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PT v Crimes Compensation Tribunal of Victoria (1989) 3 VAR 132

Victorian Administrative Appeals Tribunal: Deputy President Galvin
Keywords:  rape; rehabilitation expenses

Summary

Ms T suffered an exceptionally horrific and prolonged attack in her home by an unknown assailant. She applied to the Crimes Compensation Tribunal which awarded her the maximum amount of compensation payable for pain and suffering, and included compensation for medical expenses.  But it rejected her claim in respect of installation of security devices at her house and at the house of a friend with whom she found it necessary to stay from time to time, and also rejected her claim for the purchase of a bed for her use at her friend’s house on those occasions, on the basis that these were protective measures against a future attack rather than expenses resulting from the attack she had experienced. 

Feminist judgment

DP Galvin accepted that installing the security devices and buying the bed for her friend’s house were expenses reasonably incurred in Ms T’s rehabilitation from the psychological injury caused by the attack, and a means of regaining control of her life:

“The evidence establishes that [Ms T] suffers from an injury in the form of a psychiatric or psychological disorder which resulted from the criminal acts to which she was subjected.  Although the particular items of expense are not typical of those usually incurred as a result of psychiatric disorder, the evidence nevertheless establishes a connection between them and the injury and establishes further that they were reasonably incurred as a result of that injury.  I find therefore that the expense incurred in respect of both houses was reasonably incurred as a result of [Ms T’s] injury and is properly compensable”

Jocelynne Scutt, Women and the Law (The Law Book Co Ltd, 2002) 493.