a re-telling of their history. While talking to us about the abuse and the impact it has had on you is a necessary part of us working together, we attempt to minimise distress wherever possible. 

We try to make it as easy as we can by giving you information and choices.  If you have given an account of the abuse already, such as in a police statement, we’ll give you the option for us to obtain and read the police statement first so you don’t have to say it twice.

 

Key features of our approach include:

(a)   Taking the time to explain the process to clients and answer any questions.

(b)   Obtaining any documents which may be available in which the client has already given an account of events to see if it is possible to avoid taking a further statement;

(c)    Empowering clients with as much choice as possible, for example, providing them with the option to meet in person or talk by telephone, bring a support person or come alone, write things down themselves or talk it through.

(d)   Asking clients to nominate their preferred contact method, such as mail, email or phone.

(e)   Travelling interstate and to rural locations to meet clients who may experience difficulty with travel or telephone communication.

(f)    Exploring alternative dispute resolution processes where possible.

(g)   Negotiating with defendants about changes to processes that might be required to accommodate an individual client’s needs.

(h)   Advocating on behalf of clients and making sure they don’t have any direct contact with defendants, such as church personnel, unless they choose to.

(i)    Exploring ways to include pastoral responses where appropriate.

(j)    The provision of trauma informed training to our staff.

 

We don’t always manage to avoid upset but we try hard to minimise factors that are within our control.  We constantly think about ways to improve our services and we welcome your feedback. 

If you would like to know more about our working relationship with clients, please read our guide to working with Waller Legal.  

If you would like to comment on our trauma informed practice model or any other matter, please call the office on 03 9415 9999 or email the Managing Partner vivian.waller@gmail.com.
In pursuit of justice
Testimonials
  • Dear Vivian,

    I wish to thank you for everything you have done to enable me to feel some justice has been achieved with the hope that the Catholic Church recognises it’s failings and addresses them.  In doing so, the Catholic Church can continue in the future, without public cynicism and to keep alive the central message of all religion, “to love thy neighbour as you would love yourself”.

    Essentially, this is asking us to step into another’s shoes before we judge them.  I feel that you did this for me during my conversations with me, and this made it easier for me to go through the whole process.  I also won’t forget the thoroughness and delightful manner of your staff.

    JA
  • Dear Viv and Staff, thank you so much. You are all wonderful.

    E, L & J
  • Thank you for what you did, what you said and who you are, your thoughtfulness will always be remembered with more gratitude that you could ever know.

    Cheryl
  • I would like to thank you for all you have done for me. The steps taken thus far have helped me greatly. Without your help I am not sure where I would be today, on behalf of myself and my family THANKYOU SO MUCH.

    Garry
  • Yes indeed, thank you Vivian for your perseverance and dedication in doing whatever you can to bring about some justice in the absence of a full ecclesiastical council/court to judge publicly those who have violated not only the natural law, but the law of God in whose name these violations have taken place.

    Kathleen
  • Everything is different now.  My journey is over now.

    KF
  • I feel so fortunate to have gone through this with you and your great team.

    The delicate way you approach very sensitive issues made this whole process a lot more comfortable than I would ever have imagined.  I will forever be grateful to you and your amazing team for taking my case.

    From me and all the other survivors, thank you so much.

    N,M,J
  • I have thought of you often and the journey and the process of the last couple of years.  As a survivor you can think that every end step will be closure—arrest, guilt, sentencing, criminal case finished, civil case complete.  But there is never really an end.  Each part of the process is just a step closer to healing and closure.  You and your staff did a fab job of walking me through the civil case.

    For six months the money has sat idle in an account I can’t touch.  It feels as though if I touch it I am accepting it as silence money and once again feeling gagged.  But I am getting there.  It will be used towards a fresh start.  Hope for a more whole and healed future.  Thank you for being part of the process.

    Thank you for your professionalism, support, and persistence.

    KD
  • Thank you so much from me personally.  This decision has actually turned my life back around.  I didn’t realise how much my heart was hurting from anger and disbelief in the system.

    My heart is lighter and more at peace thanks to you all.  As a family we are unable to find suitable words on how much your efforts, consideration and concern means to us.  At last someone fought and believed in us.  Truly you have given us all so much peace.

    WK
  • Viv Waller spent many hours over months gathering, sorting and preparing our evidence and my statement - a statement which was webcast around Australia and the world. 

    Viv Waller has spent her professional career solely helping and assisting people who were sexually assaulted as children by those in religious organisations.  In so many cases she had taken the power from the perpetrator and given it back to the survivor.

    Viv Waller’s work is essential.  Her guidance, abilities and professionalism lead me through a most overwhelming and daunting task which I can only thank her for.

    Chrissie Foster
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