Woman who fled Northamptonshire after ‘years of domestic abuse’ awarded £22,000 in damages
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A woman who fled Northamptonshire after “years of domestic abuse” has been awarded more than £22,000 in damages.
The woman, who has been kept anonymous, was abused by her partner for more than a decade.
She was left devastated after being told charges against her partner for coercive and controlling behaviour and rape were being dropped. Despite no criminal convictions against her partner, the woman was awarded £22,600 in damages via a Government scheme to compensate victims of violent crime. The Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA) scheme is able to award damages in cases where it feels there is enough evidence to suggest a crime has been committed.
The victim had fled the home after “years of constant abuse”, having to “start life over again with virtually nothing”, but she now feels she has been “vindicated” and had “some form of justice.
She said: “It is hugely important, as to get away from a person who destroyed my life, and made me feel worthless, I had to give up everything and start again with absolutely nothing. After years of constant abuse I had to get out.
“I was a shadow of my former self. I would never have imagined that I’d let someone have the sort of control over me as he did, but it happens insidiously over time,” she said.
“He’d control our finances, check my messages, open my post and only allow me out to the shops for a short period of time. He was violent and assaulted me regularly. In the end I felt worthless.
“What upsets me most now is knowing the impact it had on my children. It has had a huge impact on them psychologically, and the effects are life-long.”
The woman says she was advised to seek a damages claim by police, who she says offered her “wonderful support” having made the allegations against her partner.
The woman, who now has a new job and home, continued: “I could never see an escape from what was happening to me. There was always something to stop me leaving, despite what was happening to me and what I was being subjected to, whether it be the kids’ schooling or the worry of finances.
“In the end I found so much support when I plucked up the strength to leave, so I’d urge anyone else in a similar position to do as I eventually did. Don’t stay stuck.
“There were fantastic groups for victims of domestic violence in Northamptonshire, and where I have moved to since, who have been there for me, and of course there was also Tracy at Hudgell Solicitors who handled my CICA case.
“The reality is that I was told that these sort of cases can be hard to bring to court and secure prosecutions. The police and the CPS both said that to me and were apologetic that the charges were eventually dropped.
“This CICA settlement has been so important because it is recognition of what I was subjected to. That means far more than the financial payment.”
Tracy Thames, of Hudgell Solicitors, who led the compensation case on her behalf, added: “This lady has been through a terrible ordeal and, through the complexities of the justice system, it was only the CICA that offered her any form of justice or closure.
“She suffered years of abuse and had to take the difficult decision to give up all she had in
Northamptonshire and start again.
“We are pleased that this settlement has given her vindication, and will also help her as she continues to build a new life for herself.”
The award from CICA recognised sexual abuse exceeding three years, and also for the physical abuse she suffered.