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Domestic violence compensation

What to do if you’ve experienced domestic violence

There are few things more terrifying than the thought of suffering at the hands of a loved one. Many sufferers of domestic violence feel helpless while in these situations, thinking that nobody will be able to help them get out, but that’s simply not the case.

While making a compensation claim may be the last thing on your mind while dealing with a traumatic experience, it can be the first step in getting back on your feet financially – plus, it may help you feel better that someone has recognised that what happened to you was wrong.

You can get in touch with a trained legal adviser for free on 0800 234 6438. You don’t have to start a compensation claim when you speak to them – so if you’re just looking for help, they’ll be happy to answer your questions and give you a bit more information about what’s involved.

Types of domestic violence

Domestic violence takes many forms, all of which can have a devastating effect on your physical and mental wellbeing, often for years after the abuse.

All types of domestic violence are terrifying; but sometimes the line might feel blurred between what’s right and what’s wrong, as the person guilty of the abuse is likely to be someone you’re close to.

Domestic violence might include:

  • Physical abuse – For example, a person who is beaten or is being contained by a partner or family member in some way would be considered to be a victim of physical domestic abuse
  • Emotional abuse – Unlike physical abuse, emotional abuse is more difficult for your friends and family to spot, but it can still have a devastating effect on your mental wellbeing. It may include threats of violence, demeaning criticism and controlling behaviour
  • Psychological abuse – This is where a partner may make the victim question their own sanity and make them feel insecure or guilty. It can lead to the sufferer experiencing a lack of confidence in his or herself, which might affect them for years after the abuse
  • Financial abuse – In some cases, an abusive partner might deprive their loved one of access to their own bank account or to any shared money for items such as food or clothes, which can make it difficult to live a normal life
  • Sexual abuse – this is where one partner is forced into sexual activity by the other or made to only feel valued in terms of sex. They may also be continually criticised or made to feel ashamed of their own appearance, and pushed into doing things they don’t want to do

After you’ve managed to move away from the person causing you harm, you might consider making a compensation claim for your injuries; this is where a trained legal adviser can help. You can call one on 0800 234 6438 to discuss making a claim. But they’ll never push you into starting a case if you don’t feel ready.

Children in domestic cases

Cases of domestic violence are dramatic for anyone involved, but the situation can be even worse for children who have either witnessed abuse or experienced it themselves. Their development can be affected as a result of the trauma, and they may even suffer from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).

Unfortunately, domestic violence cases that involve children aren’t uncommon in the UK. The National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty (NSPCC) estimates that around 1 in 5 children will experience domestic abuse, of which a third of those will be victims of it themselves.

No amount of money could ever make up for the pain your child has been through, but it’s possible to make a compensation claim on behalf of a child.

CICA and criminal injuries

The Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA) exists to secure financial aid for people who have suffered due to a criminal injury. It’s government funded and designed to protect people in situations where they’ve fallen victim to a violent crime, including domestic violence.

Because of the nature of some types of domestic abuse, it can sometimes be difficult to prove (for example, emotional or psychological abuse). That’s why getting a conviction for these crimes can be tough, and you may think that you won’t get the help you need.

But the CICA can still help you with a compensation claim if:

  • You reported the incident to the police
  • You co-operate fully with the police and CICA
  • The incident happened within the last 3 years

To be able to make a claim for any type of criminal injury, you have to file the claim within 2 years of the abuse taking place. We know the nature of domestic violence means victims are often unable to get out of their situation and report it – don’t worry, courts will take this into consideration when processing your claim.

Making a compensation claim for domestic abuse

Making a compensation claim for domestic abuse can be very emotional, which may put you off claiming at all. It’s likely that the person who caused your injury was a family member or partner, which can make your situation even more difficult.

But an expert solicitor can help you get the compensation you need to be able to get back on your feet and carry on living your life in the most normal way possible. Compensation won’t take away the emotional and physical pain of being in a violent relationship, but it can:

  • Cover the costs of time you’ve taken off work to recover
  • Pay for any medical treatment or medication you’ve needed
  • Cover any other impacts the abuse has had on your life

To find out whether you could make a claim, call a trained legal adviser on 0800 234 6438 or fill in the online form below to arrange a call back.

About the Author

Nicola Laver LLB

Nicola is a dual qualified journalist and non-practising solicitor. She is a legal journalist, editor and author with more than 20 years' experience writing about the law.

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