Roughly 700 children as young as 12 who were sexually abused have been refused compensation by the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority in Great Britain since 2012; roughly 30 were denied compensation because it was deemed that they “consented.”
On Tuesday a group of charities urged justice secretary David Lidington to change the guidelines, which have allowed children as young as 12 to be refused payouts of up to £44,000. The charities said that some young teenagers who had been raped by multiple people were refused compensation.
British law states that children under 16 cannot be deemed to have consented, unless they are over 13 and the perpetrator could reasonably have thought they were over 16.
One girl who was raped and sexually assaulted by a gang of older men when she was 14 was denied compensation by CICA on the grounds that “she had not been the victim of non-consensual sexual acts.” In another case, a 12-year-old girl was refused compensation after being sexually assaulted by a 21-year-old man who later pleaded guilty to unlawful sexual intercourse with a girl under the age of 13, because she had gone into the woods "voluntarily."
Director of Liberty Martha Spurrier said a state agency trying to imply child sex abuse victims who might have been brainwashed or manipulated had consented to being abused was a “disgrace.” She added, “Grooming is brainwashing — perpetrators manipulate children into situations that look like consent. No child can consent to abuse, which is why the criminal law rightly says they are simply unable to do so.”