Criminal Injury

Teenager abused and stalked by boyfriend and forced to move hundreds of miles to ‘feel safe’ is awarded CICA compensation

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Tracy Thames

Litigation Executive

5 min read time

“I just shut down and kept quiet because I felt like I wasn’t listened to.”

Aged 15 and studying at school our client began a relationship with a boy of her own age which was to last for three years. During that time she experienced violent physical and sexual assaults and emotional abuse.

When she ended the relationship her ex-partner continued to stalk her. Finally, following police advice she moved herself to safety, hundreds of miles away.

“I still need counselling and I’ve been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The nightmares and flashbacks can be terrible, but I now feel safer, more relaxed and I have a lot more freedom,” she says.

Now aged 21 and studying for a degree, she has been awarded £16,500 by the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA) as an acknowledgement of the abuse she has suffered and is urging others who experienced violence and abuse from their partners to seek support and help as soon as they feel able to, and she says, their claims need to be taken seriously whatever their age.

“In that relationship the abuse started as soon as we got together. But with my family, I kept quiet. I did eventually discuss it at school with teachers, but I felt I wasn’t listened to and that led me to shut down and give up.”

The emotional abuse, she says, began with name calling and “making out that everything was my fault” and “he would say I’m the way I am because of you,” she recalled.

The abuse became violent and there were also serious sexual assaults. When she told him she no longer wanted to see him his stalking behaviour escalated.

‘The police did take it very seriously’

“He was harassing me a lot and I would have to call the police at least once a week; by this time it was obvious to my family what was happening.

“He didn’t like the fact that I had broken up with him and so he would follow me everywhere, he would be at my door, he would ask everyone where I was.” The police advised her to move, “and I did, I just packed up and went.”

Despite being hundreds of miles away she continued to receive phone calls from him and decided to make a formal complaint to the police.

“Originally I didn’t want to but I felt more secure. The police did take it very seriously, but the Crown Prosecution Service said there wasn’t enough forensic evidence to take it further.”

Despite her ex-partner not being charged or convicted of any crime she was told she could make a claim for compensation for the criminal injuries she had suffered.

‘The CICA scheme doesn’t require anyone to be convicted of a crime’

Tracy Thames, litigation executive in Criminal Injuries at Hudgell Solicitors, who represented the woman in her CICA domestic abuse claim explains:

“The CICA scheme doesn’t require anyone to be convicted of a crime for a victim to be awarded damages, but the crime must be reported to the police, the victim must fully cooperate with any investigation and must also be prepared to press charges.

“The CICA are then able to make an award on the balance of probabilities based on the police report and the victim’s cooperation. In this case the abuse, violence and the stalking our client repeatedly suffered was documented.

“I am pleased we were able to secure £16,500 as it will enable her to begin the next chapter of her life with some confidence. What she has endured, so early in her adult life, has been horrific and it was important that this was not only recognised but that she was compensated for the disruptive and emotional toll it has taken.”

The woman, who wishes to remain anonymous, contacted Hudgell Solicitors for advice on pursuing her CICA claim for damages after carrying out research online.

“Tracy has been brilliant and has been there every step of the way. I’m pleased with the outcome, and it is a positive after everything that has happened,” she says.

“I really wouldn’t want anyone else to experience it; it shows it can happen at any age, and even if we are young, we do need to be listened to, seriously listened to. I feel in the long run it has made me stronger and more resilient. When it comes to another relationship, I know now what I want and I won’t settle for anything less.”

Making a Criminal Injuries Compensation Claim

If you or a member of your family has come to harm as a result of a crime, you have a right to seek compensation for those injuries. We put your interests first, ensuring the most appropriate and effective legal specialists are handling your claim.

The first step is to get in touch using our online claim form. From here, one of our expert criminal injury lawyers will contact you for a confidential discussion of your circumstances, guiding you on the best path forward.

Read more: Criminal Injuries Compensation Claims

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