As recently reported in The Guardian, the CICA is failing survivors of child sexual abuse and exploitation, by claiming that there was consent from the young people.
The Scheme provides compensation for “innocent victims of violence”. However, approximately 700 cases brought by survivors of sexual abuse and exploitation have been turned down by the CICA on the grounds that these children and young people “consented” to these offences. This is despite the fact they were under the age of 16 and, in many cases had been groomed and controlled by abusers for years. If an adult has sex with a minor this is statutory rape. By definition, consent can have no place here.
“The CICA have been refusing cases on these grounds for many years” says Victoria Price from Price Slater Gawne. “The first refusal I came across was in 2005. This isn’t a recent thing. We have successfully appealed these decisions in the past but our clients should not have had to go through the review process, the appeal process and hearings in order to be recognised as being worthy applicants. They have already been through unfathomable trauma, then forensic, police and criminal proceedings, and then, after all their distress and immense courage, they have been denied what they are eligible for. They have also had to wait years to go through the CICA process before they can finally get closure. This compensation is crucial. It can help rebuild lives through treatment and education. It can help with accommodation, re-location, a new future and a new start. These awards recognise that these survivors need and deserve support from the Government and the wider society.”
The Secretary of State for Justice has just announced that the CICA will be “urgently re-examining” its internal policies and processes where minors have been groomed, sexually abused and exploited.
There has not been a time limit set for this but it is hoped the approach will at last fall in line with the criminal law and the well established and recognised psychological affects of grooming and control.
We have a true understanding of CSE (Child Sexual Exploitation) and CSA (Child Sexual Abuse) and the long term effects on survivors.
If your claim has been refused and you would like us to review it for you or ask for the CICA to re-open it, please contact us.
Do something about this today so that your claim will be ready for what we hope will be a new, informed and proactive process very soon.