Sexual Abuse By A Step Parent Compensation Claims
If you’ve been the victim of sexual abuse by a step-parent, or someone else like a family friend or a teacher, you may believe that there is no way you can receive compensation for the suffering you have experienced. You may feel that, aside from reporting the incident to the police, there is nothing you can do to be compensated for the wrongdoing you were a victim of.
However, this is not necessarily the case. It may be possible for you to claim compensation through the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA). They are an executive agency sponsored by the government. The CICA tries to help people who have been injured as the victims of violent crime in England and Wales.
Compensation Claims For Sexual Abuse By A Family Member
Being sexually abused by a family member, whether a blood relative or step parent, is not something that anyone should have to experience. Our team of advisors could help you get the compensation you deserve for your injuries. This is the case whether your abuse is recent or you’re claiming for injuries sustained during a period of historic abuse.
Get In Touch With Our Team
To get in touch with our friendly team of advisors, you can:
- Call them on 020 3870 4868. Our team of advisors are available 24/7 to offer you free legal advice.
- Fill in our online personal injury claims form. One of our advisors will respond at your earliest convenience.
- Chat with an advisor via our online chat pop-up box for an immediate response.
Services And Information
- Everything You Need To Know About Sexual Abuse By A Step Parent
- What Is Sexual Abuse By A Step Parent?
- Laws On Sexual Offences
- Types Of Sexual Violence Committed By Step Parents
- What Injuries Could Sexual Abuse Victims Suffer?
- Calculate Compensation For Sexual Abuse By A Step Parent
- Signs And Symptoms Of Sexual Abuse By A Step Parent
- Time Limits In Claiming For Sexual Abuse
- Steps To Take If You Were Sexually Abused By A Step Parent
- How To Report Sexual Abuse By A Step Parent
- How Do I Report Historical Sexual Abuse?
- What Is The Role Of A Litigation Friend?
- Claim For Sexual Abuse By A Step Parent On A No Win No Fee Basis
- Supporting Guides
- FAQs About Dealing With Sexual Abuse By A Step Parent
To begin, this guide will look at what constitutes sexual abuse by a step parent. Next, the article will discuss sexual offence laws and the types of sexual violence that can be committed by step parents. There will then be a section about what injuries sexual abuse victims could suffer, both physical and psychological.
The article will also discuss the personal injury claims time limit so you can see how much time you have left to make a sexual abuse claim. Moreover, the guide will advise you on the steps you can take if you’ve experienced sexual abuse by a step parent. There will be a section about how to report sexual abuse by your step parent and how to report abuse that happened a long time ago.
There will also be an explanation about how our panel of personal injury lawyers work on a No Win No Fee basis and what this can do for you. In addition, we will provide some supporting guides to ensure you leave this article with as much knowledge and information as possible.
Child sexual abuse is defined as sexual acts that a child has not consented to and doesn’t want. Any kind of sexual activity with a child by an adult is classed as sexual abuse, as children under 16 years old are unable to legally consent according to the Sexual Offences Act 2003.
The graph below contains statistics taken from the NSPCC illustrating the number of children who were under a child protection plan for sexual abuse across 2016-2020 in England. As you can see, the largest number was in 2016, with 2,370 children. On the other hand, the lowest number was 1,970 in 2020.
Although the numbers are going down, there are still thousands of children under a child protection plan each year due to sexual abuse. It simply shows the number of children under a child protection plan. It’s safe to assume that there are thousands of other children suffering sexual abuse in England who haven’t come forward about what’s happened.
If you’d like to know more about the law surrounding sexual abuse, please read on to our next section. Alternatively, get in touch with our team for more information on claiming compensation for sexual abuse.
The laws surrounding sexual offences have been altered over time to include various types of sexual assault, such as:
- Verbal sexual abuse
- Making someone have sex with other people
- Forcing someone to watch pornography
- Controlling what the victim wears
- Forcing sexual acts upon a person
- Forcing prostitution
- Online grooming
In some cases, a child might not be fully aware that the behaviours they are a victim of are abuse. This may particularly be the case if the abuse is being carried out by someone in a position of trust, like a step parent. However, just because a child does not realise that certain actions are inappropriate does not make them any less against the law.
Two types of sexual violence are contact and no-contact abuse. The NSPCC states that contact abuse is when the perpetrator makes physical contact with the child, whereas non-contact abuse is when the child isn’t physically touched. Non-contact abuse can occur in person or online.
Examples of contact abuse:
- Touching the child’s body sexually, whether they have clothing on or not
- Raping or penetrating a child with a body part or object
- Making a child partake in sexual activities
- Forcing a child to touch somebody else or undress
- Touching the child inappropriately
- Inappropriate kissing
- Oral sex
Examples of non-contact abuse:
- Flashing or exposing
- Showing the child pornography
- Showing sexual acts to the child
- Forcing them to masturbate
- Making a child share, make, or share child abuse videos or photos
- Viewing, sharing, or making child abuse videos of pictures
If you or your child has experienced sexual abuse by a step parent, you can get in touch with our team of advisors. Once they’ve learned more about your situation, they may be able to connect you with a personal injury lawyer from our panel if you have a valid claim.
There are multiple physical and emotional injuries that a child can suffer from sexual abuse. For example, you could suffer Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) due to historical sexual abuse from a step father. Alternatively, sexual abuse can cause physical injuries such as damage to internal organs that can affect you for years to come.
This could last for years and may require psychological therapy or medication. It’s common for victims of sexual abuse by a step parent to suffer mental health issues as a child and also later on in life.
What physical injuries could sexual abuse cause?
Some physical sexual abuse signs include:
- Bleeding, pain, or soreness in their anal or genital area
- Sexually Transmitted Infections (STI’s)
The CICA cannot pay for more than three injuries. However, there are some injuries that have additional tariffs available. You may be able to receive additional tariff payments if you become pregnant, lose a foetus or contract an STI as the result of injury or assault.
What psychological injuries could be caused by sexual abuse?
The psychological impact of child sex abuse can include:
- Developing an eating disorder or changes in the pattern of eating
- Mood changes – feeling irritable, upset, angry, or anything unusual for the particular child
- Drug or alcohol abuse
- Mental health issues, such as depression and anxiety
- Bed-wetting and nightmares
- Sexual behaviours or language they shouldn’t know at their age
You can receive compensation for the psychological If you would like to know more about how much compensation you could be owed for injuries sustained from sexual assault, please read on.
Some guides include a personal and criminal injury claims calculator to assess how much compensation you could receive from your personal injury claim. However, while they can be useful tools, these calculators often fail to capture the scope of information needed to give an accurate valuation.
Instead, we’ve compiled the latest figures from the Criminal Injuries Compensation Association (CICA) to illustrate how much some injuries are valued.
|Sexually Transmitted Infections Other than HIV, Hepatitis B, or Hepatitis C||Substantial Recovery||£5,500
|Sexually Transmitted Infections Other than HIV, Hepatitis B, or Hepatitis C||Permanent Disability||£11,000|
|Infection with one or more of HIV, Hepatitis B or Hepatitis C||Not subject to multiple injury formula||£22,000|
|Loss of foetus||Not subject to multiple injury formula||£5,500|
|Non-consensual penile penetration of one or more of vagina, anus or mouth||One Incident||£11,000|
|Non-consensual penile penetration of one or more of vagina, anus or mouth||Resulting in serious internal bodily injuries||£22,000|
General damages compensate for the injury itself and the physical and mental effect it’s had on your life. In order to calculate how much your injuries could be worth, you will usually be invited to a medical assessment with an independent expert so the extent of your injuries can be ascertained.
As well as claiming through the CICA, you can make a claim against your step parent directly. However, you can only do this if they have the funds available to pay you compensation. If they don’t, then it’s advised that you seek compensation through the CICA.
Special expenses compensate for the financial loss you’ve suffered due to your injuries. You can claim loss of earnings from taking time off work due to your injuries. You cannot be awarded compensation for the first 28 weeks you were off work.
Furthermore, to be compensated for the loss of earnings, you must provide a clean employment record from 3 years prior to the claim. If you can’t include an employment record, you must give a reason (for example, being in school or a carer).
You can claim for the cost of things like physical aids (such as glasses and hearing aids) that were damaged in the attack. You can also claim back the cost of any treatment that was necessary and unavailable on the NHS free of charge. You’ll need to provide proof from your local authority that you couldn’t get these for free from another source.
In order to claim special expenses, you will need to show that you lost earning potential for 28 weeks after the accident. However, unlike lost earnings, this will be backdated to when the accident took place.
If you suspect a child may be the victim of sexual abuse by a step parent, there are some signs you should look out for. It’s important to remember that not every child will exhibit the same symptoms. Furthermore, a child may exhibit one or more of these symptoms without being the victim of sexual abuse.
However, if the child or parent is exhibiting one or more of the signs detailed below, it could be a reason to be more vigilant. Further on in this guide, we will look at how to report sexual abuse by a step parent.
Signs that a child has been the victim of sexual abuse
Some signs that a child may be being sexually abused by a step parent are:
- Acting sexually with objects or toys
- Suffering sleeping problems and nightmares
- Anger outbursts
- Seeming insecure or showing other personality changes
- Becoming unusually clingy or withdrawn
- Seeming secretive
- Pain when urinating or during bowel movements
- Receiving unexplained gifts or money
Please note that a child showing these signs may not indicate step parents and child sexual abuse. These signs can also present when:
- They experience a traumatic or anxiety-provoking situation
- There’s a family death or death of a pet
- They suffer issues at school or with their friends
Signs a step parent is abusing a child
Now that we’ve looked at the signs a child is being abused, it may be helpful to look at the signs of a parent abusing a child. These can include:
- Limiting the amount of contact the child has with others and spending an inappropriate amount of time with the child
- Pays excessive attention to one specific child
- Ignoring boundaries (e.g. walking in on the child while undressing or in the shower)
Sometimes, the step parent who is perpetrating the abuse will manipulate the child into thinking that the abuse is normal or an ordinary part of their relationship. For this reason, the child may not be aware that they’re the victim of something that is wrong. This is why it is important for adults around to be vigilant about spotting potential signs of sexual abuse.
The general personal injury claims time limit is three years. But when you’re making a claim through the CICA, the time limit for claiming is generally two years; however, there are some exceptions to this.
The CICA can sometimes make exceptions to the two-year time limit that generally applies. In order to make an exception, you will need to prove that exceptional circumstances prevented you from being able to make a claim beforehand. You will also need to provide enough evidence of your claim that further extensive investigation by a claims officer is not required.
In the event that you make a personal injury claim against the perpetrator directly, the time limit is three years from the date of the incident. If you were under 18 when the abuse occurred, you would have until your 21st birthday to claim on your own behalf. Otherwise, a litigation friend could claim for you while you’re still underage.
Similarly, a litigation friend can be appointed to claim on behalf of someone who lacks the mental capacity to claim on their own behalf. The three-year time limit starts in the event that they regain the capacity to claim themselves; otherwise, the time limit is suspended.
If you’d like more advice about how long you have left to claim, you can get in touch with our friendly team of advisors who can offer you free legal advice.
You should seek medical attention even if there aren’t any outward signs of injury, as there is a risk of contracting STIs or becoming pregnant as a result of sexual abuse. You can also use your medical report during your personal injury claim to prove how severe your injuries were.
After this, you should collect as much evidence as possible. Examples of this could be CCTV footage, photos of your injuries, and any witness details. If you are making a claim through the CICA, the incident must have been reported to the police. You also need to have cooperated with the police in the course of their investigation.
Finally, it’s recommended that you should contact a specialist solicitor to help with your case. While not a legal requirement, the support and guidance of an expert solicitor could help make the claims process run more smoothly and get more money from your claim. This is the case whether you decide to pursue a claim directly from the perpetrator or by claiming through the CICA.
There are multiple services that you can report sexual abuse by a step parent to. Here are some helplines you can contact to report sexual abuse and receive support:
- You can report child abuse to the NSPCC via telephone on 0808 800 5000 or via their online form.
- Contact the police on 999 to report child sexual abuse if the child is in immediate danger.
- Childline offers a helpline service on 0800 1111, where you can report child abuse.
It’s important to report sexual abuse by a step parent as soon as you have suspicions, as this could protect the child from further abuse. If you’ve reported the abuse and need advice about making a personal injury claim, you can contact our team of advisors today to have a chat.
There are many reasons why adults decide to report historical sexual abuse later on in life, for example:
- They have only recently started to understand that what happened to them was wrong and not their fault
- They have finally escaped from the abuser’s presence and now feel safe to report it
You can report historical sexual abuse by:
- Calling the police on their non-urgent number 101. Then, you can briefly discuss what you’d like to speak about so they can connect you with the right service.
- Giving the NSPCC a call on 0808 800 5000, email them at email@example.com, or fill in their online form.
You may still be able to claim through the CICA if your abuse was historic. You have 2 years from when the incident was reported to the police to make a claim through the CICA. It’s usually expected that you report straight away, but exceptions can be made. Get in touch with our team today for more information.
To make a personal injury claim yourself for sexual abuse by a step parent, you must be over 18. However, if you’re under 18, someone you trust can become a litigation friend to claim on your behalf when pursuing a personal injury claim. A litigation friend can be anyone with your best interests at heart. This might be a parent, solicitor or family friend.
When making a claim through the CICA for someone under the age of 18, you must be the parent or guardian of the child you are claiming for. You will be expected to prove your relationship with the child in order to pursue a claim.
If you receive compensation, it will be put into a locked bank account until your 18th birthday. You can then withdraw the money when you become an adult.
To become a litigation friend, you can apply online. You can apply via either:
- Providing the court order appointing you as the person’s deputy, allowing you to become the person’s litigation friend.
- Complete a certificate of suitability if you’re not a deputy for the person.
If you need more information about the role of a litigation friend, you can get in touch with our team of advisors to learn more.
Our panel of personal injury lawyers are open to discussing working on your sexual assault claim on a No Win No Fee basis. A No Win No Fee agreement is a contract between you and your personal injury solicitor stating that you don’t have to pay any of their fees if your case loses. You also won’t be asked to pay anything to them upfront or while they are working on your claim.
If your case succeeds, your lawyer will deduct a small, legally capped percentage of your compensation. This percentage will be agreed upon before they start working on your claim.
To discuss No Win No Fee agreements, you can contact our expert team of advisors. They can explore your options and, if you have a valid claim, they may be able to connect you with a personal injury lawyer from our panel to begin your claim.
You can get in touch with our team of advisors by:
- Giving them a ring on 020 3870 4868. An advisor is always available to chat with you about your situation.
- Fill in our online claims form to receive a reply at whatever time is best for you.
- Chat with one of our advisors through our online chat pop-up box for an instant reply.
Claiming for Sexual Abuse in a School – If you’ve been the victim of sexual abuse while at school, read our guide for information on how to claim.
Claiming Through the CICA with a Criminal Record– Unspent convictions can influence a claim made through the CICA. Read our guide for more information.
How Long Will My Criminal Injuries Claim Take?– If you’d like to know more about the time limits associated with claiming through the CICA, then read our guide.
Help after Rape and Sexual Assault – This NHS guide includes sexual assault helplines and referral centres.
World Health Organisation (WHO) – This WHO PDF article outlines the definition, signs, and effects of child sexual abuse.
Barnardos – This page explains what child sexual abuse is and how Barnardos can help with your situation.
Do I need to report the abuse to the police?
In order to make a personal injury claim through the CICA for sexual abuse by a step father, you must report them to the police. You also need to have cooperated fully with the police in their investigations.
Can I claim before the court case happens?
No. there is no requirement for the person who abused you to be convicted or even identified in order for you to make a claim. However, if they aren’t convicted or identified because you didn’t do everything reasonably possible to help the police, this could affect your ability to claim.
How long could my claim take?
The length of time it takes your claim to be resolved will depend on a number of factors. However, in 2019/20, the CICA Annual Report & Accounts confirmed that 81% of new applications were decided within 12 months.
What does the CICA do?
The Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA) deals with criminal injury claims. They help victims of criminal injuries receive compensation for the injuries they have sustained.
Thank you for reading our article about claiming compensation for sexual abuse by a step parent.
Guide by HL
Checked by NC