A Guide About How To Report Sexual Abuse From Years Ago

By Stephen Bishop. Last Updated 5th May 2023. Welcome to our guide on how to report sexual abuse from years ago. If you landed on this page because you want to know how to report sexual abuse from years ago, you might be reading this guide as a victim of historical sexual abuse, or as someone who is supporting a person who has suffered from historic abuse. This guide covers everything you may need to know about how to report abuse from years ago and how to get help with making a compensation claim for any injuries, psychological or physical suffered because of the abuse.

We know that speaking about historical abuse could be difficult, and some victims of abuse may only want to know how to report sexual abuse from years ago now due to the trauma they suffered some years ago. Included in the sections below is information about getting support with speaking out about abuse, as well as information explaining how to claim compensation, even though the abuse happened years ago.

Here at Legal Helpline, we offer advice and support for free to victims who wish to make a wide variety of personal injury claims. Criminal injury claims for abuse are something we have lots of experience in, so you could trust us to provide you with clear guidance on claiming compensation. If you’d like to begin a claim or would like to benefit from expert advice, you can call us on 0161 696 9685.

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A Guide To Reporting Sexual Abuse From Years Ago

If you think historic sexual abuse is uncommon, you may be surprised to learn that according to the Crime Survey for England and Wales, around 7.5% of adults between 18-74 were reported to have experienced sexual abuse as a child.

how to report sexual abuse from years ago.

how to report sexual abuse from years ago.

Sadly, many incidences of sexual abuse and assault go unreported, according to a survey conducted back in 2012. According to the report, over 80% of those surveyed didn’t report their experiences of sexual assault and rape. Perhaps even more tragically, 29% of those who completed the survey told no one about what had happened to them. The reasons for this varied, but a large proportion of respondents (68%) cited low conviction rates for their reluctance to report their experiences.

However, it would not necessarily be the case that the abuser would have to be convicted for a victim of historical sexual abuse to make a claim for compensation. If you are ready to report abuse and get the compensation you deserve for your suffering, this guide offers insight into how to report sexual abuse from years ago, along with giving you the information you may need to claim compensation.

Source: https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/crime/unreported-rapes-the-silent-shame-7561636.html

What Is Historical Sexual Abuse?

Sexual abuse could result from contact and non-contact acts, according to the Sexual Offences Act 2003.

Historical, or non-recent sexual abuse is abuse that happened some time ago. Victims may not realise the effect that the abuse has had on them until later life, which is when they may wish to pursue compensation. At this point, they may wonder how to report sexual abuse from years ago.

The CPS, does allow prosecution for historic crimes relating to sexual abuse, which means if victims recover to a level where they can report their abuse, they could help the police to bring the abuser to justice.  They could also claim compensation through the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA) or could bring a civil claim against an abuser or their employer, even if some years have passed since they were abused. We could connect you with a solicitor to help with both kinds of claims.

If you were a victim of sexual assault as a child, you may not have considered reporting the sexual assault until years later. However, despite there usually being strict time limits on claims, exceptions can sometimes be made in cases of historic abuse claims.

Sexual Abuse and Consent

One significant issue that surrounds many sexual offences is consent. Children, according to the law, are not able to consent to sexual activity, so even if you thought you had consented to what was happening to you when you were a child, legally, you would not have been able to legally consent and the abuser would be committing a crime.

Types Of Sexual Abuse

Abuse could involve contact, or it may include non-contact acts. According to the Sexual Offences Act 2003, acts of sexual abuse could include:

  • Assault by penetration
  • Rape
  • Causing sexual activity without consent
  • Abuse of a position of trust
  • Sexual assault
  • Child sex offences perpetrated by a family member, friends, acquaintances or strangers
  • Inducements of those with a mental disorder
  • Offences towards those with mental disorders
  • Care worker abuse
  • Indecent photography featuring children
  • Child sexual exploitation

Whatever type of abuse you’ve suffered, if you are wondering how to report sexual abuse from years ago, no matter how many years have passed, you could get the support you need to claim compensation for your injuries.

How Can Historical Abuse Be Proven

If you’re seeking compensation for historic abuse, you might ask, ‘how can historical abuse be proven?’.

Historic abuse claims made through the CICA will require a police reference number. As stated above, a conviction is not required to make historic abuse claims. You could start your claim once you have the police reference number. You will receive this after reporting the crime to the police. The CICA will then liaise with the police for any further evidence requirements.

Abuse claims solicitors could support claimants making historic abuse claims through the CICA. If you are instead claiming compensation directly against the perpetrator or vicariously liable party, such as a school, you may need additional evidence. Abuse claims solicitors can support you with this and also advise you on the best way to claim.

Free legal advice about how historic abuse can be proven as well as additional information on historic abuse claims is available from our advisors.

Reporting Sexual Abuse To The Police

If you are wondering how to report sexual abuse from years ago to the police, you may be surprised to know that there are several ways in which you could go about doing so. To report sexual abuse to the police directly, you could call 101, or visit your local police station. You could also report a crime online.

Reporting Assault – What Is The Time Limit?

There is no statute of limitations for sexual assault crimes – meaning there is no time limit to when you can report the crime to the police, though we recommend you do so as soon as possible. There is, however, a time limit to start a claim for compensation.

For claims through the CICA, this is typically two years from when the assault occurred. This time limit is different for claims for historic sexual abuse. Your time limit to make a claim will be two years from when you first reported the crime to the police.

Our advisers could be able to answer any questions you have about the time limit for reporting an assault or the time limit to start a claim. Please reach out to one of them for any questions you have about claims for historical abuse or compensation for sexual assault

What Happens When You Report Sexual Abuse To The Police?

Now you know how to report sexual abuse from years ago, you might want to know what happens once you have done so.

Usually, when you contact the police to make an initial report, the report would be given to someone who could then contact you to obtain a ‘first account’ This may involve them asking questions about what has happened to you in order that they can understand what abuse you have suffered, and when it happened. Then, you would have to give a further statement. This may be a written statement or could be a videotaped interview.

The Police Investigation

The police will then attempt to find the perpetrator of your abuse. They may speak to them under caution or they may arrest the person and bring them into the police station for an interview. In some historical cases, it may be difficult to gather evidence, but those investigating your case will speak to other agencies and check whether there have been other reports about the person, in order to gather evidence where it exists.

If the police believe there is enough evidence, they will then submit the case to the Crown Prosecution Service to see if they can charge the perpetrator with their crimes.

If the perpetrator is charged, your case will be heard in court. You have the right to anonymity throughout your case, and it is unlawful for anyone in the media to reveal your identity. It is important to remember that whether the perpetrator is convicted or not, you may still be eligible to claim compensation.

What Support Could You Be Provided With?

If you’re interested in how to report sexual abuse from years ago, there are specialist officers to support you throughout this process. Initially, the officer in charge of your case will address any needs you may have, and make referrals to support services that could assist you. You may be referred to your local Independent Sexual Violence Advisor Services (ISVA). There are also other support resources at the bottom of this guide, should you wish to make contact with them yourself.

Compensation For Historical Abuse

Compensation for historic abuse would likely be claimed through the Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme. This is in cases where the perpetrator cannot be claimed against directly: either because they cannot be found or do not have the funds to compensate you.

Your injuries would be assessed against a tariff, and compensation would be awarded in line with the injuries listed in the tariff,

We have included a table of examples of the sexual abuse injuries listed in the scheme, to illustrate compensation awards by the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority.

Awarded ForDescriptionAmount
Sexual assaultNumerous acts of forced penetration that lead to internal bodily injuries and severe mental illness£44,000
Sexual assaultRepeated incidents of non-consensual penetration that lead to severe mental illness£27,000
Sexual assaultMultiple incidents of forced penetration for 3 years or more£22,000
Sexual assaultRepetitive abuse that causes serious, internal bodily injuries£22,000
Sexual assaultPenile penetration without consent of the mouth, anus or vagina (a single incident)£11,000
Sexual assaultFrequent abuse for 3 years or more£8,200
Sexual assaultFrequent pattern of abuse for up to 3 years£6,600
Sexual assaultSevere - oral/genital penetrative acts, non-penile£3,300
Sexual assaultSerious - under clothing,  a sexual act of a non-penetrative nature£2,000
Sexual assaultMinor, non-penetrative sexual act above the clothing£1,000

You can make a claim for up to three injuries using the scheme. Only the most valuable injury in the tariff will be paid out at the full listed rate. The second injury will be paid out at 30%, and the third paid out at 15%.

If you are looking to make a claim through the CICA, we would advise you to first speak with one of our advisors. They can give you more information about what the process could entail and offer guidance in beginning a claim.

What Else Could Victims Of Sexual Abuse From Years Ago Claim?

As well as the general damages you could receive for the suffering and pain caused by your injury, you could also claim compensation for the financial harm you’ve suffered due to your injuries. This may differ between CICA claims and civil claims and could include, but may not be limited to:

Wage losses – Having some time off work to recover from your injuries may mean you’ve lost out on income. If so, you may be able to claim for loss of income as part of your claim. For CICA claims, you would usually only be able to claim after 28 weeks off work, at the standard Statutory Sick Pay rate, but for civil claims, you may be able to claim for the full rate of pay you were earning at the time.

Care expenses – If your injuries were so severe that you needed some care at home to help you with dressing or toileting, for example, these costs could also be claimed for. For CICA claims, you would have to evidence that the care expenses couldn’t be covered elsewhere for free, such as through the Local Authority, for example.

Medical and travel expenses for civil claims – Travel costs for hospital appointments or to see your lawyer and medical costs such as prescription fees and may also form part of a civil claim.

Physical aids/home adaptations for CICA claims – The costs you could recover may be more restricted. You must be able to prove that they are reasonable, came about due to your injuries and could not be covered by the NHS, local authority or benefits office.

If you’re interested in how to report sexual abuse from years ago, it’s crucial that you retain any proof of the expenses that you intend on claiming so that you can supply these to your lawyer to be recovered. Failure to do so means you may miss out on the compensation you would have been entitled to.

Historic Sexual Abuse Claims With A No Win No Fee Solicitor

If you intend to make a claim for historic sexual abuse, then you could choose to get support from a solicitor who is experienced in handling this type of case. If you have a strong case, one of our advisors could connect you with a solicitor on our panel. They have years of experience handling various criminal injury claims and could also help you with gathering evidence for your specific claim. Additionally, if they agree to take on your case, they may offer to work with you on a No Win No Fee basis with a Conditional Fee Agreement.

When working with a No Win No Fee solicitor, you won’t be expected to pay any upfront or ongoing fees. You also are usually not expected to pay your solicitor for their services if your claim fails. However, if your claim is a success, then your solicitor will deduct a legally capped percentage of your compensation. This is called a success fee.

Contact our advisors today to discuss your claim and receive free advice. They could also help answer any question you may have about working with a No Win No Fee solicitor.

Contact Legal Helpline Today

Getting in contact with us about how to report sexual abuse from years ago is easy, and there are a variety of ways you can do so.

We look forward to helping you with your claim whenever you’re ready.

Victim Support Resources

Links To Related Guides And Other Claims We Could Assist With

  1. Sexual abuse claims.
  2. Child accident claims.
  3. Assault compensation claims.
  4. Bullying at work compensation.
  5. Head injury claims.
  6. Assault at work compensation.

Thanks for reading our guide on how to report sexual abuse from years ago.

Guide by JS

Published by ML.