Same Roof Rule Compensation Claims

Being abused by a family member or person living in the same household can cause unimaginable pain and suffering. Sadly, this traumatic experience often has a life-long impact.

Understandably, many abuse survivors need time to come to terms with what’s happened. Many years pass before they finally feel ready to disclose the facts and seek justice.

Unfortunately, if this type of abuse happened to you before 1 October 1979, your pain may have been compounded by the ‘same roof rule’ – a legal ruling which prevented hundreds of innocent victims of this violent crime from being compensated.

Thankfully, this unjust law was scrapped in July 2018 and abuse survivors who lived under the same roof as their attacker can now seek redress.

If you’ve been denied a settlement because of this long-running injustice in the UK legal system, or were previously advised not to pursue a case, Hudgell Solicitors may be able to help you pursue a same roof rule compensation claim.

Whilst we understand that nothing can erase or heal the past, a settlement could help pay for private counselling or therapy. The fact an abuser will finally be held to account can also bring a degree of closure.

For free and confidential legal advice, get in touch – we promise to handle your case with compassion, confidentiality and respect.

What’s the same roof rule? Why was it in place and what did it do?

Back in 1964, the ‘same roof rule’ was part of the very first Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA) Scheme – a Government-run initiative designed to help innocent victims of crime receive the support and compensation needed to get their life back on track.

The original intention behind the ‘same roof rule’ was to prevent assailants, who may still live in the same household as the victims, from benefiting from the CICA award. Unfortunately, the impact of this rule meant some victims were denied access to any compensation.

On 1 October 1979, a slight change to the rule was made to allow abuse survivors from that date onwards to pursue compensation for any suffering or harm caused by someone who lived under the ‘same roof’.

Sadly, this revision to the law was not applied retrospectively, meaning those who were abused by someone living in their household before 1 October 1979 could still not bring a claim – denying them access to justice.

In the years which followed, the CICA did introduce amendments to the scheme, to safeguard against abusers benefiting from the compensation. But they still refused to backdate it beyond 1 October 1979 – which unfairly discriminated against blameless victims of violent crime.

Our experts

Malcolm Johnson

Senior Solicitor

Victoria Neale

Litigation Executive, Criminal Injuries

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The 2018 abolition of ‘same roof’ rule – why did the law change?

A landmark ruling by Lord Justice Leggatt on 24 July 2018 finally saw the out-dated and archaic ‘same roof’ rule scrapped because The Court of Appeal declared that it was incompatible with human rights laws.

This move followed campaigning by Hudgell Solicitors and others who supported and championed the work of legal and victim support groups.

Thankfully, this means anyone abused by a person living in the same household before 1 October 1979 is now able to seek justice and compensation for their suffering.

Prior to this decision, a child abused by a person who lived with them before this date could not receive compensation from the CICA – even if there was a subsequent conviction and they no longer lived together.

What is happening now in 2019?

On 28 February 2019, a statutory instrument laid in Parliament brought forward legislation to abolish the long-standing pre-1979 ‘same-roof’ rule – finally giving survivors greater access to compensation through the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA).

Whilst exact details of the redress Scheme are yet to be revealed, anyone who was abused by someone they lived with may be able to apply or reapply for compensation – regardless of when the attack took place.

This Government move means victims who may not have come forward because of the ‘same roof’ rule, or who were previously denied awards because of it, may finally be eligible to gain access to justice – with awards made to those who meet the Scheme’s other criteria.

Who can make a same roof rule compensation claim?

Anyone abused by a person who lived in the same household before 1 October 1979 is now able to make a same roof rule compensation claim to the CICA.

The abuse may have been inflicted by a mother, father, step-parent, grand-parent, another family member, family friend or lodger.

In some cases, compensation can be secured even though a subsequent conviction has not been secured.

If my previous claim was rejected, can I make a new one?

If you’ve previously been denied compensation because of the ‘same roof’ rule, or if you’ve been advised not to pursue a case, we would urge you to contact us.

It is thought thousands of survivors of abuse may have been denied redress from 1979 onwards because of the morally-wrong ‘same roof rule’ imposed by the CICA.

In some cases, siblings who were abused by the same parent received different compensation outcomes because the incidents took place before and after the 1979 cut-off date.

At Hudgell Solicitors, we are urging people to come forward and explain their situation to our team of experts so that we can help you re-apply and obtain the justice you’ve waited four decades to see.

Our ‘No win, no fee’ representation

All of our CICA claims are funded on a ‘no win, no fee’ basis – allowing you to pursue same roof rule compensation without any financial risks.

The initial consultation is free and you don’t have to pursue a case afterwards. But we usually find that speaking to us allows survivors to gather all the information they may need to make an informed decision.

Please get in touch today for confidential and expert advice.

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