The Scottish Mail on Sunday

An insult to the brave victims


SURVIVORS of child abuse who have given evidence to an inquiry have already suffered, repeatedly.

Not only have they had to live for many years with the scars of violent assault or even rape committed while they were in the state’s care, they have courageous­ly relived their experience­s, first to police and then before a panel appointed to investigat­e historic abuse cases.

So, it seems unnecessar­ily cruel to expect victims to tell their stories yet again.

Those victims who lodge compensati­on claims will have to appear before a panel set up to decide appropriat­e levels for each claimant.

There is something rather dehumanisi­ng about a system that requires victims to appear in front of officials before being ranked on some kind of ‘trauma scale’. Survivors’ stories are on the record and it should, therefore, be a perfectly simple process for the panel to allocate appropriat­e damages without the need for yet another series of traumatic interviews.

Thanks to a handsome daily rate, those appointed to decide compensati­on stand to earn more than some victims will receive for life-altering abuse. This cannot be right.

The victims of abuse were failed by a system devoid of empathy. The least they deserve now is a little of the compassion they were denied.

Everyone who shared his or her experience of abuse is entitled to compensati­on.

The process by which this is awarded should not require them to relive another second of the trauma they have already suffered.

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