Advice For Claiming For Historical Sexual Abuse

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Claiming Compensation For Historical Abuse

By Danielle Jordan. Last Updated 5th January 2024. 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.

Claiming Compensation for historical abuse

Historical abuse claims guide

There are several avenues you could take to seek criminal injury compensation, including directly against the perpetrator, or a vicariously liable third party, such as a school who breached the duty of care they owe you. If neither of these options is viable, you could make your claim via the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA). The CICA handles compensation claims for victims who have been injured, either physically or mentally, as the result of a violent crime. For the purpose of this guide, we will be focusing on historical abuse claims made via the CICA.

We also discuss how long you have to begin your claim, the evidence you could gather, how compensation payouts are calculated and the benefits of working with a No Win No Fee solicitor.

For more information, please reach out to our team by:

Select a Section

  1. Can I Claim Compensation For Historical Abuse?
  2. How Long Do I Have To Claim For Historic Sexual Abuse?
  3. How Can Historical Abuse Be Proven?
  4. Historic Abuse Compensation Payouts
  5. Get No Win No Fee Legal Help For Historical Abuse Claims

Can I Claim Compensation For Historical Abuse?

In order to be eligible to claim compensation for historical abuse through the CICA, you will first need to report the crime to the police. The police can then collaborate with the CICA regarding evidence.

Being unable to present evidence will not make you ineligible to claim for historic abuse. Compensation claims through the CICA generally do not require the claimant to conclusively prove that a crime had taken place. It is instead based on the ‘balance of probability’, though you may be asked to present some medical evidence, such as for a psychological injury.

You would also have to start your claim within two years of you reporting the crime to the police.

A talk with our advisers could help you better understand your eligibility to claim. They could answer any questions you may have about historical abuse claims.

Man Stands In Doorframe To Child's Bedroom.

How Do I Report Historic Abuse?

Whilst many CICA claims have a 2-year time limit from the date of the incident, exceptions can be made for instances of non recent abuse such as historic sexual assault.

Typically, it’s recommended you report abuse to the police as soon as possible. However, in historical abuse cases, you could still report the abuse to the police years after it occurred and still be able to make a claim through the CICA.

To find out more, get in touch with our advisors today. We can help with other criminal claims such as if you’re looking for information on compensation for domestic violence.

How Long Do I Have To Claim For Historic Sexual Abuse?

If you are seeking compensation for historical abuse through the CICA, you must adhere to their time limits. Typically, when seeking compensation through the CICA you have two years from the date you reported the incident to the police. You are expected to make this report right away, unless you can prove that exceptional circumstances prevented this. 

Due to the nature of historic or non-recent abuse, time limits for historical abuse payments may be different. According to the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC), historical abuse is when an adult was abused as a child or young person. However, historic abuse claims should still be started as soon as possible after reporting the incident to the police. 

Children who were under the age of 18 when the incident occurred will have two years from their 18th birthday to start a claim, if a report was made to the police when it happened. If the incident was not reported to the police, they will have two years to claim through the CICA once the incident is reported. They are typically expected to make this report right away, unless exceptional circumstances caused a delay. 

If you have any questions about criminal injury compensation or would like to find out if you are still within the time limit to claim, contact an advisor from our team. 

Child Sexual Abuse Victim Facing Away With Teddy Bear.

How Long Do Historic Abuse Claims Take?

As you can read above, there are general time limits when applying for historic abuse compensation from the CICA. However, you may like to know how long the CICA will take to assess your application for historical abuse compensation.

The CICA cannot give a typical time for how long assessing an application will take. However, they do try to assess most of the applications they receive within 12 months. More complex cases may take longer.

Once the CICA has made a decision on your claim, you have time limits to adhere to. If they offer a payment and you decide to accept, you must complete and return the acceptance form within 56 days. If you do not do this, the offer of payment may be withdrawn.

If you disagree with the CICA’s decision and want them to review it, you will have 56 days from the date of the original decision to send a written review application or ask for a time limit extension.

Call our advisors for free advice about making a claim through the CICA for historical sexual abuse. They might be able to help you, even if you think you are outside of the time limit.

How Can Historical Abuse Be Proven?

When seeking compensation for historical abuse, they will ask you to supply certain items. These include:

  • The police reference number. 
  • Proof that you meet the residency requirements. 
  • Medical evidence. 
  • If you are seeking special expenses, you will also need proof of these. 

As the CICA can liaise with the police, you do not need to wait for a conviction to start the claim. You won’t need to wait for the assailant to be caught either. The CICA will assess historic abuse claims based on the balance of probabilities. This is different to criminal cases, where guilt must be proven beyond reasonable doubt to secure a conviction. 

Contact an advisor from our team to learn more about seeking historical abuse payments from the CICA. 

Historic Abuse Compensation Payouts

Compensation for historic abuse could be paid through the CICA from the tariff of injuries found in the Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme 2012. In the table below, we’ve included examples from the tariff. When you make a claim through the CICA for historic abuse compensation, and you are claiming for multiple injuries, the multiple injuries formula may apply. This is:

  • 100% of the tariff for the highest valued injury.
  • 30% for the second highest value injury.
  • 15% for the third.

However, the multiple injuries formula does not apply if your injury leads to pregnancy or losing a foetus. It also does not apply if you contracted an STI.

Harm Description Amount
Sexual abuse and extra damages Compensation could include lost wages, special expenses and other injuries. Up to £500,000
Penile penetration (non-consensual) of one or more of vagina, anus or mouth The claimant has suffered serious internal bodily injuries alongside a permanent and disabling mental illness that is severe in nature. £44,000
This tariff applies to claimants with serious internal injuries alongside a permanent, but moderate disabling mental illness. £33,000
The claimant suffers a severe mental illness that is permanently disabling. This is confirmed by psychiatric prognosis. £27,000
This tariff applies to claimants with serious internal bodily injuries. £22,000
The claimant suffers with a moderate mental illness that is permanently disabling. This is confirmed with a psychiatric prognosis. £22,000
This tariff applies where two or more attackers were involved. £13,500
One attacker was involved. £11,000
Sexual Assault The claimant suffers a severe mental illness. This is confirmed with a psychiatric prognosis. £27,000
The claimant has serious internal bodily injuries. £22,000

Additionally, you might be able to recover special expenses related to the historic sexual assault. Any special expenses you wish to recover must be necessary, reasonable, and directly related to the historic sexual assault. Additionally, they cannot be available for free elsewhere.

If you are claiming historic abuse compensation direct against the perpetrator or a vicariously liable party, such as a school, your claim may include general damages for your pain and suffering and special damages for any financial loss. In England and Wales, legal professionals use the Judicial College Guidelines (JCG) to help value claims.

Call our advisors for more information about claiming compensation for historical abuse.

Get No Win No Fee Legal Help For Historical Abuse Claims

If you would like to make a claim for child sexual abuse, you may wish to have legal help during the process. One of our solicitors can use their experience to help you secure a payout from the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority. Additionally, they can generally represent your historical sexual abuse claim under a type of No Win No Fee agreement known as a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA).

When your solicitor uses a CFA to provide their services, you won’t be expected to pay any upfront or ongoing fees. You also won’t be charged a fee for their work on your case if it fails and you aren’t awarded sexual abuse compensation.

However, if your claim for historical sexual abuse is successful, your solicitor will deduct a success fee from your award. This amount is a capped percentage that is limited by the law.

Contact Our Team For Free Advice About Sexual Abuse Claims

You can direct any questions you have about historical abuse compensation to a member of our advisory team. If you have valid grounds to make a compensation claim for historical sexual abuse, you can be connected to one of our solicitors.

To talk to one of our advisors, you can:

Make A Claim With A No Win No Fee Solicitor

Learn More About Making A Claim For Sexual Abuse

If you’d like to learn more about making a claim for sexual abuse, the links below should help:

  • Childline – 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.
  • An NHS guide on getting help after rape or sexual assault – if you need advice from a medical perspective, this guide explains everything you need to know.

You may also be interested in some of our other guides on criminal injury compensation claims:

We also have some other guides on sexual abuse compensation claims that you may find useful:

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