The Government responded to the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse's (IICSA) recommendations on the 22 May 2023. A link to the Government’s response can be found here.
APIL executive committee member Kim Harrison said:
“Further consultation on lifting the limitation period for survivors of childhood sexual abuse is completely unnecessary. The Inquiry was very clear in its recommendation that the Government should abolish this time bar for survivors who are trying to bring legal claims against their abusers. It is deplorable that the law in England and Wales expects survivors to bring their cases within three years of the abuse, or within three years of turning 18 if they were abused as a child especially when the Scottish law has already abolished the time limit for abuse survivors. And it is unacceptable that the Government is not taking action now.
The limitation period is a needless legal hurdle put in front of survivors, who are forced to endure the stress and uncertainty of justifying why they have not brought a claim sooner. It is well established that survivors of childhood sexual abuse nearly always bring their claims late. They are a unique and particularly vulnerable category of claimant and this desperately needs to recognised.
The Government says it accepts the needs for a redress scheme, which can be a valuable alternative option for survivors who find the process of going through a civil claim inherently stressful and traumatic. But a scheme is only of value if it provides full and fair redress, acknowledges survivors’ suffering, and makes a significant difference to their lives. A meaningful and comprehensive consultation on what the scheme would look like is essential, and it must heed what survivors of abuse and their representatives have to say.”