It is not only adults who can be the victims of violent crime. Many children also sustain physical and/ or psychological injuries as a result of a criminal attack or sexual abuse.
A child may make a claim for themselves upon reaching the age of 18 if a claim has not already been made on their behalf by a Parent/ Guardian. They would have two years from the date of reaching 18 to do so.
With regards to abuse cases the above requirements will also apply. However, where an individual has been abused as a Minor (i.e. under 18) and the abuse is reported to the police when the applicant is already over 18, they would have two years to make a claim from the date of reporting the matter to the police.
Applications made beyond the two year time limit may still be considered by the CICA who will decide whether it is reasonable to waive this time limit in the circumstances of the case.
An incident must be reported to the police and medical treatment must be sought relating to any injuries a child has sustained.
If a claim is successful, compensation for a child will then be paid by the CICA into an interest earning bank account set up on their behalf. The compensation will remain here until the child reaches the age of 18 upon which they will then be able to access the money. Some leeway regarding the claim application deadline is allowed for cases that have just gone through the trial process.
The CICA can also pay solicitors’ legal fees for dealing with a claim from this account, upon receiving consent from a Parent/ Guardian to do so. This enables legal fees to be paid immediately after the conclusion of a claim, instead of a Parent/ Guardian having to arrange payment in advance or at a later date when their child reaches 18.
Grooming and sexual abuse victims can now claim compensation even where consent may have been given.