Can I Claim For Sexual Abuse By A Teacher?

When children attend school, they put their trust in teaching staff and so do their parents. In rare cases, a teacher will breach that trust and commit one of the worst crimes possible by sexually abusing a child in their care. When that happens, it’s important the criminal justice system punishes the teacher to prevent them from offending again. However, that won’t help the victim directly, so they may want to pursue justice themselves. This guide will therefore explain how you can claim compensation for sexual abuse by a teacher. We’ll look at claiming for recent abuse as well as historical cases. Also, we’ll look at the different methods that you can use to make a claim.

Legal Helpline is able to support you with claims for child abuse by offering a confidential no-obligation assessment of any claim. Our advisors will listen compassionately to what’s happened, review any evidence you’re able to supply and provide free legal advice on your options. If there’s a chance your claim can be made successfully, they’ll refer you to a personal injury lawyer from our panel who’ll work on a No Win No Fee basis if they take your claim on.

Please call 0161 696 9685 to start your claim today or, if you prefer, please continue reading to find out more about how we could help you claim.

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A Guide On Claims If Sexually Abused By A Teacher

You might think that when a teacher is charged and sentenced for sexually abusing a child, that’s the end of the case. However, any child who’s been abused in such a way is likely to suffer from psychological injuries such as PTSD. They could also have ongoing pain from physical injuries caused by the abuse. Therefore, they may want to look at claiming compensation for that suffering.

Sexual abuse claims against a teacher

Sexual abuse claims against a teacher

If that’s the case, there are two options available to the victim. They can seek compensation via a personal injury claim against the person responsible for their suffering. If that’s not possible because the teacher doesn’t have the means to pay compensation, a claim could be made through a government scheme operated by the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA). In this guide, we’re going to look at when you could be entitled to make a claim, how long you have to do so and how much compensation might be payable.

If it’s your child who’s been abused by a teacher, then, due to their age, they won’t be able to make a claim themselves. Instead, a parent, guardian or responsible adult could apply to be a litigation friend and represent the child’s interests to try and achieve a compensation payment for them. We’ll discuss how the litigation friend process works later in the guide.

Our team of specialist advisors can help you through the claims process. We offer free legal advice and treat all calls in confidence. If you’d like to discuss whether a claim might be possible, please get in touch today. You’ll find several methods of contacting us listed in the final section of our guide.

What Is Child Sexual Abuse By Teachers?

Child sexual abuse is where a young person is tricked or forced into sexual activity. It can happen anywhere and might be online or in person. When a teacher sexually abuses a child, they are breaching the trust the child, their parents and the school’s management has placed in them. Sexual abuse by a teacher could happen at break time, after school, on school trips or away from the school entirely.

Even though a student might be the legal age of sexual consent (16-years old), and even if they consent to sexual activity with a teacher, the teacher would still be breaking the law. According to the Sexual Offences (Amendment) Act 2000, it is illegal for any person aged over 18 who is in a position of trust to have sex with anybody under the age of 18.

If you or somebody you know is affected by sexual abuse by a teacher right now, you can report it via the NSPCC website or by calling 0808 800 5000.

Symptoms Of Children Who Have Been Abused By A Teacher

Children might not be willing or able to speak about sexual abuse by a teacher because they trust them so much or because they’re in fear of what might happen to them or the teacher. In some cases, the child might not even know what’s happening is wrong.

According to the NSPCC, there are a number of signs that could indicate some form of abuse is happening to a child. These include:

  • Seeming anxious.
  • Changes in their personality or behaviour.
  • Has few friends or lacks social skills.
  • Becoming withdrawn or uncharacteristically aggressive.
  • Going missing or running away.
  • Having a poor relationship or bond with their parents.
  • Has knowledge of adult issues which aren’t appropriate for their age.
  • They always wear clothes that cover their body.

Showing some or all of these signs doesn’t necessarily mean a child is being abused by their teacher but if you spot them, you might want to report your suspicions or discuss them with your child where possible.

Physical Or Psychological Injuries Caused By Sexual Abuse

When you claim compensation for sexual assault or abuse by a teacher, the settlement will usually cover physical injuries and also psychological issues caused by the abuse.

When a child is abused, there can be a number of physical injuries which can be temporary or may cause them to suffer for the rest of their life. With regards to psychological issues, the trauma can cause adults who were abused as children to struggle to maintain relationships, find it harder to get a good job or to be a good parent. It can also lead to mental health problems, criminal behaviour, self-harm and alcohol abuse.

Types Of Sexual Violence And Abuse

Sexual abuse can be categorised as contact or non-contact abuse. It can happen online or in person. The types of contact abuse which can happen to a child include:

  • Forcing a child to participate in sexual activity.
  • Forcing a child to undress or touch somebody else.
  • Using a body part to penetrate or rape a child.
  • Sexually touching any part of a child’s clothed or unclothed body.

It’s important to note that sexual abuse isn’t just penetrative. It can include kissing, touching and oral sex.

Non-contact abuse, where the abuser doesn’t touch the child, includes:

  • Exposing a child to sexual acts.
  • Showing them pornography.
  • Forcing the child to watch, make or distribute child abuse images or videos.
  • Exposing (flashing).
  • Making the child carry out sexual activities on a phone or camera.

Again, if you are affected by sexual abuse by a teacher right now, please contact the NSPCC for support.

Vicarious Liability Of Schools For Abuse Carried Out By Teachers

It is sometimes possible to make a claim against the school which employed the teacher who sexually abused the child. To do so, you need to prove vicarious liability. This means that they carried out the sexual abuse within the course of their employment.

Claiming against the school would not take away the criminal’s liability but it could be used to make a secondary claim against the school.

If you’d like to discuss your options, please contact a member of our team for free legal advice.

Instances Where The School Knew About The Abuse

Also, if it can be shown that the school was negligent because they knew about the abuse, or should’ve known about the abuse, then this would be another reason that you might want to claim against the school as well as the teacher.

An example of when this might be the case is where a pupil spoke with another teacher, the safeguarding officer or head teacher about what was happening, but nothing was done about it. Alternatively, if the teacher had a criminal record for similar offences or was on the Sex Offenders Register but was still employed by the school, a claim could also be possible.

If you suspect that your school, or your child’s school, has been negligent and would like to claim against them, please contact us today and let us assess your claim for free.

Time Limits To Make A Sexual Abuse Claim

There is a personal injury claim time limit of 3-years in the UK. This generally begins from the date an injury was sustained. For CICA claims, the limitation period is 2-years from the date of the abuse.

However, the time limit can be longer in some circumstances. If you’re claiming on behalf of your child, you can do so at any point before they turn 18. Otherwise, their 3-year time limit begins on their 18th birthday.

For CICA claims, where extreme circumstances exist, the time limit can be waived or extended. In cases of historic child abuse, the CICA starts the 2-year period from the date you reported the case to the police.

To clarify how long you have to make a claim for sexual abuse by a teacher, please contact a member of our team today.

How To Claim With A Litigation Friend If Under The Age Of Eighteen

As children are unable to represent themselves legally, a parent or responsible adult would need to become a ‘litigation friend’ for a compensation claim to be made. If you do represent your child, you handle the claim for them and work with a personal injury lawyer and the courts on their behalf.

If compensation is agreed, a local court will review the amount of compensation to determine if it is fair and then will hold it in a trust fund until the child turns 18. You can ask for funds to be released before then, but you have to apply to the court and explain how your child will benefit from the money.

Reporting Instances Of Teachers Sexually Abusing Children

Reporting sexual abuse by a teacher is vitally important because, although your or your child have already suffered, the teacher may still be employed and abusing other children. By reporting the teacher, not only will the teacher be investigated, you could be preventing the harm of another child.

There are a number of ways to report the teacher. In the first instance, you can contact the police directly on 999, 101 or by visiting your local police station. If you are going to claim through the CICA scheme, you are obliged to inform the police so this might be your only option.

In other circumstances, the NSPCC allows you to report abuse to them. You have the choice to remain anonymous but they will have to contact police if they believe a child is in immediate danger.

Compensation Calculator For Victims Of Sexual Abuse By Teachers

Now we’re going to review how much compensation you might receive for your sexual abuse claim. Because we know that every claim is different with victims affected in different ways, we’ve provided the table below instead of a personal injury claims calculator. 

The figures shown are from the CICA tariff of injuries. If you decide to claim directly against the criminal rather than from the CICA scheme, the amount you’ll receive will differ. When you speak with a solicitor, and they’ve assessed your claim thoroughly, you’ll be provided with a more accurate personalised figure.

Type of ClaimCompensation AmountAdditional Details
Sexual Assault£1,000Minor, non-penetrative sexual act over clothing.
Sexual Assault£1,500Minor, non-penetrative frequent sexual act over clothing.
Sexual Assault£2,000Serious, non-penetrative sexual acts under clothing.
Sexual Assault£3,300Serious pattern of non-penetrative physical sexual acts under clothing.
Sexual Assault£11,000One incident of non-consensual sexual assault with penile penetration.
Sexual Assault£16,500Repeated incidents of non-consensual sexual assault with penile penetration for up to 3-years
Sexual Assault£22,000Repeated incidents of non-consensual sexual assault with penile penetration for more than 3-years
Mental Illness£33,000A moderate mental illness caused by repeated non-consensual sexual assaults.

This is a sample of the compensation payments available through the CICA scheme. We’ll be able to advise you about what you might be entitled to claim when you speak with an advisor.

Additional Damages In Personal Injury Or CICA Claims

When making personal injury claims or CICA claims, the first thing that’s claimed for is any pain, suffering or loss of amenity caused by your injuries. This is called general damages. The table in the previous part of this guide showed examples of general damages payments.

On top of that, when making a personal injury claim against the defendant directly, you could claim for any financial costs you’ve had to pay for because of your injuries. That might include travel costs, care costs, medical expenses and any loss of future income that your suffering might lead to.

In CICA claims, what can be claimed for as special expenses differ slightly because you have to prove that the costs can’t be claimed back through other routes such as the NHS or the benefits system. All expenses claimed through the CICA scheme must be necessary, reasonable and incurred as a direct result of criminal injuries (psychological or physical).

When you speak with us about your claim, your advisor will explain what costs you could ask for. To support your claim, we’d advise retaining any receipts, bank statements or other documents that show how much you’ve paid out.

Steps Victims Of Abuse By Teachers Or In School Settings Could Claim

If you are considering making a claim against a teacher accused of sexual abuse, there are some steps you could take to support your claim. This includes:

  • Printing out any communications between you and the teacher. This might include social media messages, text messages or emails.
  • Seeking medical treatment for any injuries. Medical records can be used to help support your claim.
  • Gathering details of any witnesses who saw or heard anything untoward.
  • Report the crime to the police. This is an essential step if you’re looking to make a claim through the CICA scheme.
  • Contact us at Legal Helpline for free advice on beginning your claim.

Obviously, some of these steps might not be possible if you’re claiming for historical abuse by a teacher. However, you should still report the crime to the police. They will still investigate and could prosecute the teacher. If you’re unsure of what you need to do to begin a claim, or whether you have sufficient supporting evidence, speak to a specialist advisor today.

No Win No Fee Claims If Sexually Abused By A Teacher

Making a claim for sexual abuse is one of the most difficult types of claim to make. It’s made even more stressful when you start worrying about the costs involved. To ease that stress and your financial risk, our panel of lawyers are happy to offer a No Win No Fee service for any claim they take on.

When you’re referred to a solicitor, they’ll review the claim with you. If they believe that they can win the case for you, they’ll prepare a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA). This is the No Win No Fee agreement that will be used to fund your claim.

Using a CFA means that:

  • Your claim can begin almost immediately as there are no fees to pay upfront.
  • You won’t be asked to pay any solicitor’s fees while the claim is being handled.
  • If the claim is lost, you won’t be expected to pay any solicitor’s fees at all.

Should the solicitor win your personal injury claim, they’ll keep a modest portion of your compensation to cover their time and costs. This is known as a success fee which, by law, is capped. Also, so that there are no surprises, the success fee will be listed in your CFA right from the start.

When you speak with a member of our team, they’ll be able to tell you if you’re eligible to make a No Win No Fee claim.

Speak To Our Team

We do understand how difficult it will be to discuss your claim for sexual abuse by a teacher with a stranger. That’s why we offer a number of different methods of discussing your claim. You can:

  • Call and speak with a specialist, in confidence, for free claims advice on 0161 696 9685.
  • Email details of your claim to our team on [email protected].
  • Ask for a call back at a suitable time by completing this online form.
  • Using our live chat function to discuss your claim with an online advisor.

So that you can contact us when it’s safe and convenient, our advice line is open 24-hours a day, 7-days a week. We provide a no-obligation assessment of any claim and your call will be handled in confidence. If the advisor believes your claim could be successful, they’ll connect you with a specialist personal injury lawyer. If they proceed with your claim, it’ll be conducted on a No Win No Fee basis.

Resources For Victims Of Sexual Abuse

To provide further assistance, this final section of our guide about claiming for sexual abuse by a teacher contains some more useful guides and links to some external support. If you require any further information, please don’t hesitate to contact our team.

Victim Support – A UK charity who can confidentially support people affected by crime and traumatic events.

Child Abuse Concerns – A government guide used by specialists to help spot the signs of child abuse.

Rape Crisis – This charity offers support for survivors and victims of sexual violence.

Claiming For Criminal Injuries – Advice on when you could claim through the CICA scheme.

Foster Parent Abuse Claims – This guide explains the process of claiming against a foster parent or the care system.

Historical Abuse Claims – Information on when you could make a claim for historical child abuse.

Sexual Abuse Claims Against a Paedophile – This guide details everything you need to know about claiming compensation against a paedophile.

Guide by BE

Edited by REG