Scottish MP’s have unanimously voted in favour of scrapping the three year bar on bringing a civil claim for damages for physical and sexual abuse suffered as a child. This will allow survivors of childhood abuse to sue for damages without having to apply to the Court for permission to do so out of time.
The Limitation (Childhood Abuse) (Scotland) Bill has passed its first legislative hurdle at Holyrood. All of the parties supported the legislation as the first stage debate.
Some members did however, express concern about the practical and financial concerns over the number of victims who may come forward and what the cost of the compensation may be. The Justice Committee had previously heard that the cost of the compensation could be in the region of £200 million.
Community Safety Minister Annabelle Ewing has said, “It was important to “remove barriers to survivors pursuing civil damages”.
She said: “This bill is about access to justice. It is about acknowledging the unique position of survivors of childhood abuse as children who were betrayed by those they should have been able to trust – recognising the abhorrent nature of the abuse, the vulnerability of the child at the time, and the profound impact of abuse; an impact which lasts well into adulthood and which, itself, prevents people from coming forward.
“We will continue to do all that we can, to listen to survivors of childhood abuse, to provide the support they tell us they need and to right the wrongs done to them.”
Jordans represents victims who have suffered physical and sexual abuse and support the Scotland in the introduction of the new legislation which should enable more victims to obtain justice for the traumatic experiences they have endured.