By Stephen Anderson. Last Updated 11th August 2022. In this guide, we will look at the sexual abuse claims process. This guide explains how you can claim compensation for the harm caused to you by historic sexual abuse. We also explore the role played by the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA) in these kinds of claims.
If you have any questions about claiming, our advisors will be able to help you. They are available 24/7 and offer free legal advice.
Additionally, they can put you through to a specialised solicitor from our panel who are experienced in these kinds of claims. However, please remember that, should you contact us, it doesn’t mean you have to use our services to claim.
Contact us at a convenient time for you using the details below:
- Call us on 0800 408 7825
- Contact us using our website
- Write to us using our Live Chat service to the bottom-right of this page
Read on to learn more about how you can make historic abuse claims.
Select A Section
- What Are Historical Sexual Abuse Claims?
- Who Could You Make A Sexual Abuse Claim Against?
- Do Cases Of Historic Abuse Need To Be Reported To The Police?
- How Do I Claim For Historical Sexual Abuse?
- Sexual Abuse Claims Calculator
- Talk To Us About No Win No Fee Sexual Abuse Claims
Firstly, it’s important to define what is meant by historical abuse. Historical sexual abuse, or non-recent abuse, is a term used to describe abuse suffered by an adult while they were under the age of 18.
Sexual abuse can have a devastating impact on your quality of life. If you’ve experienced abuse as a child, this can have an ongoing impact on you. For example, it might result in:
- Emotional difficulties.
- Mental health problems. This could include things like self-harm or eating disorders.
- Poor physical health
- Problems with alcohol and drugs.
Child sexual abuse is where a child under the age of 18 is forced or incited to engage in sexual contact. They may not be aware of what is happening, and the incident may or may not involve violence.
Sexual abuse of a child can include contact abuse. This might involve rape or oral sex, masturbation, kissing, rubbing or touching.
However, sexual abuse of a child can also happen without any contact between the child and the perpetrator. For example, the abuser could force a child to look at pornography, engage in sexual conversation or make them have sexual contact with someone else.
For more information on how we can help with sexual abuse claims, speak with one of our advisors today.
Historical Abuse Statistics
The Office for National Statistics provides annual reported crime statistics for England and Wales. The graph above, based on statistics published in 2018, highlights the number of victims involved in rape prosecutions in the three years prior, divided by gender.
In these three years, there were 20,089 rape victims involved in prosecutions. Of this, 13,036 were women, while 1,922 were men. However, both these figures will be larger because of the number of victims of unknown gender in the available data.
Furthermore, it’s important to note that these figures only show the number of victims involved in cases that have been prosecuted. The Crime Survey for England and Wales performed by the Office of National Statistics, accomodating for the year ending June 2021, states that 37% of reported sexual assault cases involved rape.
A more recent crime survey, covering the period April 2021 to March 2022, revealed that 194,683 sexual offences were recorded by the police. That represents a 32% increase compared to the same period the year before. Among the offences recorded, 36% (70,330) were reported as rape. The survey estimates that in the covered time period, 2.7% of people aged 16 to 59 years had experienced sexual assault.
The number of people that are victims of sexual assault may be higher because there are other forms of assault. Additionally, this data doesn’t account for the number of incidents that aren’t reported to the police.
For more information on when sexual abuse claims can be made, get in touch with a member of our team today. You could be connected with a No Win No Fee solicitor from our panel to work on your claim.
It’s important to know the people you could claim against. In the same way that the type of abuse can vary, so too can the people and organisations that cause it. You may want to claim against:
- Religious institutions
- A local council or authority
- Social services providers
- Educational institutions
- Other groups or organisations
- An individual
When you claim against an individual, you can do so directly against them. In order to do so, they would need to have been identified and they would also need to have the assets to pay you compensation.
If you cannot claim against the individual because you do not know who they are, or because they don’t have the funds to pay you compensation, you may be able to claim through the CICA.
When sexual abuse claims are made through the CICA, you can receive compensation for physical and psychological damage.
To make a claim, you will need to report the incident in question to the police. This is so the CICA have a police crime reference number that helps confirm that a criminal act took place.
Usually, when using the CICA scheme to receive compensation, you need to claim within two years of the attack. However, exceptions can be made:
- If the incident was reported when you were a child you have 2 years to make a claim once you turn 18, provided a parent or guardian hasn’t already claimed on your behalf. This can be extended if you can prove that exceptional circumstances stopped you from doing so.
- If the incident wasn’t reported as a child you should report this as soon as you can. If you can’t do this as soon as you turn 18, you should do it as soon as possible unless exceptional circumstances apply. You should then claim within 2 years of reporting unless you can prove that exceptional circumstances apply.
For more information about this, please get in touch with us at a time that suits you using the details above. You can contact us 24/7. We offer free legal advice that can help confirm if you’re eligible to claim.
Reporting the incident to the police is a significant step in claiming for sexual abuse. However, other steps you may want to take include:
- Identifying the person or organisation that has caused the abuse.
- Collecting medical evidence, if appropriate.
- Supplying a list of medical treatments you’ve taken due to the incident. For instance, you could suffer from depression because of the abuse and be on medication. You could also suffer physical injuries, such as a traumatic brain injury.
- Contacting a personal injury solicitor. While it is entirely your choice whether you hire a solicitor for your claim, we would recommend it since they can help you build your case with their experience and expertise. We would recommend seeking out historic abuse claims specialists who have experience in handling such cases.
Furthermore, historic sexual assault claims can potentially be made against an individual or organisation that perpetuated the abuse. If you’re aware of the perpetrator, you may be able to claim against them directly. You may also be able to claim against an organisation on the grounds of vicarious liability. For example, if you were sexually abused by a teacher and you can prove that the school failed to perform a background check (that would have revealed the teacher had committed similar offences before), you could potentially claim against the school for this.
Sexual Offences And The Law
You may want to know more about the legislation that defines child sexual abuse. If you experienced this abuse before 1st May 2004, you could only claim for sexual offences that fit the criteria of the Sexual Offences Act 1956.
However, if the crime occurred after this date, you can claim for sexual offences as defined in the Sexual Offences Act 2003. This legislation covers the whole of the UK.
Many criminal claims are made through the Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme. This scheme values both the physical and psychological effects of criminal injuries by assessing the full context of how the injuries occurred and accruing medical evidence by having a medical professional assess you.
Below is an example of the types of injuries abuse victims may claim for and the respective compensation amount you could receive. Please remember that we cannot confirm whether any sexual abuse claims will be successful as there may be complexities that affect the outcome.
|Type of Offence||Type of Injury||Severity||Compensation Amount||Description|
|Sexual offence - victim, any age||Sexual assault||Minor||£1,000||This amount is for a minor, non-penetrative sexual act(s) over clothing.|
|Sexual assault||Severe||£3,300||This amount is for severe, non-penile penetrative or oral-genital act(s).|
|Sexual assault||Severe||£27,000||This amount is for sexual assault that has led to a permanently disabling mental illness which has been confirmed by psychiatric prognosis to be severe in nature.|
|Non-consensual penile penetration||Serious||£22,000||This amount is for non-consensual penile penetration of one or more of vagina, mouth or anus that results in serious internal bodily injuries.|
|Non-consensual penile penetration||Serious||£33,000||This amount is for non-consensual penile penetration of one or more of vagina, mouth or anus that results in serious internal bodily injury causing permanent disabling mental illness confirmed by psychiatric prognosis to be moderate in nature.|
|Sexual offence - victim is a child||Sexual assault||Serious||£2,000||This amount is for a serious, non-penetrative sexual physical act(s) that occurred under clothing.|
|Sexual assault||N/A||£8,200||This amount is for a pattern of repetitive, frequent incidents of sexual assault that involved one or more non-penile penetrative or oral genital act(s) that took place over a period of three years or more.|
|Sexual assault||N/A||£4,400||This amount is for two or more isolated incidents of sexual assault that involved one or more non-penile penetrative or oral genital act(s).|
|Non-consensual penile penetration||N/A||£11,000||This amount is for one incident of non-consensual penile penetration of one or more of vagina, mouth or anus.|
|Non-consensual penile penetration||Severe||£44,000||This amount is for non-consensual penile penetration of one or more of vagina, mouth or anus that results in serious internal bodily injury causing severe, permanent and disabling mental illness confirmed by a psychiatric prognosis.|
Furthermore, in these types of cases, you may be able to claim special expenses. You can claim this through the same scheme. A special expenses claim will only be considered if you have lost earnings, earning capacity or have been incapacitated for more than 28 weeks.
You also need to prove that whatever service you’re claiming for cannot be provided free of charge. It also needs to be necessary, reasonable and the loss must be a direct result of the criminal injury you’re claiming for. For example, you can claim for physical aids like walking sticks that were damaged in the attack.
For more information about this, please refer to the relevant website or contact our advisors for free legal advice at a time that suits you.
While you can make a claim directly through the CICA, you may prefer to use a specialised solicitor or lawyer from our panel. They can offer representation on a No Win No Fee basis. The benefits of this include:
- Not having to pay your solicitor’s legal fees at any point before the claim starts or while it’s being processed.
- Not paying anything at all to your solicitor in the event that the claim is unsuccessful.
- Only paying your solicitor’s legal fees at the end of a successful claim. A small, legally capped amount is taken out of your compensation after a settlement has been agreed upon.
Our advisors are available 24/7 and offer free legal advice so, if you have any queries about making historical sexual abuse claims, please get in touch with us at a time that works for you. They can also put you through to a specialised No Win No Fee solicitor from our panel. However, please remember that you’re not obliged to use our services if you contact us.
Get in touch at a time that suits you using the details below.
- Call us on 0800 408 7825
- Contact us using our website
- Write to us using the Live Chat window that’s now on your screen
Helplines And Other Resources
For more information or advice about claiming for historic sexual abuse, please refer to the links below.
The Survivor’s Trust offers specialist rape and sexual abuse support services.
For support relating to suicide prevention, please contact the Samaritans.
Safeline is a charity that helps people who suffer mental health issues due to sexual abuse.
To learn more about claiming for sexual assault and rape, please refer to this page on our website.
Would you like to know more about scar settlements? If so, please read this guide.
For more help regarding compensation for rape victims, please read this guidance on our website.
Do you still have questions about making sexual abuse claims? If so, please get in touch with us when that works for you using the details above.
Guide by AU