Sexual Abuse Claims Guide – How To Claim Compensation
By Stephen Hudson. Last Updated 27th September 2023. In this guide, we explore the eligibility criteria for sexual abuse claims. It discusses the three possible avenues you could take to seek compensation, as well as the time limits that need to be adhered to and the evidence that may be required to support your case.
Additionally, we look at how sexual abuse compensation payouts are calculated and how they might differ depending on the way in which you make your claim.
Finally, we discuss the benefits of working with a No Win No Fee solicitor and the terms under which they can offer their services.
If you require any further information about making a criminal injury claim for sexual abuse, please don’t hesitate to contact our helpful team of advisors. They can answer your questions and guide you through your potential next steps. To reach them, you can:
- Call on 0800 073 8804
- Enquire about your potential claim online.
- Chat with an advisor via the live chat function below.
Select A Section
- Eligibility Criteria For Sexual Abuse Claims
- Time Limits For Sexual Abuse Claims
- Evidence To Support A Claim For Sexual Abuse Compensation
- Calculating Compensation Payouts For Sexual Abuse Claims
- Make A No Win No Fee Sexual Abuse Claim
- Learn More About Claiming Sexual Abuse Compensation
There are several avenues you could potentially take to make a sexual abuse claim.
- Firstly, in some cases, you could make a claim against the perpetrator directly.
- Secondly, you could claim against a third party who was vicariously liable. This could be social services who breached their duty of care, or a school that failed to uphold the duty of care they owed.
- Finally, you could claim via the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA) if neither of the other avenues are viable.
Below, we have provided further guidance on the eligibility criteria that need to be met for sexual abuse claims made through each of these avenues.
Claiming Through The CICA For Sexual Abuse
The CICA awards compensation to those who have been mentally or physically injured in a violent crime in Great Britain. In order to make a criminal injury claim for sexual abuse through the CICA, there are a set of eligibility criteria that need to be met, including:
- You need to show that you reported the incident to the police.
- The incident needs to have occurred in Great Britain i.e. England, Scotland or Wales, or another relevant place such as a ship registered to one of the previously mentioned countries.
- You must have been injured in a crime of violence. The CICA provide their own definition of this which includes sexual assault.
- You need to ensure you start your claim within the relevant time limits.
Please bare in mind that the CICA is intended as a last resort and if you are able to pursue compensation from another source, you should do so.
Other Avenues To Claim For Sexual Abuse
You can make a criminal injury claim for sexual abuse directly against the perpetrator if they have been identified and have the funds to pay compensation.
Alternatively, you could pursue compensation by claiming against a third party who was vicariously liable, provided you can prove the following:
- A duty of care was owed.
- This duty of care was breached.
- You were caused harm as a result of the breach.
For example, there may have been a failure by a school to adhere to their responsibilities to carry out a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check before hiring a new teacher. If the results of the check would have prevented them from hiring the teacher, and the teacher was then found to have sexually abused a student the school would be vicariously liable for the incident.
If neither of these avenues are applicable, you could seek sexual abuse compensation via the CICA.
For more information about sexual abuse claims and the way in which you would need to pursue compensation, please contact an advisor on the number above.
A sexual abuse claim made through the CICA needs to be started soon as it is reasonably practical for the person to do so.
If the person was an adult at the time of the incident, they will usually have 2 years after the incident occurred. The incident also needs to have been reported to the police before any claim is made. This is also expected to have been done as soon as reasonably possible. However, exceptions could potentially be made if extenuating circumstances prevented the person from reporting the incident to the police straight away or from beginning their claim in the two year time limit.
If the person was a child under the age of 18 at the time of the incident, a person with parental responsibilities can apply on their behalf. This must be done by the child’s 20th birthday provided the incident was reported to the police before their 18th birthday. Alternatively, the claim can be made within 2 years from when the incident was first reported to the police, if this was done on or after the person’s 18th birthday. This could apply to historical sexual abuse claims.
The time limit can differ when making a claim directly against the perpetrator or vicariously liable third party. For more information on how long you have to seek sexual abuse compensation., please contact an advisor on the number above.
If you are eligible to pursue criminal injury compensation via the CICA, you will need provide evidence necessary to determine the outcome of your case. This could include:
- Your police reference number to show the crime was reported to the police
- Evidence that you meet the residency requirements
- Proof of any financial losses incurred
- Evidence that you suffered an injury that can be compensated by the CICA
You may need to provide different pieces of evidence when claiming via a different route, such as against the perpetrator directly or a party who was vicariously liable.
One of our helpful sexual abuse solicitors could assist you in gathering evidence to strengthen your case. They can also guide you through the process of making a criminal injury claim and answer any questions you have as your case proceeds.
For more information on the evidence you may need to collect for sexual abuse claims and how a solicitor could help you, please contact an advisor on the number above.
If you make a successful criminal injury claim against a vicariously liable third party or directly against the perpetrator, you could be awarded a settlement consisting of up to two heads of loss. These are:
- General damages: This head of loss compensates for the emotional and physical pain and suffering caused by the harm experienced.
- Special damages: This head of loss compensates for the financial losses incurred as a result of the harm experienced. For example, you could seek reimbursement of loss of earnings, medical expenses, or travel costs, provided you have evidence to prove the losses. Evidence, such as receipts, wage slips and travel tickets.
When valuing the general damages portion of settlements, solicitors can refer to the Judicial College Guidelines (JCG) to help them as it contains guideline award brackets for different types of harm. They can also use medical evidence provided in support of your case alongside this document.
We have included some figures from the JCG in the table below. Please use these as a guide only as settlements can differ depending on the unique circumstances of each case. You could also use a sexual abuse compensation calculator.
|Injury||Notes||Award - Guidelines|
|Severe Sexual Abuse||Cases of serious abuse and/or a severe and ongoing psychiatric injury.||£45,000 to £120,000|
|Moderate Sexual Abuse||Cases of abuse that is less serious and prolonged with a less severe psychological reaction.||£20,570 to £45,000|
|Less Severe Sexual Abuse||Abuse in this cases is a lower level of seriousness and is short-lived. The psychological effects are mild or resolved quickly.||£9,730 to £20,570|
What Sexual Abuse Compensation Could I Receive When Claiming Via The CICA?
After making a successful sexual abuse claim via the CICA, you could receive a payment for your injury. This will be valued in accordance with the tariff of injuries laid out in the Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme 2012.
If you have two or more injuries that are so serious they would each qualify for payment, the multiple injuries formula may apply. This means you could receive:
- The full tariff amount for the greatest valued injury
- 30% of the full tariff amount for the second or equally greatest valued injury
- 15% of the full tariff amount for the third or equally greatest valued injury
If you have suffered a mental injury due to sexual assault, the CICA will award compensation for the injury that gives rise to the highest payment. The Scheme does not allow payment to be made for both.
Additionally, the Scheme does not allow for payment to be made for more than three injuries. However, there are additional tariff payments that can be awarded if you have become pregnant, lost a foetus, or contracted an STI as a direct result of the injury or assault.
Below, you can find figures from the tariff of injuries outlined in the Scheme.
|Sexual Assault - Victim Is Any Age||The result is a permanent and disabling severe mental illness confirmed by a mental health professional.||£27,000|
|Sexual Assault - Victim Is Any Age||Incidents resulting in serious internal bodily injuries.||£22,000|
|Sexual Assault - Victim Is A Child||The result is a permanent and disabling moderate mental illness confirmed by a mental health professional.||£22,000|
|Sexual Assault - Victim Is A Child||Serious pattern of repeated non-penetrative sexual physical acts under the clothing.||£3,300|
|Other Payments||Infection with HIV, Hepatitis B or Hepatitis C, or multiple as a result of any crime of violence.||£22,000|
|Other Payments||Pregnancy as a result of the sexual offence.||£5,500|
You could also receive a payment for loss of earnings and special expenses provided you meet the eligibility criteria.
If you would like to learn more about seeking compensation through the CICA, please contact an advisor on the number above. They can provide further guidance on how CICA payouts for a sexual abuse claim are calculated.
Solicitors can offer support and guidance with sexual abuse claims to those who have valid grounds to start such a claim. If you are aiming to start your own compensation claim for sexual abuse, then you can decide whether to get help from a solicitor. If you make this choice, then we would recommend finding a solicitor who has previous experience with claiming sexual abuse compensation, such as our own.
You can contact our advisors for free to discuss your potential claim for sexual abuse. If they determine you have a strong case, they could connect you with one of our No Win No Fee solicitors. If you and the solicitor are happy to proceed, you could then choose to sign a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA).
If a solicitor supports you under a CFA, that means that you won’t need to pay your solicitor for their service at the start of your claim or while it’s being processed. You also won’t need to pay your solicitor if your claim proves to be unsuccessful.
If your claim is a success, then your solicitor may take what’s known as a success fee. This typically means they’ll take a legally capped percentage from the compensation awarded to you.
For more advice on No Win No Fee sexual abuse compensation claims, you are welcome to contact our advisors for free to discuss your case. To get in touch, you can:
- Give us a call on 0800 073 8804
- Write to us online with our contact page
- Use our 24/7 live chat service
Below, you can find some external resources that may be helpful:
For more of our helpful guides:
- Read our helpful guide answering FAQs on sexual abuse compensation.
- Learn if you could claim for sexual abuse during lockdown.
- Find out about the process of how to claim if abused in foster care.
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
Thank you for reading our guide on sexual abuse claims. If you have any other questions, please don’t hesitate to contact an advisor on the number at the top of the page.