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Domestic Abuse Victims During Lockdown, Can I Claim Compensation?

By Lewis Cobain. Last Updated 1st November 2022. Welcome to our guide for domestic abuse victims claims. It’s fair to say that the Coronavirus (COVID-19) lockdown has caused problems for many of us. However, these problems might be considered minor compared with somebody who is abused in their home during the lockdown. If you’ve suffered domestic abuse during lockdown, you might be here to find out if you could claim compensation. In some cases, that might be possible through the Government’s Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA). Therefore, we’ll look at when you could be eligible to claim, what you could claim for and how much you could receive. We’ll also look at domestic violence statistics since lockdown.

Domestic abuse during cornoavirus lockdown

Domestic abuse during coronavirus lockdown

We understand that discussing domestic abuse with a stranger might be difficult for you. Here at Legal Expert, we have a team of friendly advisors who can provide free legal advice and a no-obligation assessment of your claim. They won’t pressure you at all and will work at a pace that works for you. If there’s a chance you could be compensated for your suffering, they’ll refer you to one of our No Win No Fee solicitors.

If you would like to talk to us about starting a claim today, please call 0800 073 8804. Alternatively, to find out more about claiming for domestic violence cases during lockdown, please continue reading.

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A Guide To Claims For Domestic Abuse During Lockdown

In this guide, we’re going to explain when you might be able to claim compensation because of suffering caused by domestic abuse during lockdown. Whether you were already involved in an abusive relationship or if the added stress of the lockdown led to it happening for the first time, we’ll review when you might be entitled to claim. We’ll look at the different types of abuse that could lead to a claim, what support is available and what evidence you can use to support your claim.

In many cases, where the abuser doesn’t have the means to compensate you, a claim may still be possible. The Government-run CICA scheme is able to compensate you for injuries sustained during criminal acts against you. Therefore, we’ll look at how the CICA scheme works, their eligibility requirements and what can be included in your domestic abuse victims claims.

When seeking compensation, there are a number of different elements that can be claimed for. That’s why we advise having a specialist solicitor on your side. They’ll have the knowledge to know what you can include and what you can’t. This is really important because once you’ve settled a claim, you can’t go back and ask for something you’ve forgotten to claim.

All claims have time limits that must be adhered to (which we’ll cover later on), so we advise that you seek legal advice as soon as possible. When you’ve read this guide, if you have any outstanding questions or would like to discuss your claim, please contact a friendly member of our team.

What Is Domestic Abuse During Lockdown?

Domestic abuse can be defined as where a pattern of incidents of coercive, controlling, threatening, violent and degrading behaviour takes place. It is often carried out by a partner, family member or carer.

There are many forms of domestic abuse which can take place and the stresses of lockdown can lead to increased anxiety. This could increase the level of abuse in some cases.

We’re looking at types of abuse, things to look out for and what support is available over the coming sections. If you are in immediate danger or suspect somebody else is, it’s important that you contact the police as soon as possible.

Should you want to look at making a compensation claim through the CICA scheme because you’ve suffered injuries as a result of abuse, please get in touch with a member of our team. We’ll work with you, at a speed that you find acceptable and without placing any pressure on you. If you simply want free legal advice on your options, that’s fine. We’ll provide whatever advice you require and, if you decide to claim, we could provide you with a No Win, No Fee solicitor to support you. Our team of solicitors will always try to ensure you receive the right level of compensation for your suffering.

Signs Of Domestic Abuse To Look Out For

If you suspect that somebody is being abused, there are a number of signs you could look out for. These include:

  • Signs of physical injury like cuts or bruises.
  • If the victim is not allowed to leave the house. This could be the case even during lockdown whether daily exercise or shopping is allowed.
  • Where the victim’s social media is being monitored by their abuser.
  • Where the victim’s finances are being controlled, causing a financial loss.
  • If the victim appears withdrawn or quieter than normal.

These could all be signs that somebody is being abused from physical and mental injury or even sexual assault.

Types Of Domestic Abuse During The Coronavirus Lockdown

Domestic abuse doesn’t always have to include physical violence. There are many different forms that abuse can take, including:

  • Emotional abuse.
  • Sexual abuse.
  • Economic abuse.
  • Coercive control.
  • Verbal abuse.
  • Online abuse.
  • Physical abuse.
  • Harassment or stalking.

If you’re the victim of any type of abuse, whether listed here or not, there are a number of services who can support you. We will include some details or organisations you can contact later on in this guide.

While each of these may be carried out in different ways, if they’ve left you with a physical or psychological injury, you could be entitled to claim through the CICA scheme. Please get in touch with an advisor to explain what happened and they’ll work with you to see if you’re able to make domestic abuse victims claims.

Statistics – Has Domestic Abuse Increased During The Coronavirus Lockdown?

Statistics from different sources are starting to show that there has been an increase in domestic violence due to the lockdown. One report says that the National Domestic Abuse helpline has seen a 25% increase in online request and phone calls in the two weeks since the lockdown started.  The report stated that campaigners were concerned that domestic tensions were increased by the restrictions

(source: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-52157620).

Another news article suggests that there were 16 suspected domestic violence killings in the UK during a 3-week period since the lockdown. A UK project said that at least 16 killings took place between 23 March and 12 April 2020 which they suggested was much higher than the average of 5 deaths in the same period over the past 10 years.

(source: https://www.theguardian.com/society/2020/apr/15/domestic-abuse-killings-more-than-double-amid-covid-19-lockdown).

Support Available For Domestic Abuse Victims During The Lockdown

The Government has taken steps to reassure anybody affected by domestic abuse during lockdown that support services are still available to them. One key piece of advice is that, in an emergency, you can still call 999. If you’re unable to talk, their advice says that you should listen to the operator and cough or tap the phone if you’re able to. If you get transferred to an automated service, you can press 55 from a mobile to be connected to the police. Another service, operated by Refuge, is the National Domestic Abuse Helpline. They can be called 24-hours a day on 0808 200 0247 to discuss domestic abuse victims claims.

Employer Support

An employer can provide essential support to members of staff who might be at risk of abuse. If an employer knows or suspects a member of staff is being abused, they should try to keep in regular contact. If contact is lost, they should act swiftly to visit them. The Employers’ Initiative on Domestic Abuse website has been set up to help employers understand how they could help affected staff.

Supporting Younger Victims

If you believe a child or younger person is in danger, you should raise your concerns with the police or children’s social care. You could also contact the NSPCC helpline on 0808 800 5000.

Lockdown Domestic Abuse Claims Through The CICA

As mentioned earlier, the CICA is a government department that can compensate you for criminal injuries. They have their own criteria for claiming, which is different from a normal personal injury claim. These include:

  • A 2-year time limit for claiming (which can be extended in some cases).
  • Crimes must have been reported to the police.
  • You must’ve been injured – physical or psychological injury – when the criminal act took place.

There are some exclusions too. For instance, if you have an unspent criminal conviction, you may be refused compensation from the scheme.

As well as physical injuries, it’s also possible to claim for psychological injuries through the CICA scheme. In both cases, medical records are required as evidence to support your claim.

Importantly, if you’ve suffered multiple injuries, the amount of compensation you’ll receive will reduce for each injury. The most serious injury will receive 100% of the tariff awarded, the next will receive 30% and the third most serious will receive 15%. As you’ll see later in this guide, there are a number of special damages or expenses which could be included in domestic abuse victims claims as well.

Time Limits To Claim For Domestic Abuse

If you’re going to claim for domestic abuse compensation in the UK, you’ll need to ensure you do so within the relevant time limit. If the perpetrator has the means to pay compensation themselves and you claim directly against them, then the time limit is generally 3-years and will usually begin from the date the assault took place.

However, if you’re going to make a CICA compensation claim, then the time limit is usually 2-years. There are some special circumstances where this might be extended so please speak to an advisor if you’re unsure whether you’re able to begin a claim or not.

What Do I Need To Make A Claim And Why Should I Make One?

Like with others forms of compensation claim, you’ll need to provide some evidence to claim domestic abuse compensation. Here are some types of evidence you could provide:

  • Photographs of any visible injuries.
  • A police crime number.
  • Details of any witnesses.
  • Copies of threatening text messages or emails.
  • Medical records and copies of any prescriptions.

Don’t worry if you can’t provide all of the items listed. We understand that evidence gathering won’t be your first concern at the time of the abuse. Speak with an advisor and explain what’s happened and they’ll provide free legal advice about your options.

What Is Compensation For Domestic Abuse Victims Worth?

When making a claim for domestic abuse, this will often go through the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA). The CICA allows victims of violent crimes to claim compensation.

The compensation awarded by the CICA will be in line with the injuries you have suffered as per  the compensation amounts listed in their tariff for injuries. We have included a table below of injuries listed in the tariff and accompanying compensation.

Edit
Injury Type Compensation Further Details
Mental Injury £17,900 to £51,460 A confirmed medical diagnosis of a mental injury that is seriously disabling.
Face £27,940 to £91,350 Serious disfigurement caused by facial scarring.
Face £3,710 to £12,900 Multiple fractures of the face (Le Forte fractures).
Ear £16,500 Permanent total deafness
– one ear
Eye £3,710 to £8,200 Permanent blurred or double vision – serious.
Fingers £8,550 to £11,480 Fractures of fingers other than the index finger on both hands which cause significant disability.
Arm £90,250 to £122,860 One arm where there is no remaining arm or hand with any useful function.
Pelvis £3,710 to £11,820 Fractured pelvis injuries where there has been continuing significant disability.
Knee Up to £12,900 Where both kneecaps are dislocated and cause continuing disability.

We understand that inquiring or making a claim for compensation for domestic violence can be difficult. However, our team of advisors can answer any questions you may have regarding domestic violence compensation. Please reach out to one of our advisors if you are looking for help.

Special Damages For Domestic Abuse Compensation Claims

When claiming through the CICA scheme, you can claim for physical and psychological injuries. This is known as general damages which are designed to cover pain, suffering and loss of amenity caused by the injuries. The table in the previous section provided some examples of general damages.

As well as general damages, CICA claims can include a number of special expenses or special damages. These are used to cover any financial expenses incurred as a result of your injuries.  The CICA scheme requires you to prove that the expense was necessary, reasonable and incurred as a direct result of the criminal injury. Also, they’ll only cover expense which can’t be covered by other sources like the benefits system or the NHS.

Here are some examples of CICA special damages:

  • Loss Of Earnings. CICA claim could reimburse you for lost income caused by your injuries. To be eligible, you’ll need to have been off work for more than 28 weeks. You’ll also need to demonstrate that you were an employee at the time of the crime against you or provide information about your work history for the previous 3-years. If you didn’t work during the previous 3-years, you’ll need to provide a reason.
  • Physical Aids. CICA could cover the cost of a physical aid, such as a walking stick if it’s required and not available via the NHS.
  • Damaged Property. If any item of your property was damaged during the crime against you, then the cost of replacing it might be included.
  • Home Adaptations. Should you suffer injuries that lead to a disability, your claim could include the cost of any changes to your home that are required.

Care costs, funeral costs and other expenses could also be included so please check with your solicitor.

Solicitors For Domestic Abuse – No Win No Fee Claims

When seeking help from solicitors for domestic abuse claims, you may be concerned about the costs. However, our domestic abuse solicitors can offer their services on a No Win No Fee basis.

Some of the benefits of using No Win No Fee solicitors could include:

  • Not generally requiring an upfront fee to begin working on your claim
  • Only taking a legally capped success fee if you are awarded a settlement
  • If your claim fails, you are not required to pay them

Our solicitors are experienced and have helped many victims of domestic abuse claim compensation. If you would like to work with our team, get in touch for a free consultation.

Start Your Domestic Abuse Claim

You’ve now reached the end of this guide about claiming for suffering caused by domestic abuse during the coronavirus lockdown. If you would like to discuss making a claim with one of our team, here are the ways in which you can contact us:

  • You can call and speak directly to an advisor on 0800 073 8804.
  • If you prefer, you can begin the process online using our live chat facility.
  • You can send an email with details of your claim to info@legalexpert.co.uk
  • Or, finally, you could complete our online form to request a callback.

We do understand that you might find it difficult to discuss the abuse you’ve suffered so our advisors will work at a pace that suits you and they’ll never put any pressure on you. We’ll begin by listening to what happened and what injuries you suffered. Then we’ll work with you to decide whether a compensation claim might be possible. If it is, we could refer you to a personal injury lawyer to begin your claim. If they agree to take the domestic abuse victims claims on, they’ll work on a No Win No Fee basis for you.

Importantly, your solicitor will provide you with regular updates as your claim progresses. They’ll also be on hand to explain any technical legal jargon that pops up along the way.

Essential References & Victim Support

Thank you for reading our guide about claiming for domestic abuse during lockdown. We hope the information we’ve provided has been useful. To help you further, we’ve provided links to more of our guides and some external resources as well. If you require anything else, please call and speak with a member of our friendly team.

  • Woman’s Trust – A UK charity who offers free counselling and therapy for women who’ve experienced domestic abuse.
  • Domestic Abuse – This government website explains how to get support if you’ve experienced domestic abuse.
  • Women’s Aid – A national charity that aims to end domestic abuse against children and women.

Below, you can learn more about CICA claims via our other guides:

Domestic Abuse Victims Claims FAQs

Can I claim compensation for emotional abuse?

Yes, you could claim if your mental health has been affected due to emotional abuse. The psychological effects of abuse can cause issues in your life just as physical injuries can.  Therefore, you deserve to be compensated for them.

In other words, you can claim for mental injuries without also having sustained physical injuries too. The CICA tariff has individual figures for either instance of varying severity. You can even be compensated for physical and mental injuries concurrently if you have experienced both.

Who pays compensation to victims of crime?

Victims are compensated by the CICA. This way, you can be compensated even if the one who caused your injuries is never caught, charged, or even identified. Although, you will still need to provide sufficient evidence, or prove that what happened to you occurred on the balance of probabilities.

Alternatively, it’s possible that you could be compensated by the person who injured you. But, this is less common. This is due to the fact that there is no guarantee that the defendant will have sufficient funds to award to you.

How much will I receive in domestic abuse compensation?

The amount will depend on a few different factors. For example, the severity of your injuries will be taken into account. The impact they have on your life is another thing that is considered. Because of this, the amount will differ depending on the case.

Get in touch with us today for a bespoke valuation.

What should I do if I suffer domestic abuse?

The primary step is to ensure your safety by calling authorities if you’re in danger.

Who should I speak to?

You should call the police if your situation is ongoing and harmful.

Should I alert family and friends?

Yes, if you’re able to do so, you should speak to those closest to you.

When could I file a domestic abuse victim claim?

You can file it as soon as you’re able to do so based on your situation.

How long do I have to file a claim?

You have up to 3 years in the aftermath of the incident.

What injuries could I claim for?

You can claim for any injuries caused by domestic abuse which you can provide evidence for.

What could the evidence consist of?

This includes medical expenses, medical reports and police reports.

How long could it take to receive a settlement?

Once a settlement is agreed out-of-court, you should receive it within 14-28 days.

Thank you for reading our guide for domestic abuse victims claims.

We hope this guide on domestic abuse victims claims, which addresses commonly asked questions such as ‘can victims of abuse get compensation?’ has been useful for you. You can contact Legal Expert online or on the phone if you would like to ask any questions or you’re looking for support with making your claim.

Written by Hambridge

Edited by Melissa.

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