01925 937070 
info@dsmlegal.co.uk 
Most people agree that those who have suffered an injury because of a criminal act should receive some form of compensation. The Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority was set up to do just that. 
 
In October last year, a report by the BBC found that many child abuse victims, however, had been refused pay outs by the authority. 
 
The reason, according to charities like Barnardo’s, is often because these victims had been considered as giving consent to the act of abuse. It was also compounded by the fact that, since 2015, 180 abuse victims have been refused compensation because they lived with the person who abused them. It seems the problem here often comes down to dates. A caveat was introduced stopping those who were abused and who lived with their abuser from claiming if the crime took place prior to 1979. 
 
The list of those denied compensation isn’t purely historic, however. There seems to be a disproportionate bias against those people who have suffered sexual abuse. There are recent cases that prove to be particularly troubling. The CICA’s interpretation of consent led a 13 year old boy who had been abused by several men to be refused compensation, a case that human rights charity Liberty has since taken up. 
 
The Government has promised to review all the cases where compensation was refused on the grounds of consent but charities say we are still waiting for this to be carried out. Organisations like Barnardo’s are asking for any child who is groomed and manipulated for sex should be given compensation. Often it is through fear and lack of understanding that these individuals continue to be abused over the long term and that has very little to do with consent. 
 
Compensation plays a vital role in helping many victims who have suffered from abuse. There are now calls for a deeper review of how the CICA whether someone deserves a payment or not. While the CICA itself says that it’s looking at all its processes, including by engaging with charities and victim support groups, many are looking for a more independent assessment. 
 
There’s no doubt that any form of abuse and its aftermath is difficult to cope with. Having to deal with a state organisation like the CICA can be challenging which is why it’s always important to get the right legal support behind you. Yes, it can be hard to talk about your case if you’ve suffered from abuse but at DSM Legal we have the experienced and caring solicitors who can listen to your story and give you the best advice on how to proceed. 
 
In an ideal world, the CICA process should be fairly straightforward and easy for victims access. Unfortunately, this isn’t always the case and those who suffer from abuse can often be left feeling let down and abandoned when a decision goes against them. We provide a no win no fee service which means that you don’t have to find the money to hire a solicitor to fight your corner at this important time. 
 
Whether it’s historic or recent, becoming a victim of abuse can be both terrifying and difficult to come to terms with. Even after many years, claiming compensation may be the last thing you want to think about. While there is a two year time limit on victims of most criminal injuries, for sexual abuse and assault that limit can be waived because of the impact it can have. 
 
If you would like to talk to our team about any aspect of criminal injury compensation, contact our legal team today on 01925 937070
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