Domestic Violence And Abuse During The Coronavirus Lockdown, Could I Claim Compensation?

domestic violence claims and domestic abuse claims

Domestic violence abuse

By Fern Easton. Last Updated 4th March 2021. Welcome to our guide on domestic violence claims and domestic abuse claims. Domestic violence and abuse are never acceptable, and they can take many forms. At the time of writing, the United Kingdom is currently experiencing a lockdown to prevent the spread of COVID-19 (Coronavirus), where the public is required to stay in their homes to prevent the spread of Coronavirus and support the NHS. Unfortunately, domestic violence during the Coronavirus pandemic has spiked. Newspapers have reported that helpline calls to domestic abuse charity Refuge have spiked by 700% in a single day. Calls to a helpline for perpetrators of domestic abuse have increased by 25% after the start of the COVID-19 lockdown began. The Government is supporting charities that support and provide shelter for domestic abuse and domestic violence victims, many of which are also being housed in hotel chains. If you are experiencing domestic violence during the COVID-19 crisis, you can find out what to do to get immediate help and support here. If you believe the life of you or your children is at risk, or you are at risk of grievous bodily harm, contact the police immediately on 999. The Government has information about how to call the police discreetly if you are in the same home as your abuser and do not want your abuser to hear your call.

Can you get compensation for domestic abuse?

If you have suffered domestic abuse or domestic violence during the lockdown, you may be eligible to claim compensation. If you are reading this guide in the future after lockdown has passed, you may still be able to make a claim for compensation.

Accident Claims UK could help you claim the compensation you are entitled to claim for domestic violence. We could provide you with a knowledgeable solicitor to handle your Coronavirus domestic abuse claim. Our panel of solicitors have years of experience handling claims like yours and will always push to win you the maximum amount of compensation you are owed.

To see if you are owed compensation for domestic abuse during the lockdown, call us today on 0800 073 8801. We offer a free domestic violence claims consultation to anyone looking to claim for domestic violence. Your advisor will broach the subject with you in a sensitive and understanding manner. If we can see that you are owed compensation, we will provide you with the services of a knowledgeable solicitor to handle your claim. Alternatively, use our online claims form to contact us for more details on domestic violence claims.

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A Guide On Claiming For Domestic Violence During The Coronavirus Lockdown

A compensation claim for domestic abuse or violence is when a victim sues the perpetrator for the physical or psychological injuries caused by domestic violence. In the majority of cases, a claim for domestic abuse or violence will go through the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority. The Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA) is an executive agency of the UK Government that provides victims of violent crimes with compensation. If you have been injured because of domestic violence or sexual abuse, you could be able to claim compensation from the CICA. If you or your children have suffered abuse or domestic violence during the Covid-19 crisis, you may be able to claim compensation. Whether the abuse began during the lockdown or was part of a pattern of abuse that worsened as social distancing rules were put in place, you may be able to claim.

In this guide to claiming compensation for domestic abuse during the lockdown, we will define domestic abuse and provide you with information about the rise in domestic violence during the lockdown in the UK and worldwide. We will also point you towards domestic abuse services that can provide you with immediate and long term support.

How do you claim victim compensation? To begin your domestic abuse claim, call Accident Claims UK today. If you believe you are entitled to claim, call us today or use our online claims form to reach us. If we can see that you are eligible to claim, one of our lawyers will start working on your claim as soon as possible. We’re looking forward to speaking to you.

What Is Domestic Abuse?

Domestic abuse is a single incident or a pattern of behaviour involving coercive, controlling, degrading or violent behaviour. When the abuse involves violence, it is known as domestic violence. The abuser is often a person’s partner or ex-partner. However, an abuser can also be another family member, such as a parent or sibling, or a person’s carer.

In the majority of reported cases, the perpetrator of the abuse is a man abusing a woman. However, domestic abuse can also take place between people in a same-sex relationship, women can abuse men, and transgender people can also be perpetrators or victims of abuse. Domestic abuse can affect people from all walks of life and backgrounds, though some people’s circumstances may make it harder for them to seek and find help.

How To Spot Domestic Abuse

Are you concerned about a friend, neighbour or someone else you know who you believe may be suffering from domestic abuse? Here are some signs to watch out for:

  • The person’s abuser does not let them leave the house. (During the COVID-19 lockdown, they may use social isolation measures as a cover for this sort of behaviour).
  • The abuser monitors the person’s use of their phone and social media platforms.
  • The abused person does not seem to have access to money. This could be because their abuser is controlling their finances.
  • The abused person has bruises or other signs of injury.
  • The abused person acts in a withdrawn manner.

If you believe someone you know is suffering from domestic abuse, you could be a lifeline to them. During the COVID-19 crisis, the police and domestic abuse support services are still running. Encourage them to report the abuse to the police and seek help from charities like Refuge that run the National Domestic Abuse Helpline.

What Are The Main Types Of Domestic Abuse Or Violence?

Domestic abuse can take the following forms:

  • Physical violence
  • Sexual abuse
  • Emotional abuse
  • Financial abuse
  • Verbal abuse
  • Online abuse and revenge porn (where an abuser shares sexually compromising videos or pictures of their victim online, without their consent)
  • Coercive behaviour

If you’d like to speak to someone on our team about domestic violence claims, please don’t hesitate to get in touch. 

How Has The Covid-19 Lockdown Affected Rates Of Domestic Abuse?

From March to June 2020, in the first three months of lockdown in England, police recorded over a quarter of a million domestic abuse-related offences, according to the Crime Survey for England and Wales. This represents an increase of 7% from the same period last year, as the graph below shows.

Lockdown domestic abuse statistics graph

Lockdown domestic abuse statistics graph

Domestic abuse cases in the UK have been on the rise in previous years, so this data does not necessarily show that this increase is a direct result of the coronavirus lockdown. However, data provided by Women’s Aid showed that a surge in demand was recorded by various services helping victims of domestic violence and abuse. This included a 91% increase in demand for the 22 online support services that were included in the survey and a demand increase of 58% across 26 refuge services.

The Women’s Aid survey for June 2020, found in Table 11 of the linked data set, also revealed that some abusers were utilising the Covid 19 pandemic as a form of coercive control through different types of abuse. Of 69 survey respondents, 66% said that their abuser had used Covid 19 as a tool in their abuse. 37.7% reported that their abuser was refusing to take precautions like social distancing or handwashing, which they felt put them in harm’s way. Conversely, 10.1% of people who responded to the survey said that their abuser was enforcing overly strict isolation rules on them, such as not allowing them to take outdoor exercise or shop for essentials. 4.3% of respondents reported that their partner had threatened to cough or spit at them, and 5.8% said that they had actually been coughed on or spat at.

If you recognise any of the behaviours outlined above, then you may be entitled to domestic abuse compensation. Speak to a member of our team today for advice on how to claim.

Could I Make A CICA Claim For Domestic Abuse?

The Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA) provides victims of violent crimes with compensation. If you have been injured because of domestic violence or sexual abuse, you could be able to claim compensation from the CICA. Victims of domestic abuse or violence which happened during the Covid-19 lockdown could be able to claim compensation through the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority. Claims through the CICA differ in terms of time limits in which to claim and how compensation is calculated.

In order to receive compensation from the CICA, you must do the following:

  1. Report the incident or pattern of abuse to the police.
  2. Cooperate fully with the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority and the police.
  3. That you claim within 2 years of the incident taking place.

How Long Do I Have To Make A Domestic Abuse Case?

Depending upon which type of claim you are making, the applicable time limits may be different. Claims through the CICA must be made within two years. Please note that in some instances, this time limit may differ. In the United Kingdom, there is a personal injury claims time limit of three years. This means that claimants will have three years to claim compensation if suing the perpetrator.

In some cases of domestic violence or domestic abuse, the person may not pursue justice immediately for emotional or safety reasons. If you wish to pursue a domestic abuse victim claim, we recommend you report the abuse to the police and contact Accident Claims UK about making a claim, as soon as you are able to do so, to avoid falling outside the personal injury claims time limit.

What Support Could Domestic Violence Victims Get?

If you are currently experiencing abuse or domestic violence during the lockdown or at any other time, it is very important that you seek help and immediate safety. If you, your children or anyone else is in immediate danger, call 999 and request help from the police.

If you are currently in the same home as your abuser, you can make a silent call to the police. This government guide has information about how to make a silent call.

The domestic violence charity Refuge runs the National Domestic Abuse Helpline, which you can call for free and in confidence 24 hours a day on 0808 2000 247. They provide support for women, men (including transgender people) and children. There are also other charities and organisations offering Coronavirus domestic abuse services, which we will list at the end of this guide.

Employer Support

If you are an employer, you can support your workforce by making them aware that there is help available for people suffering from domestic violence. If you suddenly lose contact with an employee, take swift action to contact or visit them in case they are in danger. If you believe an employee is at immediate risk, contact the emergency services.

As an employer, you also have influence over your employees and their behaviour. You can be a positive influence by reminding employees that there is never an excuse for domestic abuse or violence, no matter what strains they may be under.

Support For Younger Abuse Victims

Being abused or witnessing abuse can have a lasting psychological effect on a child. In some instances, a child can experience psychological damage, which affects them for the rest of their life. Unfortunately, children who are abused may be more at risk during the lockdown because they are not seen by adults at school, family, friends, or others who may notice signs of abuse. There is a range of services available to support children suffering from domestic abuse during the Coronavirus lockdown. These include The NSPCC, Childline and Barnardos.

What You Need To Do To Claim

Can you get compensation for domestic abuse? Speak to Accident Claims UK about claiming compensation for domestic abuse during the lockdown. If we can see that you have legitimate grounds to claim, we will help collect evidence to support your claim and will handle your claim from start to finish. If necessary, we will represent you in court.

Calculating Compensation For Victims Of Domestic Abuse During The Lockdown

This calculator can help you estimate how much you could claim if you have suffered domestic abuse. The calculator does not include any special damages you could claim.

How much compensation you will be awarded may depend on whether you are claiming through the CICA or making a personal injury claim. Claims made through the CICA may be lower amounts than awarded through a personal injury claim.

The table below looks at compensation as awarded through the CICA.

SeverityDescription of this level ofLevelStandard Damages Amount
Serious AbuseSerious abuse in which there may be intermittent physical abuse. The victim may have wounds such as burns or other injuries. B3£2,000
Severe AbuseIn this case, there will be a pattern of violent acts against the claimant. The claimant may have suffered minor disfigurement.B6£5,500
Severe AbuseSimilar to the above category, but the pattern of abuse has lasted for three years or more.B8£8,200
Physical Abuse of ChildrenPersistent pattern of repetitive violence moderate multiple injuries. B6£5,500
Sexual AssaultPattern of repetitive frequent severe abuse - 3 years or more.B8£8,200

These are approximate compensation amounts. If you call Accident Claims UK to speak about your situation, we can estimate how much compensation you could claim, more accurately based on your personal circumstances.

Additional Compensation You May Be Able To Claim

If you make a successful claim for abuse or domestic violence during the lockdown, you will be awarded two heads of claim. The first is general damages which will compensate you for the pain, suffering and loss of amenity you experienced as a result of domestic abuse. You may also be awarded compensation for special expenses, which may compensate you for financial losses you incurred as a direct result of being abused.

No Win No Fee Domestic Abuse Claims

If you are worried about paying for your solicitor’s fees upfront, we can offer you the option to make a no win no fee claim. This means that you will not have to pay an upfront fee. Instead, your solicitor’s fee will be deducted from your compensation package. You will only have to pay your solicitors fee if we win your claim, minimising the financial risk involved for you.

Why Choose Our Specialist Team?

Making a claim for domestic violence or abuse can be an emotionally difficult process. If you choose to make your claim with Accident Claims UK, we promise that we will handle your case with kindness and sensitivity. You can also trust us to provide you with the following:

  • A free personal injury claims consultation
  • The services of an excellent lawyer, who will fight to win you the maximum amount of money you are entitled to claim
  • The option to make a no win no fee claim.

Contact Our Team

To begin your claim for domestic violence, contact Accident Claims UK today. Call us on 0800 073 8801 or use our online claims form.

Essential References

You may also find these Accident Claims UK guides helpful.

How To Claim For Historic Sexual Abuse – A guide on how to claim for this type of abuse.

Domestic Violence And Domestic Abuse – A compensation claims guide

Rape Victim Compensation Claims Calculator – Calculating how much compensation rape victims could claim.

External Resources

Respect: Men’s Advice Line – A charity that provides support to men experiencing domestic abuse.

Galop – Galop runs the national LGBT+ domestic abuse helpline.

NHS Domestic abuse and violence- an NHS guide to recognising the signs of domestic abuse and getting help.

Thank you for reading our guide on domestic violence claims and domestic abuse claims.

Article by HC

Edited by MM.