What Is Sexual Abuse Compensation Awards?
Criminal Claims Bureau manages this service. They help people obtain criminal compensation following injury and emotional/mental/psychological harm sustained as a result of a sexual assault or historical childhood abuse.
Their is a simple calculator tool which has been developed to provide prospective claimants with an idea of the abuse compensation award that might be achievable under the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA) scheme.
The calculation is an approximate figure and any final abuse related award assessed by the CICA may differ. You should always seek advice on your case to ensure the correct level of award is paid. Historical claims of this nature are complex and need specialist advice.
Making a claim for sexual abuse
In order to make a claim for sexual abuse or historical child abuse you must meet certain criteria set down by the governments compensation body known as the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA).
The Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme 2012 is a government scheme that allows people who are the victims of violent crime or who have suffered a qualifying injury to claim criminal injuries compensation (CIC) from the government organisation, the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA).
It is crucial that you report the abuse to the police. If the matter has already been the subject of a police investigation and criminal proceedings, then you need to be aware of important deadlines for making a claim. You must make your claim within 2 years of going to the police or if under 18 at the time, by the point you reach 20 years of age.
An important point to note, which can sometimes be the downfall of an initial application, is that the crime must be a ‘crime of violence’. While there are some crimes that clearly fall within this definition, such as physical assault, other situations are less clear-cut.
Two examples of this are human trafficking and crime emanating from underage sexual activity. Where human trafficking is concerned, it is important to gather evidence that there was some constraint on the victim, and to at least show that the perpetrator stopped him/her from living freely (as well as, of course, an injury).
There have been very recent changes in CICA’s approach to children who have been sexually abused.
As a result of considerable pressure, CICA has recently produced draft revised guidelines on child abuse. Although the draft is not currently available online, we understand it states that it should only be in exceptional circumstances that an applicant would not be eligible for compensation where the incident involved an adult engaging in sexual activity with a child under 16.
Children were assessed as having consented to their own abuse but coercion and manipulation that is inherent in child grooming situations were also something that they do now consider.
A change in this viewpoint is welcome. It is therefore important to demonstrate that there was an element of control or coercion on the part of the abuser, and to differentiate this from a romantic relationship, and in doing so show that there was an injury to the victim.
You should be careful to demonstrate that a crime of violence was committed, especially if you are instructed at a review or appeal stage, or higher. In terms of child exploitation cases, it may be possible to obtain a report from a child psychologist or a social worker engaged with the victim to assist you.
There are some exceptions to these rules. Speak to us for further information and advice on your particular circumstances.
IMPORTANT: If you were the victim of historical abuse before 1st October 1979 and were living with your attacker as members of the same family at the time, unfortunately the CICA scheme does not cover claims for certain periods up to that date.
Please see the following links for more information:
- Rape Crisis Freephone 0808 802 9999
- SOS Rape Crisis firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01702 667590
- Victim Support Call free Supportline 08 08 16 89 111
- SARC (Sexual Assault Referral Centres)
- Sexually abused as a child – can I claim compensation?
- Emotional/Psychological/Mental Abuse
- Family Law Act 1996
- Serious Crime Act 2015
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