Please add your signature to the open letter below, which is pressing for urgent changes to the Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme for victims of sexual violence.
We have been campaigning together with a national network of survivors of a wide variety of sexual violence, as children and as adults, and we have put together this open letter on what we have found to be the main obstacles to compensation. In the context of #MeToo and Time’s Up movements we can win. More materials and media coverage at: http://againstrape.net/category/campaigns/compensation
We particularly urge survivors’ organisations, ISVAs, law firms, other professionals and any other groups to sign. Or you can sign as an individual. Please ask groups you know to sign.
If your organization or law firm helps or supports survivors to claim or to appeal, we would really like to be in touch and to work with you. Please let us know, so that we can contact you.
Against rape and for compensation and justice,
Rt Hon. David Gauke
Dear David Gauke
We collectively represent the experience and demands of thousands of survivors of rape, domestic violence and sex crimes suffered as children or adults.
The Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme is discriminating against victims of sexual crimes – even in some cases where our attacker was sent to prison. Winning justice and compensation is official recognition and a crucial step to recovery. It is particularly important for those whose attacker evaded prosecution – the vast majority of rape and domestic violence survivors.
There are several ways in which the Scheme should be updated. We appeal to your government to urgently change the following rules and practices:
1. The Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA) denies compensation to victims who delayed reporting to the police – Paragraph 23.
2. Victims below 16, the legal age of consent, are denied compensation.
3. Living under the ‘same roof’ with your attacker before October 1979 disqualifies you from receiving compensation – Paragraph 19.
4. Victims of rape who have criminal convictions are denied compensation – Paragraphs 25-27.
5. Time limit – Paragraphs 87-89.
6. Victims have to co-operate with the prosecution as far as reasonably possible – Paragraph 23.
7. There is no legal aid and unrepresented survivors can face hostile and upsetting questioning by CICA lawyers.
Compensation is often the only official acknowledgement of rape we get, given the low conviction rate of 6%. An award can speed recovery, as many women suffer catastrophic mental and physical injuries. Patients struggle to get treatment from the depleted NHS and dwindling therapeutic services – many face years on a waiting list and rationed appointments. In addition, we suffer life changing impacts such as losing a job, eviction, marital breakdown, being unable to cope with children, fear of public transport . . .
The basic award for rape is a mere £11,000, and this does not stretch far. Amounts should be increased, and decisions speeded up. There is a minefield of rules which put people off, as described above. Most don’t even know the Scheme exists or applies to them.
signed so far by the following organisations:
Add your Organisation or law firm by emailing us –
Please return signed to Women Against Rape via email email@example.com
www.againstrape.net Twitter: #AgainstRape Phone: 020 7482 2496
 ‘Hundreds of sexual assault victims refused compensation for minor convictions’ Independent; ‘Rape victims denied compensation for petty convictions’ – Guardian and ‘Hundreds of rape victims denied compensation’ Scottish Herald