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Monday, 11 June 2018

'Same-roof' law which prevents abuse victims receiving compensation to be challenged

Written by Sam Lister

A woman who was sexually abused as a child by her stepfather is challenging a law which means she cannot receive compensation because she lived with her attacker.

Under the so-called "same roof" rule, victims who shared a home with their abuser before 1979 are not eligible for a payout.

The woman behind the legal challenge, known for legal reasons as JT, was abused between the ages of four and 16.

In 2012, her stepfather was jailed for 14 years for eight offences including rape and sexual assault, according to the BBC.

A legal challenge will take place at the Court of Appeal next week.

"He raped me, he sexually abused me," JT told the BBC.

"Abuse happened on a daily basis. The rape happened every now and again.

"My mam used to work at a fish shop, and she worked nights. So, that's when it would happen, when she wasn't in.

"It was the absolute norm. It was every day. It was like getting up and getting your teeth brushed. It was the normal for me.

"The worst time was in the loft. I don't know how he got me there. I was about 11 or 12.

"There was a mattress on the loft boards and he would put me in the loft on the mattress and he would have sex with me. He'd rape me there."

JT was refused a payout from the Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme, which gives awards to victims of violent crime.

She added: "I just couldn't believe it, I thought it was wrong. I was absolutely disgusted with the judicial system in this country.

"It was like a kick in the teeth and I felt as though I didn't count. It was all right for him to do what he done.

"He got put away for it, but that was it. My life still has to go on and I don't have a life. I exist, but I don't have a life."

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