The CICA (Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority) is a division within the government, which was created to help compensate victims of violent crimes including rape, sexual assault, and sexual abuse. Within the scheme there is a whole sub section aimed at victims of rape and sexual assault. We will follow the process of making a CICA claim for someone who has been a victim of rape or sexual assault.
As is with all CICA claims, the individual must meet the initial eligibility criteria which consists primarily of the following;
- Are you a UK Resident? – You should be UK resident or a close relative of UK resident at the time of incident.
- Has the incident been reported to the police and has full cooperation been maintained?
- Have you claimed for this incident before from the CICA or anywhere else, or do you intend to claim from somewhere else?
- Do you have any criminal convictions including simple cautions, in the UK and abroad?
- When did the incident happen?
After these qualification questions, we would follow the questions within the initial application. When the crime type is selected as being sexual in nature, the description box for summarizing the claim disappears. This means that the Applicant does not need to worry about reliving traumatic and upsetting memories by recounting what happened to them. The CICA are able to pull a description of what occurred from the police evidence, reports and statements.
Perhaps one of the most important features of a CICA form for a victim of a sexual crime is the ‘my preferred option’. This options appears midway through the application form and allows the Applicant to choose whether they would like just police evidence to be considered, or police and medical evidence together. Firstly, let’s take a look at what these two types of evidence are;
Police Evidence – This includes statements, reports, investigation material and any court or prosecution documents. It is very important to note that if a victim has a forensic DNA or internal exam done, this also categorizes as police evidence, even if it was carried out in hospital etc.
Medical Evidence – This includes medical reports and records and any specialist observations on both physical and mental health. If a victim has suffered any physical/internal damage or mental trauma, then this would all come under medical evidence.
The CICA allow the Applicant to choose, for a couple of reasons. One of them being that not all rape/sexual assault victims seek further support or treatment straight away. It can take time for victims to come to terms with what has happened to them, and can also take time for a lot of victims to understand that what happened was not their fault. The following points below will explain the 2 options provided to Applicant’s and what it means depending on which you choose;
Police evidence only– This option means that the CICA will only apply to the police for their records on the investigation. Choosing this option means that the evidence can be returned quicker, meaning a decision can be reached quicker. However, the payout could also be slightly lower, especially if there is some medical evidence that could’ve been assessed. It is also worth noting that some police forces will take longer to respond to the CICA regardless. The bigger forces, such as West Midlands and The Metropolitan Police, can take a considerable amount of time responding to the CICA’s request for the information, due to the size and volume of area they cover.
Police and medical evidence– This option means that the CICA will apply for the police evidence, but the Applicant or their representative has to apply for the medical evidence. Choosing this option can take slightly longer as the CICA have to read and consider both types of evidence, but the payout could potentially be higher than just looking at the police evidence alone.
Now, you may be wondering what we mean when we refer to ‘higher’ or ‘lower’ payouts. The CICA scheme is detailed in its approach to crimes of rape and sexual assault. If incident was penetrative, then the standard base starting amount is £11,000. This figure is then built on if there are other factors that come into play, such as mental health and any internal/physical injuries. It is always worth speaking with a professional to gain a better understanding of the compensation figure you may be looking at for your case, as the response given can be tailored to the specific case factors.
There are some injuries that are not subjected to the multiple injury formulae. With the CICA, they always pay 100% of the first injury, and then a 30% reduction applies to the second injury and a 15% to the third. However, the following are not subjected to this, meaning that 100% would always be awarded for:
- Pregnancy (Sustained as a direct result of an incident of rape)
- Loss of foetus (As a direct result of a violent crime)
- Infection with one or more HIV, Hep B or Hep C
- Sexually transmitted infection other than the above listed (These are then subcategorized into Substantial recovery and Permanent Disability)
If you have been a victim of Rape or Sexual Assault, and are unsure whether or not you can claim, please contact us directly via email, WhatsApp or Telephone. One of our advisors, female or male at your request, can discuss your circumstances confidentially and offer tailored guidance based on the information you provide.
Sexual abuse claims can take anywhere between 6 to 24 months. CICA sexual abuse claims can take around 6 to 12 months from the date of the submission to the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority. If you choose only to consider your claim on the basis of police evidence then CICA aim to make decision in 8-10 Weeks. However, There are a number of outside organisations which we must rely upon for providing the evidence to CICA to support your case, such as police and medical agencies.
CICA claims might take longer in some cases. Sometimes in sexual abuse compensation claims, the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) may decide to prosecute the assailant. If they do decide to prosecute, then the police report is not normally released until the trial is over. This can delay a compensation offer by a number of months. However, you do not need to wait until the trial is over, meaning you can apply for compensation before the outcome is determined.
For more information or for any advice, please call Criminal Injury Solicitors on 0333 996 9988 or email us on firstname.lastname@example.org.