Dame Vera Baird QC and Marc Jones, APCC Lead and Deputy Lead on Victims, respond to letter from the Secretary of State for Justice on scheme failing to compensate survivors of sexual abuse:
Dame Vera Baird QC, APCC Lead on Victims, has received a letter from the Secretary of State for Justice, David Lidington MP in response to her calls for urgent changes to be made to the way that the Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme currently operates.
The current definition of child abuse used by the scheme equates grooming with “consent”, and accordingly refuses applications where a victim/survivor has been groomed. Also under the present scheme, victims/survivors must make their applications within two years of the abuse having taken place in order to receive compensation, and cannot have lived with their abuser at the time of the abuse, if it occurred prior to 1 October 1979.
With regard to the response from the Minister, Dame Vera, and Marc Jones, the APCC Deputy Lead on Victims, said:
“We welcome this response from the Ministry of Justice, and note the Minister’s assurances that the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority is reviewing as a matter of urgency its guidelines, to ensure that they are robust enough to deal with cases where controlling and abusive behaviour is involved. We look forward to working alongside the Ministry going forward, to ensure that victims of these abhorrent crimes are not denied compensation.”