How To Claim Compensation For Sexual Abuse20th Jul 2023
Six-Figure Compensation Payouts
Victims of sexual abuse can claim compensation up to six figures for the psychological injuries they have suffered.
Personal injury solicitors are forecasting an increase in the number of sex abuse compensation claims against schools, churches and membership organisations.
The Scouts movement in particular is facing a significant number of allegations. Millions of pounds in compensation have already been paid out over the last 10 years. Dozens of new allegations are now emerging.
Victims of abuse can use their compensation to fund psychological treatment that may benefit them. Many will also have suffered loss of earnings due to unemployment, career disruption or loss of opportunities caused by depression and anxiety.
Psychological Injuries Suffered By Victims Of Sexual Abuse
Sexual abuse can have severe and lifelong effects on the mental health of survivors. Our lawyers approach each case with empathy, sensitivity and the understanding that every individual’s experience is unique.
Some common psychological injuries experienced by victims of sexual abuse include:
- Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder – survivors may develop PTSD, characterised by flashbacks, nightmares and intense emotional distress related to traumatic events.
- Depression – victims may experience feelings of sadness, hopelessness and difficulty in daily functioning due to the trauma they endured.
- Anxiety disorders – victims might develop generalised anxiety, social anxiety, or specific phobias related to triggers associated with the abuse.
- Substance abuse – some victims may turn to drugs or alcohol in an attempt to cope with the emotional pain and harm they have suffered.
- Self-harm and suicidal thoughts – the trauma of sexual abuse can lead to self-destructive behaviours and thoughts.
- Dissociation – victims may experience a disconnection from their emotions, memories or surroundings as a way to protect themselves from the trauma.
- Low self-esteem and self-worth – sexual abuse can profoundly impact a victim’s self-image and confidence.
- Relationship issues – victims may struggle with forming and maintaining healthy relationships, as trust and intimacy become challenging for them after they have experienced abuse.
How Can I Claim Compensation For Sexual Abuse?
There are two important issues to consider when claiming:
- Has the perpetrator been convicted of committing the abuse?
- Does the perpetrator or the organisation they represent have sufficient funds to compensate you?
Generally, it is best to contact our personal injury lawyers straight away. Contact us as soon as you feel able to do so.
If the perpetrator is awaiting criminal proceedings, it would be useful to alert us to the impending case.
If the abuse were carried out by someone within an institution, such as a school, religious organisation or sports club, then we can help you to bring a claim against them.
Those institutions are likely to have insurance. Their insurers will deal with the claim for compensation in the way they deal with other claims.
What If The Perpetrator Is Not Part Of An Organisation?
Claims against perpetrators who are family members or family friends are still possible. We have dealt with many such claims.
Again, the two important considerations apply:
- Claims are more likely to succeed if the perpetrator has already been convicted in a criminal court.
- Claims are viable only if the perpetrator owns property, has savings or other assets that can be used to fund the compensation.
At present, claims against perpetrators with few or no assets are not viable because little or no compensation is possible. This denies civil justice to the victim.
However, this is about to change…
New Compensation Scheme For Victims Of Sexual Abuse
On 22 May 2023, the government announced a compensation scheme for survivors of child sexual abuse.
It followed a seven-year inquiry and a 458-page report containing 20 recommendations (not all of which have been adopted by the government). At the time of writing this blog post, there was a 12-week public call for evidence asking how mandatory reporting of suspected child sex abuse should be implemented in England.
Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said: “Thousands of brave victims and survivors came forward to give evidence to the Independent Inquiry, sharing heartbreaking details of how they were ignored by the people who should have protected them.
“While nothing will make up for how badly they were let down, or the abuse that they suffered, we must make sure that victims and survivors get the support they need and the redress they deserve.
“We will stop at nothing to stamp out these vile crimes, punish the perpetrators, and make sure every child across the country can grow up in a safe environment,” he added.
So far, the scheme is not yet finalised. How it will work and the amount of compensation is unknown. But the government’s announcement is a positive step forward.
No Win No Fee Compensation Claims
Coles Miller’s specialist personal injury solicitors handle sexual abuse compensation claims on a ‘no win no fee’ basis – so there is no financial risk to you.
This no win no fee system means that we take on only claims that we are confident we can win.
And in the unlikely event that your claim does not succeed, there are no legal bills for you to pay.
Get Expert Legal Advice On Sexual Abuse Compensation Claims
Coles Miller personal injury solicitor Jonathan Rich has years of experience in claiming compensation on behalf of victims of sexual abuse.
Before joining Coles Miller, he worked at three London law firms and then spent many years running the personal injury department at a West Country law firm.