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Many survivors of child sex abuse are continuing to have their compensation entitlements through the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA) reduced as a result of their unspent convictions, a system coined ‘grossly unfair’ by campaigners.
The tariff scheme put in place by the CICA makes victims with criminal records ineligible for full compensation on the basis that those who have committed crimes should not benefit from a publicly funded scheme. Figures from the CICA show that there were 32 cases last year in which survivors of child sex abuse received nothing at all, and this has been criticised by Victim Support, Rape Crisis England and Wales, Barnardo’s and NWG as denying victims of the ‘compensation and recognition that they deserve’.
The figures also demonstrate that some of the survivors of abuse lost half of their compensation, even where they have been subjected to the most severe sexual abuse as children. In 2018-2019, of 4,972 resolved child sexual abuse cases, 111 victims were denied compensation due to unspent convictions.
Last year, a cross-party group of MPs advocated for the current scheme to be revised, including the abolishment of the unspent convictions rule for survivors of abuse. At Ramsdens Solicitors, our experienced Abuse team are continuing to challenge this by supporting survivors of child sexual abuse through every stage of the process. We have successfully challenged claims rejected by the CICA at tribunals by focusing on the psychological impact that being sexually abused has on a child.