Jeremy Indika contacted Emmott Snell seeking justice for the sexual abuse he had suffered at the hands of his childminder whilst he was a child. We advised him on an application to the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority.
Who are the CICA?
The Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (‘CICA’) is a government-funded body who compensates eligible victims of violent and sexual crime. Victims can be compensated for physical and psychological injuries and in some cases financial expenses.
For many victims of physical and sexual abuse, where the abuser is no longer alive or does not have enough money or assets to compensate the victim and there is no organisation to claim against, the CICA scheme is the only form of redress. The CICA assesses all applications and if successful, an applicant will receive an award of compensation.
There is no doubt that the CICA scheme is restrictive and can be difficult to navigate. There are many rules, hurdles, and time limits which an applicant must satisfy to be successful in their application.
The CICA rules summarised:
- You must be the victim of a violent or sexual crime.
- The application must reach the CICA within 2 years of the crime taking place if the crime was committed when you were an adult.
- If the crime was committed when you were a child (under the age of 18) there are two time limits to be aware of:
- If the crime was reported before your 18th birthday, then the application must be received by the CICA by your 20th birthday.
- If the crime was reported after your 18th birthday, then the application must be received by the CICA within 2 years of reporting to the police.
- You must not have any unspent convictions. The CICA can reduce or refuse awards on the basis of the applicant’s character. When considering this the CICA will take into account any criminal convictions and involvement in tax evasion or benefit fraud.
Jeremy Indika’s CICA application
Jeremy was sexually abused by his childminder when he was 8 years old for around 3 years. He was groomed by him and led to believe that the sexual abuse was ‘normal’.
Like most survivors, Jeremy buried his memories as a coping mechanism for the next 20 years, he did not go to his GP, nor he did not seek counselling.
Jeremy was incredibly brave and reported the abuse he suffered to the police in 2018. However, the police investigation was No Further Actioned. This left Jeremy feeling lost and vulnerable.
Nonetheless, Jeremy began talking to his loved ones about what had happened to him and started his campaign "Something to Say". His courage led him to contact us in mid-2023.
The time limit obstacle
The CICA rules state that you must apply to the CICA within 2 years of reporting to the police, meaning that Jeremy was out of time when he instructed us. However, the CICA recognises that this may not be possible in cases like Jeremy’s, and that many victims of child abuse are unable to talk about what happened to them and has a discretion to make awards even if the application is brought late.
The benefit of a CICA application
An application to the CICA is an important avenue of redress, as it gives those who cannot pursue a civil compensation claim against the perpetrator or an organisation an opportunity to achieve the justice they deserve.
The CICA application success
The CICA exercised this discretion and Jeremy was successful in his application. Jeremy received a five-figure award from the CICA.
Jeremy’s route to justice has not stopped there. He continues to campaign to break down the stigmas that keep survivors afraid of talking about what happened to them and open conversations on preventative measures. He speaks in schools, businesses, and organisations about his story and how to open the conversation on child sexual abuse.
Jeremy’s incredibly powerful social media campaign strives for people just to have the conversation. He bravely explains that no one taught him where the ‘’no go zones’’ were on his body and if anybody touches him there, that he is to tell someone.
‘’Something to Say’’ provides a safe space to share survivors’ truths and to empower others.
Emmott Snell would also like to take this opportunity to applaud Jeremy for his courage in coming forward and waiving his right to anonymity to further the campaign for change. If you are considering making an application to the CICA, please contact a member of our team who will be only to please to discuss this further with you.