The appalling prevalence of childhood abuse in the United Kingdom is becoming increasingly uncovered.
In Scotland there have been real efforts made to allow victims of such abuse the opportunity to recover compensation and receive some measure of justice.
Initially the Limitation (Childhood Abuse) (Scotland) Act 2017 was introduced which (as is now fairly common knowledge) removed the three year time bar (triennium) for actions of damages for injury suffered whilst a child where said injury was caused by the “abuse of the person”.
This means victims of childhood abuse are no longer precluded from pursuing a personal injury action owing to the triennium having passed.
Recently the Scottish Government has created an Advance Payment Scheme. This scheme “opened” on 25 April 2019. Under this scheme those who are eligible are entitled to apply for a flat rate advance payment of £10,000. You can apply for an advance payment if:
- You were abused as a child in care in Scotland
- The abuse happened before December 2004
- You are over 70 years of age; or
- You are suffering terminal illness
If the eligibility criteria are met you may be entitled to an advance payment. Thus far at least 5 applications have been approved, and many more are presently under consideration.
The Advance Payment Scheme was introduced against the background of a wider payment scheme that is due to begin in Scotland in 2021. The Advance Payment Scheme was felt necessary to avoid the situation where survivors of abuse were dying before seeing justice done.
In the meantime Lady Smith’s public inquiry continues having completed three of five phases. The most recent phase considered evidence of abuse in residential care establishments run by secular and voluntary organisations. The inquiry will consider evidence of abuse within institutional care, care run by religious orders, local authority children’s homes, secure care and migration programmes.
At Jackson Boyd we have a specialist team who act on behalf of survivors of childhood abuse. For more information, or to discuss a claim with them directly, please call 0333 060 5079.