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The Criminal Injury Compensation Board was created in 1964 to provide monetary compensation to victims of violent crime. As part of this scheme, the state confirmed that they would not award compensation to a victim of a violent crime who was living with their attacker, at the time the offence took place.
Today, the Ministry of Justice has laid down a statutory instrument to abolish the controversial ‘same-roof’ rule, which was applied to cases that occurred prior to 1979.
This statutory instrument is required to go through parliament unopposed. Should this happen, new and old applicants who have had their compensation applications previously denied under this rule, will be able to reapply.
On the 10th September 2018, the Prime Minister spoke about the cross-departmental initiative, dubbed the Victims Strategy. Amongst many changes that the Government aimed to make was for an urgent review of the Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme. This came following critics warning that some victims were left without compensation, while others who’s offences took place after a certain date, were granted compensation.
The Prime Minister has previously said:
“Nothing can take away the distress and trauma of being a victim of crime, but ensuring people get the support they need as they rebuild their lives is vital.
"How we support victims is fundamental to a caring society, and in recognition of that we are taking steps to enshrine their rights in law for the very first time.
"The duty of a government is to keep people safe, but it is not enough to simply bring offenders to court.”
The Victims Minister, Edward Argar said that the ‘same-roof’ rule is to be abolished, “so no victim is unfairly denied access to compensation after the trauma they suffered many years ago, simply because they lived with their attacker”.
As a direct result of this, Ministers have now ordered a wider review of the Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme. The review will consider the definition of violent crime, the type of injuries covered by the scheme, eligibility, evidence thresholds and timescales, as well as the scheme's affordability and financial sustainability.
Our team led by Natalie Marrison have extensive experience supporting survivors who have sustained criminal injuries. For a completely confidential discussion please contact the Ramsdens Abuse team on 0113 8871 834.