If you have suffered from domestic violence, it is important to know that compensation is available. While it may not be able to undo the past, it can go a long way to helping you make the most of the future.
Unfortunately, as with any compensation claim, the process is not always straightforward. That is why understanding how you can claim compensation for domestic violence is key.
Domestic abuse comes in many forms and is not limited only to violence. Any behaviour that creates a pattern of incidents that are coercive, controlling, degrading or threatening is considered abusive. This could include:
Coming to terms with what type of abuse an individual has suffered is one of the most difficult steps a person can take. With domestic abuse and violence coming in so many forms, it is natural for victims to experience confusion or doubt about whether they have experienced abuse.
In these cases, a good first step is to speak to a close friend about what you are experiencing. This can give you an outside perspective and shed light on whether the behaviour you have experienced is abusive. You can then consider pursuing a claim for compensation and, more importantly, take steps to leave the abusive environment.
There can also be confusion about who commits domestic violence. Typically, abuse is committed by a family member, partner or loved one, but it can also be inflicted by others, such as family friends or neighbours, especially if the abuse was carried out during childhood.
Outside of compensation awarded as part of a criminal conviction, there are two primary ways you can make a claim for domestic violence.
The first of these is via claiming for damages in the civil court, through which you claim against the abuser themselves. Before taking this action, there are two important factors to consider:
If you do want to pursue a civil claim against your abuser, then you should speak to an experienced solicitor as soon as possible. They will be able to give you an idea of your chances of success and provide further information on the next steps.
The other way you can claim compensation for domestic violence is through the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA). This provides compensation for a range of criminal injuries, including domestic violence and abuse.
The major benefit of making a CICA claim is that whether your abuser has been convicted does not have an impact on the likelihood of you receiving compensation. It also means that you do not have to wait for the outcome of any criminal trial before you can launch your claim.
However, in order to make a CICA claim, you will need to meet some qualifying criteria, including:
You will also need to show that none of your actions contributed to the violence.
Making a CICA claim is often the best option for victims of domestic violence, but unfortunately, the process is not straightforward. Some of the common difficulties that come up include:
CICA claims can be complex at the best of times, but when it comes to domestic abuse, there are a number of factors that need to be taken into consideration. Therefore, if you are considering making a CICA claim for domestic abuse, ensure you speak to an experienced solicitor to learn more about your options and what to expect.
If you are considering making a CICA claim then acting quickly is imperative, as you must apply as soon as it is reasonably practicable for you to do so. For those who suffered domestic violence as an adult, this usually means within two years of the incident you are claiming for, unless:
If the incident took place before you turned 18 special provision is made. You should still apply as soon as possible, but if the incident was reported to the police before you turned 18, you have up until the day of your 20th birthday.
If the incident took place before you turned 18 but was not reported to the police, you have two years from the date you reported it to apply. Parents or guardians can also apply on behalf of people who are under 18, allowing the claim to be made nearer to the time of the incident.
If you are thinking of pursuing compensation for domestic violence it is important that you speak to a solicitor as soon as possible. Due to the unique circumstances of domestic abuse, claiming compensation is often more complex than doing so for a different violent crime.
If you are planning a claim compensation, get in touch with Nayyars Solicitors to discover how our experienced team can help you.