Victims of violent crime within the home to receive compensation

Author: Neil Seddon

People who have been the victims of historical violent crimes inflicted by those who lived with them will be able to claim compensation under new rules being proposed by the Ministry of Justice.

The controversial ‘same-roof’ rule, which was introduced in 1964, aimed to prevent perpetrators of crimes against people they lived with benefiting from compensation awarded to their victim.

The scrapping of the legislation if successful will apply s to incidents that happened before 1979. If the MOJ’s proposal isn’t opposed, new applicants can apply for compensation and those who had an award refused will be eligible to re-apply.

Currently, the law dictates that an applicant could be refused compensation if they were an adult living with their attacker at the time of the incident. The exception is if they no longer live together and are unlikely to do so in the future.

The news follows a case in July last year where the Court of Appeal ruled a claimant was unfairly denied compensation after being abused by her stepfather. The government chose not to appeal the judgment, but instead announced that the same-roof rule would be removed as part of the Victim Strategy, which it published in September 2018.

The government has also ordered a wider assessment of the Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme. The scope of the review will cover evidence thresholds and timescales, types of injuries covered by the scheme, eligibility, the definition of violent crime as well as its affordability and financial sustainability.

How can we help?