Sexual Abuse By An Ex-Partner
Claim Compensation For Sexual Abuse Or Assault By Your Ex-Partner
Many people ask us “can I claim compensation for sexual abuse by my ex-partner?”. Domestic abuse and sexual abuse claims can be difficult territory to talk about and navigate. This is especially true if you or someone you know has been sexually abused by an ex-partner. Some victims of abuse may think their case isn’t valid. This could be because they were in a relationship with their abuser at the time.
However, it doesn’t matter who was responsible for your sexual abuse. Compensation can still be claimed even if the abuser was/is the partner of the victim. However, sexual assault and sexual abuse claims do operate slightly differently from other personal injury claims. This article will cover this topic in detail to help clear up the process for you. If you or someone you know has been sexually abused by an ex-partner then read on for more information.
If you have any issues or questions at any point then feel free to get in touch. Our team of advisors are ready and waiting to answer your questions. No query is too small. The more we know about your circumstances, the more accurately we will be able to help you.
If you’re deemed to have a valid claim, we may connect you to our panel of expert solicitors. They could work with you under a No Win No Fee agreement. Our contact details can be found below.
Get In Touch With Our Team
There are a number of ways you can reach out to us. You can:
- Call us on 020 3870 4868
- Chat to us using the pop-up window in the bottom right-hand corner
- Fill in our online form to see if you could have a valid claim
Services And Information
- Everything You Need To Know About Sexual Abuse By My Ex-Partner Compensation Claims
- What Is Sexual Abuse By My Ex-Partner?
- What Are CICA Claims For Sexual Abuse?
- Types Of Sexual Abuse By An Ex-Partner
- Rape By An Ex-Partner
- Sexual Exploitation By An Ex Partner
- Sexual Abuse By My Ex-Partner Compensation Calculator
- What Injuries Could Be Caused By Sexual Abuse?
- Historical Sexual Abuse By An Ex-Partner
- Could I Start My Claim Before The Prosecution Is Finished?
- Support For Victims Of Intimate Partner Violence
- Sexual Abuse And CICA Claim Time Limits
- I Suffered Sexual Abuse By My Ex-Partner, What Should I Do?
- Claim For Sexual Abuse By My Ex-Partner On A No Win No Fee Basis
- Other Information
- FAQs About Sexual Abuse Claims
Some victims of sexual abuse may think things like “the sexual abuse by my ex-partner didn’t constitute rape” and could therefore believe they don’t have the right to make a claim for compensation. This is not the case.
Sexual abuse can take many forms and isn’t just limited to the act of non-consensual sex (or rape). Whilst the vast majority of sexual assault victims are female, cases of men being sexually abused or assaulted do take place.
The vast majority of people who are sexually assaulted knew their attacker prior to it taking place. Therefore, a partner or ex-partner could still be guilty of sexual abuse. Sexual abuse is a crime, and crimes can still be committed by those close to you, not just by strangers.
Below, we’ll explore this in more detail and remember, if you have any questions, please get in touch.
You may be thinking “I don’t know what steps to take regarding how to claim due to sexual abuse by my ex-partner.” Part of the process includes reporting that you were sexually abused by an ex-partner to the police. This can seem intimidating, but it is a necessary part of making a claim. If you don’t make this report, then it’s unlikely that following sexual abuse by an ex partner, compensation will be received.
Speaking about non-consensual sex specifically, there are around 97,000 cases of rape in England and Wales each year. However, only around 15% of these incidents are reported to the police. This means that the vast majority could go without the compensation they could be entitled to as a result.
The Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA) is a scheme set up by the government that’s designed to compensate people in Great Britain who have been the victim of violent crime and/or sexual abuse. As part of the scheme, there exists a tariff of injuries that dictates what various injuries could be worth.
The severity of these injuries can affect the level of compensation you could be entitled to. The injuries that arise from sexual abuse can be physical or mental, but either can be claimed for.
The Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA) makes it relatively simple to check if you have a claim. However, the claim should be made within 2 years of the incident or the period of abuse. The CICA may acknowledge applications made after this time window, due to the sensitive nature of these claims. However, you must be able to:
- Explain why it was not possible/convenient for you to step forward within the 2-year window
- Provide evidence that can back up your claims without extensive enquiries by a claims officer
Unlike other claims, the CICA can award claimants even before the conclusion of a trial. A trial does not even need to take place, nor the defendant found guilty. CICA claims operate on the “balance of probability”. This means that if it seems more likely than unlikely that the claimant was sexually abused by an ex partner they’d reported, then it’s often anticipated that the claimant will be compensated.
The CICA rules on time limits can be confusing. It’s best to speak to a legal professional if you don’t fully understand your situation. Get in touch with our team today and we can answer your questions.
We’re often asked, “what is sexual abuse by my ex-partner?”. Some people will get mixed up and think that only rape counts as sexual abuse. This is not the case. Whilst a lack of consent is a big part of what constitutes sexual abuse, it is not only penetrative sexual acts that can be claimed for.
We’ve listed a few instances of sexual abuse below according to the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS), each with a brief description. There are more than what we have listed below. However, these are the most relevant to those considering making a claim due to sexual abuse by an ex-partner.
- Rape/sexual assault – from a legal standpoint, only men can commit rape. This is because the act of rape relates to penile penetration. If a woman forces someone to engage in intercourse or other sexual acts then this is known as sexual assault, not rape.
- Revenge pornography – if a person has photographs or video footage of somebody engaging in sexual acts (even if they were consensual at the time) and distributes said footage without their consent, this too can be considered a sexual offence. This is often an act carried out by an ex-partner to upset or humiliate the person who appears in said footage.
- Prostitution – whilst the rules can be blurred when it comes to some areas of prostitution, it is illegal to force someone into sex work. If you or someone you know is being made to perform sex acts (even for money) against your will then this is illegal.
You can learn more by heading to the “sexual offences” section on the CPS website.
Legally, rape is when someone uses their penis to penetrate another person’s vagina, mouth or anus without their consent. If the person says no or is incapable of doing so then it is considered rape.
For example, if the person is drunk or under the influence of drugs, they may not be able to offer their consent. If the person has a mental disability or condition that means they also lack the judgement skills to offer their consent, and this too could be considered rape.
It is considered statutory rape or child rape if an adult has sex with someone below the age of consent. Even if they have given their consent, it is still rape in the eyes of the law.
From a legal standpoint, females cannot commit rape in the eyes of the law. This is because the term “rape” refers to penile penetration without consent. However, they can be found guilty of sexual assault. This is when someone forces another person to engage in sexual contact against their will. Women can only be found guilty of rape if they help assist/plan the rape of another individual.
Sexual exploitation takes place when someone in a position of power over another person forces them into sexual situations they do not want to be involved in. In the context of this article, sexual exploitation by an ex-partner could mean you’ve been forced into prostitution. Alternatively, perhaps you have been forced to perform sexual acts on yourself or others for their enjoyment and not your own.
If you’re wondering, “I’ve suffered sexual abuse by my ex-partner, how much could I earn?” we’ll be covering that topic in this section. There are two main sums to consider: general damages, and special expenses.
General damages for criminal injuries are paid to the claimant to account for the pain and suffering caused by their injuries. For criminal injuries, this figure is paid by the CICA, which is government-run. Because of this, the amounts tend to be lower than other personal injury claims such as an accident at work. This is because other personal injury claims are paid by insurance companies rather than the government.
We’ve included some examples in the table below of what could be awarded for certain incidents/injuries arising from sexual abuse by an ex-partner. The figures included are from the latest edition of the CICA.
The maximum amount of injuries you can claim through the CICA is 3. However, you would only receive 100% of the amount for the injury with the highest value. The second and third highest values would be next. However, you’d only be paid 30% and 15% of these amounts respectively.
There are however additional payments you could receive on top of these if your assault leads to:
- Loss of a foetus
- Contraction of a sexually transmitted disease
Injury/Incident Description Amount
Sexual assault Minor - non-penetrative sexual physical act(s) over clothing £1,000
Sexual assault Serious - non-penetrative sexual physical act(s) under clothing £2,000
Sexual assault Severe - non-penile penetrative or oral-genital act(s) £3,300
Sexual assault Pattern of repetitive frequent severe abuse (whether by one or more attackers) over a period of up to 3 years £6,600
Sexual assault Pattern of repetitive frequent severe abuse (whether by one or more attackers) over a period of 3 years or more £8,200
Rape Non-consensual penile penetration of one or more of vagina, anus or mouth by one attacker £11,000
Rape Non-consensual penile penetration of one or more of vagina, anus or mouth by two or more attackers £13,500
Rape Non-consensual penile penetration of one or more of vagina, anus or mouth resulting in moderate mental illness £22,000
Rape Non-consensual penile penetration of one or more of vagina, anus or mouth resulting in severe mental illness £27,000
Rape Non-consensual penile penetration of one or more of vagina, anus or mouth resulting in serious internal bodily injury with permanent disabling (moderate) mental illness confirmed by psychiatric prognosis £33,000
Rape Non-consensual penile penetration of one or more of vagina, anus or mouth resulting in serious internal bodily injury with permanent disabling (severe) mental illness confirmed by psychiatric prognosis £44,000
Rape Pattern of repetitive incidents (whether by one or more attackers) over a period of up to 3 years £16,500
Rape Pattern of repetitive incidents (whether by one or more attackers) over a period of 3 years or more £22,000
There are other expenses which could be awarded to you such as loss of earnings. This would fall under the category of special expenses. However, it can be quite difficult to achieve. You cannot be paid any amount in loss of earnings until 28 weeks after your claim has been made.
Even then, you need to be able to prove that your injuries have more or less completely prevented you from finding work. It could also be that you can no longer perform the job you had prior to the sexual abuse by an ex partner. You will normally have to prove you were working consistently for the 3 years immediately preceding the abuse.
For cases of sexual abuse, compensation doesn’t necessarily hinge on the presence of physical injuries. It’s not uncommon for cases of sexual abuse or sexual assault to leave no visible signs of it occurring.
Some people may confuse domestic abuse with sexual abuse and look for warning signs such as bruises and cuts. Whilst these can appear, psychological injuries are just as prevalent, if not more so.
Especially violent sexual assaults can lead to internal and external injuries. However, the ones that can be trickier to spot are the psychological ones like anxiety, depression and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
Another common issue that arises is people wondering “can I claim for sexual abuse by my ex-partner if they are dead?”. The answer is yes, you can. This is true even if the abuser was not accused or prosecuted while they were alive.
When claiming for sexual abuse by an ex partner, compensation can hinge on the amount of proof you have to back up your claims. This is made easier if there are other victims of the same abuser who also come forward. Unlike other more traditional personal injury claims, criminal claims carry much less of a burden for proof. As long as you can present at least some evidence that the abuse took place in the manner you describe it, then claims can succeed.
Yes, you can. The 2-year time limit on cases of sexual abuse by an ex-partner means it’s actually advised to make your claim as soon as you can. The criminal litigation process does not need to have even begun for you to receive your compensation, let alone concluded.
There are certain things you can do to help increase your chances of receiving compensation following sexual abuse by someone you are/were in a relationship with. However, the same advice applies if you have suffered a sexual attack of any nature.
For instance, you should avoid washing your clothes following an act of sexual assault. They could act as important forensic evidence when pursuing your case.
Getting help from a sexual assault referral centre
A sexual assault referral centre (SARC) should be one of your first ports of call when seeking help/advice following an event or period of abuse. The NHS advises many other venues and helplines that could help you, including:
- Your GP surgery
- Refuge – 24 helpline for victims of domestic abuse
- Rape Crisis helpline in England and Wales (12-2:30 pm – 7-9:30 pm) – every day of the year
- An A&E department
- Call NHS 111
- In an emergency, you can dial 999
Many people frequently ask us “how long do I have to make a claim for sexual abuse by my ex-partner?”. The answer to this is generally 2 years. However, this time window can be quite flexible due to the sensitive nature of the issue. We’ve included some of the variations of this time limit below.
General Accident Claims
Many sexual abuse/criminal injury claims will need to be made within 2 years from the date of the incident. Saying this, it’s possible to make a claim following the conclusion of this time period. For example, if you felt that coming forward could have comprised your safety or the safety of others then you could miss your window. You may have to prove or convincingly explain that this is the case to a claims officer. If you can, then your claim may still be addressed.
Child Accident Claims
For claimants under 18, their 2-year time limit will only begin when they legally become an adult. This means that they may only have until their 20th birthday to make their claim. However, the same caveat of the concern for their safety/wellbeing applies as in general accident claims above. If the claimant has a good enough reason for not coming forward within the allotted time then their claim could still be made.
Before the child turns 18, they can only pursue their claim via a litigation friend. This is a legal adult who is affiliated with the child and has their best interests in mind. A litigation friend can take the form of a parent, guardian, friend, or legal professional.
Claiming on Behalf of Those With a Diminished Mental Capacity
Someone with a mental illness or deficiency may still be the victim of sexual abuse. Alternatively, especially violent sexual assault can also lead to physical and mental injuries that could reduce the victim’s mental capacity. In the former case, the time limit is suspended indefinitely. In the latter case, the 2-year window will be suspended until (or if) the individual’s mental capacity returns to as it was.
A litigation friend could also pursue these claims for them.
Following a case or period of sexual abuse, you should seek medical care. This can include mental support for the trauma you may have experienced. Your physical and mental well-being should be of paramount importance.
Whilst pursuing your case, you will need evidence to back up your claims. In some cases, your own witness statement will be vital. But you will need other forms of evidence. For example, the clothes you were wearing during the encounter could act as forensic evidence. Photographs of any injuries sustained could also be very helpful, as well as medical records.
You will also need specialist legal guidance to pursue your claim. The process can be stressful, emotional, and confusing. Our legal team is here to help in any way we can regarding your case.
Our panel of expert solicitors work with all of their clients on a No Win No Fee basis. This means that their legal costs are not covered unless they are involved in a winning case. If the claim is successful, they will deduct a small, legally capped fee from your compensation to cover their costs. If the claim fails, you won’t have to pay any of their fees.
Call our advisors today. You may be able to work with our panel of lawyers on a No Win No Fee basis.
Remember, there are a few ways you can reach us. You can:
- Call us on 020 3870 4868
- Chat to us using the pop-up window in the bottom right-hand corner
- Fill in our online form to see if you could have a valid claim
We’ve included some links to other material you may find helpful.
- NHS advice for seeking help following sexual assault.
- More information regarding litigation friends.
- Homepage of Rape Crisis for England and Wales.
- How long will my criminal injury take?
- Another of our guides regarding sexual abuse claims.
- Although not specifically addressing sexual abuse, this guide covers how to make a fatal accident claim.
Some answers to a few of the more common questions we’re asked.
How long could my claim take?
Every claim is different, so there is no singular answer to this question. However, for criminal injury cases, you do not need to wait for the litigation process to begin for you to be awarded compensation. This means that you could receive your payout much quicker than in other personal injury claims such as workplace accidents.
What medical evidence might my claim need?
Records of your injuries can be logged and used as evidence. This can be done immediately following you coming forward after a period or instance of sexual abuse.
For any longer-lasting injuries, we can arrange for an independent medical assessment near you.
Where can I get further help and support?
The NHS website contains plenty of information regarding what constitutes sexual abuse and sexual assault. There are also a number of websites and telephone numbers available there for you to utilise.
Hopefully, we have answered the questions of “what should I do following sexual abuse by my ex-partner?”. Get in touch today if you have any additional questions.
Guide by BD
Edited by BER