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Government agency apologises to sexually abused child

Release Date: 08 Nov 2017

A coalition of charities has welcomed the news that the Government's victim compensation agency has formally apologised to a man who was sexually abused as a child.

The Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA) had previously ruled the victim had consented to sexual abuse as a child.

He was sexually abused by a string of older men from the age of 13.

In a joint statement, Barnardo's Chief Executive Javed Khan and Victim Support's CEO Mark Castle said:

We're pleased CICA has overruled and apologised for its original decision to deny paying compensation to a young man sexually abused by a string of older men on the grounds he consented when he was still a child.

This case should never have reached the stage where the young person was on the brink of having to give evidence about his abuse at a tribunal before CICA finally recognised it had got it wrong.

We applaud his and his family's courage in highlighting this controversial case and hope it will prevent other victims and families suffering the same injustice.

CICA has listened to our concerns and reviewed its guidelines to ensure the survivors of grooming and child sexual abuse get the compensation they deserve. We hope that clearer instructions for CICA staff and specialist training will mean survivors will no longer be denied compensation on the grounds that they complied with their abuse.

We also welcome the Justice Secretary's pledge to consider reviewing the rules for the whole scheme. No child can consent to abuse. But until the Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme as a whole is amended, a risk of injustice may remain.

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