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August 1st 2018

Abuse

What is the same roof rule and who can claim?

Nicola Bailey-Gibbs

Nicola Bailey-Gibbs

Solicitor, Personal Injury

What is the same roof rule and who can claim?

For those who have suffered abuse at the hands of a family member or person living in the same household, the experience can have a traumatic and long-lasting impact on the rest of their lives.

For those who have suffered abuse at the hands of a family member or person living in the same household, the experience can have a traumatic and long-lasting impact on the rest of their lives.

Understandably, many of these abuse survivors often do not disclose what happened to them until years or decades later.

Until a landmark ruling by Lord Justice Leggatt on 24th July 2018, anyone abused in this way before 1st October 1979 was unable to seek damages because of a legal clause known as the ‘same roof rule’.

Thankfully, this out-dated and archaic rule has now been abolished and abuse victims who lived under the same roof as their attacker are now entitled to compensation.

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 claim for compensation, we would urge you to get in touch to gain access to the justice you deserve.

What is the same roof rule?

The original intention behind the ‘same roof rule’ dates back to part of the very first Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA) Scheme in 1964 – when the Government-run initiative was first set up to help innocent victims of crime receive compensation and support to get their life back on track.

The initial idea behind the ‘same roof rule’ was to prevent assailants who might still be living with the victims benefiting from a CICA award. However, the effect was to deny these victims any compensation at all. The present CICA Scheme provides appropriate safeguards against an abuser benefiting from the compensation.

The rule was revised on 1 October 1979, enabling abuse survivors from that date onwards to pursue compensation if attacked or abused by someone living under the ‘same roof’.

Sadly, the revision was not retrospective, meaning those abused by someone living in their household prior to 1st October 1979 were still not allowed to bring a claim and were denied any form of justice.

In the years which have followed, the CICA has introduced successive amendments to the scheme – but they all kept the same unjust rule.

Its abolition in 2018 means abuse survivors can finally make a claim and gain access to justice for their suffering.

Who can make a same roof rule compensation claim?

If you or someone you know has been abused by a person who was living with them prior to 1 October 1979, it may now be possible to make a same roof rule compensation claim to the CICA.

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

In some cases, compensation could be secured even if a subsequent conviction has not been secured.

Since 2015, there are believed to be at least 180 survivors of abuse who have been refused compensation under the ‘same roof rule’ imposed by the CICA. In some cases, siblings who endured abuse at the hands of their parent received different compensation outcomes because some of the abuse took place before the 1979 cut-off date and some after.

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

Our team of specialists has always supported the campaign to scrap this unjust ruling, believing it to be wholly and morally wrong.

We understand that this is often a highly-sensitive area, but our team has extensive experience of supporting both abuse survivors and those making claims to the CICA.

This revoke of the ‘same roof rule’ can now bring an end to more than 40-years of injustice for many.

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