By Marianne Gansey. Last Updated 11th March 2022. One of the most difficult cases we take on are sexual abuse claims. They are not uncommon but have some of the most damaging effects on claimants both physically and psychologically.
We can’t even begin understand how upsetting and daunting making a claim will be for victims of sexual abuse, but our specially trained team are here to help you, if you’d like to claim compensation.
If you’d like to begin a claim today, then please call us when you are ready on 0161 696 9685 and one of our advisers will begin your claim with you.
If you’d like more information, prior to deciding what to do next, please carry on reading this guide which we hope you’ll find useful.
Select A Section
- A Guide To Sexual Abuse Compensation Claims
- What Is Assault And Sexual Abuse?
- How Much Can Victims Of Sexual Abuse And Assault Claim?
- I Was Sexually Abused, What Can I Claim?
- Sexual Violence Statistics Including Assault And Abuse
- What Is The Difference Between Rape And Sexual Assault?
- How To Report Sexual Abuse
- What Other Steps Should I Take After Sexual Abuse?
- Claims For Sexual Abuse Causing Physical Injury
- Physical Effects Of Sexual Abuse
- Claims For Sexual Abuse Causing Psychological Injury
- Psychological Effects Of Sexual Abuse
- What Are The Long-Term Effects Of Sexual Abuse?
- Claims For Workplace Sexual Abuse
- Can I Claim Through The CICA Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority?
- How Are Claims Made Through The CICA?
- How Do We Assess The Severity Of Injuries Caused By Sexual Abuse?
- Time Limits For Making Sexual Abuse Claims
- How To Begin A Claim For Sexual Assault Or Abuse
- No Win No Fee Sexual Abuse And Sexual Assault Claims
- Why Discuss Your Sexual Abuse Case With Our Advisors?
- Call Our Experts
- Related Guides And Advice
A Guide To Sexual Abuse Compensation Claims
Sexual abuse is not a new phenomenon, but it does get a lot more press coverage than before as the police authorities have changed their approach to dealing with claims and recording them, especially in the high-profile grooming cases over the past couple of years.
There are many types of sexual abuse that can happen to people of all ages and genders and be both physical and non-physical abuse.
This guide will cover the different types that are common, explain the effects of sexual abuse (both physical and psychological), show how you can claim from a sexual abuse compensation scheme and how we can help with No Win No Fee services.
What Is Assault And Sexual Abuse?
Sexual abuse can happen in many ways and, as mentioned above, isn’t always physical. It is defined as somebody being forced to take part in some form of sexual activity by another person.
The main 2 categories that sexual abuse is defined as are:
- Sexual abuse with contact – This is where the abuser makes unwanted physical contact with the victim such as:
- Rape or penetration of the victim’s vagina, anus or mouth
- Forcing the victim to undress
- Sexually touching the victim whether they’re dressed or undressed
- Forcing the victim to participate in any type of sexual act or activity
- Sexual abuse with no contact which can include sexual exploitation of the victim or grooming and could include:
- Forcing a victim to watch pornography or sexual activities
- Encouraging or belittling the victim into watching or hearing a sexual activity.
As there are both physical and non-physical forms of sexual abuse the injuries caused by it can be both physical and psychological in nature and, while most cases recorded are against females, it can happen to male victims as well.
How Much Can Victims Of Sexual Abuse And Assault Claim?
There are schemes in place that can be claimed against by victims of crimes and also personal injury claims can be made against the abuser or the organisation they represent (such as an employer, church or charity).
The table below outlines compensation that could be awarded in a sexual assault or sexual abuse claim. When making these types of claims, you would generally be claiming through the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA). The figures in this table are from the CICA tariff of injuries.
|Victim||Type of Offence||Severity||Compensation||Notes|
|Victim of any age||Sexual Assault||Minor||£1,000||Non-penetrative sexual and physical act(s) over the clothing.|
|Victim of any age||Sexual Assault||Severe||£3,300||Penetrative or oral-genital act(s) that are non-penile.|
|Victim of any age||Sexual Assault||Severe Mental Illness||£27,000||The sexual assault will have resulted in a severe and disabling mental illness, confirmed by a psychiatric prognosis.|
|Victim of any age||Non-Consensual Penile Penetration or One or More of Anus, Mouth or Vagina||-||£13,500||By two or more attackers.|
|Victim of any age||Non-Consensual Penile Penetration or One or More of Anus, Mouth or Vagina||Serious Bodily Injury (Internal)||£33,000||The sexual assault will have resulted in serious internal bodily injuries and related permanent mental illness that is disabling.|
|Victim is a child or an adult with diminished mental capacity||Sexual Assault||Minor||£1,500||Non-penetrative and frequent sexual and physical act(s) over the clothing.|
|Victim is a child or an adult with diminished mental capacity||Sexual Assault||One or More Oral Genital or Non-Penile Penetrative Acts||£4,400||Two or more isolated incidents.|
|Victim is a child or an adult with diminished mental capacity||Non-Consensual Penile Penetration or One or More of Anus, Mouth or Vagina||Repeated Incidents||£16,500||Up to 3 years of repeated incidents.|
|Victim is a child or an adult with diminished mental capacity||Non-Consensual Penile Penetration or One or More of Anus, Mouth or Vagina||-||£22,000||The incident will result in serious bodily injuries that are internal.|
|Victim is a child or an adult with diminished mental capacity||Non-Consensual Penile Penetration or One or More of Anus, Mouth or Vagina||-||£33,000||The incident will result in permanently disabling mental health issues, confirmed by psychiatric prognosis, and serious internal bodily injuries.|
I Was Sexually Abused, What Can I Claim?
It is only right that you should claim compensation for sexual abuse; the compensation is there to try to help you with your recovery and to deal with any ongoing issues you may have following the abuse.
A sexual abuse claim can be made up of a number of different parts, depending on the effects of the crime against the victim. A personal injury lawyer can use the following parts of a claim:
As we’ve seen in the previous section, this compensation is awarded for the pain and suffering, both physical and mental, caused by the abuse.
This part of the claim is to reimburse you for any financial losses that can be directly attributed to the injuries sustained in your abuse claim and can include:
Loss of income
If you lose any wages because you’ve taken time off to recover or attend medical appointments, then you can claim these back. If you struggle to carry on working, have to change jobs or are forced to take long periods of time off because of your injuries, it is possible to claim future loss of earnings too.
Cost of Travelling
You may need to make multiple visits to medical appointments or therapists following the sexual abuse against you and the cost of travelling can soon build up, so you’re able to claim back this cost.
Cost of Care
You may require professional care while you’re recovering, whether it be to help you get around because of physical injuries or help coping day to day because of psychological injuries. Any care costs could be added to your claim if proven that they were required because of the abuse.
Sexual Violence Statistics Including Assault And Abuse
According to the NSPCC, 1 in 20 children have been sexually abused in the UK, and the vast majority of children who were sexually abused knew their abuser.
Furthermore, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS), an estimated 773,000 adults between the ages of 16 and 74 experienced sexual assault (including attempted) in the year ending March 2020. This is according to the Crime Survey for England and Wales.
This, of course, isn’t truly reflective as victims of sexual abuse don’t always report the crime. In fact, the ONS use a survey rather than police records as a) police reporting changes often and b) a lot of victims never tell the police.
What Is The Difference Between Rape And Sexual Assault?
According to police definitions:
- Rape is when a male abuser intentionally penetrates their victim with his penis (either the mouth, vagina or anus).
- Assault by penetration is where the abuser penetrates the victim’s anus or vagina with any other body part or object against their will.
- Sexual or indecent assault can be defined as any emotional, psychological or physical violation, by sexual act, without the victim’s permission.
How To Report Sexual Abuse
If you’ve been sexually abused or assaulted, there a number of ways to report it:
- Firstly, if the crime is about to happen, is happening or has just happened then call the police on 999
- You could visit a police station and explain what happened to specially trained officers.
- You could use the police’s online reporting service which is confidential and reports are dealt with promptly and passed to an officer who will get back to you.
- Or, you can also call the non-emergency police number 101 for advice on how to report the abuse.
What Other Steps Should I Take After Sexual Abuse?
Depending on where the sexual abuse happened there are a number of things that you can do:
- Seek medical treatment ASAP so that you are assessed, treated and medical reports created.
- Report the abuse to police – this can be essential if you want to claim compensation through the CICA scheme.
- If the abuse happened at work, a charity placement or other organisation – report the abuse to a member of senior management
- If there are any witnesses who saw the abuse happen, or you and the abuser at the location where the abuse happened, then get their details.
- Keep a note of any financial losses you incur.
- Photograph any physical injuries if you’re able to do so.
Claims For Sexual Abuse Causing Physical Injury
If you have been abused then there are schemes which can compensate you for criminal acts against you or if you’re assaulted at work or another public place, you may be able to make a personal injury claim against the employer or organisation.
Physical Effects Of Sexual Abuse
There are a number of common physical effects following sexual abuse which may or may not occur.
The common physical effects are:
- Difficulty with walking
- Broken, fractured and dislocated bones
- Unwanted pregnancy
- Sexually transmitted diseases or infections
Claims For Sexual Abuse Causing Psychological Injury
As with physical injuries following sexual abuse, if you’ve suffered (or are still suffering with) any psychological injuries then you can claim compensation in the same way through the criminal compensation scheme.
Psychological Effects Of Sexual Abuse
There are a number of psychological effects on victims of sexual abuse which may or may not occur:
- Disassociation: This can mean you find it hard to focus on family, work or school and feeling that you are not present when everyday scenarios are going on around you.
- Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD): This can include nightmares, panic attacks, flashbacks, anxiety and uncontrollable thoughts
- Suicidal thoughts: This can include thinking about suicide and also attempting to take your own life.
- Depression: Feelings of hopelessness, sadness, loss of energy, weight loss and unexplained crying.
What Are The Long-Term Effects Of Sexual Abuse?
As mentioned in the last section, there are some long term effects, both physical and mental of sexual abuse. Conditions such as PTSD and depression can require medications such as anti-depressants.
Physical injuries may require long term medication to deal with the pain caused by the injuries and there are also sexually transmitted diseases that, although rare, can’t be cured, such as HIV, and will require lifelong management.
Claims For Workplace Sexual Abuse
It may be a surprise to know that the same legislation that exists to deal with slips and falls at work also protects victims of sexual abuse at work as well.
The Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 means employers have a duty of care to protect staff while in the workplace so, if you’ve suffered any form of abuse, from unwanted touching, groping or rape in the workplace then you could claim compensation via the employer.
That’s not to say that the abuser will get away with anything, they can still be dealt with under criminal law, but the employer may have failed in their duty of care to protect you, so the sexual abuse claim could be made against them.
Can I Claim Through The CICA Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority?
How Are Claims Made Through The CICA?
CICA follow strict guidelines on claims, including time limits, but if the guidelines are followed a successful claim can be made using the CICA scheme.
You need to:
- Have been assessed medically to detail the extent of physical and mental injuries that you have sustained following the sexual abuse.
- Have a police crime reference number which you’ll be given when you report the crime
- Contact the CICA. This is usually done via a specialist personal injury solicitor because of the complex process of claiming and to ensure you get the right level of compensation.
How Do We Assess The Severity Of Injuries Caused By Sexual Abuse?
Assessment of the injuries you’ve sustained will be done in two parts usually:
- For physical injuries, you’ll be assessed by a doctor or medical professional who’ll provide a detailed medical report of the injuries you’ve sustained, how they’ve affected you and the chances of full recovery in the future.
- For psychological injuries, you’ll be assessed by a psychiatrist who can determine what impact the abuse has had on you already and how it’s likely to affect you going forward.
Time Limits For Making Sexual Abuse Claims
It is the law in the UK, that personal injury claims be started within set time limits following an accident. The table below outlines the relevant sexual abuse claim time limits but, as you’ll see, the CICA time limit may be flexible (assessed case by case) so get in touch if you’re unsure.
|Claim under the CICA scheme||2 years (but please call to discuss as they can be flexible)|
|Personal injury claim||3 years from the date of incident or knowledge of injury.|
|Child Personal Injury||A parent can start a claim up until the child is 18, once they turn 18 they have 3 years (this can vary largely in child abuse case).|
How To Begin A Claim For Sexual Assault Or Abuse
We understand that contacting a stranger to discuss a sexual assault or sexual abuse against you won’t be easy, but our team are friendly, specially trained personal injury specialists and won’t put you under any pressure.
When you contact us, feel free to ask us any legal questions you may have, and we’ll provide you with legal advice to help you decide what you should do next. We’ll then listen to the details of your claim and provide you with an honest appraisal of whether we think you have a good chance of being compensated or not.
No Win No Fee Sexual Abuse And Sexual Assault Claims
The main difference between No Win No Fee agreements and other agreements is that if your solicitor loses the case, and no compensation is awarded, then you don’t have to pay your solicitor for their time.
It is true that No Win No Fee solicitors retain a percentage of your compensation if they win the case (known as a success fee which is limited to 25%) but it does mean you never actually have to send your solicitor any funds at all.
Whereas, if you use a solicitor that is not No Win No Fee, you may be entitled to 100% of the compensation but you do have to pay them for their service at an hourly rate and that’s the case even if they lose and you don’t receive any compensation.
Why Discuss Your Sexual Abuse Case With Our Advisors?
When you contact our team, we will happily offer you free legal advice as we want to be sure that you’ve been given the correct information to base your decision to pursue compensation on.
We are a friendly team who are committed to ensuring you receive as much compensation as you deserve for your injuries and will work tirelessly to help you wherever we can.
- Firstly, get in touch with us to discuss your sexual abuse claim.
- One of our advisors will assess the potential success of your case.
- If you’re happy to proceed, they can connect you with a solicitor from our panel who can help you begin your claim.
Call Our Experts
Our expert team specialise solely in personal injury claims and can help with claims for sexual abuse anywhere in the UK. As mentioned, if we take on your case, we’ll only work with No Win No Fee solicitors to make your claim much more stress and risk free.
If you’d like to begin a claim today, then you can contact Advice in the following ways:
- Telephone: Call us today on 0161 696 9685 and our team will begin your claim right away
- Email: Send us details of your claim to firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll get back to you at a suitable time
- Online: Fill in our contact form and we’ll get started ASAP
Remember that we’ll begin by offering a free consultation where you can ask as many questions as you like, and we’ll assess your claim honestly and provide an appraisal of its chances of being successful or not. We won’t lead you on and we’ll be open about its chances right from the start as we don’t want to waste anybody’s time.
Related Guides And Advice
Hopefully, you’ve now got all of the information you need about claiming sexual abuse compensation. For your information, we’ve provided the following guides which may be useful:
Help after Rape and Sexual Assault – a guide from the NHS about rape, sexual assault and trying to deal with life afterwards.
Criminal Injuries Compensation Guide – information from the government website about the CICA scheme mentioned within this guide.
Sexually Transmitted Infections – Another guide from the NHS regarding STI’s, including symptoms and treatments.
Head Injury Compensation Claims – If you’ve suffered a head injury due to another’s negligence, our guide could help you claim compensation.
Broken Rib Claims – Learn how you could claim if your rib was broken as a result of negligence.
Burn Injury Compensation – Our guide explains how to claim compensation for a burn injury.
Work-Related Stress Claims – If you’re suffering due to work-related stress, you could potentially claim compensation. Find out how in our guide.
Permanent Scar Compensation Claims – Find out how you could potentially claim for permanent scarring.
As discussed, if you require any help at all with beginning your own sexual abuse claim, please do not hesitate to get in touch.
Edited by MM.