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Compensation scheme opened up for more victims of child sexual abuse

‘Same-roof’ rule of criminal injury compensation scheme to be abolished

The government has brought forward legislation to abolish the longstanding pre-1979 'same-roof' rule by which victims of violent crimes which took place before 1979 have been blocked from receiving compensation if the attacker was someone they were living with at the time of the incident. The change is being made largely because of the rule's unfair impact on victims of crimes such as child sexual abuse. It is part of wider measures to support victims included in the cross-government Victims Strategy, published last September.

The statutory instrument, laid before parliament on 28 February, will amend the Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme so that all victims abused by someone they lived with can reapply for compensation – regardless of when the attack took place.

It will mean that victims who may not have come forward because of the rule, or were previously denied awards under it, will be eligible to claim compensation – with awards being made to those who meet the Scheme's other criteria.

A wider review of the whole compensation scheme, ordered by Ministers, is already underway. This review aims to ensure the scheme responds to the changing nature of crime, and best supports victims in their recovery.

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