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‘Same Roof’ rule faces challenges

June 12 2018

A woman who was sexually abused by her stepfather is challenging the ‘same roof’ victim compensation rule in English and Welsh courts. The woman, who for legal reasons is known as JT, was abused by her stepfather from when she was four up until the age of 16. The law currently prevents victims who were living under the ‘same roof’ as that of their attacker from claiming compensation, if the abuse occurred before 1979.

This is because whilst compensation rules were altered in October 1979, to allow future victims of domestic abuse to receive compensation, the change did allow for any claims to be made by victims retrospectively. JT found this out when applying to the Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme for compensation - which she was refused because the rules state that monies will not be given if the victim and attacker were living together before 1979.

Earlier this year the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse called for the rule to be changed, with the case being taken to the Court of Appeal later this month. Similar cases are also being raised in Scottish and Northern Irish courts by other victims of abuse who have been refused compensation due to the current rules.

Commenting on the situation, a Ministry of Justice spokesperson said: "The sexual abuse of children is abhorrent and the perpetrator in this case faced a lengthy term in prison. The rules were changed in 1979 so that any future child victims of domestic crimes can claim compensation."

Grahame Stowe Bateson provide legal services to clients in Leeds, covering all areas including Conveyancing, Employment Law, Family Law, Mental Health Law and Wills. For further information or to speak to a solicitor in Leeds in confidence about any issue, please get in touch on 0113 246 8163.

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