Could I Claim If I Have Been Sexually Abused By A Stranger?

By Daniel Picard. Last Updated 22nd June 2022. This guide has been created for adults and children (anyone under the age of 18) who have experienced sexual abuse by a stranger and who wish to claim compensation for their injuries. Sexual abuse by a stranger, or a group of strangers, can be incredibly damaging both psychologically and physically. Unfortunately, because the perpetrator often isn’t identified or bought to justice, many people believe that there is nothing they can do to seek justice for their sexual assault.

If you have experienced sexual violence or sexual abuse by strangers, it is likely that you can still claim compensation for any physical or psychological injuries that you suffered as a result (as long as you are within the applicable time limit). Some people wonder if there is an abuse compensation scheme you can claim from. In most cases, you will make your claim through the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA), a government authority that helps victims of violent crimes. Legal Helpline can provide you with an excellent solicitor to handle your claim and negotiate on your behalf to secure you the most amount of compensation that you are entitled to claim.

Legal Helpline offers free advice for anyone looking to make a compensation claim. Our advisors will handle your enquiry about claiming compensation for sexual abuse or assault with the utmost care and respect. Call us today on 0161 6969 685 to speak to an advisor about your ordeal and see if you are eligible for compensation. Alternatively, use our online claims form. Call today for the help and support you may need.

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A Guide On Claiming For Sexual Abuse By Strangers

Sexual abuse by a stranger

Sexual abuse by a stranger

Sexual violence, including sexual abuse, sexual assault and rape are some of the most serious crimes a person can commit. Sadly, many people experience sexual abuse. The assailant is either somebody they know or it is an incident of stranger perpetrated abuse. We have created this guide for adults and people under the age of 18 who wish to claim compensation for being sexually abused by a stranger. In this guide, we will define what sexual abuse is and look at different examples of sexual abuse a person can suffer. We will also look at the process of claiming compensation for sexual abuse and how the process differs for adults and children.

Remember, if you have suffered sexual abuse as a child or adult due to a predatory stranger, you may be owed compensation for any physical or mental injuries (such as sexual abuse PTSD, anxiety, or depression) that you suffered as a result. To begin your claim for sexual abuse, call Legal Helpline today for your free consultation, or use our online claims form to get in contact with us today.

What Is Sexual Abuse By Strangers?

Sexual abuse is a crime where a person is forced to take part in sexual activity without their consent or proper understanding. Sexual abuse can include rape, groping, inappropriate touching, taking pornographic images of someone or making them watch pornography. Sadly, anyone can be the victim of sexual assault. Often, people who have been raped or sexually assaulted feel ashamed or blame themselves. However, sexual assault is always the fault of the perpetrator, not the victim.

If a person is sexually abused by strangers, it may be a fleeting incident, for example, a person being groped on public transport or at a nightclub by an assailant who quickly leaves. In other circumstances, it could be a longer incident, for example, a person being raped by a stranger or gang-raped by strangers. The stranger could also commit an act where they take an indecent image of the victim, for example, upskirting, or filming a person in a changing room without their consent.

Statistics Highlighting Perpetrators Of Sexual Violence

The charity Rape Crisis found that 20% of women and 4% of men have experienced some sort of sexual abuse since the age of 16. 3.1% of women and 0.8% of men, over the age of 16, have experienced sexual abuse in the year before 2017.

Learn more here.

Symptoms And Signs Of Sexual Abuse By Strangers

We will now look at what signs of sexual abuse a person may suffer.

Signs That I Have Been Sexually Abused

We will now look at what signs you can look out for to see if someone may have been sexually abused.

Signs That I Have Been Sexually Abused

If you have been sexually abused, you may experience the following signs or symptoms:

  • You become pregnant as a result of rape or have an STI
  • There is blood in your underwear
  • You feel anxious, withdrawn, depressed or angry.
  • You are displaying symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Spotting The Signs Of Sexual Abuse

If you know someone who is displaying the following symptoms, they may have been sexually abused. If they are displaying any signs of sexual abuse, it is important to talk to them. If they have been sexually abused, help them to report the sexual abuse and seek help or counselling for their ordeal.

  • If the person is a child, they may behave in a sexual way or make inappropriate sexual contact with other children. They may have a knowledge of sex which is inappropriate for children their age.
  • The person has blood in their underwear, an STI, or unplanned pregnancy.
  • The person shows signs of trauma, for example, anxiety, flashbacks, mood swings, and appears to be disturbed.
  • A sudden change in behaviour, loss of self-confidence, or value of their self-worth.

Types Of Sexual Violence And Abuse

There are different types of sexual violence and abuse. Below are some sexual abuse examples:

  • Rape, which is forced vaginal or anal sex. In some instances, a person can be violated in a similar way with an object, or the perpetrator’s hand.
  • Groping or inappropriate and unwanted touching. This can happen to the breasts, genitals, bottom or elsewhere.
  • Creating sexual images or videos of someone without their consent. This includes upskirting.
  • Distributing sexual images or videos of someone without their consent, also known as revenge porn.
  • Forcing someone into prostitution, or “passing them around”.

Injuries Suffered By Victims Of Sexual Abuse

People who have been sexually abused in any way, including sexually abused by a stranger, can suffer physical and psychological injuries as a result. Physical injuries can include tissue damage and other injuries to their vagina or anus as a result of being raped or violated, or other injuries caused by physical abuse, such as broken bones, cuts or bruises. If a teenage girl or woman has been raped, she may experience an unplanned or unwanted pregnancy. Someone who has been sexually abused may also have an STI.

Stranger abuse and sexual abuse survivors can also suffer from psychological injuries such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). PTSD is an anxiety disorder which people can develop after a traumatic event such as being in a warzone, being involved in an accident or being assaulted. Symptoms of PTSD include anxiety, flashbacks to the event, excessive sweating, trembling and nightmares. Sufferers may find themselves avoiding stressful situations that trigger memories of the event. People who have been sexually abused or assaulted can also suffer from other psychological problems such as a lowered sense of self-esteem, a loss of self-worth, depression and anxiety. Fortunately, all of these conditions are treatable. compensation for abuse victims includes funds to pay for therapy to treat these psychological problems and counselling to help the victim come to terms with their ordeal.

Sexual Abuse Compensation Payouts For 2022

Sexual abuse compensation could potentially be claimed in two different ways. In some cases, it can be possible to make a claim directly against your perpetrator. However, there is no guarantee that they will have the funds to do so. Alternatively, the abuser may not ever even be caught or identified. However, if the person who sexually abused you is caught, convicted, and has the funds to do so, you could file a personal injury claim against them.

If so, solicitors will, among other resources, make use of a publication called the Judicial College Guidelines (JCG). This includes bracketed compensation amounts based on past court cases. We have included some of these guide figures in the table below. They are unlikely to be wholly accurate to your specific circumstances without your case being assessed – but they should be able to give you a rough idea of some sexual abuse claims payouts this way.

Abuse Type And LevelDescription of this level of abuseStandard Amount Of Damages
Psychiatric Damage - SevereSignificant problems coping with life, work, studies, maintaining relationships, and poor prognosis and future vulnerability. £54,830 to £115,730
Psychiatric Damage - Moderately SevereSimilar to the above, only with a more optimistic hope of recovery. Work-related stress could fall under this category.£19,070 to £54,830
Psychiatric Damage - ModerateSimilar symptoms to the above, but with marked improvement after treatment. £5,860 to £19,070
Psychiatric Damage - Less SevereMilder symptoms which can be improved with treatment. Will take into consideration the period of time of the disability. £1,540 to £5,860
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder - SeverePermanent effects which prevent a person from working or functioning to their pre-trauma level. £59,860 to £100,670
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder - Less SevereA full recovery made within 1-2 years with minor symptoms. £3,950 to £8,180

If it is not possible to make a personal injury claim, compensation for victims of abuse can often be awarded by the CICA. If you’re abused by a stranger, you may not know who to press charges against – nor is there a guarantee that they would be able to pay you the compensation you deserve.

The CICA has their own tariff. Unlike the JCG, all injuries in the CICA are assigned a set fee. However, they are subject to certain reductions if you are claiming for more than one injury:

  • The most valuable injury is unaffected
  • The second most valuable injury is awarded at 30% of its total rate
  • The third most valuable is reduced to 15%

You’ll find a few CICA tariff entries in the table below.

Type of abuse and severityNotes on this abuseEstimated damages awarded
Severe child abuseIncluding a more persistant or severe pattern of violence. Victims might have multiple injuries falling into severe, significant or moderate injury categories.moderate - £5,500
Significant - £8,200
Severe - £13,500
Severe physical abuseHere there are more severe forms of injuries than other More severe forms of physical abuse than the above categories.£5,500
Non-consensual penetration of the victim by a single attackerAt this level this may include the (non-consensual) penetration of bodily orifices such as the of the mouth, vagina or anus.£11,000
Non-consensual penetration of the victim by two or more attackerAt this level this may include the (non-consensual) penetration of bodily orifices such as the of the mouth, vagina or anus.£13,500
Non-consensual penetration of the victim causing serious internal injuries.At this level this may include the (non-consensual) penetration of bodily orifices such as the of the mouth, vagina or anus.£22,000

What Other Forms Of Damages Can I Claim?

In addition to claiming general damages for the pain, suffering and loss of amenity that you have endured, you should also be able to claim compensation for any financial losses you have incurred as a result of being sexually assaulted. Examples of this can include medical expenses, travel expenses, or loss of income reimbursement if you had to take time off work due to trauma, PTSD or other injuries. Many people use these funds to pay for counselling or psychological therapy to treat their sexual abuse PTSD or anxiety. These reimbursements are known as special expenses if you claim them through the CICA, or special damages if you make a claim against another party for your abuse.

Steps To Take If Affected By Sexual Abuse

If you are raped or sexually abused it is recommended that you keep the clothing and underwear that you were wearing at the time, and don’t wash it. It is also recommended that you don’t shower after the assault. This is because samples that could be found on your body or clothing may be used as evidence to prove the assault took place. Although it can be scary, try to report the sexual abuse to the authorities as soon as you are able to.

If you have been raped or sexually abused in the recent past, or you have suffered historical sexual abuse, evidence that has come to light as a result of the crime being investigated by the police will also be used to support your compensation claim.

If you use a solicitor to handle your compensation claim, they will be able to collect evidence to support your sexual abuse and PTSD claim and will negotiate on your behalf to win you the maximum amount of compensation that you could be owed.

How To Report Sexual Abuse By A Stranger

Being sexually abused or raped is a harrowing experience and victims often feel afraid to come forward. However, it is very important to report incidents of stranger-perpetrated abuse or rape to the police, in case the perpetrator can be caught and brought to justice. Dial 999 to report the sexual abuse. The police will take your report seriously. We also recommend getting medical treatment as soon as possible in case you have contracted an STI or are pregnant.

You can also seek support from organisations that help victims of sexual abuse and rape. For example, CRISIS supports women and girls and Victim Support supports male and female victims of sexual abuse and violence. We will recommend some more places to get help at the end of this guide.

How Long Do Sexual Abuse Victims Have To Claim Compensation?

If you have been sexually abused and wish to claim, most abuse compensation schemes have a claims time limit. If you make a claim against the perpetrator of a crime or another party that has been held liable for your sexual assault, the claims time limit will be three years since the sexual abuse took place. Unfortunately, many people who suffer sexual abuse do not come forward. This may be because they were too young at the time to understand that they were being abused, or perhaps the abuser threatened them or made them blame themselves for the abuse. Courts will often take this into consideration if a claimant is making a claim for historical sex abuse.

If you claim through the CICA you will have two years to claim compensation after the event was reported to the police.

How A Litigation Friend Could Support A Child

Children (people under the age of 18) cannot make a compensation claim for themselves. They can either wait until their 18th birthday to claim, or a litigation friend can be appointed, to act on their behalf. How does one become a litigation friend? The person is usually appointed by a court, or they apply for the role. If the claim is successful, the child will be able to access funds to pay for any treatment or expenses they require as a result of their injuries. They will be able to access the majority of the funds that have been awarded to them once they turn 18.

Why Make Your Claim For Sexual Abuse By A Stranger With Our Team?

If you have suffered stranger-perpetrated abuse, trust Legal Helpline to handle your claim. We understand what victims go through and will fight to seek justice for you.

What Can Legal Helpline help you with?

  • The advice and services of an experienced solicitor.
  • The option to make a No Win No Fee claim.
  • A promise that we will work hard to ensure that you receive the maximum amount of compensation that you are owed for your injuries.

No Win No Fee Claims For Sexual Abuse By A Stranger

At Legal Helpline we believe that everyone deserves to have equal access to justice. That’s why we offer our clients the option to make a No Win No Fee claim. What does a No Win No Fee claim mean? It means that you will be able to make your claim without paying an upfront solicitors fee. You won’t have to pay any costs during the claim either, or if the claim doesn’t succeed. Instead, you will only have to pay your fee if you win, so there is less risk involved for you. Your solicitor’s fee, which makes up a small percentage of the compensation, would be deducted from your settlement payout at the end of the case, making No Win No Fee the more affordable option for many.

Speak To Legal Helpline About Your Claim

If you have been raped or sexually assaulted by a stranger, we understand that no money can make up for the terrible wrong that was done to you. However, making an abuse compensation claim can help you seek justice and provide you with funds to help move your life in a more positive direction. To begin your claim for compensation, use our online claims form to reach us, or call us on 0161 6969 685 to speak to an advisor. We are here to give you all the support and help you may need.

Support For Victims Of Sexual Abuse And Trauma

Rape Crisis offers support to women and girls who have experienced rape or sexual violence.

Victim Support offers support to anyone who has experienced rape or sexual violence.

The NSPCC can provide support to children who have been sexually abused. You can also call them if you suspect a child is being abused.

Legal Helpline Guides

How Much Compensation Can I Claim For Assault?

Child Accident Claims – How Much Compensation Can I Claim?

Sex Abuse Claims – How Much Compensation Can I Claim?


Guide by Chelache

Edited by Billing