Justice Minister Naomi Long has appealed for anyone who may be eligible since the removal of the Same Household Rule to apply to the Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme.
Naomi Long said: “On 9 June 2020 I announced the removal of the same household rule contained within the Northern Ireland Criminal injuries Compensation Scheme 2009.
A year on, I want to take this opportunity to highlight this change again and encourage anyone who may be eligible to apply.
I have been clear that the same household rule was unfair and I recognise the impact this had on all victims whose applications were refused simply because they lived with their attacker.
Since changing this legislation, I have heard first hand from a victim of abuse within her own home. I recently met with ‘Sophie’ who told me that having been awarded compensation through the scheme has brought some closure and recognition of the trauma and pain she endured.
Having made her application through Victim Support NI, ‘Sophie’ has praised the support she received and by bravely speaking out about her own experiences, she hopes to encourage others to come forward and avail of the support available and apply.”
The change in legislation allows access to the Scheme for victims of abuse and violent crime who were previously prevented from applying for criminal injuries compensation because of the longstanding rule.
The same household rule applied from 1 March 1969 to 30 June 1988 to all victims of abuse or a crime of violence inflicted by a family member living under the same roof. The legislation was amended in 1988 but at that time was not made retrospective.
New and past applicants refused an award under the pre-1988 same household rule still need to meet all the remaining eligibility criteria within the 2009 Scheme.
The time limit for applications to be received is two years from the passing of the amendment. Therefore, we are midway through the time limit set.
This limit may, however, be waived if the Department of Justice consider that there is a good reason for the delay and it is in the interests of justice to do so.
Further information on applying for compensation can be found at: www.nidirect.gov.uk/articles/compensation-criminal-injuries
Notes to editors:
Notes to editors
- You can read ‘Sophie’s story on the Victims Support website and listen to more from Justice Minister Naomi Long on meeting ‘Sophie’ on Youtube
- Amending the same household provision brought the Northern Ireland Criminal Injuries Scheme into line with the GB Scheme in relation to treatment of victims of same household abuse and allow more victims of crime to access compensation.
- The removal of the same household rule from the Northern Ireland Criminal Injuries Scheme also ensures compliance with a ruling made by the Court of Appeal in Northern Ireland in November 2018.
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