The 1979 Rule

July 13, 2015 3:13 pm

I am a 50 year old married man and grandfather to 4 lovely children. I watch and observe when i play with them, and sometimes with a tinge of jealousy. Childhood is one of the most precious things we have. To have it taken from you whilst still developing is a very traumatic experience, and lasts a lifetime. So here comes my point. When you have plucked up the courage to report the person who sexually abused you when you where 7 years old, and then successfully prosecuted him in court, to then come up against the “1979 Rule” leaves you dumbfounded, angry and irate.


Before 1st October 1979 if you where sexually abused in your own home by a member of your family who lived with you, you cannot claim compensation! If it were a neighbor or stranger, you can. When a majority of the cases of childhood sexual abuse cases involve family members it makes this law ludicrous. What about the many thousands of victims abused before that date? Why should they be persecuted and ignored? Is it to save money? The law was changed in 1979 to allow claims for those victims who fell foul of the pedophiles, but then ignored anything previous. This is a travesty and only adds more insult to the trauma suffered for victims from before that date. Believe me, the trauma is only compounded when you still have to live with that person in the household, and still have to share a bedroom with him. This law needs to be changed and sooner the better. To ignore abuse from before that date is wrong, it is happening now and was before. Child sex abuse is one of the most hideous crimes imaginable, and the damage is lifelong. No amount of compensation can replace your childhood. It would please me no end to help others in the same predicament and help change this ridiculous law and get it updated to include ALL victims of this crime.

  • Emma Cull

    I think this does need to change. When a crime takes place a crime has been committed. It should not matter if it happened before or after some stupid law has come in to place. A childhood was destroyed because of a an evil man. He will be able to live his life and do the simple things we take for granted like go shopping or walk the dog. But that is freedom something that he doesn’t deserve. I hope the law does change because if not they are basically condoning this type of disturbing behaviour because you can commit a crime but no justice is served.

  • Julie

    This 1979 rule law is quite frankly making a mockery of all laws we had then and have today. Bringing in a law that’s states that after 1979 if you were abused you could claim compensation but before that that date you couldn’t, Were is there any justice in that?. before that year there will have been hundreds if not thousands of innocent children been abused all over the country. It is like one rule for one and not another. So many hundreds or more still live in silence even to this day and this rule just goes to show why. In probably 90% or more children were abused in their own home by the people they loved and trusted. Children should be able to have a happy and secure life growing up but sadly this is not the case for many. The trauma, the devastation, not only when you are young but also when you become an adult. Laws they say are here to protect you, the innocent but were is the law and justice for those before 1979? Don’t make an mockery of the law, make it a fair law for all. It’s time for a change so let’s make that change together now.

  • Alissa

    I too am a victim of this rule, my father was jailed for 24 years for sexually abusing myself and two younger sisters my abuse ended in july ’79 while theirs was the early 80’s the CICA rejected my claim but are compensating both my sisters. I have tried everywhere I can think to make this rule known I have even written to David Cameron and the reply was an insult.

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