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Historical Sexual Abuse Victim Claims – How Much Compensation Could I Get?

By Stephen Hudson. Last Updated 11th August 2022. This is our guide to historical sexual abuse claims. Here, we provide information and advice on the legal options you may have if you are seeking compensation for historical abuse that you’ve experienced.

If you have been the victim of sexual abuse, we can help you to get the compensation you deserve. We know that a lot of sexual abuse victims struggle to tell anyone about the horrific ordeal they have been through. As a consequence, many years can pass before victims are ready to take action.

By this point, you may feel that you are unable to make a historical abuse compensation claim, but this could not be further from the truth. We are experts in securing compensation for victims of historical sex abuse, and we can ensure that you get the payout you deserve. For more information, read on.

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A guide to claims for historical sexual abuse

historical sexual abuse victim claims

historical sexual abuse victim claims

Welcome to our historical sexual abuse victim claims guide.

If you were the victim of sexual abuse as a child, you can get child historical sexual abuse compensation now you are an adult. We recognise that talking about abuse is incredibly difficult and that it often takes a long time to process what has happened and accept that you were not to blame.

That is why we can help you to secure compensation, no matter how long ago the abuse occurred. In this guide, we reveal everything you need to know about historic abuse claims. This includes information on making a claim, time limits, the most common types of abuse cases, average payout amounts, and much more.

What is historical sexual abuse?

When discussing historical sexual abuse victim claims, we often get asked for a historical abuse definition.

Historical sexual abuse is any type of sex abuse whereby the victim is now an adult, however, the abuse occurred while they were younger than 18. A lot of people that were abused during childhood believe that it was their own fault. Of course, this is never the case, no matter the circumstances, as a child cannot consent to abuse. Whether the abuse occurred 5 years or 60 years ago, whether it happened once or one hundred times over, you can still get help.

Historic sexual abuse statistics

Here are some related statistics to historical sexual abuse victim claims.

In 2019, the Crime Survey for England and Wales reported that over 7.5% of adults between the ages of 18 to 74 had suffered sexual abuse before they turned 16. Staggeringly, this percentage amounts to around 3.1 million victims.

Among the perpetrators of this abuse were children and adults alike.  The most common type of perpetrators were as follows:

  • Strangers (30%)
  • Someone the victim knew (37%)

Proving Historic Abuse Claims

With historic abuse claims, you will need as much evidence as possible to potentially receive compensation. If the incident or series of incidents you’re wanting to claim for happened many years ago, we understand that it can be difficult to do this. 

However, there are still ways you could gather evidence to give you the best chance of receiving historic abuse compensation. This includes: 

  • Notes from a medical professional. For example, you could be seeing a therapist after you began remembering the abuse. With your permission, your therapist can provide their notes to give a greater understanding as to your current mental state. 
  • Providing medical evidence. Your psychological injuries can be assessed by a doctor. As such, their notes can detail aspects including your prognosis. 
  • Police report. This could be obtained after reporting the incident to the police.

If you have further questions about making historic abuse claims, please contact us for free legal advice using the above details.

Can You Sue Someone Who Molested You As A Child?

This is a question we often get asked. You can certainly sue someone for molestation. You can sue if you are still a child and you have been abused. You can also sue if you are now an adult but you were abused as a child. After all, most people experience childhood molestation effects in adulthood, from dealing with post-traumatic stress to various other psychological impacts, so it’s important you are compensated for these.

Please continue reading our guide to learn more about how to make historical sexual abuse victim claims.

How to begin your historic sexual abuse claim

To begin making historical sexual abuse victim claims all you need to do is give us a call and we will be with you every step of the way. We will explain the claim process to you, and will take care of everything so that there is nothing for you to worry about.

We always begin every claim with a free consultancy session. This is an opportunity for you to ask us any questions you have. We will also ask you some questions too. This is nothing for you to worry about; we are simply carrying out a fact-finding session so that we can learn as much as possible about your case in order to advise you in the best possible manner.

We can also arrange a local medical for you if required. Plus, you will be pleased to know that we handle all of our cases on a No Win No Fee basis. This means that you are only going to need to pay legal fees if your case is a success. If we don’t manage to secure compensation for you, you won’t need to pay a penny. You can find out more about the No Win No Fee approach further down in this guide.

Is there a time limit for making a historical abuse compensation claim?

Some potential claimants may worry about whether they still have time to claim for historical sexual abuse, or if they have missed the time limit. If you are unsure, then you are welcome to give us a call for advice on this matter. While there are time limits in place, the amount of time you have for your own case will depend on certain circumstances.

The time limit you have to claim for historic sexual abuse can change based on how you’re able to claim. Due to historical abuse being a criminal act you would claim through the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA) in most cases. 

To do this, you would need to begin claims proceedings within two years from either the date the crime took place or from the date you reported the crime to the police provided you can justify the delay (which could be decades). In most cases of historic abuse, reasons for delay are often justified. 

It’s important to note that, when making historic abuse claims through the CICA, you would need to report the abuse to the police. This is because usually, the CICA need a police crime reference number when working your case. 

However, you may be able to claim using the time limit outlined in The Limitation Act 1980. To claim through this method, you would need to begin the claim within three years of the date of awareness or from the date of your 18th birthday.   

As mentioned, there are situations whereby these time limits are withdrawn, and so you can seek compensation after reporting molestation years later. The best thing to do is give us a call to discuss further.

Historical Sexual Abuse In Football

What is the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority?

Most sexual abuse claims are made to the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA). If you were the blameless victim of a violent crime, the CICA handles compensation claims for you – no matter whether you have been mentally or physically injured, or both.

The CICA provides compensation for violent crimes which is why you could make historic abuse claims using them. They cover claims in England, Wales, and Scotland. It is an executive agency, which the Ministry of Justice sponsors. For more information on the criminal compensation order, head to the CICA website.

Historical child sexual abuse claims

If you have been sexually abused as a child, and you are now ready to make a claim, we can help you to get the compensation you deserve. We know how difficult launching a historic sex abuse case can be for you, and that is why we aim to make the process as easy as possible.

We will also operate to the highest levels of confidentiality. We handle all types of sex abuse claims, from incest to sexual exploitation. It is important to recognise that you deserve to be compensated, no matter when the abuse occurred. Call us today for more information on child historical abuse claims.

Historical sexual abuse against the workplace claims

If you suffered sex abuse in the workplace, and you are now ready to make a claim, it is important to get in touch with us as soon as possible. The sooner you call us, the easier it will be for us to build a case for you. Suffering sex abuse in the workplace can be an incredibly horrific ordeal. Your boss may have promised you a promotion if you gave in to their sexual demands. Or, maybe someone used their status over you to force you into participating in sexual acts that you didn’t want to?

Historic abuse claims can happen due to another colleague using their status of power to threaten you unless you agree to do as they say. No matter what has occurred, it is time to get the justice that you deserve. Call us today to get started.

Historical sexual abuse against the local authority claims

Most sex abuse cases involving children occur inside their own home, behind closed doors. If you believe that the local authorities failed in their duty to protect you, you could make a claim against them. If the local authorities and social services had an opportunity to remove you from the situation and they did not act as quickly as they should of, then they could be to blame for the continuation of abuse that you suffered. If this is the case, we can help you to make a successful compensation claim against a local authority.

To do this, we will need to prove that someone in the family home was abusing you. We will then need to show that the social service’s failure to remove you from the situation contributed to the abuse you suffered. By doing this, we will able to secure the payout you deserve.

Historical sexual abuse against school claims

When you send your child to school, you expect them to be in safe hands. You expect them to be happy and content, in a friendly and loving environment. You don’t expect them to be abused by someone that is in a position of trust. If you have been abused while at school, whether by a teacher or another member of staff, we can help you to get the compensation you deserve. Call us today to find out more about making a claim.

Historical sexual abuse against the church claims

There have been a number of sex abuse cases in the media involving the church. The church is a place to practice your faith and to feel safe. If a priest or a member of the church has abused their position of trust, it is important to get justice. We can help you to get compensation if you have been abused while at church as a child.

Historical sexual abuse against the scouts and other charities

The Scout Association is the biggest scouting organisation in the UK. If you have been injured as a child scout, you are entitled to compensation for victims of abuse. The same applies if you have been injured while in the care of any other charity. We have years of experience in these cases and can ensure you get the maximum payout you are entitled to.

Child historic sexual abuse claims by a relative

Sadly, many historic abuse claims can be a result of child sex abuse caused by incest, i.e. sexual abuse by a family member or family members. This could be anyone from a parent or step-parent to an uncle or grandparent.

Dealing with molestation in the family can be difficult, but if you suffered child abuse at the hands of a family member, it is important to launch a claim for personal injury compensation. We know that this can be a big and frightening step, but we will be with you every step of the way to make sure that you get the payout you are entitled to.

What can be claimed for if you have been a victim of historical sexual abuse?

When launching a compensation case for historical sexual abuse, you will be able to claim for the following:

  • General damages – This is the payout you will receive to compensate you for the pain and suffering you have experienced.
  • Care claim – If you have needed help around the house while you recover, the person that has cared for you will be able to file a care claim.
  • Loss of earnings – You can also claim for loss of future earnings if you are expected to be off work for a considerable period of time.
  • Travel expenses – This includes everything from travelling to and from the hospital to paying for alternative travel while you recover.
  • Medical expenses – This covers everything from prescription expenses to the cost of counselling.

The most common historical abuse cases

There are many different types of abuse, and the type of abuse you have suffered does not define your ability to make an abuse compensation claim. Simply being able to prove that you were abused is enough. Nonetheless, let’s take a look at some of the most common types of historical sexual abuse:

  • Incest – This is the most common type of historical sex abuse. This happens when a child is abused by one or several family members, including grandparents, cousins, uncles, aunts, step-parents, or their mother or father.
  • Sexual violence – Acts of violence, which harm or involve sexual parts of the victim’s body.
  • Sexual exploitation – Use and objectification of victims by means of sexual activity to gain sexual gratification or money.
  • Sexual harassment – Use of power differences, status or gender to require sexual involvement.
  • Sadistic sexual abuse – This refers to cases whereby the offender has tried to incite reactions of pain, horror, or dread during sexual abuse. This can include cases of torture, mutilation, the use of physical restraint, and much more.
  • Voyeurism – This refers to cases whereby the victim’s privacy has been invaded, either openly or secretively, for the purpose of sexual gratification.
  • Exposure or exhibitionism – Displaying parts of the naked body to sexually arouse, intimidate, or shock the victim.
  • Sexual assault – Physical attacks to the victim’s sexual body parts, which tend to involve violence and force. This not only includes rape, but a wide range of activities.
  • Molestation – Molestation refers to sexual abuse that involves sexual stimulation to the genital areas and body, including penetration.

How much compensation could I receive if I have been the victim of historical sexual abuse?

You will, no doubt, want to know how much compensation you could receive if you have been the victim of historical abuse. Unfortunately, it is impossible to provide you with an accurate figure. This is because there are so many variables that are considered and every case is different. The last thing we would want to do is promise you a certain amount and then fail to fulfil our promise.

However, what we can do is give you an understanding of the average victim’s compensation payments for injuries that are typically associated with abuse. If you cannot find the injury you are suffering from in the table below, don’t worry – all you need to do is give us a call and we will happily shed further light on how much historical abuse compensation you are likely to receive.

Reason for compensationTypical compensation amountComments
Severe psychological damage£54,830 to £115,730This bracket is for the most severe cases of psychological damage. In these cases, the prognosis will be very poor. There will also be marked problems with regards to how successful treatment would be, vulnerability in the future, the claimant’s relationships, and their ability to cope with work and life.
Moderately severe psychological damage£19,070 to £54,830These cases are similar to the above. However, the prognosis won’t be as positive, and there may not be any improvement by the time the trial comes around.
Moderate psychological damage£5,860 to £19,070For cases falling into this bracket, there will be marked problems with regards to the likes of treatment and the person’s ability to cope with everyday life. However, the prognosis will be a lot more optimistic, and there will be improvement by the time the trial comes around.
Less severe psychological damage £1,540 to £5,860When deciphering how much compensation you receive, the following will be taken into account: how your sleep has been impacted, and how long you have suffered psychological issues.
Mental anguish£4,670Expectation of end of life and fear of death. In sexual abuse cases, the attacker will often threaten the child that bad things will happen if they tell anyone. If this occurs, you can claim for mental anguish.

More payouts for historic abuse claims

Figures from the table above have been taken from the 16th edition of the Judicial College Guidelines (JCG), published April 2022. This is one of the resources that legal professionals can use to aid them in their calculations.

However, the figures in the JCG would only be relevant if a sexual abuse claim was being made directly against the perpetrator. This is not always possible if:

  • The perpetrator is identified but does not have the funds available to award to you
  • Your abuser has not been caught or identified

If either of the above apply to you, you could still claim historic abuse compensation. However, you would need to claim through the Criminal Injury Compensation Authority (CICA). The CICA is an executive agency of the UK government. It is in place so that victims of sexual abuse and other criminal acts can still access compensation should they need to, and should they be eligible to do so.

Unlike claims made directly against the abuser, compensation for historic abuse awarded by the CICA is a set amount in accordance with each injury. Additionally, only the injury worth the most in compensation is awarded at a rate of 100%. Then, the next two most valuable injuries are awarded at rates of 30% and 15%.

We have included some figures relevant to historic sexual abuse from the CICA tariff in table below.

Awarded ForDescriptionAmount
Sexual assaultWhen a single attacker penetrates their victim’s anus, vagina, or mouth with a penis without consent – resulting in mental illness of a severe nature27000
Sexual assaultNon-consensual penile penetration by two or more attackers of the mouth, vagina, or anus13500
Sexual assaultA pattern of abuse for more than 3 years8200
Sexual assaultA pattern of abuse for up to 3 years6600
Sexual assaultA single incident of a non-penile penetrative genital or oral act3300
Sexual assaultMinor – when a sexual act takes place over clothing without penetration1000

Whether claiming against the assailant directly or through the CICA, you could also be eligible to claim for certain other costs such as a loss of earnings. However, the process can differ depending on how you are making your claim. Get in touch with our advisors for more information.

No Win No Fee historical abuse compensation

One of the main elements of our service is the fact that we handle all of our historical abuse cases on a No Win No Fee basis. This means that anyone can make a claim, irrespective of his or her current financial situation. This is because you are only going to need to pay legal fees if your case is a success. If we do not manage to secure compensation for you, you won’t have to pay a penny. This offers you financial protection, which you would not get if you opted for a solicitor that charged per hour.

If you went down this route, there would always be the chance that you could end up with a huge legal bill and no compensation at the end of it. This is the last thing you need, and we can make sure it does not happen. This is because we would only take your historical abuse compensation case if we felt there was a reasonable chance of success. Not only this, but you can have complete peace of mind that we are putting all of our efforts into your case.

When working with a solicitor that charges per hour, there is always the risk that they are merely taking on your case to take your money, irrespective of your chances of compensation. With the No Win No Fee approach, you know that we will only take on cases that have a genuine chance of being successful.

Why choose us as your claims service for your sexual abuse claim?

We know that dealing with sexual abuse years later is incredibly difficult. We appreciate that making a compensation claim is not easy – far from it. We promise that we will always put your health and emotions first. This is why we aim to secure compensation in the most efficient manner. We want you to focus on your recovery while we work on securing a payout for you. Plus, we always aim to secure the maximum amount of compensation possible.

With our years of experience in the industry, you can be confident that there is no better option when it comes to your claims service. You only need to look at the reviews we have received from our past clients and we are sure that this will put your mind at ease.

Historical Sexual Abuse Victim Claims FAQs

What is historical abuse?

Historical abuse is abuse that happened some time ago. However, this victim will have just decided to come forward with it.

Can you claim compensation for historical abuse?

Providing the abuse has been reported to the police, you could be able to claim compensation for the suffering you experienced.

How is compensation valued?

Compensation is typically valued according to the extent of suffering experienced by the claimant. This is usually proven through a medical assessment with an independent specialist.

How much could I claim?

For a free consultation and estimate, please get in touch today.

What is a No Win No Fee agreement?

No Win No Fee agreements mean you only have to pay your lawyer if they win your case for you.

How can Legal Expert help me claim?

Legal Expert can connect you to their panel of personal injury lawyers who can handle your claim on a No Win No Fee basis.

Call for free advice and to start a claim

If you want to make any historical sexual abuse victim claims, we can help you to get the payout you deserve.

historical sexual abuse victim claims

historical sexual abuse victim claims

All you need to do is give our team a call on 0800 073 8804, and we will be more than happy to assist you in any manner we can. We will answer any questions you may have, whether you need help on how to deal with molestation years later or you want to know criminal injury compensation how long does it take? We pride ourselves on our friendly and professional approach, and you can be certain that we operate to the highest levels of confidentiality. Making a claim can help you to get on with life after molestation.

Helpful links


This is a link to the Childline website where you will find plenty of information and advice, as well as details on how to get support. This is a great website if you are looking for information on how to talk about being sexually abused.

NSPCC website

This link takes you to the NSPCC website where you will find information on non-recent abuse, including support for adults that were abused as children, such as reporting non-recent abuse and what to do if you think the offender is a risk to others.

How to report a rape or a sexual assault

Find out how to report a rape or a sexual assault, including details on what to do if you do not want to report the incident to the police.

NHS on sexual assault

This link provides plenty of useful information on getting help after a rape and sexual assault, including details on forensic medical examinations and sexual assault referral centres.

Sexual Abuse Claims

This link takes you to our guide on sexual abuse claims. You will find information on the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA), sexual abuse in the workplace, how to make a claim, and much more.

Compensation For Rape

If you or a family member has been raped find out how much compensation you can claim for rape, also contact us today for free advice.

How To Claim Compensation For Assault

A useful guide on seeking compensation following an assault.

What can social services do and not do

Visit our guide exploring the role of social services in sexual abuse claims.

Sexual Abuse In Foster Care – Compensation Claims

A helpful guide of ours that discusses this matter.

Domestic Abuse Victims Claims

Find out if you could be eligible to receive compensation.

Child Care Home Sexual Abuse Compensation Claims Guide – How To Claim?

Read this guide to see if you can claim for sexual abuse suffered at a child care home.

We hope this guide providing advice on claiming compensation for sexually abused victims in the UK has been helpful for you. If you would like to speak to an advisor about making a historic sexual abuse claim, or you’d like to ask any questions related to this matter, then you can choose to contact us by calling the number included in this guide. You can alternatively reach us online using our 24/7 live chat service or our online contact form.

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