By Lewis Winehouse. Last updated 27th July 2023. Welcome to our guide on how to claim compensation for sexual abuse by a family member.
This guide is designed for adults and children who have suffered sexual abuse by a family member and wish to claim compensation for the subsequent damage they suffered. Sexual abuse and rapes are some of the most serious and unacceptable crimes a person can commit. The abuser being a family member, who was supposed to care for their victim, makes the matter all the more distressing. At Legal Helpline, we understand that no amount of money can undo the terrible wrong that was done to you by your abuser. However, claiming compensation from the perpetrator, a local authority that failed to protect you, or the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA) could provide you with funds to help you rebuild your life, as well as holding those who mistreated you or failed to intervene accountable for their actions.
If you are a sexual abuse survivor who wishes to claim compensation for familial sexual abuse, call Legal Helpline today to speak to an advisor. Our advisors are trained to handle your enquiry in a sensitive and professional manner. If we can see that you have legitimate grounds to claim compensation, we will provide you with an experienced solicitor to pursue your claim. We promise that your solicitor will fight tooth and nail to win you the highest amount of compensation you could be entitled to. You will also have the option to make a No Win No Fee claim for compensation, so you won’t have to pay an upfront fee.
To begin your claim, call Legal Helpline today on 0161 6969 685 for your free consultation. Alternatively, use our online claims form to get in contact with us. If we can see that you are owed compensation for sexual abuse or childhood sexual abuse by a family member, we will give you all the support and advice you need to claim compensation.
Jump To A Section
- What Is Sexual Abuse In A Family?
- Familial Sexual Abuse Symptoms
- Types Of Sexual Violence And Abuse In Families
- Compensation For Sexual Abuse By A Family Member Claims
- Could I Claim Special Damages Or Special Expenses?
- Steps To Take If You Have Been Abused By A Family Member
- How Long Do Sexual Abuse Survivors Have To Claim Compensation?
- No Win No Fee Claims For Sexual Abuse By A Family Member
- Support For Victims Of Familial Abuse
Sexual abuse is any unwanted sexual activity that is forced upon another person without their consent. Sexual abuse between family members is incredibly distressing. Often familial child sexual abuse is an incident in which an adult takes advantage of a child, but it can also involve child on child abuse. There are also incidents when adults in the same family may abuse each other, such as instances of sibling abuse or intermarital rape.
Sexual abuse can include rape, inappropriate touching and groping, forced prostitution, forcing someone to take part in or look at pornographic videos and photographs, and female genital mutilation (FGM), amongst other offences. Sexual abuse of an adult or a child is one of the most serious crimes a person can commit, and those who engage in such activities, deserve to be punished accordingly.
How common is child sexual abuse? Sadly, sexual abuse of children is a reasonably prevalent problem in society. The Crime Survey of England and Wales (CSEW) estimates that 7.5% of adults aged 18-74 were sexually abused before the age of 16. And in the year ending March 2019, 73,260 crimes of a sexual nature were recorded in England and Wales, where the victim was a child.
However, rather than brushing such abuse under the carpet, you could claim compensation for sexual abuse by a family member once you feel ready to come forward. To find out more on how to do so, please continue reading.
General tell-tale signs of child abuse include a child acting withdrawn, seeming angry, showing signs of depression or anxiety, not going to school or in especially unfortunate cases, self-harming. If a child or young person below the age of 18 is displaying any of these symptoms, they may be signs that they are being abused. Other symptoms could involve:
- They behave in a sexual way or know the sexual language that is inappropriate for their age.
- They are pregnant or have a sexually transmitted infection.
- They make inappropriate sexual contact with other children.
- They say things which openly state or imply that they have been sexually abused.
Some adults might see this behaviour from children and assume the child is “badly brought up”. However, if you are an adult that has seen this behaviour, it is important to try not to judge the child, but assume the child may need help. Trust your instincts in such situations; if you see something that doesn’t sit right with you, follow it up accordingly. That could be reporting it to their teacher, the police or even an organisation equipt to deal with child abuse NSPCC.
Am I Being Sexually Abused By A Family Member?
If a family member engages in unwanted sexual behaviour with you or behaves in a sexual way that makes you feel uncomfortable (for example flashing), even seemingly small incidents are considered sexual abuse. To see how you could claim compensation for sexual abuse by a family member, please read on.
Is Someone Else Being Abused By A Family Member?
It may be hard to believe, but someone who is sexually abusing a family member may be able to hide the abuse from other members of the household. If you can spot signs of abuse, don’t be afraid to seek help.
If you are being sexually abused, or you believe a child or an adult you know is being sexually abused, it is important to speak up and report the abuse, so the victim can be protected from their abuser.
Sexual abuse in the family can happen in person or online. Either way, the victim could be able to claim compensation for sexual abuse by a family member. Here are some examples of how someone can be sexually abused:
- Rape or penetration using an object, by force.
- Inappropriate touching and forced kissing.
- Forcing a child to undress or touch another person.
- Forcing a person to prostitute themselves, or sharing a child for sex.
- Distributing indecent videos or images of a child.
- Forcing a child to watch pornography
If you claim compensation for sexual abuse by a family member, who will you make a claim against?
In some cases, the claim is made directly against the perpetrator, if they have enough funds to pay for the compensation out of their own pocket. In other cases, the victim may make their claim against their Local Authority, if it can be proven that they were aware of the abuse, or signs of abuse, and failed to take adequate steps to protect the child.
If your claim is against the perpetrator or your local authority, you can use our rape victim compensation calculator to estimate how much compensation you could be owed. The compensation amounts in this table are taken from the Judicial College Guidelines, a legal publication used by claimants and defendants to value claims. The table does not include any special damages you may be able to claim.
Type Of Psychiatric Injury Notes About This Injury Possible Compensation
Moderate Moderate psychiatric injuries may present with symptoms which are similar in presentation to work-related stress. How much compensation which you may be awarded will depend on the prognosis as well as the level of improvement. £5,500 -
Moderately Severe How much compensation may be awarded will depend on the extent of the harm caused and the potential for recovery. Whilst awards may be made at the top or bottom of the band, more tend to be closer to the middle. £17,900 -
Severe How much the victim can cope with life and education as well as how severely these have been afffected will determin how much compensation is paid out. The overall prognosis for the claimants recovery will be 'poor'. £51,460 -
If you are not able to claim compensation from the above parties, you may be able to claim compensation from the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA). In the table below, you can find some guideline payment amounts taken from the CICA Tariff 2012. This table does not include special expenses you may also be entitled to claim.
Abuse Types Abuse Severity Notes On This Possible Settlement
Child Abuse Minor child abuse Minor instances which are either intermittent or are isolated. The victim may have minor injuries. £1,000
Child Abuse Serious child abuse Child abuse which results in victims having accumulated wounds (including scalds and burns) from which are now healed. £2,000
Child Abuse Severe child abuse Could include a severe or persistent pattern of violence. The victim may have multiple injuries which fall into the categories of moderate, significant or severe. moderate - £5,500
Significant - £8,200
Severe - £13,500
Physical Abuse Serious abuse The abuse was physical but not contant (intermittent). The victim may have various injuries from which they have recovered. £2,000
Physical Abuse Severe abse More severe forms of physical abuse than the above categories. £5,500
Sexual Assault n/a Sexual assaults incuding physical/ oral acts outside the clothing £1,000
Sexual Assault Serious Serious (non-penile) acts of penetration / or genital-oral acts. £2,000
Sexual Assault Severe Severe (non-penile) acts of penetration / or genital-oral acts. £3,000
Non-consensual penetration of the victim. Single attacker Including (non-consensual) penetration of the of the mouth, vagina or anus. £11,000
Non-consensual penetration of the victim. Two or more attackers Including non-consensual penetration of the of the mouth, anus or vagina. £13,500
Non-consensual penetration of the victim. Serious internal injuries Including (non-consensual) penetration of the of the mouth, anus or vagina, resulting in serious internal injuries. £22,000
Non-consensual penetration of the victim. Moderate mental illness Including (non-consensual) penetration of the of the mouth, anus or vagina, resulting in mental illness. £22,000
Non-consensual penetration of the victim. Moderate mental illness Resulting in disabling mental illness. £22,000
Non-consensual penetration of the victim. Severe mental illness Resulting in disabling mental illness. £27,000
Non-consensual penetration of the victim. Moderate mental illness Resulting in disabling mental illness. £33,000
Non-consensual penetration of the victim. Severe mental illness £44,000
Non-consensual penetration of the victim. Repeated incidents up to 3 years The victim has suffered repeated attacks over a period of three years or less. There may be more than one attacker. £16,000
Non-consensual penetration of the victim. Repeated incidents exceeding 3 years Repeated incidents of non-consensual penetration over a period of three years or more. There may be one attacker or more. £22,000
The amount of compensation listed in the rape victim compensation calculator is an approximate amount for different physical and psychological injuries. For an accurate estimate of how much you could claim based on your personal circumstances, call us today to speak to a claims specialist.
If you succeed in being able to claim compensation for sexual abuse by a family member, you could be awarded two heads of claim: general damages and special damages. Let’s look at what these are in more detail:
- General damages are compensation for the pain and suffering and loss of amenity, caused by the claimant’s injuries. The compensation calculator section above outlines potential payments for general damages.
- Special damages are intended to compensate the claimant for any financial losses or out of pocket expenses they have experienced, including medical expenses, travel expenses, temporary accommodation expenses if they had to leave the family home, and reimbursement for loss of income. Many people who claim compensation for childhood sexual abuse by a family member claim expenses for counselling, which can help them come to terms with their traumatic experiences.
If you make a claim through the CICA, you may also be able to claim special expenses. These are reimbursements for expenses the claimant incurred as a result of their injuries.
If you have just experienced intra-familial child sexual abuse or have been sexually assaulted or raped, you can do the following to help support your compensation claim:
- Keep the clothing that you were wearing at the time, as it could be used as forensic evidence.
- Try not to shower. Although this may be one of the first things you feel the need to do, there may be evidence on your body that the police can use to convict the perpetrator.
If you wish to claim compensation for sexual abuse by a family member which happened in the recent past, or historic sexual abuse which has been reported to the police, evidence from the police investigation can be used by your solicitor to help to build your case.
Finding a solicitor to represent your claim means that you will have a knowledgeable legal expert to advise you and represent you as your case unfolds. To begin your claim, contact Legal Helpline today by calling the number at the top of this page or by using our online claims form.
When making a claim for compensation for sexual abuse through the CICA, there is generally a two-year time limit to start a claim. The limitation period to claim criminal injuries compensation begins from the date you report the incident to the police. You are expected to report the crime immediately.
However, if you can prove exceptional circumstances prevented you from informing the police, an exception to the time limit may be granted.
If you were under 18, and the incident was reported to the police, the time limit to claim begins from your 18th birthday. If you failed to report the crime at the time, the two-year time limit will start from the date you do report the incident to the police. Again, you will need to prove that exceptional circumstances prevented you from making the report sooner.
Please get in touch if you have any questions about the statute of limitations that might apply to your sexual abuse claim. Our advisors are available 24/7 to help answer your questions.
At Legal Helpline, we believe everyone should get equal access to justice. This means that we have an option for our clients where no upfront solicitors fees are required in order to claim, nor are any fees during the claim too. If you want to claim compensation for sexual abuse by a family member, please don’t hesitate to get in touch today.
If you make a No Win No Fee claim and it does not succeed, your solicitor will not seek to charge you any fees. If your case is a success, your solicitor may seek a small percentage of the compensation awarded to cover their costs. This deduction is known as a success fee. Success fees are capped by law, so you won’t have to worry about giving away lots of your compensation. This method makes it a more affordable option for many of our clients. Because you will only have to pay your fee if your claim is successful, making a No Win No Fee claim involves less financial risk than other ways to claim.
If you have suffered a traumatic injury or psychological injury, including PTSD, due to sexual assault in the family, trust Legal Helpline to handle your compensation claim. Call us today on 0161 6969 685, or use our online claims form to reach us.
If you are a child who has been raped or sexually abused or an adult who is concerned about a child, you can contact the NSPCC helplines for support.
Rape Crisis provides help and support for women and girls who have experienced sexual violence.
Victim Support, offer support to anyone who has been affected by a violent crime.
You may find some of these other Legal Helpline guides helpful.
- Claiming Criminal Injury Compensation
- How Much Compensation Can I Claim For An Assault At Work?
- How Much Compensation For Claims Against The Council?
Thank you for reading our guide on how to claim compensation for sexual abuse by a family member.