Claiming Compensation For Historical Abuse
By Danielle Jordan. Last Updated 26th October 2023. 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.
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
- Can I Claim Compensation For Historical Abuse?
- How Long Do I Have To Claim For Historic Sexual Abuse?
- How Can Historical Abuse Be Proven?
- Historic Abuse Compensation Payouts
- Get No Win No Fee Legal Help For Historical Abuse Claims
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
|Sexual assault||When a single attacker penetrates their victim’s anus, vagina, or mouth with a penis without consent – resulting in mental illness of a severe nature||£27,000|
|Sexual assault||Non-consensual penile penetration by two or more attackers of the mouth, vagina, or anus||£13,500|
|Sexual assault||A pattern of abuse for more than 3 years||£8,200|
|Sexual assault||A pattern of abuse for up to 3 years||£6,600|
|Sexual assault||A single incident of a non-penile penetrative genital or oral act||£3,300|
|Sexual assault||Minor – when a sexual act takes place over clothing without penetration||£1,000|
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.
If you ware eligible to make a criminal injury claim, you may wish to have the support of a solicitor. Our solicitors have experience with historical abuse claims and could help you with your case.
Our solicitors generally offer their services under the terms of a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA). This is a type of No Win No Fee agreement.
Solicitors that provide their services under this type of agreement don’t charge upfront or ongoing fees for their work on your case. They also won’t ask you for a payment for their services if your claim fails.
If your claim has a positive outcome, your solicitor will deduct a success fee out of your compensation award. The percentage that your solicitor can take as a success fee is capped by the law.
If you have any questions about compensation for historical abuse, please get in touch with one of our advisors. They can assess whether you have valid grounds for a claim, and if you do, you could be connected to one of our solicitors.
To talk to one of our advisors, you can:
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:
- How to claim sexual abuse compensation. This guide explains every aspect of making a claim
- FAQs on sexual abuse claims
- Sexual abuse during lockdown – can you claim?
- Sexual abuse compensation calculator
- How to find physical and sexual abuse solicitors
- A guide to sexual abuse claims
- How to claim against a paedophile
- How to claim if abused in foster care
- Sexual abuse claims in Scotland
We also have some other guides on sexual abuse compensation claims that you may find useful:
- I was sexually abused by my father, can I claim?
- Sexual abuse by husband – can you claim?
- Sexual abuse by a grandfather – how to make a claim
- Sexual abuse by an ex-partner – how to make a claim
- How to claim if sexually abused by a family member
- How to claim if abused by a stepfather
- Learn how to claim if abused by a teacher
- Sexual abuse claims against social services
- How to claim for sexual abuse in a school