Survey into public's views on rape compensation

Published: 19 September 2018 at 14:05

Old Bailey against a blue sky

Anglia Ruskin criminologist wants Government review to listen to range of views

A criminologist at Anglia Ruskin University is asking the public to take part in a survey that could help shape policy around compensation provided to rape victims.

The Government recently announced that they were scrapping rules that meant people couldn’t claim compensation if they lived at the same address as the perpetrator.

A review into the Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme (CICS) is now being carried out by the Ministry of Justice, and Dr Olivia Smith, a Senior Lecturer in Criminology at Anglia Ruskin University who specialises in rape compensation, wants the public to contribute to the review by taking part in her survey.

The Government, through the CICS, provides compensation for some victims of violent crimes, including rape and sexual offences. Compensation comes from a range of set tariffs, for example a victim of a single rape can currently receive £11,000, but the awards can be withheld or reduced because of a range of eligibility criteria.

The CICS eligibility criteria has been heavily criticised by victims’ organisations because the narrow rules are often re-traumatising for victims and are unfair on certain groups of people.  Dr Smith’s previous research has shown that women have been denied compensation because of driving offences and even for failing to pay for a TV licence.

Dr Smith said:

“The Ministry of Justice have previously stated that the public only want to provide compensation to ‘blameless’ victims.  However, this has never been properly established and with a review now taking place, research is needed to identify what the public really thinks.

“This survey is the first to ask the public for their views on state compensation for rape victims and it is intended to provide an evidence base for the UK Government to be able to make informed decisions about the future of the Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme.  I welcome input from all members of the public over the age of 16.”

The survey takes around 10 minutes to complete. Complete the survey to contribute to the review