How Much Could I Claim If Sexually Abused By A Family Member? – Am I Eligible To Claim? – Criminal Injury Compensation Authority CICA

Sexually abused by a family member compensation claims guide

Sexually abused by a family member compensation claims guide

If you were the victim of child abuse at the hands of a family member, you could be entitled to seek compensation for the harm and damage you were caused as a minor. Whether you are now an adult or still a child, you have the option to seek compensation for being sexually abused by a family member through the courts or the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA).

For more information on claiming compensation if you were sexually abused by a family member, the level of compensation you may be awarded for the harm you were caused both physical and psychological, and whether you could include the cost of private therapy and counselling, please give a member of our team a call today on 0800 073 8801.

If you would like more information on the process of claiming compensation if you were sexually abused by a family member before discussing your case with a member of our team of experts, please continue reading through our guide by clicking on the sections below.

A Guide To Claims If Sexually Abused By A Family Member

Our guide to claiming compensation if you were sexually abused by a family member provides information on the options available to you, whether this is through the courts or the Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme. We explain the sort of evidence that would be required to prove a case, and the type of damages you may be able to include in your claim. The guide also goes into the following:

  • What familial sexual abuse entails and the sort of harm, damage, and injury you may have sustained as a victim, and how your life was negatively impacted
  • The sort of familial sexual abuse you may have been subjected to by your abuser
  • The symptoms often associated with sexual abuse, and the signs to watch out for that a person/child may be the victim of familial sexual abuse
  • How the damage and harm caused by sexual abuse could impact your life and well-being
  • The process of reporting sexual abuse to the authorities
  • The role of a litigation friend when pursuing a claim for compensation on behalf of a minor/child (anyone under the age of eighteen)
  • The time limits and how they may vary depending on the circumstances surrounding a claim for compensation for familial sexual abuse
  • The level of sexual abuse compensation you may be awarded whether through a court or the CICA Scheme
  • The sort of damages you could include in a sexual abuse claim
  • How a No Win No Fee agreement works and the amount you would only pay when you are awarded compensation in a successful claim
  • How we can assist you when pursuing a familial sexual abuse claim for compensation

What Is Familial Sexual Abuse?

When children or younger people are being sexually abused, it means they are being tricked or forced into taking part in activities of a sexual nature. All too often, a child or younger person is unaware of what is happening to them. They do not understand that what they are being forced to do is wrong.

Many victims of sexual abuse, whether in the home environment or elsewhere, are too afraid to tell anyone what they are being forced or tricked into doing. The sexual abuse a child or younger person, may be subjected to at the hands of a family member could happen in the home or it could happen when they are online.

The two types of sexual abuse are non-contact and contact, as explained below.

Contact sexual abuse is when a child’s abuser physically touches them, which may involve the following actions:

  • Touching a minor or younger person in a sexual manner whether they are wearing clothes or not
  • The abuser using an object or a body part to penetrate or to rape a minor/child
  • A child being forced into doing things of a sexual nature
  • An abuser forcing a minor or younger person to take their clothes off 
  • An abuser kissing, touching or having oral sex with a minor/child or younger person. Their actions do not have to penetrate their victim

Non-contact sexual abuse involves an abusers subjecting their victims to abuse without actually touching them. This may happen in person or when the abused minor is online. It could include the following actions:

  • Flashing or exposing themselves
  • Exposing their victims to pornography
  • Exposing a minor or younger person to acts of a sexual nature
  • Forcing a child or younger person to masturbate
  • Making a child or younger person view, share or make images or videos of child abuse
  • Viewing, making or distributing images or videos of child abuse
  • Making a minor or a younger person take part in activities of a sexual nature or forcing them to take part in conversations of a sexual nature online or on a smartphone

The signs to watch out for that a minor or younger person may be the victim of sexual abuse could include the following:

  • A victim of sexual abuse may not want to be on their own, or they are afraid of someone they know or other people
  • They know things they should not which includes specific language or behaviours of a sexual nature
  • They experience nightmares and may wet the bed
  • Alcohol and/or drug misuse
  • A victim may self-harm
  • Their eating habits change or they develop some kind of eating problem
  • A victim may be bruised in specific areas of the body
  • They may experience pain or soreness in the genital and anal regions of the body and there may be bleeding or a discharge
  • A victim may contract a sexually transmitted infection
  • A victim of sexual abuse may fall pregnant

If you were subjected to sexual abuse by a family member and would like legal advice on what can be done to compensate you for all the harm, pain and suffering you were put through, please contact a member of our team on 0800 073 8801. Your call will be treated with empathy and with total confidentiality.

Types Of Inter-Familial Sexual Abuse

Any child could be at risk of being sexually abused by a family member, and this includes both girls and boys. The majority of sexually abused children are subjected to abuse by somebody they know and it could happen in person or when a minor is online.

However, some minors and younger people tend to be more at risk of being sexually abused than others. This includes children with some kind of disability. This is especially true if a child is not able to communicate what is being done to them, or they do not understand they are being sexually abused by a family member. It could be that the child is neglected by parents, and another member of the family takes advantage of the situation.

It might also be that parents of a sexually abused child are going through difficult times which, as a consequence, means they cannot provide sufficient care, attention, or supervision to a child. Again, another member of the family may use the situation to sexually abuse a minor or younger person.

Symptoms Of Familial Sexual Abuse

Symptoms associated with familial sexual abuse often manifest themselves in many ways, which could include the following:

  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Post-traumatic stress
  • Eating disorders
  • Self-harm
  • A difficulty coping with stress
  • Contracting a sexually transmitted infection
  • Shame and guilt
  • Relationship issues with members of a family, partners and/or friends
  • Issues with alcohol or drugs
  • Falling pregnant
  • Thoughts of suicide
  • Suicide
  • Injuries that cannot be explained
  • Fractures
  • Bruises
  • Burns

Signs Of Abuse By A Family Member

When a child or younger person is subjected to sexual abuse by a family member, there could be signs that things are not right, which includes when a child displays the following:

  • They have knowledge of sexual behaviours which are not appropriate given their age
  • They contract a sexually transmitted infection or they fall pregnant
  • A sexually abused child may have bloodstains on their underwear
  • They may start having sexual contact with other children which are inappropriate
  • They get nervous when their abuser is close to them and avoid being alone in a room with them
  • They may try to run away from home
  • They become rebellious and defiant

Signs Someone Else Is Being Abused

It can be hard to spot the signs that someone else might be the victim of sexual abuse by a family member. However, knowing what to look for can help reduce the chance of this type of unacceptable behaviour from continuing. Common signs to watch out for could include the following:

  • An unexplained change of character or behaviour on the part of the abused person
  • An abused person may become withdrawn
  • They seem anxious
  • They can become aggressive, which is uncharacteristic
  • They lack social skills and have very few friends, if they have any at all
  • Any bonds or relationships with a parent is usually weak
  • They run away from home
  • They are aware of sexual behaviours which they should not know about
  • They typically wear clothes which hide their bodies

Although these are some of the more common signs that someone else may be the victim of sexual abuse, there could be other reasons for them acting in this way. The other thing to watch out for is how an adult behaves when caring for children. Their behaviour could be cause for concern when it comes to the well-being and safety of the children they are around.

Injuries Caused By Familial Sexual Abuse

Victims of familial sexual abuse suffer both physical and psychological injuries. Some of the more common physical injuries include the following:

  • Bruising on specific regions of the body
  • Genital soreness
  • Injuries whether due to self-harming or caused by an abuser

If you suspect someone is the victim of familial sexual abuse, or you are being abused yourself in the home, you should contact the NSPCC for advice and support. If you believe there is an immediate danger, you must get in touch with the police as a matter of urgency by calling 999.

Psychological Injuries Caused By Familial Sexual Abuse

Children and younger children who have been sexually abused by a family member or other person can suffer psychological injuries which can remain with them for the rest of their lives. With this said, it is never too late to help a child or younger person if they have been sexually abused. This can be achieved by providing all the support they need with an end goal being to ensure they are able to lead full and happy lives.

The psychological damage a sexually abused minor or younger person may suffer could include the following:

  • Their health, ability to have a meaningful relationship with someone and their education is negatively impacted
  • A mature person who was sexually abused in childhood could find it that much harder to deal with stress, gain useful employment, or to be a good parent
  • Sexually abused children and younger people often suffer mental health issues. They become dependent on drugs or alcohol and can self-harm too

If you were sexually abused by a family member, we may be able to help you gain the compensation you deserve for the harm, pain and suffering you experienced at the hands of your abuser. To find out how a member of our team can assist you with a claim, whether through the courts or the Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme, please get in touch today.

How Do I Report Being Sexually Abused By A Family Member?

If you suspect someone is being sexually abused by a family member, you should contact the NSPCC as soon as you can. You should not wait until you are sure that it is happening, but rather to seek advice by discussing your concerns with someone who has the necessary experience in recognising when a child or other person may be the victim of familial sexual abuse.

Should you believe you or someone else is in immediate danger, you should not hesitate in contacting the police by dialling 999. Trained police officers would arrange to meet you at a place of your choice, whether at your home or another safe location.

If you suspect a child you are caring for as a health professional is being sexually abused by a family member, you should inform the ‘named person’, whether a nurse or doctor at your place of work.

How Litigation Friends Help Younger Victims Claim Compensation

If the victim of familial sexual abuse is a minor, they would not be allowed to make a claim themselves. However, they would have the right to have a ‘litigation friend’ appointed by a court. The same applies to anyone who lacks the mental capacity to make decisions on their own. A litigation friend would be appointed and could be someone of responsibility and trust, which includes the following:

  • A guardian or parent
  • A family member
  • A friend
  • A solicitor
  • A Court of Protection deputy
  • A professional advocate – this could be an Independent Mental Capacity Advocate – IMCA
  • A person who has an enduring or lasting power of attorney

A litigation friend could be appointed by a court for:

  • A child
  • An adult who may lack the capacity to make decisions on their own whether they are being represented by a solicitor or not

A litigation friend may be appointed to a child in the following:

  • A Court of Protection case
  • A civil case – with the exception of a tribunal
  • A family case

A litigation friend may have to attend court should there be a hearing. However, they are not allowed to represent a minor as a solicitor.

Time Limits To Make A Claim For Familial Sexual Abuse

As previously touched upon, there is a strict 2-year time limit to making a claim for compensation through the CICA Scheme. This differs to claims filed through a Civil Court, which has a 3-year time limit.

However, with sexual abuse claims, the authority (CICA) has the power to extend the timeline, but only if it can be shown there was good reason for an application to have not been submitted within the deadline.

Where historical sexual abuse claims are concerned, a report to the police may have been done years after the crime was committed. In this instance, you have two years from the date of the police report to seek compensation through the CICA Scheme. Again, if you miss the deadline, you must show good reason for not having submitted an application within the time limit for the authority to consider your claim.

Sexually Abused By A Family Member Compensation Calculator

Compensation for familial sexual abuse made through a Civil Court would be calculated differently to that awarded in a successful CICA sexual abuse claim, as explained below.

The amount of sexual abuse compensation awarded when claiming through the Civil Court would be based on the extent of your injuries and how your future life may be negatively impacted. Courts, solicitors, and insurers base the amount they award on the Judicial College Guidelines. General damages are awarded to compensate a victim for injuries suffered. However, special damages would also be awarded as a way of compensating a claimant for their out of pocket expenses. As such, all relevant receipts and documents must be provided as proof of expenditure.

The table below offers a general idea of the amounts you could receive through a Civil Court or in an out of court settlement offered by an insurer. Please note, the amounts indicated only cover general damages and are provided as a guideline only.

Comment and ExplanationAmount
Severe damage to pelvis/hips, damage to organs - impacting mobility and birth canal £73,580 - £122,860
Serious damage to pelvis/hips, bladder damage, soft tissue damage£58,100 - £73,580
Injuries to pelvis/hips needing hip replacement, leg instability, hip replacements with high risk of further intervention£58,100 - £73,580
£36,770 - £49,270

Serious damage to pelvis/hips, with no permanent disability or future risk£24,950 - £36,770
Requires hip replacement with no future risk, or instances where future surgery may be required£11,820 - £24,950
Significant injury where the injured person recovers within two years£3,710 - £11,820
Soft tissue damage Up to £3,710

The compensation you may receive if a CICA application for compensation for sexual abuse is successful is based on the CICA’s tariff of injuries. The injury suffered must be listed in the tariff for the authority to consider paying compensation to a victim of crime. An injury must be valued at £1,000 or more for the CICA to consider. The authority may consider awarding ‘special expenses’ but these must be deemed necessary costs incurred as a result of having been a victim of crime.

As a guide to the amount of compensation you may be awarded by the CICA in a successful sexual abuse claim, please see the table below:

Injury TypeCICA Compensation
Minor injury to head, permanent impairment to balance, headaches, concussion£6,200
Scarring to face/severe disfigurement£11,000
Severe/permanent loss of vision£44,000
Multiple fractures to face£11,000
Nasal injury - partial loss of taste, smell or both£3,500
Depressed fracture to skull needing surgery£4,600
Loss of four or more front teeth£3,500
Fracture/dislocation of an elbow - significant disability£6,200
Fractures to humerus - significant disability£3,500
Dislocation of shoulder - continuing/significant disability£3,500

Please note, the amounts indicated in both tables are given as guidelines only. For a more accurate idea, please call one of our experienced advisers who could provide a better indication of how much sexual abuse compensation you may be awarded.

Additional Damages Which You May Claim

When making a claim for sexual abuse by a family member through a Civil Court, you could be entitled to seek compensation for all the out of pocket expenses you incurred as a result of the damage and harm you were caused. These would be awarded in the form of  ‘special damages’ and may include the following:

  • Travel costs
  • Medical costs
  • Care costs
  • Loss of income and future earnings
  • Home and vehicle adaptions
  • All other relevant costs linked to an injury

For special damages to be awarded by the court, you must provide proof of expenditure in the form of receipts and other relevant documentation.

Claims for sexual abuse made through the CICA Scheme would take into consideration any ‘special expenses’ you may have incurred because of the damage and harm you were caused. However, you must be able to show that any expenditure was necessary and ‘reasonable’ for the CICA to consider payments of special expenses in a successful sexual abuse claim for compensation made through the Scheme.

No Win No Fee Claims If Sexually Abused By A Family Member

Seeking legal representation can be expensive, which puts many victims of sexual abuse off filing for the compensation they may deserve. However, other options are available and this includes working with a No Win No Fee solicitor, whether you claim sexual abuse compensation through a court or in an application to the CICA.

A No Win No Fee agreement allows a solicitor to represent you without requesting that you pay them to do so. In short, there is no ‘upfront fee’, nor are there any ongoing payments to make as your sexual abuse claim progresses. The only time you pay for the services of a No Win No Fee solicitor is when you are awarded compensation and the amount, also called a ‘success fee’, is deducted from the money you receive.

Should you lose your claim, the ‘success fee’ would not be payable because the solicitor agreed to only charge you a percentage of the money awarded if your sexual abuse claim is a success.

Why Choose Our Criminal Injury Claims Team?

Our team of advisers and solicitors are extremely knowledgeable when it comes to representing victims of sexual abuse. They understand and respect the legal processes associated with civil cases and those made to the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority.

Once it has been established your claim would be upheld, we would offer to represent you on a No Win No Fee basis, taking the worry and stress of paying for legal representation off the table.

We would ensure the following:

  • We would treat your claim with the sensitivity it merits at all times
  • That you are kept informed at every stage of the claim
  • That you are examined by an independent medical professional local to you. Their report would be used to calculate the level of compensation you may be awarded
  • If the sexual abuse claim is complex, we would ensure you receive ‘interim payments’ until a final settlement can be reached

If you would like more information on how we would pursue a claim for sexual abuse compensation for you, please get in touch with us for free advice.

Start Your Claim

If you think you would like to begin your claim for compensation straight away, you can contact an experienced adviser on 0800 073 8801.

If you prefer, you could choose to send us an email at:

office@accidentclaims.co.uk

Alternatively, you can request a call back by filling out our online form.

Sexual Assault Victim Support

If you would like advice, support and assistance, there are many organisations and charities out there who help victims of sexual abuse. The following link takes you to the NSPCC website:

Support and help for victims of sexual abuse

Victims support provides essential advice for victims of violence and their trained advisers are always there to help you when needed:

Victims Support

For more information on the definition of child abuse, please follow the link provided below:

More information on child abuse

If you would like to know more on how to claim for historical sexual abuse, please click on the link below:

Claiming for historical sexual abuse

For more information on the time limits associated with child abuse claims, please click on the link provided below:

How long you have to claim compensation for child abuse

 

Guide by HW

Edited by REB