How To Make A Catholic Church Sexual Abuse Claim

This guide looks at who might be eligible to start a Catholic Church sexual abuse claim. We explain how religious institutions can be negligent with regard to protecting and safeguarding their members from sexual offences, thus enabling claims to be made against them for this. 

We also examine who could be eligible to claim for sexual abuse through the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA) following sexual abuse by members of the Roman Catholic Church.

You will find information on how compensation in sexual abuse claims is calculated for both the harm you have experienced as well as related financial losses.

We understand that confidentiality is a significant concern for those who have been harmed by a religious institution. That is why we have taken the time to explain the strict standards of confidentiality that both our advisors and panel of solicitors adhere to.

You will also see a breakdown of the No Win No Fee agreement our panel of sexual assault solicitors can offer. We discuss the benefits and protections claimants can take advantage of under this.

To get further advice or a free consultation regarding your eligibility to begin a sexual abuse claim, speak to one of our friendly and experienced advisors today using any of the contact information given here:

  • Call the number at the top of this page.
  • Fill in the “Contact Us” here.
  • Use the live chat bubble at the bottom of your screen.
a solicitor writing notes on a catholic church sexual abuse claim

How Do You Make A Catholic Church Sexual Abuse Claim?

 

 

Select A Section

  1. Can You Make A Catholic Church Sexual Abuse Claim?
  2. Can You Claim If The Sexual Abuse Happened Years Ago?
  3. How Much Compensation Could You Receive From A Catholic Church Sexual Abuse Claim?
  4. Will Details Of Your Sexual Abuse In The Catholic Church Remain Confidential?
  5. How Can Our No Win No Fee Solicitors Help You Make A Sexual Abuse Claim?
  6. More Resources About Claiming For Sexual Abuse In The Catholic Church

Can You Make A Catholic Church Sexual Abuse Claim?

Some Roman Catholic priests, as well as other members of the Roman Catholic Church, have, unfortunately, exploited their position of trust within the organisation. This has led to the sexual and psychological abuse of both children and adults within the  Church. 

In March 2023, Pope Francis announced a series of reforms across the Roman Catholic Church aimed to combat child abuse within the organisation. Roman Catholic Priests are now required to report any suspected child sexual abuse as well as the abuse of adults. Bishops are now held directly accountable for any child sex abuse they help cover up or commit themselves.

The new rules brought in by Pope Francis aim to protect children and adults, including members of religious orders, across the Roman Catholic Church.

Source: https://news.sky.com/story/pope-francis-updates-catholic-church-rules-for-dealing-with-sexual-abuse-to-include-lay-leaders-12842205

While the Catholic Church, as a religious organisation, does not have a duty of care with regard to specific legislation, The Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA) states you can make a child sexual abuse claim against the “institution in which the abuse took place or against those responsible for that institution.”

Sexual assault is a criminal offence defined in the Sexual Offences Act 2003 as the non-consensual sexual touching of another. You can report such conduct to the police even if the abuse took place a number of years ago. Historical offences are prosecuted under the Sexual Offences Act 1956. While there is currently no system of mandatory reporting, the Government has advice on how to safeguard children.

What this means is that you can make a claim as a sexual abuse survivor directly against the church itself. Contact our advisors today to find out more about sexual abuse cases, as well as to get a free assessment of your eligibility.

Can You Claim If The Sexual Abuse Happened Years Ago?

reporting-sexual-abuse-years-later

Can You Make Church Abuse Claims After Reporting The Abuse Years Later?

Sexual abuse that happened years ago is referred to as historical abuse or sometimes as non-recent abuse. You can still begin a claim against the Roman Catholic Church for child sexual abuse, or if you were sexually abused as an adult, even if it happened years previously.

We understand why it may take you years to begin a compensation claim for historical sexual assault. Our team of dedicated advisors can provide free and confidential advice on making church abuse claims. You can contact our advisors 24 hours a day with any questions you may have or to get a free, no-obligation assessment of your eligibility to start a claim.

Making A Catholic Church Sexual Abuse Claim Through The CICA

There is a second avenue of claim available to victims of sexual abuse by the Catholic Church. The Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA) is an executive agency that was established to give the victims of violent crimes a means of claiming compensation.

Church abuse claims made through the CICA will require the criminal offence to be reported to the police. Compensation in criminal injury claims for child sexual abuse, as well as for adults who were sexually abused, is awarded in line with the Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme 2012 Tariff of Injury.

To find out about this avenue of claim, contact our advisors using the details given above.

How Much Compensation Could You Receive From A Catholic Church Sexual Abuse Claim?

As specified in the introduction, compensation following a successful Catholic Church sexual abuse claim can be made up of two heads of loss. The physical as well as psychological impacts of your injuries are compensated under general damages. Associated financial losses are compensated under special damages.

When calculating a potential value of general damages for your claim, reference can be made to the guidelines published by the Judicial College. Known as the JCG, this document details the guideline award brackets for various types of injuries. We have included a selection of these brackets relevant to historical sexual abuse compensation in the table here.

Compensation Table

Please note that we have provided this table to offer guidance only, as compensation is calculated on a case-by-case basis.

Type of HarmSeverityGuideline CompensationNotes
Sexual Abuse with Care Costs, Lost Earnings and Other Special DamagesSeriousUp to £500,000+ Compensation for serious sexual abuse including payments for loss of earnings, care costs, medical expenses and other special damages.
Sexual and/or Physical AbuseSevere (a)£45,000 to £120,000Serious abuse and/or prolonged severe psychiatric injury. At the top of this bracket are cases where there are serious effects on work, personal life and personal relationships.
Moderate (b)£20,570 to £45,000Cases where there has been less serious abuse and a less severe psychiatric impact. There will similarly be lesser impacts on work, social and personal relationships.
Less Severe (c)£9,730 to £20,570This bracket is appropriate for cases of abuse involving a lower level of seriousness and any psychiatric effects are mild, or resolved quickly.
General Psychiatric HarmSevere (a)£54,830 to £115,730The injured person will experience marked problems with regard to work, personal relationships and education with a very poor prognosis.
Moderately Severe (b)£19,070 to £54,830Cases where there are significant problems in relation to work, personal relationships and other factors, although the prognosis will be much more optimistic.
Moderate (c)£5,860 to £19,070Injured persons will have experienced a significant improvement in their condition and the prognosis will be good.
Post-Traumatic Stress DisorderSevere (a)£59,860 to £100,670Permanent effects across all aspects of the injured person's life that totally prevent work or functioning at anything resembling pre trauma level.
Moderately Severe (b)£23,150 to £59,860Significant disability for the foreseeable future although there will be some recovery with professional help.
Moderate (c)£8,180 to £23,150The injured person will have largely recovered and not be suffering from any gross disablement.

Claiming Special Damages

The second of the two heads of loss is called special damages. Certain financial losses associated with your injuries can be reimbursed as part of your compensation payout. Possible examples include:

  • Loss of earnings due to time taken off work to recover.
  • Support in the home with cooking, cleaning or other domestic tasks.
  • Adaptions to your home in cases where your mobility has been affected, such as an accessible shower or a stairlift. 
  • Out-of-pocket medical bills such as for prescriptions.

Remember, claiming special damages in church abuse claims requires evidence so be sure to keep your payslips, as well as any travel tickets, prescription letters, invoices for care and any receipts as proof of financial losses.

For a more in-depth estimation of the potential value of your particular claim, as well

Will Details Of Your Sexual Abuse In The Catholic Church Remain Confidential?

Owing to the number of high-profile and highly publicised cases of sexual abuse within the Catholic Church, we understand you may have reservations regarding the confidentiality of your potential claim.

Our team of advisors, as well as the solicitors on our panel, will ensure any information you provide during the claims process remains wholly confidential. Victims of abuse have the legal right to anonymity. Our panel of solicitors are bound by strict confidentiality rules, so anything you disclose to us will remain wholly confidential.

If you have any concerns regarding the confidentiality of your potential claim or would like to find out more about the possibility of starting a Catholic Church sexual abuse claim, you can speak to our advisory team via the contact details given below.

How Can Our No Win No Fee Solicitors Help You Make A Sexual Abuse Claim?

Historical abuse solicitors discussing a case

To begin a sexual abuse claim, contact our advisors for a zero-cost assessment of your eligibility. If our team decide you have a valid claim, one of the experienced sexual abuse solicitors from our panel could offer to take on your case under a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA).

A CFA is a No Win No Fee contract that offers claimants notable benefits. First of all, there won’t be any upfront fees for the solicitor to start work on your case in most circumstances. Similarly, you will not be liable for any ongoing fees during the claims process. You will also pay no fees if the solicitor loses your claim.

If your claim succeeds, compensation will be awarded. The solicitor will subtract a percentage from your compensation award as their success fee. The maximum success fee percentage is legally capped at 25%. This means most of the compensation payout is yours to keep.

For further advice or a free consultation regarding your eligibility to begin a criminal injury claim, contact our team today. You can reach our friendly and experienced advisors 24/7 using any of the contact information given here:

  • Call the number at the top of this page.
  • Fill in the “Contact Us” here.
  • Use the live chat bubble at the bottom of your screen.

More Resources About Claiming For Sexual Abuse In The Catholic Church

You can read some of our other guides to sexual assault claims here:

We have also included these external resources that you may find helpful:

Thank you for reading our guide to making a Catholic Church sexual abuse claim. You can come to our advisors with questions at any time. Our dedicated team can also assess your eligibility to begin a claim free of charge. Contact our advisors today via the contact information given above.