The Ministry of Justice (MOJ) has confirmed it is scrapping rules which prevent some victims of crime from being compensated if they lived with their attacker following a campaign by Milton Keynes resident Alissa Moore.
Alissa Moore and her two sisters, were sexually abused by their father as children. The father was jailed for 24 years but the MOJ compensation scheme wouldn’t pay out to Mrs Moore because the abuse inflicted on her stopped just a few months before a change in the law in October 1979.
The "same roof rule" was changed in 1979, but not retrospectively, meaning victims, like Alissa, from before that time have been continually refused payouts.
The Court of Appeal ruled in July that the pre-1979 caveat in the Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme (CICS) had unfairly denied compensation to claimants. The government said it agreed with the ruling and would not appeal.
A review into CICS was launched last week to improve overall access to compensation.
Alissa’s case was raised in the House of Commons last year by local MP Iain Stewart. Addressing the Justice Minister Mr Stewart explained:
“The rule prevents any survivor who was living with their abuser, as a member of the same family at the time of an assault, from claiming compensation if the offence took place before 1 October 1979.”
“In Alissa’s case, her abuse stopped just a month or two before that deadline, while the abuse of her sisters continued after the date. That cannot be right.”
Following the news last week Alissa said:
“The last 3 years campaigning against this unfair and unjust rule has been a real emotional rollercoaster. I am obviously delighted that I and hundreds of others will get the support and compensation we are due.
“I am very grateful for Iain’s support. Without the pressure on the Ministry of Justice we may never have got to this point.”
Milton Keynes South MP Iain Stewart added:
“Alissa should be incredibly proud of what she has achieved. She has campaigned hard, she has had to relive her abuse many times over, but she now has what is just and fair.
“No amount of compensation can make up for the suffering Alissa and others endured, but as I have long argued, it is vital they receive the help and support needed to continue rebuilding their lives.”