Compensation Scheme Announced for Victims of Child Sexual Abuse
The government has announced that a compensation scheme will be launched for survivors of child sexual abuse in England. On 22nd May 2023 the Home Secretary Suella Braverman said that the scheme is a “landmark commitment”, and accepted how important it was for “survivors [to] have that suffering recognised and acknowledged.”
The Home Secretary’s announcement comes following a recommendation made by the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA). The inquiry, led by Professor Alexis Jay, started in 2015 and culminated in a report which was published in October 2022. Over 7,300 victims and survivors took part in the inquiry and 20 recommendations were made, one of which was the implementation of a compensation scheme.
Whilst the announcement by the Home Secretary is welcomed, no detail has been provided about how the scheme will operate; or how long it will take to be implemented. It remains to be seen whether the government will implement all the recommendations for the compensation scheme as set out by the IICSA report. We are left with many unanswered questions, including:
How long will the scheme run for?
What institutions will fall under the scheme? For example, will it include state-run and privately run institutions?
How will the compensation be calculated?
What evidence will need to be provided in support of an application under the scheme?
Will victims and survivors be given additional support e.g. counselling, benefits advice or employment/educational support?
Will applicants to such a scheme be given an apology which acknowledges what has happened and accepts responsibility?
For now, what we can say is that this is a big step in the right direction for victims and survivors of child sexual abuse in getting the closure that they deserve.
This is not the first time that compensation schemes have been used as means of reparation for survivors and victims. Andrew Grove and Co have extensive experience in dealing with such schemes. We have negotiated and settled over 130 claims under the Oxley Parker School compensation scheme which operated from 2018 to 2020. We also have experience in dealing with the Lambeth Council redress scheme.
Follow our blog for updates as we report on any developments in relation to the government’s announcement.