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Child sex abuse victim denied compensation for “consenting” to abuse

Posted on: September 12, 2017

The Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA) initially denied Sammy Woodhouse, a victim of child sex abuse, compensation saying she was not “manipulated”.

Ms Woodhouse waived her anonymity and told how she was 14 when she met Arshid Hussain aged 24.

Hussain was known as Mad Ash around Rotherham in South Yorkshire. He was one of three brothers behind the grooming and sexual abuse of more than 50 girls including Ms Woodhouse. Hussain was jailed in 2016 for 35 years for 23 offences including indecent assault and rape.

Charities including Barnardos, Victim Support and Liberty have revealed that since the CICA scheme was launched in November 2012 nearly 700 child victims of sexual abuse had been refused payments, ranging between £1,000 and £44,000, Ms Woodhouse being one of them.

CICA had originally refused to compensate Ms Woodhouse stating, “I am not satisfied that your consent was falsely given as a result of being groomed by the offender.

“The evidence does not indicate that you were manipulated or progressively lured into a false relationship.”

When Ms Woodhouse appealed against the decision and was offered a small settlement, which was eventually altered and she was awarded the maximum amount she qualified for.

Ms Woodhouse commented, “If an adult can privately think that it’s a child’s fault for being abused, beaten, raped, abducted, I think you’re in the wrong job.”

David Greenwood, her solicitor, said, “I am utterly shocked by the notion that decision-makers in a government organisation can consider that 14 or 15-year-old girls can consent to sex with adults.”

“They decided she must have consented when it’s just not legally possible.”

The government has confirmed that the CICA is now reviewing its guidelines.