Same Roof Rule
1979 - The Injustice
Having practised as a Solicitor for over 15 years, the most frustrating thing I find about my job is advising and turning victims away because of unjust rules meaning I am simply unable to help them.
Under the current Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme, victims who lived with their abuser before 1 October 1979 are not entitled to compensation. The reasoning behind the rule is that it was introduced to prevent abusers benefiting from payments to victims they were related to. There is no consideration given on a case by case basis, simply all victims who fall in this period are not eligible.
Let’s give an example;
Its 1977 and a family of four are living life together, being Mum, Dad, Daughter 1 (Age 15) and Daughter 2 (Age 12). Dad sexually abuses Daughter 1 between 1977 and 1979 (ages 15 to 17) when she then leaves home due to the abuse. Dad then focuses his attention on daughter 2 and abuses her between 1979 and 1983 (ages 14 and 18) until she too leaves home.
Both girls equally suffered at the hands of their father. Due to the above rule, however, Daughter 2 is eligible for compensation under the Scheme, but Daughter 1 is not!
Similarly; if a child was being abused by a member of the family, living in the same household, prior to 1979, and that member of the family was also abusing children outside of the home, the family member is not entitled to compensation, when the other children are.
This is the case, even though, a child is unable to choose where they live and who they live with.
This matter was recently considered in the Court of Appeal in July. It ruled that the pre-1979 caveat within the Scheme had unfairly denied compensation to a Claimant who was abused as a child by her stepfather.
A review into the Scheme is now underway and hopefully the unjust rules will shortly be removed.
Going forward, we can finally try and put right the wrong which has taken place due to this one paragraph within the Scheme, it is just a shame it has taken so long.
CONTACT US NOW and we will do whatever we can to HELP YOU!