A woman from Milton Keynes who was repeatedly abused by her father and refused compensation after he was jailed, has taken a step forward in her campaign to change the so called ‘Same Roof Rule.’
The case was raised in the House of Commons last week by Milton Keynes South MP Iain Stewart.
The victim, Alissa Moore and her two sisters, were sexually abused by their father as children. The father was jailed for 24 years but a Ministry of Justice (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.
Mr Stewart, who took up the cause after meeting with Ms Moore last year, explained in the House of Commons: “She (Mrs Moore) was advised by the police to make a claim to the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority, as she still needs medication and counselling to deal with the trauma of her attacks. However, while her sisters were eligible for compensation, she was not, owing to the 1979 Same Roof Rule.
“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.”
Mr Stewart called on the Government to review the law and look at how additional funding could be found for victims. One solution he proposed was using an untapped £500K MoJ hardship fund that is barely ever used.
In response the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Justice Sam Gyimah MP said:
“The independent inquiry into child sexual abuse is looking closely at the issue of compensation for victims of child sexual abuse, and the Government await its recommendations.”
He added: “The compensation scheme will also be looked at as part of the Ministry of Justice’s work to develop a strategy for victims, which we aim to publish next year.”
Following the debate, Alissa Moore commented: “I am very grateful for Iain’s support and I really hope that this will be the start of getting these unfair rules changed.”