The Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA), the agency that deals with compensation claims from victims of violent crime, is under resourced and doesn’t provide effective reparation to those who have suffered sexual abuse.
That’s the verdict of the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL), which has raised concerns over the Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme (CICS).
APIL has stressed in its response to a paper in the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse that the CICA scheme must be better resourced and should work with the victim rather than raising barriers to compensation.
APIL, a not-for-profit organisation, says the eligibility criteria for the scheme works against vulnerable victims of abuse, and CICS tariff awards are simply not comparable to the compensation awarded in the civil courts for similar injuries.
“In sexual abuse claims, there is almost invariably psychological damage, but the CICA will not usually voluntarily investigate this,” the report claims. “The applicant is therefore at risk of receiving an award which does not fully reflect the harm suffered. This risk is exacerbated if the applicant is without legal representation.”
APIL’s report also claims CICS awards are reduced by the amount of any court-ordered criminal compensation order. It is then the responsibility of the victim to seek to recover this part of their compensation directly from the perpetrator, which APIL describes as “extremely distasteful”.
How can our Personal Injury Lawyers help?
At Gotelee Solicitors, our specialist team of Suffolk lawyers offer sensitive care and expert guidance.
The Suffolk law firm, which has offices in Ipswich, Felixstowe, Melton, Hadleigh or Woodbridge, is partnered with Ipswich charity Survivors in Transition (SiT) to help navigate victims through the process. SiT aims to empower survivors to take control of their lives and cope better with the daily effects the abuse has left them with.
Gotelee is also a proud member of the Association of Child Abuse Lawyers and the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers, boasting a team of experts, including doctors, counsellors, psychiatrists and specialist barristers.