There are many questions and areas of concern for survivors when it comes to claiming compensation for a sexual assault or period of sexual abuse.
Here we discuss some of the most common questions we come across providing the answers you need to make a decision about whether you may wish to make a claim. The following questions relate to Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA) cases only:
The CICA criteria is very strict. All incidents for which a claim is to be made, must be reported to the police in order for an application to be considered. Without a formal police report, there can be no claim.
Yes. The fact that the police did not prosecute will have no bearing on your case provided that the facts are clear and that you cooperated fully with the investigation. Likewise you can still claim if a prosecution has been brought but has yet to be finalised in the courts.
Many people wait until the court case has been finalised and very often this is advised by the police involved in the investigation. This can be a costly mistake because the CICA criteria is strict. In most cases you have only 2 years to apply for compensation following the report of the matter to the police. If the trial takes you over the 2 year mark, you may be too late to claim.
If a claim has already been made on your behalf when you were a child, you would not be able to make a second claim for the same incident as an adult. Under the CICA scheme you cannot make a claim for the same incident twice. However, it may be possible to have a claim re-opened in some circumstances.
The CICA will look at the reasons for making a late claim application if the 2 year time limit has expired. In certain circumstances the CICA can consider waiving the time, but generally the time limits are usually strictly adhered to. Be aware of the deadlines for abuse claims.
There would usually be required a sufficient reason which has delayed someone from making a claim in the time limit. For example, a psychological injury where your symptoms are serious enough to have affected your ability to make a claim.
Generally the CICA will look to see whether a claimant has received medical treatment. However it is accepted that in some cases, particularly when dealing with childhood abuse or rape, no records will be available.
Compensation may be reduced or refused if:
• You do not cooperate with the police.
ie: If you are unwilling, for example, to make a statement to the police, the CICA may refuse to pay compensation.
• You do not cooperate with the CICA.
The CICA can reduce or withhold compensation if, for example, you don’t respond to reasonable requests for information or you fail to attend a medical examination when you are asked to.
• If you have unspent criminal convictions.
If you have a criminal record relating to any unspent convictions the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority can take this into account, and may choose to reduce compensation or reject a claim completely, depending on the type of conviction. This will not apply to convictions that are classed as spent under the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974.
Grooming and sexual abuse victims can now claim compensation even where consent may have been given