Compensation For Sexual Abuse Claims

Sexual Abuse And Assault Compensation Claims

If you wish to make a sexual abuse claim, we can help explain everything you need to be aware of before seeking compensation. You may possibly choose to make this type of claim on your own behalf or on behalf of someone else as a representative. In either case, making this type of claim could feel tricky, since sexual abuse can cause a lot of harm, including traumatic memories.

sexual abuse claim

Whatever the circumstances, you could be entitled to claim compensation if you’ve been a victim of sexual abuse. In this guide, we’ll talk you through how to make a claim for the harm caused by this type of abuse. We’ll also explain the different ways sexual abuse can be identified. We’ll also answer questions you may have on the time limits and compensation payouts for sexual assault claims.

Get In Touch With Our Team

You can contact UK Law online or by phone for free specialist advice on sexual assault claims. Our panel of lawyers can answer any questions you may have about claiming for sexual abuse. Any consultation with us is done in strict confidence. We can consult on other types of personal injury claims as well.

To contact us, you can use our online claim form or reach us through our online live chat service. To talk to us by phone, call 020 3870 4868

Services And Information

  1. Everything You Need To Know About Sexual Abuse Claims
  2. What Is A Sexual Abuse Claim?
  3. Types Of Sexual Abuse Claims
  4. Psychological Injuries Caused By Sexual Abuse
  5. Physical Injuries Caused By Sexual Abuse
  6. Sexual Abuse Claims Compensation Calculator
  7. CICA Sexual Abuse Claims
  8. How Do Sexual Abuse Claims Through The CICA Work?
  9. When And How To Claim For Child Sexual Abuse
  10. How Much Time Do I Have To Make A Sexual Abuse Claim?
  11. I Suffered Sexual Abuse Or An Assault, What Should I Do?
  12. Do You Handle Sexual Abuse Claims On A No Win No Fee Basis?
  13. Contact Details For More Help
  14. Other Information
  15. FAQs On Sexual Abuse Claims


Everything You Need To Know About Sexual Abuse Claims

The aim of this guide is to provide you with all the information you’ll require in order to make a compensation claim for sexual abuse. There are numerous different circumstances that can justify starting a sexual abuse compensation claim.

Sexual abuse can occur with and/or without physical contact. It can also cause a range of serious physical and psychological injuries.

Even if you have good reasons to make a sexual abuse claim, you may possibly have reservations about starting one. This could be because of how traumatic the abuse has been, or you may be unsure of the legal aspects behind this type of claim.

You can read on to learn more about how sexual abuse is classified. We’ll also explain the steps to follow in order to properly claim for sexual abuse.

And, of course, you are welcome to contact UK Law to have a private consultation about any aspects of making a sexual abuse claim which you need clarifying.

What Is A Sexual Abuse Claim?

A claim for compensation can be made against someone if they have in any way subjected you to sexual abuse. The claim can be made by yourself if you’re a victim of such abuse, or it could possibly be started by a representative on your behalf. This representative is known as a litigation friend.

A claim can be started in relation to forms of sexual abuse which are physical and psychological. Anyone can start a compensation claim for sexual abuse if they have experienced it. The age and gender of a victim does not affect their right to claim.

Compensation for sexual abuse is usually gained through one of two processes. One way is through making a personal injury claim in a civil court. Another way is by making a criminal injury claim to the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA). We’ll explain more in this guide about how both of these methods work.

Statistics On Sexual Violence In The UK

The Office for National Statistics has published figures from the Crime Survey for England and Wales (CSEW) regarding sexual offences recorded between March 2019 and March 2020. In this 12-month period, 773,000 adults aged 16 to 74 were reported as victims of sexual assault (or attempted sexual assault). 618,000 of the victims were female, while 155,000 were male.

The CSEW has also provided figures on child sexual abuse between March 2019 and March 2020. The research estimates that 3.1 million adults aged between 18 and 74 suffered sexual abuse before they reached the age of 16. This includes abuse perpetrated by adults and other children.

In 2019, the NSPCC (National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children) conducted research with 2,275 young people between the age of 11-17 about their experiences of sexual abuse. Based on this research, it’s estimated that 1 in 20 children in the UK has been sexually abused at some point in their lives.

Types Of Sexual Abuse Claims

There are no real restrictions on where sexual abuse can occur or who can be a perpetrator. There are, however, certain types of sexual abuse claims which are more common than others. If you are seeking compensation, it could be for one of the following forms of sexual abuse.

Sexual Abuse In The Workplace

Sexual abuse can occur in numerous different forms within a workplace. Examples can include the following:

  • Physical behaviour, such as unwelcome sexual advances and touching.
  • Sexual comments or jokes made to someone at work.
  • Sending or displaying photos, pictures, drawing or emails which contain sexual content.

Under the Health and Safety at Work Act etc. 1974, employers have a duty of care to provide their staff with a safe workplace. If you experience sexual abuse at work, it may be found that your employer failed to take reasonable steps to protect you from such abuse. They could have therefore breached their duty of care and you could then potentially claim compensation from your employer.

Domestic Abuse

Sexual abuse can form part of domestic abuse, whether it’s physical or non-physical in nature. Domestic abuse refers to incidents or patterns of incidents that involve violent and/or intimidating behaviour between people who are in some form of relationship. You can potentially suffer domestic abuse from a partner, ex-partner, family member or carer.

Sexual Abuse In Schools

Schools are an area where child sexual abuse could occur. This type of abuse can come in physical and psychological forms. Perpetrators of child sexual abuse in schools can potentially include teachers, other members of school staff or visitors to the school. Sexual abuse in schools could also occur between two or more children or between adults.

Psychological Injuries Caused By Sexual Abuse

Sexual abuse can cause severe and long-lasting psychological damage to its victims. In some cases, the damage done to the mind can be far worse when compared to any physical injuries.

All physical and non-physical types of sexual abuse are capable of creating psychological injuries for a victim. Examples of the mental injuries this kind of abuse can cause include the following:

  • Addictive behaviour (sexual abuse could directly cause substance addiction, for example)
  • Anxiety
  • Attachment disorder
  • Depression
  • Personality disorder
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)

If you successfully claim for sexual abuse, any psychological injuries you’ve suffered because of it can be taken into account when your compensation is being calculated. How much you’ll receive for psychological injuries will depend on which ones are diagnosed and how severe they are.

You can consider meeting a psychologist to help treat any psychological injuries you have due to sexual abuse. There are also numerous UK charities that you can reach that are dedicated to supporting people who have suffered mental trauma, such as Victim Support.

If you have suffered psychologically because of sexual abuse and would like to know if you could seek compensation for this, please get in touch with our specially trained advisers.

Physical Injuries Caused By Sexual Abuse

Sexual abuse can potentially cause you to suffer physical injuries, including diseases. Which ones you’re most likely to suffer depends on what forms of sexual assault you experience. The types of physical injuries which you could suffer from sexual assault can include pain and damage in certain areas of the body. The risk of pregnancy or having a sexually transmitted infection may also exist.

If you experience a sexual assault, consider getting medical help as soon as you can for any physical injuries you’ve suffered. You can get checked for STIs and pregnancy if you think the assault could have caused either. A sexual violence support centre may be available in your local area depending on where you are. Ideally, your first point of call will be a sexual assault referral centre (SARC).

If you want to report your sexual assault to the police, you will likely have a forensic medical examination. This takes place in order to confirm the physical injuries you’ve suffered during the assault, as well as attempting to recover any evidence, such as DNA of the perpetrator. This examination is not compulsory for you to have, but it could provide useful evidence.

If you’ve suffered physical injuries in a sexual assault or pattern of abuse, we can help you recover compensation in as stress-free a way as possible. Get in touch with our team to learn more.

Sexual Abuse Claims Compensation Calculator

The amount of compensation you could receive from a sexual abuse claim depends on several things. The injuries the abuse caused and how severe they are are major factors in deciding the final payment you’ll receive.

Where your compensation comes from is another important factor. The way compensation claims are calculated in civil courts is different compared to how it’s done when a case goes through the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA).

In the table below, we have included potential payouts for a CICA sexual abuse claim based on certain physical injuries which could have been inflicted. The tariffs are taken from the Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme 2012. These figures are usually used by the CICA when they calculate compensation for a claimant.

Sexual AssaultResulting in permanent and severe mental illness£27,000 (approx)
Sexual AssaultResulting in permanent and moderate mental illness£22,000 (approx)
Sexual AssaultResulting in serious internal bodily injuries£22,000 (approx)
Sexual AssaultPattern of frequent severe abuse for 3 years or more£8,200 (approx)
Sexual AssaultPattern of frequent severe abuse for up to 3 years£6,600 (approx)
Sexual AssaultSevere - Non-penile penetrative or oral-genital act(s)£3,300 to £4,400 (approx)
Sexual AssaultSerious - Non-penetrative sexual physical act(s) under clothing£2,000 to £3,300 (approx)
Sexual AssaultMinor - Non-penetrative sexual physical act(s) over clothing£1,000 to £1,500 (approx)

Keep in mind that different percentage levels are applied when the CICA compensates for multiple injuries you’ve suffered. You’ll receive 100% of the compensation tariff for the first (most serious injury) you suffered. You’ll get 30% of the tariff for the second most serious injury. 15% of the tariff is awarded for your third most serious injury.

To discuss CICA compensation payouts in more detail, our team is on hand to help. Call us on the number at the top of this page to learn more.

CICA Sexual Abuse Claims

The Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme (CICA) is a government-funded scheme that can provide compensation payouts to victims of sexual and violent crimes. If you looking to claim compensation for sexual abuse, and it’s not possible to gain it through a civil court, then you could apply to the CICA instead.

Our panel of lawyers are specialists in handling CICA claims, and if you’d like to take advantage of their expertise, you can get in touch with us today to find out more.

How Do Sexual Abuse Claims Through The CICA Work?

You can only make a CICA compensation claim for sexual abuse if the crime has been reported to the police. In order to start a claim with the CICA, there are a few steps to follow:

  • You will need to obtain a police reference number. This is only possible if the crime you’re claiming for has been reported to the police.
  • You’ll have to agree to have a forensic medical examination. During this, a specially-trained doctor or nurse will analyse any physical injuries you’ve suffered from sexual abuse.
  • You may also want to hire a solicitor who can guide and support you through all the steps involved in a CICA sexual abuse claim. Again, this is something that we can help you with. 

When And How To Claim For Child Sexual Abuse

It can be possible to make a sexual abuse claim on behalf of a child. If you are now an adult and you suffered sexual abuse as a child, you could claim compensation for this on your own behalf too. In certain circumstances, a child sexual assault claim could be made on behalf of someone who is now an adult.

Like with similar claims involving adults, compensation for child sexual abuse can be claimed through either a civil court or the CICA. You can contact UK Law if you’re looking for advice on the most appropriate method in your circumstances.

It is always best to start a claim for child sexual abuse as soon as possible. That applies whether you’re the one that’s experienced it, or you want to claim on behalf of someone else.

There are numerous solicitors, such as those on our panel, who specialises in child sexual abuse claims which can be consulted if you need any advice or other support when claiming.

How Much Time Do I Have To Make A Sexual Abuse Claim?

The time limit you have to make a sexual abuse claim depends on certain factors. These include how exactly you intend to seek compensation. Circumstances surrounding the claimant can also influence the time limit.

If you’re making a personal injury claim for your sexual abuse in a civil court, the time limit is usually three years from the date the abuse occurred.

Criminal injury claims made to the CICA, including those involving sexual abuse, typically need to be started within two years from when the abuse happened.

There are, however, numerous different ways the time limit can be altered. For instance, the usual time limits may not apply to historic cases where a pattern of sexual abuse occurred over several years. In such cases, the two-year time limit for CICA cases may only apply from the date the abuse was reported to the police.

When a child is a victim of sexual abuse, the time limits for seeking compensation are frozen. They may only become active from the day the child reaches their 18th birthday. From that day, the victim can claim on their own behalf. Alternatively, a litigation friend could start a claim on the child’s behalf before they are 18.

The time limits for making a claim can also be frozen if the victim lacks the mental capacity to act on their own behalf. In such a scenario, a litigation friend could claim on the victim’s behalf. If the victim recovers enough mental capacity that they can reasonably make their own decisions, then the time limits for claiming start from the day this happens.

For more advice on the time limits in sexual abuse claims, please get in touch with our specially-trained advisers.

I Suffered Sexual Abuse Or An Assault, What Should I Do?

If you experience sexual abuse or a sexual assault, there are a few actions you could take to aid your recovery. There are also certain organisations you may want to report the incident to, depending on the circumstances and how comfortable you are with doing so.

The first priority should be to seek medical care for the abuse and/or assault you’ve experienced as soon as possible. Depending on what has exactly happened and where you are, at least one of the following services can provide treatment or support:

  • A voluntary organisation (such as Victim Support or The Survivors Trust)
  • Contraceptive clinic
  • Genitourinary medicine (GUM) or sexual health clinic
  • Hospital accident and emergency (A&E) department
  • Emergency phone numbers including 999, 101 or NHS 111
  • Sexual assault referral centre (SARC)
  • The police
  • Your GP surgery

After medical care

After you’ve received the medical care you require, you can follow these steps if you intend to claim compensation for the sexual abuse you’ve experienced:

  • Collect evidence that can support your claim. This could include photos, CCTV footage, copies of texts or emails or witness contact details.
  • Report your abuse to the police if they are not already aware of the incident. There are other relevant groups you could possibly make a report to. For instance, if you suffered sexual abuse at work, you may want to report it to your manager or to human resources.
  • Document financial losses. With sufficient evidence, your compensation claim could take into account money you have lost as a direct result of your sexual abuse. For example, the cost of medical treatment and travel expenses directly linked to your injuries could be factored in.

You are not obligated to report your sexual abuse/assault to the police. If you need time to make a decision then you can do so. You shouldn’t feel pressured by anyone else to make a decision one way or another. It should be pointed out though that there are time limits for starting a claim for sexual abuse, as detailed above. It is therefore advisable to start a claim as soon as you are ready to.

You can start a compensation claim for sexual abuse through a civil court or by making a CICA claim. You may want to hire a solicitor to advise on the best way to start your claim and provide other support towards it. If you do hire a solicitor, we recommend that you choose one who has experience in handling sexual abuse compensation claims. That’s where we can help.

Our specialist panel of personal injury solicitors can guide you through the claims process with compassion and understanding, removing as much of the stress as possible and ensuring you’re fully compensated for your injuries.

Do You Handle Sexual Abuse Claims On A No Win No Fee Basis?

At UK Law, we can answer any questions you may have about sexual abuse claims which are handled on a No Win No Fee basis. If you sign an agreement with a solicitor to support your sexual abuse compensation claim, it may be on a No Win No Fee basis. This type of agreement offers several benefits including:

  • Should your case prove unsuccessful, you will not be required to pay your solicitor’s legal fees.
  • Since they face more financial risk, this should mean that your solicitor will work hard on your case.
  • You will not be required to pay any solicitor fees upfront or while your case is being set up.

Under a No Win No Fee agreement, you’ll only need to pay your solicitor’s legal fees if your claim succeeds. A small percentage of your compensation is usually taken by your solicitor to cover their costs. This is known as a success fee and is capped by law. 

Contact Details For More Help

Looking for more advice on sexual abuse claims? Our panel of lawyers can provide free specialist advice in response to any queries you may have about claims of this type. You can contact us for a confidential discussion through one of the following methods:

Other Information

You can access more information regarding sexual abuse claims by clicking on the resources linked to below:

GOV.UK – Report rape or sexual assault

This UK Government page delivers advice on the different ways you can report a rape or sexual assault to police or other organisations which can help.

NHS Guide to getting help for domestic violence and abuse

This guide from the NHS explains how to identify and get treatment for abusive actions including sexual abuse.

Criminal injuries compensation – A guide

This UK Government page offers a detailed explanation of how applying for compensation under the Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme works.

We also have some of our own guides you might find useful:

FAQs About Sexual Abuse Claims

In this final section of our guide to sexual abuse claims, we’ve provided the answers to some commonly asked questions.

How is sexual abuse defined?

Sexual abuse refers to undesired sexual advances made by one person to another. If sexual behaviour is forced upon someone, this is considered sexual assault.

How is physical abuse defined?

Acts of physical abuse, including those of a sexual nature, involve the abuser making physical contact with their victim, such as touching or groping.

Can I claim for historic sexual abuse?

If you’ve been the victim of historic sexual abuse, you could be entitled to claim compensation from the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA). You will need to meet certain criteria in order to be eligible for making a CICA sexual abuse claim.

Thank you for reading our guide on how to make a sexual abuse claim.


Guide by SZ

Edited by RG