Advice On Claims For Sexual Abuse By A Family Friend

If you or a family member suffers sexual abuse by a family friend, you could seek compensation for any injuries sustained. Many people may not be aware that they can claim compensation for harm done to them in an incident or period of abuse. This guide will look at how you can get the compensation you deserve, including the process of claiming through the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA).

While you can make a personal injury claim for the abuse you have suffered, this will usually only be appropriate if they have the funds to pay you directly. If they don’t, it may be more appropriate for you to claim through the CICA.

Advice On How To Claim If Sexually Abuse By A Family Friend

Sexual abuse by family friend

Sexual abuse by a family friend

Our guide to seeking compensation for sexual abuse by a family friend provides advice on what constitutes this type of abuse. You will find information regarding the process of making a sexual abuse claim for compensation. Moreover, we provide an estimate on how much you could be awarded in a successful claim. You will find information on the sort of damages you could claim, and the time limit to making a claim.

For more information on claiming compensation for sexual abuse by a family friend, please continue reading our guide. If you have any questions, an adviser is here to provide free advice on 0161 696 9685 or get in touch via our contact form.

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A Guide To Claims For Sexual Abuse By A Family Friend

If you’ve been the victim of sexual assault by a family friend, you may be unsure as to whether you can claim compensation for your injuries and, if so, what channels you can do this through. In this guide, we will look at the process of making a personal injury claim and claiming through the CICA for the harm you have suffered.

Throughout this guide, you will find information on the sort of damages you could claim. We provide a rough idea of how much a sexual abuse claim could be worth basing the amounts from the CICA tariff. You will find valuable information on the time limits linked to sexual abuse claims, which include historic sexual abuse. We will also examine how the time limits for claiming differ depending on whether you’re making a personal injury claim or claiming through the CICA.

If you are worried about the cost of seeking legal representation, we can help. If your case is valid, we can introduce you to a No Win No Fee lawyer so there are no upfront payments to make. We will look at what a No Win No Fee agreement is and how it can benefit you.

To find out how a No Win No Fee lawyer can secure you the level of compensation you deserve for the harm you were caused, please continue reading our guide. Alternatively, you can contact one of our experienced advisers on the number at the top of the page.

Calculating Compensation For Sexual Abuse By A Family Friend

The table below provides an idea of how much compensation can be awarded in sexual abuse claims. The amounts are taken from the CICA tariff.

Nature of Sexual AssaultPotential Compensation based on the CICA tariff of injuriesNotes
Sexual Assault £27,000 Claimant suffers serious mental damage as diagnosed by an independent specialist. Claimant suffers permanent disabling harm
Non-consensual penile penetration involving one or more of the following - vagina,
anus, mouth
£33,000 Claimant suffers serious internal injuries and moderate mental damage
Non-consensual penile penetration involving one or more of the following - vagina,
anus, mouth
£22,000 Claimants are left with serious internal injuries
Non-consensual penile penetration involving one or more of the following - vagina,
anus, mouth
£22,000 Claimants are left suffering from a moderate amount of mental damage
Repeated and frequent assaults of a sexual nature£27,000 Claimants are left suffering from serious mental damage
Repeated and frequent assaults of a sexual nature£22,000 Claimant is left suffering from internal injuries
Repeated and frequent assaults of a sexual nature£22,000 Claimant is left suffering with a moderate degree of mental damage
Repeated and frequent assaults of a sexual nature£6,600 Claimants have been subjected to sexual assaults for up to three years
Repeated and frequent assaults of a sexual nature£8,200 Claimants have been subjected to sexual assaults for over a period of 3 years
Non-consensual penile penetration involving one or more of the following - vagina,
anus, mouth
£11,000 Claimants have been subjected to one incident of sexual assault
Non-consensual penile penetration involving one or more of the following - vagina,
anus, mouth
£13,500 Claimants have been subjected to one incident of sexual assault that involved multiple assailants
Non-penile oral or penetrative sexual assault that involved a genital act or acts
£3,300 Claimants have been subjected to one incident involving a sexual assault
Sexual assault£1,000 Claimants are minors who have been subjected to non-penetrative sexual acts over their clothing
Sexual assault£2,000 Claimants have been subjected to serious non-penetrative sexual physical acts under their clothing

When you make a personal injury claim against your abuser directly, the CICA tariff will not be used to value your compensation. Instead, the courts may refer to guidelines provided by the Judicial College. These are guideline compensation amounts and are not guaranteed.

As part of your claim, you will usually be invited to an appointment with an independent medical practitioner who will provide a detailed report of your injuries. This report would be used to calculate the level of compensation you could be entitled to.

To discuss your claim with one of our experienced advisers, please call the number shown at the top of this page.

Types Of Damages Which May Be Awarded For Criminal Injuries

When you make a sexual abuse claim and you win your case, you can be awarded two different “heads” of the claim. General damages cover the pain, suffering, and loss of amenity you endured.

Your claim may also include special damages (in the event of a personal injury claim against the perpetrator directly) or special expenses (when claiming through the CICA). Special damages can cover any financial losses you have incurred because of your injuries, like loss of earnings or the cost of travelling to and from appointments.

When claiming through the CICA, there are some limitations on what can be included in special expenses. In order to claim for loss of earnings, for instance, you need to show that you were unable to work for at least 28 weeks. You will not receive compensation for loss of earnings for the first 28 weeks.

You can claim for any physical aids that you rely on that were damaged in the attack, such as glasses or hearing aids. Medical costs can also be claimed back, provided that they were necessary and that you can prove they weren’t available for free from another source.

In order to claim special expenses through the CICA, you will have to show that you were unable to work for 28 weeks following the accident. However, unlike the loss of earnings, this will be backdated to the date of the accident.

If you would like more advice on what can be included in your claim, please speak to an understanding member of our team today. They’ll be happy to offer free legal advice.

What Are Claims For Sexual Abuse By A Family Friend?

The definition of sexual abuse is when one person performs an unwanted act of a sexual nature towards another person or child. If you’ve been the victim of sexual abuse, the physical or psychological injuries can be felt years down the line.

There are many forms of sexual abuse which includes trafficking, sexual exploitation, ritual abuse, and sexual harassment. Sexual abuse can be defined as contact and non-contact. Contact abuse is where there is physical contact between the perpetrator and their victim, such as unwanted kissing or groping. Non-contact abuse does not require any physical contact and can include things like flashing or forcing someone to watch pornography,

If the victim is a child, a litigation friend can be appointed by a court so they can make a sexual abuse claim on their behalf in a personal injury claim. With claims through the CICA, a parent or guardian can claim on behalf of the child.

To find out whether you have grounds to sue for sexual abuse by a family friend, please call a member of our team today.

Types Of Sexual Abuse And Offences

As we have already touched upon, sexual abuse can take many forms. Any sort of sexual abuse is a criminal offence according to the Sexual Offences Act 2003.

Sexual abuse should be reported to the relevant authorities to prevent further harm from being done. Furthermore, if you want to make a claim through the CICA, the incident must have been reported in order for you to do so.

Below are just some of the behaviours and actions which constitute sexual abuse:

  • Rape
  • Being made to watch pornography
  • Being forced to have sex, either with your abuser or someone else
  • Your abuser forcing you into prostitution
  • Being forced to engage in sexual acts when you don’t want to
  • Sexual touching, either above or below clothing

Any kind of sexual contact with someone under the age of 16 is sexual assault. This is because sexual abuse is defined as forcing someone to engage in sexual acts without consent. Children under the age of 16 are legally unable to consent to sexual activities.

Please contact a member of our team if you have been subjected to any sort of sexual abuse by a family friend. You may be able to claim compensation for the injuries you have sustained.

What Physical And Psychological Injuries Could Sexual Abuse Cause?

When you are subjected to sexual abuse by a family friend, you may suffer physical harm and mental trauma. The physical effects of sexual abuse can include:

  • Internal injuries
  • Soreness or bleeding in the genital area
  • Cuts and bruises
  • Sexually transmitted infections (STIs)
  • Pregnancy
  • The loss of a foetus

If you suffer multiple injuries and are making a personal injury claim, you can be compensated in full for each of the injuries you sustained. However, this is not the case when claiming through the CICA.

The CICA will pay you 100% of the tariff amount for the most severe injury. The second most (or equally) severe injury will be paid at 30% of the tariff amount. If you have sustained a third injury, this will be paid at 15% of the tariff amount. However, there is a separate CICA tariff available if you’ve contracted an STI, lost a foetus or become pregnant as a result of your abuse.

The Psychological Harm Caused by Sexual Abuse by a Family Friend

The mental trauma caused by sexual abuse can last a lifetime. Even if the abuse was non-recent or historical, sexual abuse can cause:

  • Problems with alcohol or drugs
  • Depression
  • Eating disorders
  • Unpleasant or disturbing memories or thoughts
  • Suicidal thoughts
  • Anger, sadness or low self-esteem

If you’re suffering from any of the above because you were subjected to sexual abuse by a family friend, you could be owed compensation for your suffering. To speak to one of our experienced advisers about seeking sexual abuse compensation, please get in touch today.

Signs Someone Is Being Sexually Abused

There are warning signs to watch out for that someone is being sexually abused. This includes:

  • Depression
  • Suicidal thoughts/behaviours
  • Low self-esteem
  • Self-harming
  • Catching a sexually transmitted infection (STI)
  • Anxiety
  • The need to avoid certain places or situation
  • An increase in alcohol or drug consumption
  • Substance abuse
  • Dissociation
  • Panic attacks
  • Eating disorders
  • Pregnancy

Of course, the above signs may not always indicate that someone is the victim of sexual abuse. But the presence of one or more of these signs could be an indicator to keep a close eye on the relationship.

Symptoms Of Sexual Abuse In A Child

When a child is sexually abused, there are some signs and symptoms that may become apparent. These include:

  • Pain/discomfort, bleeding, bruising, itching, and unusual discharge coming from their anus or genital area
  • Sexually transmitted infection (STI)
  • Displays of inappropriate sexual behaviour or knowledge considering a child’s age
  • Using inappropriate sexual words/language
  • Displays of a sexual nature when playing with other children
  • Bed-wetting
  • Eating disorders
  • Nightmares or sleep disorders
  • A lack of peer relationships
  • Not wanting to go to school
  • Running away from home
  • Anxiety
  • Self-harm
  • Attempts at suicide
  • Alcohol or drug abuse

You may notice a change in a child’s behaviour when they are sexually abused online:

  • They spend more time online, texting, or gaming than they usually do
  • A child may be angry, distant, or upset when they finish texting or using the internet
  • They become secretive when you ask them who they are talking to, or what they are doing online
  • A child suddenly has many new contacts, messages, and/or texts

Signs That Someone Is Committing Sexual Abuse

The signs that someone is committing sexual abuse against someone else is not always obvious. That said, there are certain warning signs they may be behaving inappropriately which could include:

  • The person always picks on a certain person/child
  • They like to spend a lot of their free time with a specific person/child
  • The person always targets a specific person or child
  • They are too interested in a specific child’s sexual development
  • The child is given expensive gifts or money without good reason
  • An adult likes to wrestle with a child or hug and kiss them even though the child does not want them to
  • They offer to babysit for free or they take a child out alone
  • They dismiss someone’s need for privacy, for example walking in as they are changing or showering

Types Of Sexual Offences

Sexual abuse takes many forms, all of which are criminal. However, not all of them involve rape, penetration or even sexual touching.

For instance, you may have been forced into prostitution for the benefit of the person who was abusing you. Similarly, your abuser could force or coerce you into making pornography for their own monetary gain or sexual gratification.

Grooming is also classed as a sexual offence. This is where someone builds a relationship with another person (often a child) for the purpose of using the trust and emotional connection between them as a way to exploit or abuse them.

Grooming can happen in person or online and can happen quickly or over the course of years. Someone who has been groomed may not realise that it’s an offence and may think that it’s an ordinary relationship.

If you have been the victim of a sexual offence at the hands of a family friend, you may be entitled to compensation. Get in touch with us today for more information on claiming.

What Should I Do If I Have Been Sexually Abused?

When you are subjected to sexual abuse, it is never your fault. Any sort of sexual violence is a criminal offence. The important thing is to seek support and help as soon as you can.

You can reach out to organisations and charities that support victims of sexual abuse. The NHS have a tool to look for sexual assault referral centres (SARCs) in your area.

You should seek medical attention as soon as you are able to, even if you don’t think you’ve been physically injured. You may have contracted a sexually transmitted infection (STI). There may also be the risk that you’re pregnant.

If you intend to make a claim through the CICA, the incident must be reported to the police as soon as possible after the crime. However, there does not need to have been an arrest made or any criminal proceedings in order for you to be paid compensation.

If you would like more information on the steps to take after a sexual assault, you can visit the NHS guide. To find out more about claiming, get in touch with our team.

Reporting Sexual Abuse Of A Minor

When you are the victim of sexual abuse by a family friend, you should seek help and advice as soon as you are able to. There are many charities and organisations that provide help and support to victims of sexual abuse.

However, you should seek medical help as soon as you are able to so you can be examined. You can contact a sexual assault referral centre if you are unsure what to do. You can also contact the following for treatment and support:

  • Your doctor/GP
  • NSPCC
  • The police, either by contacting the non-emergency number 101 or by calling 999 in an emergency

The time limit for making a personal injury claim is generally three years, but when you’re claiming through the CICA you have two years from the date the incident occurred. When the victim of abuse is under 18, though, exceptions can be made.

If the crime is reported to the police while the child is underage, they will have 2 years from their 18th birthday in order to make a claim. If the abuse was not reported, they have 2 years from the date the incident was reported to the police to claim.

The Role Of Litigation Friends In Sexual Abuse Claims

When a minor is sexually abused by a family friend, the courts can appoint a litigation friend to claim on behalf of them when making a personal injury claim. The court can appoint the following as a litigation friend:

However, when you make a claim through the CICA, a litigation friend will not be applicable. In these cases, a parent or guardian can make a claim on the child’s behalf. They will be required to prove their relationship to the child before proceeding.

No Win No Fee Claims For Sexual Abuse By A Family Friend

You don’t need a solicitor in order to make a personal injury claim or a claim through the CICA. However, you may find that the support and guidance of a lawyer could help the claims process run more smoothly.

If you are worried about the cost of seeking legal representation when claiming for sexual abuse by a family friend, a No Win No Fee agreement (also known as a Conditional Fee Agreement) could help. This means you won’t have to worry about paying the lawyer upfront for the legal services they provide, and you won’t be expected to pay them as they work on your claim.

You only pay a No Win No Fee solicitor when you receive compensation in a successful sexual abuse claim. If your case is successful, a small success fee will be deducted from your settlement to cover their costs. If you lose your claim, you do not have to pay the solicitor anything.

To discuss your case with one of our expert advisers, please call the number shown below. If they feel you have a good chance of winning your claim, they could connect you with a No Win No Fee solicitor from our panel.

Contact Us

If you have any questions about seeking compensation following sexual abuse by a family friend, please get in touch. You can reach out to a member of our team in the following ways:

  • By calling 0161 696 9685
  • By completing the contact form – a specialist adviser will get back to you without delay
  • Using the live chat option to the bottom right of this screen

More Information

Please use the links below to find more useful advice and information.

Litigation friends– The role of a litigation friend explained

NHS on what to do when you are the victim of sexual abuse– Advice from the NHS to Victims of sexual abuse:

Childline– The Childline helpline to victims of sexual abuse

How much compensation could be owed to victims of sexual abuse?- This guide explains how much compensation victims of sexual abuse could claim

How long does a CICA claim take? Our guide on how long it takes for CICA claims to be resolved

Can I make a CICA claim with a criminal record? This guide explains how your criminal history could affect your ability to claim through the CICA.

Sexual Abuse And Violence Statistics

Sexually abused by a family friend statistics graph

Sexually abused by a family friend statistics graph

The graph above provides information on the number of children on child protection registers in 2020. While not all of these instances will be related to sexual abuse, this does include children who have been the victims of sexual abuse.

FAQs On Sexual Abuse Claims

Below we have provided the answers to several frequently asked questions about sexual abuse claims.

What is the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority?

The Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA) is a government-funded body that awards blameless victims of crimes of violence the chance to seek compensation for criminal injuries.

Does abuse need to be reported to the police?

In order to claim compensation through the CICA, you must have reported the incident to the police. However, there’s no requirement for the perpetrator to have been identified or for court proceedings to be complete.

How much time could a CICA claim take?

According to the CICA Annual Reports and Accounts 2019/20, they reached a decision on 81% of new claims within 12 months in this time period.

Will I need to meet my solicitor in person?

No, you don’t have to meet a solicitor in person. You can talk to them over the phone, via video conferencing, or by email. Furthermore, they may be able to arrange a medical appointment for you in your area.

Guide by YD

Checked by NS