Victims Of Crime Re-Traumatized When Applying For CICA Financial Assistance

An application for financial assistance can be made by victims of crime in Melbourne for medical injuries, pain and suffering and loss of earnings due to the offense. All legal and other expenses will be paid by VOCAT with no cost to the applicant. Victims can also seek compensation in the criminal court where the offender was sentenced.

In the United Kingdom, victims of crime can seek for financial assistance from Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA), a government compensation body. However, according to Baroness Newlove, her review revealed that survivors of violent and sexual crimes are being re-traumatized because they are forced to repeat the traumatic details.

Instead of helping the victims, the government body alienates and frustrates the survivors. Victims of sexual and violent crimes including the surviving relatives of victims can claim for financial support for counselling and the improvement of safety measures in the home. It is not the financial assistance that is being questioned but the process of claiming support.

When claiming for financial assistance, a person is required to provide details of the crime that includes time, date and addresses. The evidence that is required by CICA application form is highly traumatic and detrimental to the wellbeing of the victim because memories of the incident are re-triggered.

The police have a full copy of reports and the victim’s statements. It is very easy for CICA to access the report so that the victim does not have to repeat the details of the incident on the application. Whenever a victim is contacted by CICA for medical records or additional information, the victim is once again reminded of what he or she went through.

CICA has been the subject of criticism by campaigners for withholding compensation due to arbitrary grounds. In 2017, the government body was investigated because it refused compensation to victims of child sexual abuse on the grounds that they consented to the attack.

Meanwhile, if you are one of the victims of crime in Melbourne, assistance is available from lawyers so that you will be guided through the legal process and ensured of the best outcome. If the injuries sustained are serious, a lawyer can provide legal advice on the possibility of taking the case to court.

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