Changes are welcome, but risk of injustice remains - Liberty, Barnardo's and Victim Support respond to new compensation guidelines for victims of grooming

31 October 2017

In July 2017, Liberty, Barnardo's, Victim Support, Rape Crisis and the National Working Group revealed that child victims of grooming and sexual abuse were being refused compensation on the mistaken grounds they had consented to a relationship.

The coalition called on justice secretary David Lidington to review the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority's (CICA) guidelines which were causing these gross injustices.

On Monday 30 October 2017, the CICA issued new guidelines to prevent child who have suffered sexual abuse from being denied compensation on the basis of consent. 

Responding to the new guidelines, Liberty Director Martha Spurrier, Victim Support CEO Mark Castle, and Barnardo’s Chief Executive Javed Khan said:

“Our coalition welcomes CICA’s new guidelines with regard to ensuring the survivors of grooming and child sexual abuse get the compensation they deserve.

“We hope that clearer instructions for CICA staff and specialist training will mean survivors will no longer be denied compensation on the grounds that they complied with their abuse.

“This should make a huge difference to many and give survivors the recognition and compensation they need to be able to put the abuse behind them and start rebuilding their lives.

“We are pleased CICA has listened to our concerns, but while these guidelines are a huge step forward in protecting the rights of innocent victims, they can only interpret a broken scheme. It is scandalous there is no legal definition of grooming, compensation is not available for non-physical sexual abuse, and the ‘same roof’ rule still denies compensation to victims abused prior to 1979 by someone they lived with.

“No child can consent to abuse. Until the Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme as a whole is amended, a risk of injustice will remain.”

 

Contact the Liberty press office on 020 7378 3656 / 07973 831 128 or pressoffice@liberty-human-rights.org.uk.