Historical Sexual Abuse Compensation Guide – How To Claim

By Danielle Nicholson. Last Updated 4th October 2023. A victim of historical sexual abuse may have struggled for many years to talk with anyone regarding the abuse that happened to them. We, therefore, understand that it will be difficult to discuss it again if you’re considering making a compensation claim and will work with you at your own pace if you decide to use us to claim.

Sexual abuse claims are designed so you can claim compensation for abuse that has happened to you. Such actions can cause physical and psychological damage to the victim, which you deserve to be compensated for. Whether you would like to receive historical abuse compensation or see if you can claim sexual assault compensation, we can help you.

Please read this guide to answer important questions like “how can historical abuse be proven?” and “how can I receive compensation through sexual abuse claims?”

Historical sexual abuse compensation claims guide

Historical sexual abuse compensation claims guide

If you’d like to speak with a member of our team today to discuss the claims process and ask any questions that you may have, please call on 0161 696 9685, but if you’d rather find out more information first then please carry on reading this helpful guide.

Select A Section

  1. Am I Eligible To Claim Historical Abuse Compensation?
  2. Compensation For Sexual Abuse – How Much Could I Receive?
  3. Sexual Abuse And Assault Compensation Time Limits
  4. Historical Sexual Abuse Claims With A No Win No Fee Solicitor
  5. Additional Information

Am I Eligible To Claim Historical Abuse Compensation?

If you would like to claim compensation for historical abuse from the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA) then you must satisfy the eligibility requirements. These include:

  • The incident must have been reported to the police. You can still report historical abuse (or non-recent child abuse) years after the incident took place. Historical sexual abuse is when an adult was abused as a child or young person under the age of 18. 
  • You must have suffered either a physical or mental injury, or both in a crime of violence. This is an attack, an act that is violent in nature and causes harm, the threat of an attack where the person had reasonable firmness to be in fear, sexual assault and arson. 
  • Additionally, you could also claim if you witnessed the attack or the immediate aftermath of an incident where a loved one suffered a criminal injury or if you are a qualifying relative who was bereaved due to a crime of violence. 

You will require your police reference number to make your claim, but you do not need to wait for a conviction, or even for the assailant to be caught before starting the process. The CICA will assess your claim. Unlike in criminal cases, guilt does not need to be proven beyond reasonable doubt in order to have a successful case for historical abuse compensation

If you have any questions about historical abuse claims, one of the advisors from our team could help. Contact an advisor using the details at the top of the page.

Compensation For Sexual Abuse – How Much Could I Receive?

Historic abuse claims can be made through the CICA or directly against the perpetuator. When claiming against the perpetrator, it is known as a personal injury claim. We look at personal injury claims for historical abuse compensation further below. First, we look at claiming compensation for sexual abuse through the CICA.

CICA Compensation For Sexual Abuse

The perpetrator does not need to be convicted of a crime for you to receive compensation for sexual abuse. Instead, historic abuse claims made through the CICA are assessed based on the balance of probabilities. Compensation for sexual abuse through the CICA comes from a government funded scheme and is based on a tariff of Injuries.

When claiming through the CICA, if you have multiple injuries, you will not receive the full amount for each one. Compensation is paid at 100% for the most highly valued injury unless it is subject to other restrictions. For the second highest value injury, you would get 30% of the tariff amount. If you have a third injury, you could 15% of the tariff amount. The CICA does not pay out on more than three injuries unless they are exempt from the multiple injuries formula. These include pregnancy, loss of a pregnancy or contracting a sexually transmitted infection (STI).

In the table below we’ve included examples from the tariff of Injuries, which is found in the Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme 2012.

Incident type Notes Tariff
Penile penetration Results in severe mental harm that is permanent and disabling in nature £27,000
Penile penetration Repeated incidents occurring over 3 or more years £22,000
Penile penetration Repeated incidents occurring for up to 3 years. £16,500
Penile penetration One incident involving two or more attackers. £13,500
Penile penetration One incident. £11,000
Sexual assault Non-penile penetration or oral/genital contact in repeated, frequent incidents causing severe mental illness of a permanent and disabling nature. £27,000
Sexual assault Repeated incidents of non-penile penetration or genital/oral contact resulting in a moderate mental illness that is both permanent and disabling. £22,000
Sexual assault Repeated incidents of non-penile penetration or genital/oral contact occurring over 3 or more years. £8,200
Sexual assault Non-penile penetration or genital/oral contact in two or more isolated incidents. £4,400
Sexual assault One incident of non-penile penetration or genital/oral contact. £3,300

Special Expenses In The CICA Scheme

You could also potentially claim special expenses through the CICA. These aim to help recover necessary costs that occurred as a direct result of the incident. The items or assistance you are claiming for cannot be freely available elsewhere.

Special expenses could recover:

  • Relied upon equipment damaged in the incident, such as glasses.
  • Additional medical expenses not covered by the NHS, such as therapy.
  • Equipment required to cope with your injuries.
  • Carer costs.
  • Administration costs should you lack the mental capacity.

As part of your CICA claim, you may also be able to recover any loss of earnings if the incident has caused you to miss work. You will, however, need to prove that you were not able to work for 28 full weeks. For the first 28 weeks, you could claim Statutory Sick Pay (SSP).

Personal Injury Claims For Historical Abuse Compensation

Another way to claim compensation for sexual abuse is through a personal injury claim made directly against the perpetrator. To make a personal injury claim, you must be able to identify the perpetrator and they must have the means to compensate you.

In these types of claims, your injury will be evaluated using the Judicial College Guidelines (JCG) under the general damages head of your claim. The values given in the JCG are only guidelines.

However, every injury suffered due to the incident could be claimed for without being subject to a multiple injuries formula. For example, if you claim for sexual abuse, you might also have post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) as well as fertility problems as a result of the incident. If you have four injuries from the incident, all four will be considered when valuing your claim.

Special Damages In Personal Injury Claims

In addition to general damages, some personal injury claims also include special damages. This head could help you recover costs incurred because of the incident. You will, however, be expected to supply evidence, such as invoices for a therapist or receipts for prescriptions.

Additionally, you could claim for loss of earnings under special damages. This could include lost potential earnings as well as pension contributions and lost future wages.

Victim of historical sex abuse

Victim of historical sex abuse

You can contact our advisors to discuss the different ways to make historic abuse claims.

Sexual Abuse And Assault Compensation Time Limits

Under normal circumstances, claiming through the CICA scheme has a 2 year limit from the date the assault was reported to the police. There are, however, situations where the time limit can be waived by the CICA, so it’s important to call us and discuss.

Type Time Limit
CICA Claim 2 years
Historic sexual abuse claim via CICA Please call to discuss

When seeking sexual assault compensation through the CICA, it’s important to report the incident to the police as the CICA need a police crime reference number to start the claim. Again, the 2-year time limit can be ignored in some instances of child sexual abuse claims so please contact us prior to speaking with the CICA as our specialists understand the scheme fully.

Historical Sexual Abuse Claims With A No Win No Fee Solicitor

If you can make a historic or child abuse compensation claim, you could choose to get support from a solicitor who has previous experience with historic abuse claims. Our advisors could review your case, and if they determine it’s a strong claim, they may connect you with a solicitor on our panel.

An experienced solicitor from our panel may offer to support your historic abuse compensation claim on a No Win No Fee basis with a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA).

When claiming with a solicitor under this arrangement, you will not be required to pay any upfront or ongoing fees for their services. Furthermore, if your claim is unsuccessful, then you won’t need to pay your solicitor for the work they have provided on your case.

If your claim is successful, a legally capped success fee will be deducted from the compensation awarded to you.

For more advice on making a claim for compensation for historical abuse with a No Win No Fee solicitor, you can:

Additional Information

For further information please read these other useful articles:

Mental Health Care – An NHS article outlining lifetime mental health support for sexual assault victims.

NSPCC – Sexual abuse information and advice from the NSPCC

No Win No Fee Claims – our guide to No Win No Fee claims

I have had an accident at work, what are my rights?  – our guide to rights in the workplace. 

Other Useful Compensation Guides

Other Criminal Injury Claim Guides

If you still have questions about seeking historical abuse compensation or would like to discuss making a claim, please call our team of advisors for free legal advice. They can answer your query confidentially and can quickly inform you if you’re able to claim. Contact our team today using the above details.