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Can I Claim Child Abuse Compensation?

Child abuse compensation can be possible, and you could get the right guidance from a No Win No Fee solicitor. Claims for sexual abuse can be made for recent or historical offences.

child abuse compensation

A guide to child abuse compensation

There are two options for starting a claim, either through a government-sponsored executive agency called the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA) or in a direct claim. There is a 2-year time limit for starting a claim through the CICA and a 3-year time limit if you’re able to claim directly against the perpetrator. We look at both in detail below.

Our skilled and sympathetic team understand how difficult it can be to relive experiences like this. We aim to provide you with the resources to access compensation in a simple and effective way by working with a sexual abuse claim lawyer.

  • Call our advisors on the number above to understand how we can help.
  • Contact us at Sexual Abuse Compensation Advice.
  • Use the ‘live support’ option to the bottom of this screen. This option can offer free, instant and no-obligation legal advice about your claim and is strictly confidential.

Choose A Section

  1. What Is Childhood Sexual Abuse?
  2. Accessing Support For Sexual Abuse
  3. Am I Eligible For Child Abuse Compensation?
  4. How Much Child Abuse Compensation Could I Get?
  5. Working With No Win No Fee Solicitors For Historic Abuse Claims
  6. Discover More About Claiming Child Abuse Compensation

What Is Childhood Sexual Abuse?

Importantly, there is no standard definition of child sexual abuse and each UK nation classifies it differently. Recognised abuse indicators may include:

  • Enticing a child or young person to take part in sexual activities.
  • Physical contact, including assault by penetration, such as rape or oral sex.
  • Non-penetrative acts including masturbation,  rubbing and touching outside of clothing or kissing.
  • Non-contact activities involving children, such as looking at, or participating in the production of sexual images.
  • Watching sexual activities with or encouraging children to behave in sexually inappropriate ways.
  • Grooming a child in preparation for abuse (including via the internet).

There are several pieces of legislation that provide greater clarity on child sexual abuse. The Indecency with Children Act 1960 (which applies to crimes committed before May 2004) and the Sexual Offences Act 1956 (which also applies to crimes before this date) help with this.

As well as this, the Sexual Offences Act 2003 (sections 9 – 15) details the law as it applies to child sex offences after May 2004.

You could be able to claim compensation for sexual abuse and, in this article, we discuss what you would need to do this.

Child Abuse Statistics

The Office for National Statistics reviewed in their child abuse report for England and Wales for the year ending March 2019 some of the following key points:

  • 1 in 5 adults aged between 18 to 74 years had suffered at least one form of either emotional, physical, or sexual abuse or had witnessed domestic abuse or violence prior to being 16. This affected approximately 8.5 million people.
  • 49,570 children in England and 4,810 children in Wales were cared for by a local authority due to the risk of neglect or abuse by March 2019.
  • A survey from Childline stated that 19,847 counselling sessions to children in the UK raised abuse as the primary concern.
  • This resulted in 1 in 20 of the sessions requiring a referral to an external agency.
  • 52% of adults who had experienced some form of abuse prior to being 16 went on to experience domestic abuse in later life.

Accessing Support For Sexual Abuse

Sexual abuse can leave survivors with an array of problems as they try to get on with life. The impact on children can be devastating. It’s essential to access the right support to begin recovery so that survivors can put the ordeal behind them.

With this in mind, there are several agencies, charities and organisations that aim to offer this support to child sexual abuse victims, their families and partners:

  • The Survivors Trust – the umbrella agency for 124 agencies in the UK offering help and support after rape or sexual assault.
  • Rape Crisis – a network of independent rape crisis centres offering support and contact details local to survivors.
  • Survivors UK – they work with boys, men and non-binary people living with the experience of sexual violence.
  • Refuge – a charity that aims to help people who live in fear of violence or abuse.
  • Victim Support – an independent charity dedicated to supporting people affected by crime or traumatic experiences.

These agencies can help people come to terms with what happened to them. They offer valuable support to sexual abuse survivors as they rebuild their lives. It can also be a starting point for a decision to seek child abuse compensation.

Am I Eligible For Child Abuse Compensation?

At Sexual Abuse Compensation Advice, we understand that you may have anxieties about proving either a current or historical abuse claim. These issues can be challenging to confront and you may have concerns about eligibility.

Direct Claims and CICA awards

There are two main ways in which to approach a child abuse compensation claim. The first can be a direct claim against the individual.

If your abuser is identified and has the necessary financial means to compensate you, it can be worth suing them directly. Or you can seek damages from the institution they worked for such as a school, university or church if that employer’s negligence caused your suffering.

For example, if an employer failed to properly ensure the necessary background checks for a member of staff were made before they were employed, which permitted the opportunity that led to your abuse, your claim could be made against the employer.

The Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA)

The second manner in which you could approach a child abuse compensation claim is through the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA)

Looking at claims on a case by case basis, this scheme aims to provide some form of compensation to the victims of serious crimes when no other option is available. Amounts can be awarded without a suspect, an arrest or a prosecution.

Therefore, it can be appropriate for the CICA to make an award. This can be for either current or historical sexual abuse claims. The CICA does have quite strict criteria for eligibility.

  • Firstly, claims should ideally be made within 2 years of the incident.
  • If a claim is made outside of this limitation period, evidence may be needed to explain why it was not reported when it occurred. This could be due to factors such as being a minor at the time or being too physically or emotionally traumatised by the event.
  • Any unspent criminal convictions can undermine your eligibility.
  • Ultimately, a Claims Officer will decide on a ‘balance of probabilities’ if you receive an award.
  • In addition to this, you must have reported the crime and be willing to co-operate with the police in their investigations.

The CICA refer to their own tariff of award amounts as they relate to specific injuries or abuse scenarios. A medical examination or your GP notes can provide details to substantiate your claim.

Litigation Friends

A litigation friend can claim on behalf of a minor or person who lacks the mental capacity to claim. A litigation friend can be (for example) the parent, guardian, solicitor or professional advocate acting in the child’s best interests.

However, a litigation friend can only be used in a direct claim against the perpetrator rather than a claim made through the CICA claim.

A litigation friend would perform all the necessary tasks involved such as:

  • Making decisions for the child
  • Explaining the case to them (as best they can)
  • Finding out the child’s wishes and feelings
  • Taking advice and giving instruction to the solicitor
  • Paying any costs that the Court may order

A parent or guardian could claim on behalf of a child for a claim through the CICA. If you have the authority to act on behalf of a person who lacks the mental capacity to claim, you could claim on their behalf through the CICA.

How Much Child Abuse Compensation Could I Get?

The table below offers a brief excerpt of the CICA tariff. Injuries that correlate with those listed could receive the same compensation. (Please note that the figures for direct claims against the perpetrator would attract different values. Contact our advisors if you’d like to know more.)

Injury typeCriminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA) tariffnotes
sexual assault where victim is any age£1,000'minor' non-penetrative or sexual act(s) of a physical nature over clothing (B1)
sexual assault where victim is any age£2,000'serious' non-penetrative or sexual act(s) of a physical nature over clothing (B3)
sexual assault where victim is any age£3,300severe non-penetrative or oral-genital act(s) of a non-penile nature (B4)
sexual assault where victim is any age£11,000Incidents involving non-consensual penile penetration of vagina, anus or mouth (or one or more) by one attacker (B9)
sexual assault where victim is any age£22,000Acts of non-consensual penetrating in vagina, anus or mouth (or one or more) that results in internal bodily injuries of a serious nature (B12)
sexual assault where victim is any age£27,000Non-consensual penile acts involving the vagina, mouth or anus (or one or more) that caused severe mental illness
sexual assault where victim is a child£1,000sexual assault of someone under the age of 18 of a minor, non-penetrative nature above clothing (B1)
sexual assault where victim is a child£6,600Non-penile oral or genital act(s) that form a repeated pattern with frequent occurrence over and up to a three-year period. (B7)
sexual assault where victim is a child£13,500penile penetration of a non-consensual nature involving one or more of vagina, mouth or anus, during which two or more attackers were involved (B10)
sexual assault where victim is a child£44,000Non-consensual penetration with the penis involving vagina, anus or oral assault. One that causes internal bodily injury of an extreme nature with a permanent mental illness. This would need to be disabling in nature and confirmed by
psychiatrist. (B15)

Also, other amounts can be considered. As a general rule for CICA claims, special expenses must be:

  • Reasonable
  • Caused directly by the criminal injury
  • Necessary

For example, you may claim for:

  • Services or products that you are unable to source from somewhere else for free or less cost.
  • Compensation for certain costs that may relate to personal care or food preparation needs.

You could receive compensation for loss of earnings if you were unable to work after the assault. You must have been unable to work for longer than 28 weeks to be eligible for loss of earnings compensation.

Working With No Win No Fee Solicitors For Historic Abuse Claims

No Win No Fee agreements (or Conditional Fee Agreements) are a way in which you can access professional and instant legal representation without an upfront lawyer’s fee. This means a lawyer with experience in child sexual abuse claims could start work immediately to help you, regardless of your financial situation.

In addition to this, if your claim is not successful, there is no lawyer fee owed to your No Win No Fee criminal injuries lawyer. A successful claim requires a success fee to be paid to the lawyer. However, this is capped by law.

This cap aims to ensure you receive the majority of your award. It’s important to organise and present your evidence correctly at the start of a claim and a No Win No Fee solicitor can help with this.

Chat With Our Team About Making A Child Abuse Compensation Claim

In conclusion, thank you for reading this guide about child abuse compensation. We hope it has clarified how you could begin a claim directly or through the CICA.

Care and confidentiality are at the heart of what our panel of personal injury solicitors do. You do not have to face your child abuse compensation claim alone. Get in touch by:

  • Calling us on the number at the top of the page
  • Using our contact us form
  • Alternatively, you can use the ‘live support’ option for instant free legal advice

Discover More About Claiming Child Abuse Compensation

The resources below offer more information and support while you consider your child abuse compensation claim. As you read them, please do not hesitate to get in touch.

You can also check out some more of our other guides below: