Sarah Champion Forces Review of Compensation Rules for Victims of Child Abuse

Sarah Champion MP, has welcomed a commitment from the Government to review loopholes in the Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme (CICA) which has led to the scandal of children as young as 12 being denied compensation on the grounds that they consented to their own abuse.

Speaking in Parliament today Sarah asked the Secretary of State for Justice to update the guidance in 3 specific areas;

  1. Children cannot be complicit in their own abuse
  2. Recognition that as part of the grooming process children are coerced into carrying out criminal activities
  3. To look at compensation for victims of family abuse under the same roof before 1979

At the moment CICA are denying compensation on those grounds.

In response, the Secretary of State said:

“CICA has decided to mount an urgent re-examination of its own internal guidelines, in particular to make sure that there is no risk that a child could be disqualified from compensation because they had been groomed.”

Sarah wrote to the justice secretary, David Lidington, in July to push for an urgent review of the guidelines, following that revelation that almost 700 children have been denied compensation.

 After the session concluded, Sarah added:

“I am relieved the government has agreed to act on my recommendations.  It is immoral that a Government agency is denying survivors of child abuse what is legally theirs. 

What message does it send out to victims when a Judge says that they are innocent, but the state effectively rules they were complicit. 

Today’s news will hopefully end a scandal that has caused unnecessary additional distress for many victims of sexual abuse”

Matthew Trueman