Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) On Sexual Abuse Claims

Welcome to our Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) page on making a sexual abuse claim. Here you can find answers to several questions about the process of securing compensation for the effects of sexual abuse.

We outline the different routes you may need to take to pursue a compensation claim and explain how compensation is calculated in certain cases.

If you have concerns about whether your claim will be confidential and how long it could take, you will find answers to these questions and more below.

You will also get insight into how a No Win No Fee solicitor from our panel could help you pursue a criminal injury claim. If you would like a free, no-strings consultation to discuss your options in further detail, you can reach us through any of the following methods:

  • Contact us through our online form.
  • Call the phone number listed above.
  • Start a conversation through the live chat feature appearing at the bottom of this page.

faq sexual abuse claims

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

  1. What Should I Do If I Want To Make A Sexual Abuse Claim?
  2. Can I Claim Compensation For Historical Abuse?
  3. Do I Need To Report The Sexual Abuse To The Police?
  4. How Much Compensation For A Sexual Abuse Claim?
  5. Will My Legal Claim Be Confidential?
  6. How Long Can Sexual Abuse Claims Take?
  7. Am I Able To Change My Abuse Solicitor Or Lawyer?
  8. Can I Claim If The Abuser Has Not Been Found Guilty?
  9. Is There Someone I Can Speak To For Support?

What Should I Do If I Want To Make A Sexual Abuse Claim?

It may be possible to claim compensation for the harm caused by sexual abuse. If you can claim and choose to do so, you could seek out the expert guidance of a sexual abuse claim solicitor.

In order for them to help you in the best way they can, you may need to share details about:

  • What happened to you.
  • How often the abuse occurred – for example, whether it was a singular incident or was committed over a longer period.
  • Whether you have spoken to someone about it or received support previously.

You may need to share any paperwork, photos or other forms of relevant documentation. However, rest assured that a specialist solicitor would handle them with professional care in order to help you build a case.

The solicitors from our panel have years of combined experience in this field and could help you seek criminal injury compensation. Get in touch with us to ask about being connected to a solicitor.

Can I Claim Compensation For Historical Abuse?

If you were the victim of historical abuse, meaning that you are an adult but suffered abuse when you were under 18 years old, you may still have the opportunity to claim compensation.

If it is no longer possible to claim against the perpetrator or a third party, you can take a non-recent abuse claim to the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA.) This Ministry of Justice-affiliated agency could hear your case even if the abuse happened some time ago.

We cover the time limit for a sexual abuse claim below, but don’t hesitate to call the number above if you have any questions.

Can I Claim Directly Against The Person Who Abused Me?

The CICA serves as a last resort for criminal injury claims. Before going down that route, you could attempt to sue your abuser directly. However, this is only possible if they have the financial assets to be able to pay compensation should your claim succeed.

Otherwise, you could sue a third party if they were vicariously liable for the abuse occurring. For example, if abuse by a teacher occurs because a school did not carry out DBS checks or listen to concerns about your abuser, you may be able to claim against the school or local council that operates it.

If you are unsure who your claim would be against, please get in touch and one of our dedicated advisors can give you a helping hand.

Do I Need To Report The Sexual Abuse To The Police?

Reporting sexual abuse to the police is important, first and foremost as a way of bringing the abuser to justice. It is also a significant part of the claims process, and can be vital to a claim through the CICA as they will expect the crime to be reported and will ask for a crime reference number as evidence. A police report also ensures you have an official record of the abuse.

Is There A Time Limit When Making Sexual Abuse Claims?

Not only should a crime be reported to the police, the report should be submitted as soon as reasonably possible. The general time limit for starting a sexual abuse claim through the CICA is two years from the date you reported the crime.

However, the definition of a reasonable timeframe is not set in stone. For example, the CICA will accept historical abuse cases that happened many years previously. If you can show why your report was delayed, it will be judged on a case-by-case basis.

In any case, it is best to report the crime to the police right away, if you haven’t already. Please call or reach out online if you need any advice on reporting a sexual crime and starting a claim.

How Much Compensation For A Sexual Abuse Claim? 

A payout following a claim made directly against an abuser or a third party cannot be predicted accurately, so this section focuses on how the CICA awards compensation.

The Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme 2012 features a tariff of fixed payment amounts, linked to different forms of physical and psychological injury, sexual assault, and more.

You can claim for up to three injuries, with 100% of the fixed compensation figure awarded for the highest-valued injury. The CICA formula then allows for 30% to be awarded for the second or joint-highest valued injury, and 15% for an injury with an equivalent or third-highest value.

A sexual abuse survivor may also become pregnant, lose a foetus or contract a sexually transmitted infection because of the crime. The CICA will make additional payments for these eventualities that are not affected by the formula.

Furthermore, if you qualify, you could seek a special expenses payout for costs incurred by a crime of violence like care costs or a loss of earnings if you miss work for a significant period.

Our advisors can discuss sexual abuse compensation payouts in further detail, so please do not hesitate to contact us with any questions.

CICA Compensation Table

With the exception of the top entry, all entries in this table can be found in the 2012 Scheme. Please note that payouts from the Scheme’s tariff are not subject to change.

Multiple Injuries and Special ExpensesVery SeriousUp to £500,000+A CICA payout accounting for numerous injuries and additional approved special expenses such as a loss of earnings or care costs.
Sexual Offence Where Victim is Any AgeNon-Consensual Penile Penetration Of The Mouth, Anus or Vagina£44,000The affected person suffers serious internal bodily injury and a severe mental illness that is permanent and disabling.
£22,000Abuse leading to serious internal bodily injuries.
Sexual Assault£27,000Assault causes a permanently disabling mental illness to a severe degree.
£22,000A moderate mental illness, which is permanently disabling as confirmed by psychiatric prognosis
£22,000The attack causes serious internal bodily injuries.
Sexual Assault (Victim is a Child)Non-Consensual Penile Penetration Of The Mouth, Anus or Vagina£44,000The abuse leads to serious internal bodily injury and severe, permanent and disabling mental illness.
One or More of Non-Penile Penetrative or Oral Genital Act(s)£22,000Assault results in serious internal bodily injuries.
Permanent Mental Injury£27,000A diagnosis or prognosis from a psychiatrist or clinical psychologist determines that the injury is seriously disabling.

Will My Legal Claim Be Confidential?

Given the especially sensitive nature of sexual abuse, it is completely understandable if you are worried about details being released or leaked.

Ensuring claimants’ well-being and peace of mind is a key priority for us at Sexual Abuse Compensation Advice, so any details you share will be kept confidential. Furthermore, even if your case goes to court, the details of the case will be shared when required but your identity will not be disclosed.

How Long Can Sexual Abuse Claims Take? 

Numerous factors can affect the duration of a sexual abuse claim, so there is no true average time. The CICA notes that it aims to process applications within 12 months, but that is not a set deadline.

Factors about the case itself, such as the nature and length of abuse, may impact on the claim’s timeframe. A CICA payout is meant to reflect the severity of injuries and the long-term impact of a violent crime, so if the effect on you is not clear, there may be a wait to ensure that the compensation you receive is fair.

A solicitor from our panel could help the process run smoothly and keep you updated even if the claim takes a long time. Please get in touch if you would like to learn more.

Am I Able To Change My Abuse Solicitor Or Lawyer?

A sexual abuse claim solicitor’s role is to provide clear and effective support throughout your case, and to give you the best possible chance of a satisfactory outcome. You could change your legal representation for any of the following reasons:

  • Your solicitor does not understand the claim or how to present your case well.
  • You are not getting updates or replies to your queries.
  • The solicitor is not communicating with third parties such as the CICA, causing delays to the process.
  • Your case is heavily delayed or running slowly without any reason given.
  • You do not get on well with your solicitor or believe they are not committed to helping you.

If you are currently claiming and are not happy with your representation, you could consider working with an expert solicitor from our panel. Please get in touch to learn how you could be connected to one of our panel’s solicitors for dedicated support.

Can I Claim If The Abuser Has Not Been Found Guilty?

The CICA accepts claims even if the accused perpetrator has not been convicted. This is because, in line with Section 3 of the Criminal Injuries Compensation Act 1995, their decision is based on the balance of probabilities like in a civil court case, rather than proving guilt beyond reasonable doubt. They can also come to a decision while a criminal trial is still in progress.

Regardless of how any criminal case is progressing, it is worth contacting us as soon as possible so we can check your potential claim and help ensure a valid CICA claim is submitted within the time limit.

Is There Someone I Can Speak To For Support?

Support will always be available to you through our 24/7 advice service. If you want guidance on making a sexual abuse claim and a free assessment of your potential claim, you can speak to an advisor by either:

  • Using our ‘Contact Us’ form.
  • Calling the above number.
  • Sending a message through our live chat feature.

Talking about sexual abuse can be very difficult and you may feel you need to share your experience with a healthcare professional. Many charities and services offer dedicated support, including but not limited to:

If you have any further questions about making a sexual abuse claim, please do not hesitate to contact us and we will be here to help.