The Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA) has handed ‘same roof ‘ victims a second chance to make a claim: But do they know they have been given it?
Abuse lawyer Rachel Thain is calling on the government to take urgent steps to publicise a significant change in the CICA criminal injuries compensation scheme and extend the deadline for making a claim.
The Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA) is a government funded scheme set up to compensate innocent victims of violent crime. When it was originally established the CICA refused to entertain applications from victims of crimes that were committed by someone living under the same roof.
The so called ‘same roof rule’ was universally criticised for being unjust. It left genuine victims of violence without the right to seek compensation and this inequity impacted on some of the most vulnerable groups in society. In particular the ‘same roof rule’ prejudiced victims of sexual abuse, even where those victims were children and therefore powerless to do anything about where they were living.
Campaigners eventually achieved victory in 1979 when the much maligned ‘same roof rule’ was abolished. However, the change in the law was not retrospective. As a result thousands of people who had suffered violence prior to the introduction of the amendment on 1 October 1979 were left abandoned under the revised scheme.
The campaign therefore continued and last year the CICA finally agreed to accept applications for compensation from people who had been abused or assaulted by someone living under the same roof prior to October 1979.
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