Can I Claim For A Psychological Injury After Sexual Abuse?

Our guide explains when it is possible to claim compensation for a psychological injury caused by sexual abuse through the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA), a government agency designed to give victims of violent crimes the opportunity to seek compensation for this suffering.

A sexual crime can cause lasting distress as well as physical pain. We outline the requirements for taking a claim for mental harm to the CICA.

You can also read more about what psychological injuries could occur and learn about the Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme 2012, a tariff used by the CICA to compensate for various injuries.

Lastly, we outline the time limit for starting a criminal injury claim through the CICA and highlight the benefits of instructing a sexual abuse claims solicitor from our expert panel to ensure your case is submitted properly and on time.

If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to call us for a free and confidential consultation with an advisor. You can speak to us at any time that suits you through any of these avenues:

  • Call the number at the top of this page.
  • Contact us through our web form.
  • Talk to an advisor in the live chat pop-up.

compensation psychological injury

Browse Our Guide

  1. Can I Claim For A Psychological Injury After Sexual Abuse?
  2. What Is A Psychological Injury?
  3. What Psychological Injuries Could I Claim For?
  4. Is There A CICA Time Limit To Claim For A Psychological Injury?
  5. Use Our Panel Of Solicitors To Make A CICA Claim
  6. Learn More About Claiming For The Effects Of Sexual Abuse

Can I Claim For A Psychological Injury After Sexual Abuse?

The CICA handles compensation claims for people who have suffered psychological or physical injuries from a violent crime that occurred in Great Britain. If a person has no other way of seeking recompense for their harm, they can submit a CICA claim. Using the 2012 Scheme, the CICA decides which claims are eligible for compensation and how much will be awarded.

To be eligible, your claim must show that:

  • You suffered because of a violent crime. The CICA’s definition of a violent crime includes sexual abuse and assault.
  • The incident happened in England, Scotland, Wales or another relevant place.
  • The crime was reported to the police.

Please call if you want any further guidance on sexual abuse claims and whether you can make a CICA claim for a psychological injury you suffered because of a crime of violence.

What Is A Psychological Injury? 

The term ‘psychological injury’ can refer to numerous conditions. The 2012 Scheme notes that compensation can be awarded for any mental injury that is disabling, meaning an issue having a ‘substantial adverse effect on a person’s ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities.’

You could claim for a psychological issue that is temporary, lasting at least six weeks or is permanent and has long-term effects on you.

An example of such an injury is post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), which affects an estimated 49% of rape victims according to the charity PTSD UK. Symptoms of a disabling psychological injury might include:

  • Having flashbacks and re-experiencing the incident.
  • Emotional numbing.
  • Feeling on edge.
  • Irritability or angry outbursts.
  • Trouble sleeping.
  • Self-harming or destructive behaviour.

If this sounds familiar, please be sure to seek support if you haven’t already – you can find NHS guidance here. We can share advice about claiming compensation and assess whether you have a case the CICA will consider, so please call if you would like to know more.

What Psychological Injuries Could I Claim For?

One form of compensation the CICA could award covers the harm inflicted in the incident. A claim for a psychological injury can factor in up to three injuries, so if you were also physically harmed, you could include both in your submission to the CICA. They use figures from the 2012 Scheme to calculate injury payments, which are awarded along the following staggered scale:

  • 100% of the tariff figure for the highest-valued injury is awarded.
  • You then receive 30% of the tariff amount for an injury with an equal value. Alternatively, this applied to the second-highest value of injury.
  • 15% of the tariff total for the third-greatest value, or an injury with the same award as the second-highest, is paid out.

The 2012 Scheme also includes payments specifically for victims of sexual assault or abuse. Paragraph 34 of the Scheme notes that if a person suffers a mental injury because of a sex crime, they will be awarded whichever payment is highest between the mental injury and sexual assault tariffs.

You could receive an additional tariff payment if you became pregnant, contracted an STI or lost a foetus due to the crime, even if three injuries are included in the claim.

Special Expenses In A Sexual Abuse Claim

The table below uses fixed tariffs from the 2012 Scheme and features examples of CICA payouts for psychological injury or violent sexual crimes.

Disabling Mental Injury£13,500Five years or more, but not permanent.
£6,200Two years or more, up to five years.
£2,40028 weeks or more, up to two years.
£1,000Lasting six weeks or more, up to 28 weeks.
Permanent Mental Injury£27,000A seriously disabling condition.
£19,000A moderately disabling condition.
Sexual Assault (Victim is Any Age)£22,000Assault resulting in serious internal bodily injury.
£8,200Repetitive, frequent abuse by one or more attackers for three years or more.
Non-Consenual Penile Penetration Of One Or More Of Vagina, Anus Or Mouth (Victim Is Any Age)£22,000Leading to serious internal injuries.
£22,000Pattern of repetitive incidents by one or more assailants across three years or more.

Special Expenses In A Sexual Abuse Claim

The CICA may also award special expenses if the necessary criteria are satisfied. You could receive a payment for reasonable expenses made essential by the crime of violence. For example:

  • Administration fees if you need support handling your affairs due to a lack of mental capacity.
  • The cost of supervision if your condition means you pose a substantial danger to yourself or others.
  • Payments for medical treatment and prescriptions from the NHS. You can also claim for charges by another state health service if NHS care would have brought about the same costs.

Please give us a call if you would like to know more about the forms of compensation and what you could be awarded in a claim for a psychological injury.

Is There A CICA Time Limit To Claim For A Psychological Injury? 

Generally, a claim must be submitted to the CICA within two years of the crime occurring. The CICA allows for some exceptions because some parties may not be able to claim within that time frame. Two examples where a claim for psychological injury following a sex crime might have an extended time limit are:

  • If you cannot claim earlier because the crime had a disabling effect on your physical or mental state.
  • If you were a child when the historical sexual abuse occurred.

The CICA expects that the crime will have been reported to the police as soon as reasonably possible. However, they will consider circumstances that caused an understandable delay.

Our advisors can talk you through the time limit for CICA claims in further detail, so please call if you have any questions.

Use Our Panel Of Solicitors To Make A CICA Claim

If you are a sexual abuse or sexual assault survivor and want to seek compensation for your mental suffering, we are here to help.

A solicitor from our panel could assist you in a claim for a psychological injury caused by sexual abuse, using their experience and knowledge to handle the process with confidence.

If you have a valid claim that can be presented to the CICA, you could instruct a solicitor to do this for you under a No Win No Fee contract called a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA.)

A CFA may benefit you due to the fact that you will pay nothing upfront for the solicitor’s efforts. There will not be a payment during the case for their work either, with that offer extending beyond the end of the case if it is rebuffed.

A percentage of the compensation awarded by the CICA would go to your solicitor as their success fee. Because of The Conditional Fee Agreements Order 2013, this deduction is capped.

To make a claim today, simply call us on the number at the top of this page.

Learn More About Claiming For The Effects Of Sexual Abuse

We have a number of other guides you may also find informative:

Some important resources:

Thank you for reading our guide on making a claim for a psychological injury caused by sexual abuse. Please call any time if there is anything we can help with.