How To Claim Compensation If Sexually Abused By A Family Friend

Have you been the victim of sexual abuse by a friend of your family? If so, you may be able to claim compensation, not just for the physical injuries you have suffered, but the emotional and psychological injuries sustained as a result. Claiming compensation for being sexually abused by a family friend should not be something you have to do alone. Here at Legal Helpline, we can help provide advice, support and guidance with such claims, and we could even connect you with a personal injury lawyer who could fight for the compensation you deserve. Whether the abuse occurred when you were a child, or it has happened in adulthood, this guide could give you the information and confidence you may be looking for to take the first steps towards making a claim. If you would like to speak to our team in confidence about your case or feel ready to begin a claim, you can reach us on 0161 696 9685.

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A Guide On Claiming Compensation If Sexually Abused By A Family Friend

Sexually abused by a family friend

Sexually abused by a family friend

If you have been sexually abused by a family friend, you may be wondering if there is any action you could take to claim compensation for your injuries. Whether you have only just been sexually abused, or it happened some time ago, perhaps even when you were a child, you could be eligible to claim compensation for not just the physical trauma you have suffered, but the emotional and mental impact too. You could even claim compensation for some financial expenses associated with your injuries.

We know that taking the first steps to claim for sexual abuse compensation could be daunting. This is why we have produced this guide; in order to give you all the information you may need to clarify your position, get the help and support you may be looking for, and even find out approximately how much compensation you could be entitled to. We hope you find the information useful, but if there is anything you would like to ask us about, we would be happy to talk to you in confidence, at any time.

What Is Sexual Abuse By Someone You Know?

Sexual abuse by anyone is a crime and a devastating one at that. There are many crimes that could be considered sexual offences, and these could include:

  • Rape
  • Sexual Assault
  • Child sexual abuse
  • Sexual exploitation

Sexual abuse could be directed at a man, a woman or a child, and could lead to both physical and psychological injuries. If you have been sexually abused by a family friend, this could include:

  • Being forced into sexual activity you did not consent to
  • Being forced to look at, watch or take part in pornography
  • Being assaulted or raped
  • Being forced into prostitution
  • Being sexually exploited for the gratification of the abuser or others

If you have suffered harm because a family friend sexually abused you, you may be able to claim sexual abuse compensation. While this would not take away what has happened to you, it could help you to move forward after such a traumatic experience.

Signs A Family Friend Has Sexually Abused You

If you have been sexually abused, you may suffer physical signs of sexual abuse which could include symptoms of Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs), pregnancy or genital injuries such as bruising or laceration.

You may also suffer from feelings such as:

  • Guilt
  • Anxiety
  • Revulsion
  • Degradation
  • Anger

It could be vitally important to your recovery for you to accept that you have done nothing wrong and the sexual abuse you have suffered is in no way your fault.

Signs A Family Friend Has Sexually Abused A Child

There may not be any outward signs that a family friend has sexually abused a child in some cases. However, some of the common signs that could present in an abused child, according to the NSPCC could include:

  • Behaviour or personality changes
  • Bedwetting
  • Going missing
  • Running away
  • Anxiety
  • Becoming withdrawn
  • Being aggressive
  • Having inappropriate knowledge of adult issues
  • Covering their body at all times

Signs A Family Friend May Be Using Their Relationship With A Child To Abuse Them

If you think that a family friend could be using their relationship with your child or any child to abuse them, it could be worth considering whether you have spotted common signs such as:

  • Their refusal to allow a child to make any decisions about personal matters
  • Their insistence on physical affection towards the child when the child is clearly not receptive
  • Their interest in the child’s sexual development
  • Their insistence on spending time alone with the child
  • Their insistence on buying the child expensive gifts for no reason

If you spot any of these signs or feel something may be wrong with the relationship between a family friend and a child, you could consider calling an organisation such as the NSPCC for advice.

Types Of Sexual Abuse Experienced By Victims

There are various acts that could be considered sexually abusive. These could include, but are not limited to:

  • Name-calling of a sexual nature
  • Degrading the victim
  • Rape
  • Coercing or forcing another person to wear clothing that they didn’t want to wear
  • Coercing or forcing another person to take part in viewing or making pornography
  • Forcing or coercing another person to engage in sexual activity of any type

If you are unsure as to whether the treatment you have suffered from a family friend would be considered sexually abusive, there are various organisations you could talk to in order to ascertain whether you have been abused. These include:

Psychological Or Physical Injuries Suffered By Victims Of Abuse

As well as the bodily injuries that could be suffered by abuse survivors such as genital injury, sexually transmitted infections or even pregnancy, you could also suffer psychological injuries that could take longer to heal than your physical injuries. These could include:

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Panic attacks
  • Substance abuse
  • PTSD
  • Disassociation disorders
  • Flashbacks

If you have suffered from psychological injuries from being sexually abused by a family friend, you would be required to undergo an assessment with a psychologist/psychiatrist in order for your psychological injuries to be verified by an independent professional so you could include them within your claim.

Reporting Cases Of Sexual Abuse

Whether it has been some time since you were sexually abused by a family friend, or if the abuse has just happened, reporting the abuse is a wise thing to do. If you are ready to report the sexual abuse, you could take the following actions to do so:

  1. If the abuse is taking place right now, and you are in danger calling 999 could be appropriate
  2. Online reporting can be done here.
  3. Or you could report by phone as a non-emergency by calling 101
  4. Alternatively, you could report in person at the nearest police station

How Younger Victims Could Be Supported By A Litigation Friend

A litigation friend could help make decisions about a claim on behalf of a minor. This person would have to confirm that they did not have conflicting interests to yours and that they were capable of making fair decisions. The people who could act as a litigation friend could include:

  • A solicitor
  • A guardian
  • A parent
  • A professional advocate
  • A relative or friend
  • Someone with lasting power of attorney or enduring power of attorney

A Family Friend Sexually Abused Me But No One Claimed On My Behalf – Could I Claim?

If no one claimed on your behalf, you could make a claim for the sexual abuse you suffered when you reach adulthood. If your claim is still going ahead and you reach the age of 18 during the case, you could opt to take control of the decisions regarding your claim and ask the litigation friend to stop acting on your behalf.

Compensation Calculator If A Family Friend Sexually Abused You

One common question that claimants may ask when considering making a criminal injury or personal injury claim is ‘How much could my case be worth?’ While you may have entered your details into a personal injury claims calculator to answer this question, we should warn you that the figure you would get would only ever be a rough idea. This is due to the fact that all criminal injury claims and personal injury claims are assessed based on their own unique facts and circumstances. As part of any injury claim, you would need to have an assessment with a medical expert that was independent of your case. Your medical condition, injuries and prognosis would be assessed, and the expert would compile a report that could be used to give a more accurate idea of how much your claim could be worth.

We understand that this may feel frustrating for some people, so we have provided the table below to give an indication of how much compensation could be appropriate for specific injuries that we believe might relate to this type of claim. We have taken the figures you see below from the Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme 2012 tariff. This could give you some idea of how your claim could be valued.

InjuryRemarksCompensation
Sexual Assaults Above ClothingMinor physical sexual acts with no penetration£1,000
Sexual Assaults Under ClothingSerious physical sexual acts with no penetration£2,000
Sexual Assaults (Oral to Genital)Not with a penis£3,300
Frequent repetitive pattern of sexual abuseSevere abuse that lasts for any period up to 3 years£6,600
Frequent repetitive pattern of sexual abuseSevere abuse that lasts for any period over 3 years£8,200
Frequent repetitive pattern of sexual abuseResulting in internal bodily injuries£22,000
Frequent repetitive pattern of sexual abuseResulting in moderate mental illness£22,000
Frequent repetitive pattern of sexual abuseResulting in severe mental illness£27,000
Non consensual penetration by a penis of the anus, mouth or vaginaBy one person£11,000
Non consensual penetration by a penis of the anus, mouth or vaginaBy more than one person£13,500
Non consensual penetration by a penis of the anus, mouth or vaginaCausing internal injuries (serious)£22,000
Non consensual penetration by a penis of the anus, mouth or vaginaResulting in moderate mental illness£22,000
Penetration by a penis of the vagina, anus or mouth - non-consensualResulting in severe mental illness£27,000
Penetration by a penis of the vagina, anus or mouth - non-consensualCausing internal injuries (serious) and resulting in moderate mental illness£33,000
Penetration by a penis of the vagina, anus or mouth - non-consensualCausing internal injuries (serious) and resulting in severe mental illness£44,000
Additional amount for a pregnancyCaused by a sexual crime£5,500
Additional amount for STIs (This does not include Hepatitis B, C or HIV)With substantial recovery£5,500
Additional amount for STIs (This does not include Hepatitis B, C or HIV)With permanent disability£11,000
Additional amount for HIV, Hepatitis B or COr a combination of more than one of these.£22,000
Additional amount for foetus lossCaused by crime£5,500

If you cannot find your injuries in the above table, our team could help provide some indication of the amounts that could be appropriate for your case over the phone. However, we should let you know that this would still be a rough estimate.

Other Types Of Compensation Claimable

If you were sexually abused by a family friend, there may be some financial expenses you could claim for, in addition to the compensation you receive for the injuries suffered as a result of the abuse. These are what are known as special expenses when claiming through the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority CICA, and they could include payouts for:

Earning losses – Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority could compensate you if have had to stay off work for more than 28 weeks and have lost out on income as a result. If you are eligible for earning loss payments, you would be compensated an amount relating to the Statutory Sick Pay on the date your claim was assessed.

Physical aids – If physical aids are required due to your injuries, and you could not get these from the NHS, for example, the costs for such aids could be claimed for.

Property damage – Was some of your own property damaged due to a sexual attack or because of sexual abuse? If so, the costs for a replacement of certain items could be claimed for.

Adaptations to your home – If you needed home adaptations to continue living in your home due to your injuries, adaptation costs could be claimed for.

Care costs – If you needed care because of your injuries, relating to activities like toileting, continence and meal preparation for example, and the costs for your care could not be covered by another entity such as the local authority or NHS, for example, your care costs may form part of your claim.

We should make it clear that in a Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority claim, you could only claim for special expenses that you could provide evidence that they were directly caused by your injuries and that they were reasonable costs. You would also have to prove that they couldn’t be covered by the benefits system, the NHS or the local authority, for example.

Providing evidence of the special expenses you intend to claim for is vital. If you are unable to provide proof of these costs, you would not be able to include them as special expenses within your claim. Receipts, payslips, bills, and bank statements could provide vital evidence – so it would be a good idea to keep these safe so you could provide them to your lawyer.

Steps To Take If The Victim Of Sexual Abuse

We understand that sexual abuse from a family friend could be very traumatic, and you may not have spoken out about it before. In order to have the best chance of claiming compensation for sexual abuse, it could be useful if you:

Write down what has happened to you – whether you have reported the sexual abuse or not, it could be a good idea to write a statement of what has happened, including dates and times, for example.

Get details of witnesses – While in some cases, there may have been no witnesses to what has occurred, in some cases there may be. Taking witness details could be useful as they could provide a statement to prove your claim.

Report the sexual abuse – Even if some years have passed, you would need to report the sexual abuse by a family friend to the police in order to claim compensation.

Get legal advice – In order to be sure of your eligibility to claim, it could be useful for you to seek legal advice. For advice and assistance with making a claim, you can call our helpline at any time.

Time Limits to Claim Sexual Abuse Compensation

The personal injury claims time limit that applies to many personal injury claims is 3 years from the incident date. However, if you are claiming through the CICA for criminal injuries compensation you would usually only have 2 years from the date of the criminal act to claim compensation. However, if you have been sexually abused by a family friend and have not felt able to talk about it within this two-year period, your claim could still be heard. Historical abuse claims could still be successful. If you find yourself in a position to speak about the abuse that occurred some years ago, please do get in touch and we will do our best to help you.

How We Could Help Victims Of Sexual Abuse

Here at Legal Helpline, our knowledgeable advisors could help answer any questions you may have about claiming compensation after a family friend sexually abused you. We could talk you through the whole process, explaining any legal terms so that you fully understand your position and what is likely to happen as part of your case. We could also provide a free, no-obligation check to see if you could have a valid claim and whether your claim could be made against your abuser, or through the CICA. If you would like to go ahead with a claim for compensation, we could also connect you with a lawyer who could help fight for compensation on your behalf.

No Win No Fee Claims Where A Family Friend Sexually Abused You

If you would like the assistance of a personal injury lawyer when making a claim for compensation, you may be concerned that you would have to pay upfront for their services. However, if you choose a solicitor that could work on your claim on a No Win No Fee basis, you would not be required to pay anything until your claim was concluded and compensation had been paid out. You would be asked by your lawyer to sign a Conditional Fee Agreement before they began working on your case. This document would promise to pay your solicitor a small, legally capped success fee if they successfully secured a compensation settlement for you. If your personal injury solicitor was not successful in getting you a payout, you would not have to pay the success fee, nor would you have to cover the solicitor’s costs incurred while pursuing your claim.

We know you may have some questions about making a claim in this way. If you do, please do call our team, we’d be happy to talk you through the process in more detail.

Speak To Legal Helpline

To get more advice and support if you have been sexually abused by a family friend, you can contact our team of experts. You can reach us:

By phone: 0161 696 9685

Through email: info@legalhelpline.co.uk

Via our contact form

Or, by using the live chat feature on our site.

Victim Support Resources

Child Sexual Abuse – This resource from the NSPCC covers child sexual abuse in detail.

Applying To Be A Litigation Friend – Here, you can find out how to apply to be a litigation friend.

More About Sexual Abuse Claims – Here, you can read our general guide on sexual abuse claims.

Historical Sexual Abuse – If you are making a claim for historical abuse, this guide could offer some useful information.

Making A Claim Through CICA – Criminal injury claims could be made through the CICA. You can find out more about these kinds of claims here.

Guide by JS

Edited by MA.