Dozens of child sex abuse victims have had their compensation cut because they have criminal records, with campaigners calling it “grossly unfair.”
Figures from the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA) show that last year there were 32 cases where child victims of sexual abuse did not receive the payouts due to their own ciriminal history.
Some abuse victims lost almost half of their compensation, with some victims initially in line to get £22,000 due to the serious nature of their abuse.
One child, who was due a payment of £11,000 after being left with a permanent sexually transmitted disease, lost over £1,000 of their payout.
A joint statement from Victim Support, Rape Crisis England and Wales, Barnardo’s and NWG, said: “It is outrageous that so many survivors of child sexual abuse are being denied the compensation and recognition that they deserve.
“Victims and survivors are often targeted because they are vulnerable and lack support. In many cases, their convictions may be committed as part of the sexual abuse or as a result of it.
“We urge the Government to address this as part of their long awaited overhaul of criminal injuries compensation, and ensure that survivors of child sexual abuse are no longer unfairly treated by a system that should be helping them.”
Between 2012 and 2017, around 700 children were refused compensation by the CICA. This included those denied payment because they lived under the same roof as the attacker, or that they were told that they had ‘consented’ to their abuser.
Sammy Woodhouse, who was just 14 when she was first groomed, was told in a letter from the CICA turning down her request for compensation: “I am not satisfied that your consent was falsely given as a result of being groomed by the offender.
“The evidence does not indicate that you were manipulated or progressively lured into a false relationship.”
A Ministry of Justice spokesperson said: “Child sexual abuse is sickening which is why we are giving more money than ever before to rape support services and providing extra help through our Victims’ Strategy.”