In what campaigners would describe as a very late but welcome rule change, NI Assembly Justice Minister Naomi Long MLA has announced the removal of the same household rule contained within the Northern Ireland Criminal injuries Compensation Scheme 2009.
This grossly unfair rule prevented blameless victims of crime being able to claim government compensation for crimes such as family sexual abuse or violence if the offences occurred prior to 1979. The new rule change follows the UK mainland changes which were introduced 12 months ago removing the rule for those living in England Wales & Scotland. It has taken the Northern Ireland governing body a year to catch up but these changes will be very much appreciated by victims and campaigners alike.
It is now possible to claim compensation even if your case has previously been refused.
Naomi Long said: “The same household rule was unfair and I recognise the impact this had on all victims whose applications were refused simply because they lived with their attacker.
You can read the official press release here.