If you are responsible for a child who was sexually abused by another child, you may be under the misapprehension that you would not be able to claim compensation for injuries caused by the abuse. Or, perhaps you’re reading this guide as a victim of historical child sexual abuse when you and the perpetrator were children?
Here at Legal Helpline, we have created this guide to offer some insight into when you may be able to make claims for sexual abuse if the perpetrator of the abuse was a minor. We also provide information about how we could help you, whether you are claiming on behalf of a child you’re responsible for, or claiming for historical sexual abuse that happened to you when you were younger. We hope you find this guide useful. If you would like further information, or you would like to begin a claim, you can reach our specialist advisors on 0161 696 9685. We’d be glad to help you.
Jump To A Section
- A Guide On Claiming For Children Sexually Abused By Other Children
- What Is Child-On-Child Abuse?
- What Are The Symptoms Of Abuse Committed By Children?
- Why Do Children Commit Abuse?
- Identifying Appropriate And Harmful Behaviours In Children
- Injuries Which Could Be Caused By Sexual Abuse
- Calculating Compensation For Children Sexually Abused By Other Children
- Other Ways In Which Children Could Be Compensated
- Steps Victims Of Child Abuse Could Take To Claim Compensation
- Why Let Legal Helpline Handle Your Child Abuse Claim?
- No Win No Fee Claims For Children Sexually Abused By Other Children
- Begin Your Child Abuse Claim
- Support For Child Abuse Victims
If, as a child, you were sexually abused by another child, or you are an adult responsible for a child who you think may be the victim of child abuse, you may not know what to do about it. Child sexual abuse is a crime and could be punishable by law. As such, a victim of such a crime could seek compensation for their injuries. But who would you claim against, and what restrictions might there be on making such claims? This is why this guide has been created, to explain the answers.
What Does The Law Say?
According to the Crown Prosecution Service, a child perpetrator of child sexual abuse could be prosecuted if the case is in the public interest. Examples could include a babysitter or person in a position of trust abusing a child. It would be an offence if a person under the age of 18 did anything contained in sections 9-12 of the Sexual Offences Act 2003, which covers children under 16. These may be considered grave crimes, and could also lead to prosecution.
Who Could I Claim Against?
Most compensation claims relating to child sexual abuse would be through the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority, or the CICA, as it could be referred to. This is an authority that administers a compensation scheme for victims of crime. The crime would need to be reported to the police, and the victim must have cooperated with the police to bring the person to justice in order for a claim to be heard. There is a criminal injury claims time limit in place for many claims of this type, which is usually 2 years from the incident date, but this could be extended if you are claiming only once you reach 18, in which case you could have until your 20th birthday to launch a claim. In addition to this, exceptions for historical sexual abuse could also be made if trauma has prevented you from reporting the abuse to the police.
Claiming from the CICA would only be possible if all other routes to compensation are blocked. In some cases, you may be able to make a claim against another liable party, such as the party responsible for the perpetrator or the person responsible for safeguarding children, provided that they have failed in their duty of care. In these cases, the personal injury claims time limit could be three years from the date of the incident, or for cases of historical abuse, exceptions could occur.
Making A Claim On Behalf Of A Child
If you are claiming on behalf of a child who was sexually abused by another child, you would have to apply to be their litigation friend. This means you could make decisions on behalf of the child regarding their claim.
Child-on-child abuse, according to the NSPCC and the NHS, is when a child is harmed intentionally by another child. It could include physical abuse, emotional abuse or sexual abuse, and could happen online or in person. In terms of child sexual abuse by another child, this could include non-contact or contact abuse, or a combination of both of these.
Child sexual abuse could include:
- Sexual name-calling
- Sexual touching
- Using a body part or object to penetrate a child
- Forcing or coercing a child into sexual activity
- Making a child touch someone else or undress
- Touching a child in a sexual manner
- Kissing a child in a sexual manner
- Exposing a child to another person’s genitals
- Showing pornography to a child
- Making a child masturbate
- Involving a child in the making, distributing or viewing of pornographic material
- Making a child take part in sexual conversations or activities through a smartphone
If you or a child you are responsible for believes they are being sexually abused or have been abused in the past, this should be reported, even if a child has been sexually abused by another child.
In some cases of child abuse committed by another child, the signs could be difficult to spot in the victim. They may not speak up about the abuse as they may not know something is wrong, or they may be the victim of bullying and may fear reprisal if they talk to an adult about what has happened. Some signs a child may be being sexually abused, according to the NSPCC, could include:
- Unexplained personality or behaviour changes
- Being withdrawn
- Being more anxious
- Being aggressive, uncharacteristically
- Struggling to make/keep friendships
- Poor social skills
- Poor bonds with parents
- Going missing
- Knowing about adult issues that would be inappropriate to be aware of
- Wearing clothes that cover their body at all times
If you are responsible for a child who was sexually abused by another child, or you were the victim of such abuse when you were younger, you might wonder why children commit abuse.
According to StopItNow, there are a variety of reasons why children may abuse other children. Sometimes the reasons may not be clear and could be very complicated. However, some reasons that a child could sexually abuse another child might include:
- If they have been sexually abused themselves
- If they have been exposed to physical or emotional abuse at home
- If they are a victim of child sexual exploitation
- If they have been exposed to sexual abuse online
- If they have accessed sexually explicit videos, movies, pictures or video games
No matter what the reason is, sexual abuse of another child could cause harm to that child, and if you or a child you were responsible for was abused by a minor, it could lead to a claim for compensation.
According to StopItNow, there is an acceptable range of behaviour when it comes to growing up, and some of this may relate to sexual exploration with children of similar age or size, for example. However, there are some behaviours that would not be considered acceptable and should be tackled by a parent or responsible person. Often, according to StopItNow, a simple instruction to amend the behaviour is enough, but in some cases, the child’s behaviour may continue, which could require further help.
Behaviours that might indicate an increased risk to others could include:
- Regular minimisation, justification, or denial of the effects of inappropriate behaviour
- Missing/ignoring cues surrounding sexual boundaries
- Preferring to be with younger children over their peers
- Physical contact with a resistant child
- Responding to friendly or affectionate gestures in a sexual manner
- Linking sexual behaviour with aggression
- Having an inability to control their inappropriate sexual behaviour
- Taking younger children to secret or hidden places to play touching or undressing games
This list is not exhaustive, however. If you are worried about a child you are responsible for and think they may be being sexually abused, urgent intervention may be required.
If a child is sexually abused by another child, it could cause them to suffer both physically and emotionally.
Physical injuries caused by child sexual abuse could include:
- Injuries that are internal
- Injuries to the genitals
- Injuries concurrent with an attack, such as lacerations, bruising etc
- Sexually transmitted infections
As well as those physical injuries mentioned above, a child sexually abused by another child might suffer psychological harm. According to the NHS, long-term emotional effects of sexual abuse could include:
- Eating disorders
- A higher likelihood of self-harming, criminal behaviour, alcohol and drug problems
Whether you or a child you are responsible for has suffered physical abuse or emotional abuse, it may be worth looking into whether it could be possible to make a claim for compensation.
One thing that many people may want to know before going ahead with a personal injury or criminal injury claim is ‘How much compensation could I receive?’. While you may have looked for a personal injury claims calculator to help answer this question, the figures you would receive from such a calculator would only be rough estimates. This is due to the fact that your claim would be assessed on the specific unique facts that surround it. You would also, as part of the claims process, be required to undergo an assessment with an independent medical expert so that your injuries and prognosis could be verified. The report produced by the medical expert could be used to evidence your claim and to work out what level of compensation your injuries should attract.
We understand that it might feel frustrating not to know how much compensation you could receive before you go ahead with a child sexual abuse claim, so we have provided some figures below which could give you some insight into the level of compensation that might be appropriate for your injuries. The first table offers insight into the Criminal Injuries Compensation Tariff 2012, which could be appropriate for claims through the CICA.
The second table we have created covers personal injury claims against other liable parties. We have taken the figures below from the Judicial College Guidelines, which is a legal publication that could be used by the courts and solicitors to hone in on a value for your claim.
|Injury||Judicial College Guideline Payout||Notes|
|Psychiatric harm assessed as severe||£51,460 - £108,620||Severe damage to the victim’s ability to maintain/form relationships and their ability to cope with education and work. Victim would have an extremely poor prognosis.|
|Psychiatric harm assessed as moderately severe||£17,900 - £51,460||Significant damage to the victim’s ability to maintain/form relationships and their ability to cope with education and work. Victim would have a more optimistic prognosis.|
|Psychiatric harm assessed as moderate||£5,000 - £17,900||Moderate damage to the victim’s ability to maintain/form relationships and their ability to cope with education and work. Victim would have a good prognosis.|
|PTSD assessed as severe||£56,180 - £94,470||Permanent harm to the victim’s ability to function like they did before the trauma.|
|Injury Category||CICA Tariff Level||Remarks|
|Sexual assault/s||£1,000||Non-penetrative and above the clothing|
|Sexual assault/s||£2,000||Non-penetrative and under the clothing|
|Frequent and repetitive sexual assaults (a pattern of)||£6,600||Lasting less than 3 years|
|Frequent and repetitive sexual assaults (a pattern of)||£8,200||Lasting over 3 years|
|Frequent and repetitive sexual assaults (a pattern of)||£22,000||Causing internal injuries|
|Frequent and repetitive sexual assaults (a pattern of)||£22,000||Bringing about moderate mental illness|
|Frequent and repetitive sexual assaults (a pattern of)||£27,000||Bringing about severe mental illness|
|Penile penetration (rape)||£22,000||Bringing about moderate mental illness|
|Penile penetration (rape)||£27,000||Bringing about severe mental illness|
|Penile penetration (rape)||£33,000||Bringing about moderate mental illness and internal injury|
|Penile penetration (rape)||£44,000||Bringing about severe mental illness and internal injury|
The above section provided information on the compensation you could receive for the pain, suffering and any loss of amenity you have endured because of your injuries, but you could also claim for financial harm you’ve suffered too. The financial expenses you could claim for would depend on whether you were claiming through the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority, or against the perpetrator or the person/s responsible for them.
CICA Financial Expenses – These need to be reasonable, associated directly to your injuries, and would not be able to be recovered elsewhere, such as through the benefits office or local authority, for example. They could include:
- Wage losses, although you would need to be away from the workplace for over 28 weeks to be considered eligible. The rate you would receive in compensation would be the statutory sick pay rate at the time your case was assessed.
- Physical aids – If you were injured severely enough to require a physical aid that could not be provided through the NHS, this could form part of your claim.
- Care costs – If the local authority could not cover your care needs, such as continence and toileting needs for free, and they were caused directly by your injuries, these could also be claimed for.
Civil Personal Injury Claims Expenses – These could include:
- Wage losses – These could be calculated from the date you began losing out and could be recovered at your actual rate of pay.
- Medical and travel costs – If you had to pay for prescriptions, counselling, travel to see your lawyer, for example, these costs could be recovered within a personal injury claim.
- Care costs – If you required care within your own home due to your injuries, you could also claim for care costs.
Whether you are pursuing a claim through the CICA or against another liable party, providing evidence of costs you’ve incurred is vital in being able to claim for them. It would be wise, therefore, to keep bills, receipts, bank statements and payslips that could evidence such expenses. If you do not have proof, you would not be able to claim.
Claiming compensation for an abused child you are responsible for or for the effects of abuse you’ve suffered when you were a child could involve some or all of the following steps:
- Getting support – you may wish to access support from the NSPCC, Rape Crisis or Victim Support, for example. These organisations may be able to offer you advice and guidance on how to access counselling or other support services.
- Reporting the sexual abuse to the police – In order to make a claim for child sexual abuse, you would have to report it to the police.
- Writing down what’s happened – You would usually be asked to give a witness statement as part of your claim. Writing down what’s happened as soon as you are able to could provide some of the vital information you may need for your claim.
- Getting legal advice – Before going ahead with a claim for a child sexually abused by another child, you may benefit from getting legal advice. While it could be possible to make a child sexual abuse claim on your own, the support and assistance a lawyer can have on your case could have a positive impact on your chances of success. A lawyer could take on the leg work of your claim, allowing you to concentrate on your future.
Claiming for compensation could be quite complicated, particularly if you have little to no experience of how such claims work. You could benefit from the assistance of a personal injury solicitor in order to help you with your claim, and we could connect you with a lawyer with the capability to fight for the maximum compensation possible for your case. However, this is not the only way in which we could help you. We also offer free advice and eligibility checks for potential claimants, which puts them under no obligation to go forward with a claim.
We have been helping claimants get the compensation they deserve for their injuries for many years, and our advisors have been specially trained to offer the support and guidance claimants may need to begin claiming for the compensation they deserve. We’d be delighted to help you too.
If you would like to make a claim for a child who was sexually abused by another child and are looking for a personal injury lawyer to help you, you may not be aware that you could benefit from legal help without paying for it upfront. If you work with a lawyer who will take your claim forward on a No Win No Fee basis, you would not have to pay them for their services until such time as your compensation had been paid out. How claims like this work is through a Conditional Fee Agreement, which you would have to sign before the solicitor starts work on your case. This agreement would promise your solicitor a small success fee, which is legally capped, once they had secured a payout for you. If the lawyer did not manage to secure any compensation for you, you would not have to settle the success fee, nor would you be required to pay for the costs they had incurred while pursuing your claim.
If you would like to know more about making claims in this way or would like to be connected with a personal injury solicitor who could help with your claim on this basis, please call our advisors – we’d be happy to help.
Getting in touch with the team here at Legal Helpline is simple. All you need to do is:
- Call us on 0161 696 9685
- Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
- Use the Live Chat Service
- Or, complete the contact form and we’ll call you back.
With free, no-obligation advice and support, there’s really no need to delay, so why not get the support you’re looking for to start your claim today?
How To Report Child Abuse – This government guide shows how you could report child abuse cases where a child was sexually abused by another child.
Child Abuse Prosecution Information – The Crown Prosecution offers information regarding prosecution for child abuse.
Victim Support – This organisation could offer support to victims of sexual abuse.
Making A Claim For Abuse – We have produced a general guide on making sexual abuse claims that you can access here.
Sexual Abuse Historical Claims – If the abuse you suffered happened some time ago, you may find this guide of interest.
Paedophilia Claims – If a paedophile has perpetrated your sexual abuse, this guide could be useful to you.
Guide by JS
Published by REG