Hundreds of victims of child sexual abuse have been denied compensation because they have later gone on to commit crimes.
The funds are normally available to help deal with issues arising from being attacked – such as paying for counselling, improving security or moving away from their attacker.
But campaigners say the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority is denying help to victims even when their offending was triggered by being abused.
In the past four years 323 claims have been rejected.
Leading abuse solicitor Alistair Smith said: “These are very damaged people who are often being led to offend by the difficult pasts they have had.
“Often they are relatively minor offences, but they are being denied the help they need.”
In 2015-16 there were 26 claims rejected, which almost doubled to 46 a year later.
By 2017-18 that had risen to a high of 140. Applications can be refused if a victim has a criminal record – meant to stop serious criminals getting money off the state. But the rule means compensation can also be withheld for petty crimes.
Alistair previously helped overturn a controversial rule that blocked compensation for abuse by family members who lived with the victim.
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