Can I Claim Compensation For Cases Of Historic Sexual Abuse? – View Online Guide

    Request a free call back and get free advice!

    I Was The Victim Of Historical Sexual Abuse, Could I Claim Compensation?

    By Olivia Salah. Last updated 4th March 2021. Welcome to our guide to claiming compensation for historic sexual abuse.

    In this guide, we answer the question ‘Can I claim compensation for historic sexual abuse?’ If you have suffered sexual abuse and have been unable to speak out right away, you may assume that you would be too late to take action against those that had abused you and would not be entitled to compensation for historical sexual abuse. However, this may not be the case. Whether you have been abused in your own home, at school or in the workplace, or even in a church or sporting group, even if it happened years ago, you may be able to launch a claim for compensation for the trauma that the abuse inflicted upon you.

    We understand that speaking about your experience could be difficult and you may want to read more before you are ready to consider making a claim. The sections below answer common questions about making such claims and could give you the confidence you may need to take action to claim the compensation you could be entitled to. If you need further assistance or are ready to claim, please consider calling 0161 696 9685 for support and guidance on claiming compensation for non-recent abuse.

    Jump To A Section

    A Guide On If You Can Claim Compensation For Cases Of Historic Sexual Abuse

    Historic sexual abuse compensation claims

    Historic sexual abuse compensation claims

    Some victims of historical abuse who have claimed compensation have described the process as quite a cathartic experience. Whether you suffered abuse at the hands of a family member, youth club leader, employer or teacher, it could leave you with trauma so deep that you may feel unable to speak about it. Whether you have grown stronger with the help of historical sexual abuse counselling or simply on your own, speaking out on your abuse could be an important step in dealing with what happened to you.

    However, there may be more that you can do than simply reporting your abuse. You may be entitled to claim compensation for the effects of the abuse, even if it happened some years ago. This guide takes you through the process of claiming compensation for historical sexual abuse, giving you information and advice on what could be involved when making a claim, how to find support and guidance from others, and how much compensation you could be entitled to.

    What Is Historical Sexual Abuse?

    Before we offer answers to questions such as ‘Can I claim compensation for historic sexual abuse’ we should consider what the definition of historical sexual abuse is, and what it could include.

    Historical, or non-recent sexual abuse,  involves a minor and abuse of a sexual nature that they cannot properly comprehend, understand or give informed consent to.  According to the World Health Organisation, child sexual abuse could include:

    • The coercion or inducement of a minor to engage in sexual activity that is unlawful.
    • The exploitation of a child in sexual activity that is unlawful or considered prostitution.
    • The exploitation of a child in a performance that is deemed pornographic.
    • The exploitation of a child in material that is deemed pornographic.

    If you have been the victim of historical abuse as a child, or even as an adult, compensation for victims of historical abuse could be claimed years later in some cases. We could help you to begin a claim for not only the psychological trauma and other injuries you may have suffered due to the abuse, but also any financial expenses you’ve incurred as a result, such as therapy.

    What Are The Effects Of Historical Sexual Abuse?

    Historical sexual abuse could leave a range of scars, both physical and mental, on those that have experienced it. Long-term effects of such abuse could include:

    • Problems with alcohol and drugs.
    • Disturbing memories, thoughts and emotions.
    • Eating disorders, depression, self-harm and other mental health problems.
    • Emotional troubles, such as anxiety, sadness or anger.
    • Poor physical health.
    • Trouble with relationships, including parenting.

    You may be able to lessen some of the effects of your abuse with the help of historical sexual abuse counselling. However, in some cases, the effects of historic abuse will never be completely diminished, and the psychological trauma may affect your ability to work or to enjoy your life in the same way that you did before you were abused. To learn more about claiming compensation for historic sexual abuse, please read on.

    Can I Claim Compensation From A Local Authority For Cases Of Historic Sexual Abuse?

    Historical sexual abuse claims could be made against a local authority in some cases. If you believe that the local authority had the opportunity to remove you from an unsafe home, whether a foster home, or where you lived with your family, and they failed to do so, resulting in you suffering a continuation of abuse, they could be held liable for the on-going abuse that they could have prevented.

    To prove such a claim, you/your lawyer would have to prove that not only were you abused in your home, but that the local authority/social services could have removed you from the situation. You would also have to prove that this failure contributed to you suffering further abuse. These are points that a specialist solicitor from our panel could help you with.

    Can I Claim Compensation From A School For Cases Of Historic Sexual Abuse?

    When you go to school, you would expect to be kept safe by those in a position of authority. If this was unfortunately not the case and you suffered abuse at the hands of anyone within your school environment, you could hold the school responsible for their safeguarding failures by claiming compensation for historic sexual abuse.

    Whether you have suffered historical sexual abuse at the hands of a school teacher, sports coach or any other person, you may have felt unable to talk about what was happening to you at the time. As a child, you may not have been able to properly process the abuse, and this may have meant you did not report it at the time.

    If you’re wondering ‘can I claim compensation for historical sexual abuse at a school?’, our team could assess your case for free and give you advice on making a claim.

    Can I Claim Compensation From An Employer For Cases Of Historic Sexual Abuse?

    Whether you have been promised a promotion by performing sexual acts or been sexually abused by another employee while you were at work, your employer, in certain circumstances, could be held liable if they have failed to protect your safety at work. Whether you would be making a claim against your employer, or a CICA claim for criminal injury, we could help begin a claim for compensation for victims of historical abuse in the workplace.

    Can I Claim Compensation From A Church Or Religious Authority For Cases Of Historic Sexual Abuse?

    There have been reports of churches and other religious authorities that relate to historical abuse. One reason why these cases may be quite upsetting is that many people could consider churches and religious authorities to be safe and trustworthy.

    If abuse has been perpetuated by those in a religious position of trust, this could lead to a victim losing faith, or feeling unable to speak out against someone representing their faith. We understand that it may be quite difficult to come forward and speak out about this kind of abuse. If you have suffered abuse of this type, no matter how long ago, we could help you claim compensation for your suffering.

    Can I Claim Compensation From A Member Of My Family For Cases Of Historic Sexual Abuse

    Unfortunately, you could have suffered historical sexual abuse from a member of your family. Given the deep-rooted trauma that this often results in, you may have felt unable to speak out against a family member. In some cases, you may have felt disloyal to the family or been scared that no one would believe your story.

    If this has happened to you, you could claim compensation for historic sexual abuse, even if it was years since the abuse stopped. Our specially trained advisors will give you as much time as you need to tell us what has happened so that we could offer you support and guidance on what action you could take.

    Can I Claim Compensation From Other Organisations For Cases Of Historic Sexual Abuse

    Sexual abuse could happen in places other than those mentioned above, such as youth groups, football clubs, charities, scouting organisations and more. If you were abused by someone working for such an association, they could be held liable for the abuse you have suffered. Whether they have ignored signs of historical sexual abuse while it was happening, or not performed appropriate background checks for those that they employ to work with young or vulnerable people, this could lead to a claim against them.

    What Is The Role Of The CICA In Sexual Abuse Claims?

    Many claims for historical sexual abuse are made to the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority, also known as the CICA. If you are the victim of a violent crime and were physically or mentally harmed, or a combination of the two, the CICA would handle your compensation claim. The CICA exists to pay compensation for such injuries to blameless parties in England, Scotland and Wales and is sponsored by the Ministry of Justice.

    Are There Time Limits To Claiming Compensation?

    Can I claim compensation for historic sexual abuse if I’m claiming more than a few years after the abuse happened? This could be considered a common question. There are time limits to making such claims, and these could differ depending on whether you were making a claim through the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority or pursuing a personal injury claim against a liable party.

    The usual limitation for making CICA claims is 2 years from the date of the criminal activity, but exceptional circumstances could apply when it comes to claiming compensation for victims of historical abuse, as it could be argued that you may not have had the emotional or mental capacity to claim before now.

    The same exceptions could apply for a personal injury claim against another liable party. If you can prove that exceptional circumstances rendered you incapable of claiming compensation for historical sexual abuse before, you may be able to make a claim years later.

    If you would like to know whether your claim could be considered an exception to the usual time limits, please do not hesitate to get in touch with our team. We would be glad to help you.

    How Do You Report Cases Of Historical Sexual Abuse?

    You may be wondering; ‘how do I report past abuse?’. You can do so in a few different ways. Firstly, you should consider reporting the abuse to the police. To find your local police station, you can click here. You may be given an appointment to go in and talk to someone about what has happened to you, or someone may be able to come to your home.

    You may also wish to report the abuse to other parties that may be involved. If your abuse is related to being in care, you may wish to report it to the relevant authority, while if it happened at school or work, you may wish to report the abuse to the school or your employer.

    Churches and professional associations, such as sporting associations, may also have their own reporting systems. A wise idea may be to search for their safeguarding policies on their website to find out how to report the abuse you’ve suffered.

    If you wish to go forward with a claim for compensation for historic sexual abuse, a personal injury solicitor could help you make such reports as part of your claim. We could connect you with a lawyer that could help you do this.

    Compensation Calculator For Historical Sexual Abuse

    Are you wondering how much compensation for historical sexual abuse could be appropriate for the injuries you’ve suffered? If so, the table below could offer some insight.

    Instead of including a personal injury claims calculator on this page, we have chosen to display some figures from the Judicial College Guidelines; a legal publication that offers insight into guideline payout brackets for specific injuries. The guidance is updated yearly and could give you a rough idea of how much your claim could be worth.

    It is important to note that you would not be able to get an accurate figure of your claim’s value prior to your medical condition being assessed by an independent doctor. This is because the medical evidence for a personal injury claim is vital in determining how much compensation you could receive. Your medical notes, condition and prognosis would be compiled into a report after you had seen an independent medic, which would be submitted as evidence as part of your claim.

    InjuryNotesGuideline Bracket for Compensation
    Severe Psychiatric DamageWhere the injured party has a very poor prognosis, and suffers with feelings of degradation, and had a period of time where their damage may have been undiagnosed, untreated, denied or not recognised. There may have been marked effects on the injured party’s ability to work, their relationships, future vulnerability, and they may have had, or still require medical assistance.Up to £108,620
    Moderately Severe Psychiatric DamageIf the injured party suffers marked effects as described above, but the prognosis is much more optimistic, their claim may fall into this bracket.Up to £51,460
    Moderate Psychiatric DamageWhere there has been a marked improvement of damage by the time of any trial, and a good prognosis.Up to £17,900
    Less Severe Psychiatric DamageCases falling into this bracket would have been assessed to be less severe but could have resulted in negative effects on sleep and daily activities. However, the period of disability would have been shorter than above.Up to £5,500
    PTSD (Severe)Permanent effects could prevent an injured party from being able to work, or functioning to the level that they did before the trauma.Up to £94,470
    PTSD (Moderately Severe)A better prognosis but significant disability that will affect the injured party for the foreseeable future.Up to £56,180
    PTSD (Moderate)Where the injured party has recovered for the most part. Any effects that continue would not be very disabling.Up to £21,730

    We have included injuries in the table that we believe could relate to a claim for compensation for victims of historical abuse. If, however, your injury doesn’t appear here, or you’re not sure which bracket your claim could fall into, please do not hesitate to get in touch and we’ll clarify this for you.

    What Could I Claim In Damages For Loss Of Income Or Costs?

    In addition to the compensation you could receive for the injuries and suffering you’ve sustained as a result of a history of sexual abuse, you could also receive compensation that is designed to redress the financial harm that your injuries have caused you. These are known as special damages. They could include, but are not limited to:

    • Medical costs – If you needed to pay for medication, or historical sexual abuse counselling, for example, you could claim for these costs as special damages.
    • Travel costs – If you paid for transport to a lawyer’s appointment or parking charges for a hospital appointment, if travel costs were incurred as a direct result of your injuries, they could be included within your claim.
    • Loss of income – You may have needed to stay off work while recovering from your injuries and the trauma they may have caused you. If this is the case, you may lose out on some or all of your wages. This loss of income could be claimed for, as could future loss of earnings if you are unable to return to work because of your injuries.

    To claim special damages, you must have proof of the costs and losses you have sustained because of your injuries. This could be in the form of bills, receipts, bank statements or payslips. If you do not have any proof of having incurred a loss or cost, you may be unable to include it within your claim, so it would be a good idea to have a safe place to keep such documents so you could provide them all to your personal injury lawyer when making your claim.

    Steps To Take If You Wish To Make A Historical Sexual Abuse Claim

    If you’re wondering can I claim compensation for historic sexual abuse, you may not know what steps you could take to start the process. We would advise that you attempt the steps below if you wish to consider making a claim.

    • Talk to a professional or a counsellor about the abuse if you are ready to do so – talking to someone about what has happened to you may be difficult. It may be worth contacting a mental health charity to assist with your historic abuse disclosure, or you may wish to speak to your GP if you feel comfortable talking to them about what has happened to you. We have included some resources at the end of this guide that could assist with historical sexual abuse counselling.
    • Report the abuse to the police – To begin a police inquiry into historical sexual abuse, you will need to report it. The police have specially trained officers who could listen and investigate what has happened to you.
    • Write down what has happened to you – This may be useful for you to refer back to if you asked anything about your claim later on in the claims process.
    • Collate any evidence you might have -If you have diary entries or any other evidence of your sexual abuse historical background that could relate to your claim, or if anyone witnessed the abuse, you may wish to make sure you have all this together so that you could provide the evidence to your personal injury solicitor.
    • Speak to Legal Helpline –  For historic sexual abuse help with making a claim, you could call us. Our specially trained advisors will handle your case with the strictest of confidence and will ensure you receive the information you need to go forward with your claim. We could also connect you with a specialist solicitor who can pursue historical sexual abuse cases.

    Why Choose Legal Helpline For Your Historical Sexual Abuse Claim?

    Here at Legal Helpline, you can speak to us in confidence for free information and guidance on claiming compensation for historical sexual abuse. We can answer questions relating to your specific situation, such as ‘Can I claim compensation for historic sexual abuse if my abuser was not convicted?’ or ‘What would be the personal injury claims time limit for my claim?’ While we have given general guidance on these things within this guide, some of the answers would depend on your specific situation. Talking to a sympathetic professional advisor from Legal Helpline could give you all the information you may need to begin claiming compensation for the trauma and injuries you may have suffered.

    Not only could we answer your questions, but we could also offer you a free eligibility check for your case, and if we believe you may be able to begin claiming compensation for historical sexual abuse, we could even connect you with a No Win No Fee lawyer who could begin such a claim for you. All of the solicitors on our panel offer services of the utmost professionalism. They will sensitively guide you through the claims process, supporting you along the way, and will strive to ensure you recover the maximum amount of compensation possible.

    No Win No Fee Compensation Claims For Historical Sexual Abuse

    If you’re concerned that you may have to pay legal fees upfront when making a claim for compensation for historical sexual abuse, you may be relieved to know that there is a way to make your personal injury claim without having to pay legal fees until compensation has been paid out. 

    Known as No Win No Fee claims, this type of agreement offers you financial protection and the confidence to pursue justice. You will not be asked to pay any fees upfront or during your claim, and if your case is unsuccessful you will not have to pay any of the fees your solicitor has incurred in pursuing your case. 

    If your claim is successful, your solicitor may seek a small contribution toward their costs. This is known as a success fee (a percentage of your compensation) and would be deducted from the compensation awarded once your claim has been settled. Don’t worry, the success fee is legally capped and will be agreed with your solicitor before you begin your claim. 

    Some claimants feel that making a No Win No Fee claim significantly reduces their financial risk, and with nothing to pay upfront, this means no matter what financial position a claimant is in, they could begin a claim right away.

    If you would like to learn more about No Win No Fee claims, please do not hesitate to call us with your questions. We would be happy to answer them, whether they’re regarding claims for compensation for historic sexual abuse or the like.

    Compensation for Historic Sexual Abuse FAQs

    To end our guide, we’ll take a look at some commonly asked questions regarding these types of claims.

    Do victims of abuse get compensation?

    Victims could claim compensation if their abusers are convicted in a court of law for their abuse. For more information, please look at Citizens Advice’s guide or speak to one of our specialist advisors today.

    How long after an assault can you claim compensation?

    The usual limitation for making CICA claims is 2 years from the date of the abuse. However, exceptional circumstances could apply when it comes to historical abuse, as it could be argued that you may not have had the emotional or mental capacity to claim before now. Alternatively, you may not have realised the true impact that the abuse had on you until later in life.

    The same exceptions could apply for a personal injury claim against another liable party. If you can prove that exceptional circumstances rendered you incapable of claiming compensation for historical sexual abuse before, you may be able to make a claim years later.

    For a free, no-obligation consultation, please contact Legal Helpline today and one of our trained advisors can help.

    Contact Legal Helpline Today

    If you’d like to begin a claim, or you have some questions about the claims process that haven’t been covered within this guide, such as “can I claim compensation for historic sexual abuse on behalf of another person?”, please do not hesitate to contact us. 

    Our knowledgeable team will be able to assess your case to see if you could be entitled to claim, and we can help you begin the claims process too by connecting you with a personal injury solicitor that could help you. 

    We can be reached via email on claims@legalhelpline.co.uk, or you could call us directly on 0161 696 9685 if you’d prefer. Alternatively, you could use our Live Chat service or fill out our contact form so we could get in touch with you. However, you choose to get in touch you’ll find us ready to help.

    Victim Support Resources

    MIND – Support For Victims Of Historical Sexual Abuse – MIND is a UK charity that offers support for those suffering from their mental health. This page offers resources that could offer support for victims of historical sexual abuse. If you are looking for a historical sexual abuse helpline number, you could find an appropriate one here.

    Victim Support – Here, you can read information from victim support. It covers the impact of sexual abuse, how to get help, along with information about historical sexual abuse reporting.

    What Can Be Done About Historical Sexual Abuse? – If you are wondering how to report historical sexual abuse, this guidance from the police might be useful.

    Sexual Abuse Claims – If you’re wondering can you get compensation for being abused if it isn’t historical, this guide could be of use.

    General Information On No Win No Fee Claims – If you’d like to know more about No Win No Fee claims, this guide could offer some useful information.

    Information On Legal Fees – This page talks about legal fee percentages and why you would only have to pay a small proportion of your compensation to a lawyer if they secured you a compensation settlement.

    Thank you for reading our guide to claiming compensation for historic sexual abuse. We hope the information provided today has been helpful and wish you luck in your pursuit of compensation.

    Guide by JS

    Edited by REG