1,000 signatures reached
To: Ministry of Justice
Abolish the 'Same Roof Rule' for victims of historic abuse
The 'Same Roof Rule' is part of the Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme (Paragraph 19 of the 2012 Scheme).
It discriminates against victims of abuse, who were abused prior to 01 October 1979 and lived in the same household as the perpetrator.
Victims who were abused after 01 October 1979 and lived in the same household, are able to make a claim for criminal injuries compensation.
As a result, this rule treats those victims abused prior to 01 October 1979 less favourably than those victims who are able to make a claim from that date.
As such the rule should be abolished and the ability to make a claim should be equal and without prejudice, allowing victims to be compensated for the suffering they endured as victims of abuse.
Why is this important?
Imagine you were subjected to abuse by a family member, stepfather or mother and you lived in the same household as them at the time of the abuse. It is naturally hard to imagine.
At the time it may have been difficult to understand what was going on. You may have been too young to realise, or it was a taboo subject or your claims were merely dismissed.
This can be a haunting memory for some and can cause long term effects.
Some victims have the strength to disclose this information later in life and receive the support they deserve, long after the abuse took place and perpetrators are receiving long prison sentences as a result.
In the UK we have a system of Criminal Injuries Compensation. It is a scheme to compensate victims of crime who have suffered injuries as a result of a crime against them.
Imagine this scenario:
Two people make a claim to the Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme.
(A) was a victim of sexual abuse between the ages of 4-10. The abuse was carried out by their Father/Stepfather in the family home. The last incident of abuse took place in September 1979.
(B) was a victim of sexual abuse between the ages of 4-10. The abuse was carried out by their Father/Stepfather in the family home. The last incident of abuse took place in June 1981.
(A) and (B) bring a claim under the Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme.
(A) will be denied compensation under Paragraph 19 of the scheme because the abuse occurred prior to 01 October 1979... there is no discretion.
(B) is likely to be successful in making a claim for criminal Injuries compensation.
The difference is the date that the abuse occurred. Is this fair?
It is felt that this is both discriminatory and unfair on victims of historic abuse, in that the scheme treats people differently based upon when the abuse took place and treats those victims who were abused prior to the 01 October 1979 less favourably than those victims who were subjected to abuse after that date.
This is clearly not right and something needs to be done to change this.