Sexual Abuse By A Family Friend Compensation Claims
In this guide, we will look at how to make a claim for compensation following sexual abuse by a family friend. We will look at the role that the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA) can play in ensuring that victims of these kinds of crimes are compensated for their injuries.
When you’ve been the victim of sexual abuse at the hands of a family friend, you may assume that all you can do is report the incident to the police. You may think that there is no route through which you can get compensation for your suffering, but this isn’t the case.
Sexual abuse and assault can cause physical injuries to the victim. These injuries can impact the victim’s quality of life for years to come. In addition, the psychological repercussions of this kind of abuse can affect someone in the long term.
We hope that you find this guide useful. If, by the end, you still have questions related to claiming compensation as the victim of sexual abuse, please don’t hesitate to contact us. We may also be able to connect you with a personal injury lawyer from our panel. You can:
- Call our team to discuss your options on 020 3870 4868
- Email or write to us for advice at UK Law.co.uk
- Use the ‘live support’ option below for more help
Services And Information
- Everything You Need To Know About Sexual Abuse By A Family Friend
- What Is Sexual Abuse By A Family Friend?
- Sexual Offences Under The Law
- Types Of Sexual Abuse By A Family Friend
- Physical And Psychological Injuries Caused By Sexual Abuse
- Calculate Compensation For Sexual Abuse By A Family Friend
- Signs Of Sexual Abuse By A Family Friend
- Further Signs A Family Friend Is Abusing A Child
- How Long After Sexual Abuse By A Family Friend Could You Claim Compensation?
- What Steps Should You Take After Suffering Sexual Abuse?
- How Do I Report Suffering Sexual Abuse?
- How Litigation Friends Can Support Claimants Under The Age Of 18
- Claim For Sexual Abuse By A Family Friend On A No Win No Fee Basis
- Victim Support Guides
- FAQs About Dealing With Sexual Abuse By A Family Friend
Regardless of the relationship of the attacker to you, it is a criminal offence to force someone to engage in sexual activities without their consent under the Sexual Offences Act 2003. It’s also important to note that children under the age of 16 cannot legally consent, meaning that it is illegal for an adult to engage in sexual activities with children in all circumstances.
In this guide, we will begin by examining the laws surrounding rape and sexual assault. We will move on to discuss the types of sexual abuse that could be perpetrated by a family friend and the different options available to you in pursuing compensation. Furthermore, we will look at how to spot the signs of sexual abuse.
You may be wondering how compensation following sexual abuse can be calculated. We will look at how much compensation you could receive if you make a personal injury claim against your abuser directly. In addition, we will look at the tariff of injuries from the CICA.
To conclude, we will look at the benefits that a No Win No Fee agreement can offer when funding legal representation for your claim. Finally, we will provide you with some external resources that we hope you find useful and answer some commonly-asked questions about claims of this kind.
Please read on to find out more about claiming for sexual abuse of a family friend. Alternatively, call our team if you would like to start your claim today.
Sexual abuse by a family friend can cause injuries that affect the person who has been abused for years to come. Whether you were a child or an adult at the time the abuse occurred, it can have long-term implications on your mental and physical health. Sexual abuse may cause soft tissue damage around the genitals, internal damage and carries a risk of the victim contracting an STI from their abuser.
It doesn’t matter what your relationship is with the person who abused you. If you did not consent to sexual activities, this is an offence. Furthermore, children under the age of 16 cannot consent to sexual activities. Any sexual activity with someone under the age of consent is an offence.
There is a wide range of acts that can be considered sexual abuse. Sexual assault can involve penetration, but non-consensual kissing, touching and groping is also considered assault and is against the law.
However, sexual abuse does not always require sexual contact between the abuser and the victim. For instance, “revenge pornography” involves distributing private sexual photographs or videos of someone without the consent of the person who appears in them. It is also a sexual offence to force someone into prostitution.
If you’ve been the victim of sexual assault in any of the ways listed above, you may be able to claim. Get in touch with our team for more information.
The law has clear definitions of sexual offences that can be found in the Sexual Offences Act 2003. These laws apply regardless of the relationship between the abuser and the victim. It doesn’t matter if your abuser is a family member, an ex-partner or a teacher at a school; if you’ve been the victim of any of the acts detailed below, this is sexual abuse.
- Sexual assault by penetration
- Making someone engage in sexual acts
- Forcing someone to have sex with another person
- Making someone view pornography
- Forced prostitution
- Online grooming
The list of acts that can be considered sexual abuse that we have included above is by no means exhaustive. There are a wide range of actions that could be considered sexual assault that are not included in the list above. If you’ve been the victim of sexual abuse, you could claim compensation. Get in touch with our team today to find out more.
The NSPCC further defines various types of sexual abuse, some of which we have looked at in the section above. It explains how children can be the victims of contact and non-contact sexual abuse.
Contact sexual abuse can include:
- Touching a child sexually
- Using a body part or another object to penetrate a child
- Making a child undress or touch another person
Non-contact abuse can include:
- Flashing or exposing
- Forcing a child to masturbate
- Making, viewing or distributing child pornography
Children can also be exploited if they are offered money, affection and status. A child who is being abused may think that they are in a loving relationship with their abuser. This is called grooming. The child’s perception of the relationship doesn’t affect whether or not it’s considered abuse.
With this in mind, it’s important to define the two ways in which sexual abuse by a family friend can cause you damage. These descriptions are not exhaustive. You may experience injury not mentioned below, but that does not mean it won’t be taken into consideration with your claim.
- Bruising and cuts
- Bleeding or pain in the genital area
- Sexually transmitted infections
- Using sexual language or referring to sexual acts that you wouldn’t expect them to know
- Disturbed sleep, for example, bedwetting or nightmares
- Changes in eating habits
Victims of sexual abuse by a family friend could suffer a combination of both types of injury. You should seek medical attention for any injuries you have sustained. Even if the abuse was historic, you might be able to receive treatment for any psychological injuries you have sustained. Furthermore, seeking medical attention could provide evidence to support your claim.
There are two channels that may be available to you in claiming compensation for sexual abuse. You may be able to pursue a personal injury claim directly against the person that abused you, or you could claim compensation through the CICA.
Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA)
The CICA are an agency sponsored by the Ministry of Justice and are the administrator of the Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme. This scheme aims to compensate victims of violent crimes that occurred in England, Scotland and Wales. In order to claim through the CICA, you must have reported the abuse to the police.
The CICA have a tariff of injuries that outlines the amount to be paid for different injuries. It includes tariffs for victims of sexual assault and the physical and psychological injuries sustained. You will be asked to provide medical evidence to support a claim through the CICA.
You can claim for multiple injuries through the CICA. The injury with the highest value will be paid at the full tariff amount. The second most (or equally) severe injury will be paid at 30% of the tariff amount, and the injury with the third-highest value will be paid at 15% of the tariff amount. There are separate tariffs available if, as the result of your abuse, you have:
- Become pregnant
- Contracted an STI
- Lost a foetus
You can claim for loss of earnings and other special expenses through the CICA. To do so, you need to show that you were out of work because of your injuries for 28 weeks following the incident. Loss of earnings will not be backdated, and you will only be paid from the 29th week that you are out of work.
You can claim special expenses for items you relied on for physical aid that were damaged in the incident. For instance, you may be able to claim the cost of spectacles or a hearing aid. Although you will still need to show that you lost 28 weeks of earnings to claim special expenses, these will be backdated to the date of the accident.
The Judicial College Guidelines
You can also pursue a personal injury claim directly against your abuser. This will only be viable if they have the funds to pay the compensation to you directly.
The Judicial College Guidelines (JCG) is a publication that sets out guideline compensation brackets for a number of injuries of varying severities. It’s used by solicitors and courts to help calculate compensation settlements. The part of your compensation that pays you for your injuries directly is known as general damages.
Below is a table with compensation brackets from the JCG that gives an idea of how much compensation could be paid for psychological injuries resulting from abuse. Please bear in mind that these are guidelines, and your compensation award is not guaranteed.
|Type of injury||Severity||How much?||Injury notes|
|Psychiatric Damage||Less Severe||£1,440 to £5,500||The award will be calculated based on the period of disability and the extent to which daily activities and sleep were affected.|
|Psychiatric Damage||Moderate||£5,500 to £17,900||In these cases, the injured person may have had the sort of problems associated with life, work, education and relationships. Their prognosis will be good.|
|Psychiatric Damage||Moderately Severe||£17,900 to £51,460||In these cases, the injured person will have significant difficulties relating to life, work, education and relationships. Their prognosis will be more optimistic than in serious cases.|
|Psychiatric Damage||Severe||£51,460 to £108,620||In these cases, the injured person will have marked difficulties relating to life, work, education and relationships. Their prognosis will be very poor.|
|Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)||Less Severe||£3,710 to £7,680||A virtually full recovery within one to two years with only minor symptoms persisting beyond|
|Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)||Moderate||£7,680 to £21,730||The injured person will have largely recovered and any continuing effects will not be grossly disabling|
|Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)||Severe||£56,180 to £94,470||In these cases, the injured person will be unable to function at anything approaching a pre-trauma level and all aspects of life will be badly affected.|
The second head of claim that could be included in a claim is special damages. This reflects any financial harm caused as a direct result of your injuries. To claim special damages, you will need to provide evidence of the losses you have incurred.
Special damages might include:
- Counselling that isn’t available on the NHS
- Loss of earnings
- Transport costs to and from medical appointments
Speak with our team if dealing with the abuse has created financial hardship for you. You may be able to claim it back as part of a personal injury claim against your abuser.
As the victim of sexual abuse by a family friend, you may be all too aware of the signs and symptoms, but how might others be able to identify concern? According to the NSPCC, there are certain behavioural and physical changes that can alert us to possible abuse going on, such as the young person:
- Suddenly wanting to avoid being alone with that person
- A lack of self-confidence
- Sexual language or behaviour you wouldn’t expect them to be aware of
- Desperation or need for affection
- Regressing to younger behaviour or becoming clingy
- Acting out sexual roles with their toys
- Alcohol or drug misuse issues
- Changes in their eating habits or developing an eating problem like bulimia or anorexia.
- Unaccountable mood changes, irritability or anger outbursts
There are also signs in an adult’s behaviour that might indicate they are abusing a child. This can include:
- Insistence of physical affection such as hugs or kisses
- Wanting to spend time alone with the child with no interruptions
- Buying the child expensive gifts
- Picking on a particular child
- Having a “favourite” child
- Invasions of privacy, for instance, walking in on a child in the bathroom
Of course, the presence of one or more of these signs is not a guarantee that a family friend is abusing a child. However, it could be an indicator to keep a close eye on the relationship for further signs of abuse.
The amount of time that you have to make a claim for compensation following abuse depends on a number of factors. When making a personal injury claim, there is usually a three-year limitation period on making a claim. However, this differs if the victim is under 18 at the time of the incident.
In these cases, the time limit is suspended until the victim turns 18. Before this, a litigation friend can make a claim on behalf of the victim. When they turn 18, they have until their 21st birthday to make a claim.
CICA time limits
With claims through the CICA, there is usually a two-year time limit on making claims for compensation. However, there are exceptions made if you were under 18 at the time of the incident.
If you’re under 18, a parent or guardian can make a claim on your behalf through the CICA. If they don’t do this by the time you turn 18, you can claim on your own behalf.
Provided the abuse was reported to the police while you were underage, you have 2 years from your 18th birthday to claim. If the abuse was not reported, then you have 2 years from the date of reporting it to claim.
The time limit may also be extended for people who were victims of abuse while over the age of 18. You will need to show that exceptional circumstances prevented you from being able to claim beforehand. You will also need to provide enough evidence of your case that a claims officer will not need to carry out extensive further investigations.
If you’d like to know whether you are still able to make a claim, either through the CICA or against your abuser directly, why not get in touch with our team? They will be happy to offer you free legal advice.
Suffering from sexual abuse, or finding out that your child has been the victim of sexual abuse, can be a daunting and upsetting experience. You may be unsure what steps you need to take. Below, we’ve outlined some of the important steps in the process of claiming compensation for sexual abuse:
- Report the crime to the police
- Seek medical attention. Even if the abuse is historic or if you don’t think you have any injuries, you may need psychological support. Medical records can also support your claim.
- Collect evidence. Whether you are claiming through the CICA or making a personal injury claim, evidence is key. Keep any records of costs you have incurred.
- Speak to a solicitor. While it’s not a legal requirement, we believe the guidance and support of a solicitor could help you maximise the compensation you receive and make the claims process run more smoothly.
If you’d like to know more about how to go about claiming compensation as the victim of abuse, get in touch with our team. If they feel your claim has a good chance of success, they may be able to connect you with a solicitor from our panel.
Are you reading this as a minor who is experiencing sexual assault by a family friend? If so, you can call Childline. Rape Crisis and Victim Support are other organisations that may be able to help you report your abuse.
In an emergency where you feel your abuser is putting you in danger, you can call 999. Otherwise, 111 is a non-emergency number through which you can report abuse.
A litigation friend is someone who represents a minor or an adult who lacks the ability to represent themselves in the claims process. It should be someone who has the best interests of the person in question at heart.
Litigation friends can be a family member, a carer or an appointed representative of the court. They can ensure that if a compensation award is given, it can be kept in a safe account for them until they are 18.
If you’d like to know more about claiming for sexual assault as a litigation friend, call our team. They will be happy to offer you more information.
As we have already mentioned, there is no legal obligation to work with a solicitor when claiming through the CICA or making a personal injury claim. However, you may wish to do so as the process of claiming compensation for abuse can be daunting.
No Win No Fee agreements are designed to remove the financial barriers to seeking legal representation. When you’re represented on a No Win No Fee basis, it means that:
- You do not need to pay any upfront fees
- There are no fees to be paid as the case is ongoing
- There’s nothing to pay your lawyers at all if the case fails
- Your lawyer will deduct a success fee in the event that you win your claim to cover their costs. This amount is capped by law to keep it low and as fair to you as possible
Talk to our team today to see how a No Win No Fee lawyer could help you receive the best possible settlement in your sexual abuse claim. If our team think that your claim has a good chance of success, they could connect you with a lawyer from our panel.
Thank you for reading this guide about claiming for sexual abuse by a family friend. We hope that the information has been useful. In addition to this guide, we are happy to take your call or answer any questions you may have when you:
- Call our team to discuss your options on 020 3870 4868
- Email or write to us for advice at UK Law.co.uk
- Use the ‘live support’ option below for more help
Furthermore, at UK Law, we can offer advice about other types of personal injury, such as what to do if you suffered an accident at work that was not your fault. In addition, our team can also offer guidance on road traffic accidents caused by the reckless negligence of others. Perhaps you fell in public because of a negligent breach in care? If so, we may be able to help. If you would like to access more information about sexual abuse support, please refer to the following:
- Help and support from the NHS
- What to expect after reporting an assault to the police
- Also, advice from the Government is available here
What does the CICA do?
The CICA aim to compensate victims of violent crime in England, Scotland and Wales. It’s an executive agency and receives funding through the Ministry of Justice.
Do you need to report the abuse to the police?
If you would like to claim compensation through the CICA, your abuse must be reported to the police as soon as possible. If there is a delay in you reporting your abuse, you may be asked to provide a reason why, for instance, being too young at the time to report it yourself.
How long will the claims process take?
There are no absolute time frames for CICA claims, as each case varies depending on the evidence and court timetables. However, the CICA Annual Report 2019/20 revealed that 52% of claims were decided within 6 months.
Do I need to meet the solicitor in person?
There’s no requirement to meet your solicitor in person in order to make a claim. In many cases, our panel of lawyers will be able to arrange a medical assessment in your local area.
Thank you for reading our guide on claiming for sexual abuse by a family friend.
Guide by FE
Published by NC