Sex abuse survivors rage – compensation far less than Inquiry professionals’ salaries

sex abuse survivors

Child sex abuse survivors are angry about the huge sums earned by professionals involved in the Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry.

The Daily Record says it found the judge who chaired the inquiry for seven years was paid the same amount for two weeks’ work as some survivors received in compensation for a lifetime of suffering.

The judge (Lady Smith) has received almost £2million in salary and pension contributions so far.

Another professional had retired on a police pension after 33 years. Then he chaired Redress Scotland (the body that sets compensation levels), earning £34,193 for around 12 weeks work.

In comparison, compensation sums can be as little as £10,000.

The Daily Record says the judge’s earnings and pension contributions of £1.96million add up to the same average award shared between 40 victims.

Redress Scotland

Set up in 2021, Redress ­Scotland has awarded “more than £30 million” to “more than 600 applicants” so far. That’s an average of £50,000 per claim.

One victim, who was abused in care and has battled addiction and homelessness as a result, is appalled.

“There doesn’t seem to be a limit on money paid to the professionals. But they can decide that my abuse was worth £100,000, or as pitiful a sum as £10,000, or somewhere in between.

“The Scottish Government is good at finding work for the rich and powerful, but not so good at ­recognising that every child who was abused lost their childhood and it marked them for life.

“How can you value that, and what qualifies anyone to say what our abuse was worth?”

Another said: “I feel totally sickened.

“I know there has to be a process and professionals involved have to be paid, but the ­decision makers have decided our suffering, no matter what it involved, is worth a maximum £100,000.

“You could have been abused every day of your childhood, been beaten, sexually abused, forced to eat stale food, even your own vomit, and it’s £100,000 at most.

“Yet some of those deciding, and in most cases setting the figure lower, can earn huge sums. Can they and the Scottish Government not see that it’s problematic, that it’s yet another punch in the gut to us?”

Redress Scotland can award £10,000, £20,000, £40,000, £60,000, £80,000 or £100,000.

Ordinary panel members are paid £390 a day. Most sit on a part-time basis.

Abuse victims have to repeat their evidence with their lawyers to prepare statements for Redress Scotland.

“I’ve made statements to the police twice and made further statements to the inquiry team. That involved days and days of reliving the worst times in my life. Ministers and their advisers must realise we are re-traumatised every time.”

Government comment

The Scottish Government notes the inquiry is “one the widest-ranging ­… undertaken in Scotland and is vitally important in recognising the harm that has been caused to survivors of abuse in care.

“It is also crucial in ensuring lessons are learned to protect children in future.”


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