Charity coalition responds to updated CICA guidelines for child sexual abuse victims

31 October 2017

The Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA) today announced updated guidelines to ensure victims of child sexual abuse are not denied compensation on the grounds of alleged consent, following pressure from a coalition of charities including Victim Support, Barnardo’s, Liberty, Rape Crisis and the National Working Group (NWG).

Victim Support’s CEO Mark Castle, Barnardo’s Chief Executive Javed Khan, and Director of Liberty, Martha Spurrier 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.’