Abuse Victims Can Apply for CICA Compensation
More victims of physical and sexual abuse will be able to apply for compensation following the abolition of a controversial law.
Under the so-called “same-roof” rule, abuse victims weren’t able to claim compensation from the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA) if:
- The criminal injury was sustained before 1st October 1979
- The victim of abuse and the assailant were living together as members of the same family when the abuse occurred.
However, this rule has long been deemed unfair, as the choice as to whom they lived with and where they lived would often be outside the victim’s control.
The scrapping of the “same-roof” rule means that anyone who has previously been denied compensation can now make a Criminal Injury Abuse Claim.
Victims of physical and sexual abuse who had been denied compensation in the past now have 2 years to apply for compensation through the CICA, which has set up a dedicated team to provide extra support with the claim process.
Our Abuse Solicitors are currently representing a client who suffered serious sexual assault by her foster father when she was between the ages of 12 and 16. Her foster father was convicted of the abuse in respect of our client and following his conviction she subsequently made an application to the CICA for compensation.
However, her application was rejected by the CICA as at the time of the abuse she was living with her foster father as members of the same family. As a result of the change of the law, our client can now claim compensation, subject to the other requirements of the CICA scheme.
Abuse Claims Solicitor Nathalie Swanwick at Simpson Millar said, “I am delighted that this unfair rule that prevented my client and other innocent victims of abuse from receiving compensation has now been removed.
“In addition to the normal time limits of the CICA scheme, innocent victims of abuse who have previously been rejected based on this rule, now have 2 years from 13th June 2019 to make a new application to the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority for compensation.”
Victims Minister Edward Argar added that while no amount of compensation can make up for the “immense suffering” caused by the abuse, abolishing the rule will widen access to “much-needed support”.
“Improving support for victims of physical and sexual is at the very heart of this government’s work, and through our Victims Strategy, we are determined to improve their experience at every stage of the justice system,” he said.
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