Government statistics have revealed that domestic abuse victims are left waiting for nearly 2 years to receive compensation for their suffering.
Statistics from the Ministry of Justice show that it took an average of 612 days (approximately 20 months) for victims of domestic abuse to receive compensation payouts from the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA).
The CICA is a government agency that pays out to those who have been physically or mentally injured as blameless victims of violent crime. In its customer charter, it explains that applicants should expect to wait for up to 12 months.
Domestic abuse victims receive on average £7500.
The statistics paint a different story on time though, and it seems that on average, victims of domestic abuse are having to wait nearly twice the expected time.
Samantha Lee, Head of Family Law at Swain & Co Solicitors, says,“Victims of domestic abuse are vulnerable and have been (and may still be going through) a very traumatic time. To then leave them waiting for compensation can leave them more stressed, feeling unsupported by the justice system.”
In response to the statistics, Phillip Lee the Justice Minister, says that sometimes delays in cases are of a benefit to victims of domestic abuse as it allows assessment of long term implications of injuries and mental health issues. Some cases are complex and require ongoing treatment or level of recovery is uncertain.
Samantha says, “It is vital that victims feel supported, and where there are delays in settlement of claims it is essential that the victim is kept up to date and given valid reasons as to why they are waiting.”