How To Claim Compensation For Sexual Abuse By A Family Member?

How To Claim For Sexual Abuse By A Family Member

Welcome to our guide to making compensation claims for familial sexual abuse. The impact of sexual abuse on a person can be devastating, especially when the abuse is perpetrated by a family member or a loved one. The trauma can affect the victim’s mental health and their ability to maintain personal relationships for a lifetime.

Sexual abuse by a family member compensation claims guide

Sexual abuse by a family member compensation claims guide

You may believe that there is no route to claiming compensation if you have been sexually abused by a family member. But in fact, you may be able to claim compensation for your injuries through the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA). 

We have put the guide on this page together to provide information on the process of claiming through the CICA. If you have any further questions relating to making a claim after reading this guide, you can: 

Select A Section

  1. A Guide To Familial Sexual Abuse Compensation Claims
  2. Familial Sexual Abuse Compensation Calculator
  3. Types Of Special Expenses Claimable For Sexual Abuse
  4. What Is Familial Sexual Abuse?
  5. Different Types Of Sexual Abuse By Family Members
  6. Injuries Caused By Familial Sexual Abuse
  7. Symptoms Of Being Abused By A Family Member
  8. How To Report Current Or Historical Abuse By A Family Member?
  9. How To Get Help If You Were Abused By A Family Member
  10. No Win No Fee Claims For Familial Sexual Abuse
  11. Contact Us
  12. More Information
  13. Sexual Abuse By Family Members Statistics
  14. Familial Sexual Abuse FAQs

A Guide To Familial Sexual Abuse Compensation Claims

Experiencing familial sexual abuse as a child can leave the victim with scars that last a lifetime. We wish to offer our full support to you if you would like information on claiming for this terrible betrayal of responsibility and trust by a family member. 

This guide aims to make the process and law surrounding making a compensation claim for familial sexual abuse as easy to understand as possible. We hope the information provided will help you make an informed decision about pursuing a claim.

In this guide, we will look at a number of different considerations when making a claim for familial sexual abuse. We will look at how compensation is calculated and what the compensation you could be owed might cover. 

We will also look at what constitutes familial sexual abuse and how you can get help and support if you’ve been the victim of this awful crime. 

Finally, we will look at the process of claiming compensation through a No Win No Fee solicitor and the benefits that this can offer you. We will finish by providing some helpful resources and answering some commonly asked questions relating to familial sexual abuse. 

If you would like to pursue a claim for compensation following familial sexual abuse, or if you would like to enquire further about anything you read in our guide, please use the contact details at the beginning and end of this guide to reach our team for free legal advice.

Familial Sexual Abuse Compensation Calculator

If you have been the victim of familial sexual abuse, you could be financially compensated for the injuries you have sustained as a result. Compensation claims can be made to the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority. They are a national body, run by the Ministry of Justice, that is responsible for awarding compensation for victims of crime when it’s not possible for compensation to be pursued by another avenue. 

The Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority provides a tariff of injuries and the compensation awards that these could attract. You can see an example of how compensation awards for various injuries are calculated in the table below.

InjuriesHow much could be paid?
Disabling mental injury lasting between 6 weeks – 28 weeks £1,000
Disabling mental injury lasting between 28 weeks – 2 years£2,400
Disabling mental injury lasting between 2 years – 5 years£6,200
Disabling mental injury lasting over 5 years, but is not permanent£13,500
Permanent mental injury – moderately disabling£19,000
Permanent mental injury – seriously disabling£27,000
Non-penetrative sexual physical act(s) over
clothing
£1,000
Non-penetrative sexual physical act(s)
under clothing
£2,000
Non-penile penetrative or oral-genital
act(s)
£3,300
A pattern of repetitive frequent severe abuse
(whether by one or more attackers) over a period of up to 3 years
£6,600
A pattern of repetitive frequent severe abuse
(whether by one or more attackers) over a period of 3 years or more
£8,200
Sexual assault resulting in serious internal bodily injuries£22,000

If you’d like our help and support with assessing what compensation you could be entitled to for your injuries, please get in touch with our team on the number at the top of this page.

Types Of Special Expenses Claimable For Sexual Abuse

When making a compensation claim through the CICA, it may also be possible to seek compensation for out of pocket expenses that come about as a result of the abuse you suffered. This form of compensation is known as special expenses. 

In a sexual abuse claim, special expenses can cover the cost of any medical equipment (for example, glasses or a walking aid) that was damaged as the result of the criminal injury you are applying for. You may also be able to claim if you need any special adaptations to your home or if, because of your injuries, you need care. This care must be in relation to bodily functions, the preparation of meals or supervision to ensure your own safety. It must also not be available for free elsewhere, and the CICA will request proof of this. 

In order to make a claim for special expenses through the CICA, you will need to show that you were unable to work or had your earning capacity limited for over 28 weeks. If you are claiming for loss of earnings, you will only be compensated for lost earnings from 29 weeks from the date of the injury onwards.  However, special expenses can be paid from the date of the incident. 

For more information on what can be included in a claim for familial sexual abuse, please get in touch with our team today. We will be happy to help.

What Is Familial Sexual Abuse?

Familial sexual abuse is any situation in which a child has been subjected to sexual abuse by a family member. This could be a parent, a grandparent, an aunt or uncle or a sibling. Sexual abuse is when a child is either forced, pressured or tricked into sexual activities. 

A child cannot consent to sexual acts or sexual activities and may not fully understand what is going on and that it is not right. They could also be afraid to tell anyone what has happened, fearful of getting a family member in trouble. They may also believe that they are somehow at fault for the abuse.

Different Types Of Sexual Abuse By Family Members

There two different kinds of sexual abuse; contact and non-contact abuse. Sexual abuse can happen both in person and online. 

Non-contact sexual abuse can include:

  • Touching a child sexually, either over or under their clothes.
  • Penetrating the child’s body, either with a body part or an object
  • Making a child perform sex acts, either on the perpetrator or someone else
  • Making a child undress

Non-contact abuse is sexual abuse that does not involve the perpetrator of the abuse directly touching the victim. This type of sexual abuse may involve a perpetrator:

  • Exposing themselves to a child
  • Showing pornography to a child
  • Making a child watch sexual acts
  • Forcing a child to masturbate
  • Making child view, share, or produce images and videos of child sexual abuse
  • Viewing, sharing or distributing videos or images of child sexual abuse
  • Making a child have sexual conversations online

Injuries Caused By Familial Sexual Abuse

Children can suffer injuries as a result of being the victim of familial sexual abuse. These injuries can be physical, caused by and during the abusive act themselves, and they can also be mental or emotional, with lasting trauma causing just as much, if not more, harm to their health as the physical effects of the injury. The injuries sustained in familial sexual abuse can last into adulthood, according to the NSPCC

We’ve provided a list below of some effects that might occur as a result of being subjected to familial sexual abuse. 

  • Physical injuries sustained in the abuse- This could include things like injuries to the genitals or the contraction of a sexually transmitted disease. 
  • Difficulties with emotions– For instance, having low-self esteem or feeling anxious or sad as a result of the abuse you suffered. 
  • Mental health problems- These might include suicidal thoughts or depression. Some mental health problems, such as depression, can carry physical symptoms, including change in weight, aches and pains and disturbance of sleep. 
  • Problems with drugs and/or alcohol- Abusing drugs and alcohol can be harmful to both mental and physical health. 
  • Difficulty forming or maintaining relationships- Feeling unable to form or sustain healthy relationships can have a big impact on someone’s mental health. 

This is by no means an extensive list of the effects of familial sexual abuse. Everyone is different and reacts to situations uniquely. If you’ve been the victim of sexual abuse by a family member but haven’t experienced any of the above, you may still be able to claim. Get in touch with us today to find out more.

Symptoms Of Being Abused By A Family Member

Signs and symptoms of abuse and the trauma it causes can be present while the abuse is ongoing. Being able to spot the signs of abuse is crucial to identifying cases and putting a stop to them.  

Crucially, it may be that the person who is being abused is not aware that they are a victim. Below, we’ve outlined some of the signs that might indicate if you’re being abused by a family member, as well as some of the signs to look out for that might indicate someone else is being abused.

Signs you are being abused by a family member

If you experience any of the following actions at the hands of a family member, or you remember experiencing them as a child, you may be the victim of familial sexual abuse.

  • Being made to undress in front of an adult
  • Performing sex acts either on yourself or on someone else because you were told to.
  • Being made to watch, share or make indecent pictures or videos of children (including yourself)
  • A family member penetrating or touching you inappropriately, either over or under your clothes

Signs another person is being abused

There are signs in a child’s behaviour that can act as indicators that the child may be being subjected to sexual abuse by a family member. These include:

  • Sudden and unexplained changes in the child’s behaviour
  • Being withdrawn, not socialising and having few friends
  • Uncharacteristic aggressiveness
  • Lack of normal bonds between the child and parent
  • Anxious behaviour
  • Running away from home
  • Always choosing to wear clothes that cover the body
  • Being unwilling to wash or shower.
  • Expressing knowledge of topics inappropriate for their age

How To Report Current Or Historical Abuse By A Family Member?

There are numerous options that you have to report child abuse, either because you suspect that a child you know is being abused or because you have been a victim of abuse yourself. These resources can also offer you a chance to talk about your experiences with someone who wants to help. If you want to, they can also offer you support in reporting the issue to the authorities. 

  • The NSPCC has a phone line as well as an online form and an email address through which you can get in touch. 
  • You can report the abuse to a dedicated helpline
  • You’re also able to report the abuse to the police

How To Get Help If You Were Abused By A Family Member

You can receive counselling for the emotional effects of being subjected to familial sexual abuse. Also, you could be entitled to seek compensation from the CICA if you aren’t able to claim directly from the person who subjected you to the abuse. This is the case whether the abuse happened recently or a long time ago. 

If you’re unsure whether you’d be eligible to claim, get in touch with our team for more information.

Sexual Assault Referral Centres

If you need support after experiencing sexual assault, there are multiple resources you could approach in order to receive counselling, medical treatment, or to report the issue to the authorities. These include:

  • Voluntary survivors organisations- Women’s Aid (for female survivors), Survivors UK (for male survivors), as well as others such as Victim Support.
  • The national freephone rape crisis line, which you can reach on 0808 2000 247
  • A sexual health clinic or your local GP.
  • Sexual Assault Referral Centres (SARCS)- these are specialist medical and forensic services providing support to victims of rape and sexual assault. Find your nearest SARC on the NHS website. 
  • The police. You can contact 999 if you need emergency attention or 101 for non-emergencies. 

No Win No Fee Claims For Familial Sexual Abuse

When making a claim for familial abuse compensation, you may be concerned about the upfront costs that can be associated with representation by a solicitor. After all, you may end up paying large legal fees for a claim that is unsuccessful, leaving you out-of-pocket. 

With a No Win No Fee agreement (sometimes referred to as a Conditional Fee Agreement), you won’t need to worry about paying your solicitor before your claim begins and while it is ongoing. Furthermore, if the claim is lost, you won’t have to pay your solicitor’s fees. 

Your solicitor only receives payment if your claim is successful. In this case, they’ll deduct a legally capped success fee from the compensation you’re owed. The value of their success fee will be set out in the agreement between you and your solicitor. 

For more information on the benefits associated with making a No Win No Fee claim, call our advice team.

Contact Us

If you would like more information on claiming compensation for childhood familial sexual abuse, or if you would like to enquire about making a claim with the support and representation of a No Win No Fee lawyer, you can contact our team and receive free legal advice. To do that, you are welcome to use any of the three contact methods listed below.

  • Calling us on 0161 696 9685
  • Fill out a callback form on our website
  • Send a message to our live chat at the bottom right of this screen 

More Information

NSPCC: PANTS- This NSPCC campaign seeks to help parents have conversations with their children, which can help keep them safe from sexual abuse. 

Reporting historic sexual abuse– our guide to reporting abuse that happened in the past

How much compensation could victims of historic sexual abuse cases claim?– In this guide, we’ll look at the compensation amounts that could be awarded in cases of historic sexual abuse

Frequently asked questions about seeking compensation for historic sexual abuse cases– If you have any questions about claiming for historic sexual abuse, this guide may help.

NHS- Help after sexual assault– This page offers guidance, advice and support in the aftermath of sexual assault or rape.

Mind resources for abuse– This list put together by the mental health charity Mind provides resources for those who are or have been victims of abuse, including sexual abuse.

Sexual Abuse By Family Members Statistics

Based on figures compiled in the March 2021 NSPCC report on available child sex abuse statistics, we can infer that the extent of sexual abuse of children in the UK is unsettling. An estimated one in twenty children has experienced some form of sexual abuse. 

Sexual offences against children make up over one in three sexual offences recorded by the police in the UK. The vast majority of sexual abuse cases committed against children are carried out by adults that they know. This might include parents, teachers or other family members. 

One study showed that 3.5% of men and 11.5% of women surveyed reported that they had experienced sexual abuse before the age of eighteen. In all, 7.5% of the adult population responded to surveys on childhood sexual abuse by reporting that they had experienced some form of sexual abuse as a child.

Familial Sexual Abuse FAQs

What are the long-term injuries and psychological impact of sex abuse?

The trauma of experiencing sexual abuse can lead to various issues later on in life. This can include PTSD, behavioural issues, depression, anxiety and problems with forming and holding healthy romantic and sexual relationships. 

Are there any time limits on sexual abuse claims?

In usual circumstances, a victim who wishes to make a compensation claim through the CICA has two years in which to start a claim. However, there are exceptions to this rule that could apply to familial sexual abuse compensation claims. If the victim was under the age of eighteen when the abuse occurred, then the two-year time limit will begin when they turn eighteen. This is provided that no one has made a claim on the child’s behalf before they turn 18. 

With claims made to the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority, this time limit may be extended. In order for you to make a claim outside of this window, you need to show that there were exceptional circumstances that prevented you from being able to make a claim within the two years. 

Thank you for taking the time to read our guide to making compensation claims for familial sexual abuse.

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