I Was Sexually Abused By A Family Friend Can I Claim Compensation? – Criminal Injury Compensation Authority CICA

Sexually abused by a family friend

Sexually abused by a family friend

If you were abused sexually by a friend of the family, you may be able to seek compensation, whether through a Civil Court or through the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority. Whether you personally were abused as a child or one of your children was the victim of sexual abuse by a family friend, you may have the right to be compensated for the harm, suffering and pain this type of traumatic experience can cause.

Our guide covers how you should go about claiming compensation for sexual abuse. However, if you feel you have a strong case, you can call a member of our team on 0800 073 8801 and an adviser can answer any questions or queries you may have.

For more information on what a personal injury claim through a court would entail as opposed to claiming compensation through the Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme, please read on.

A Guide To Sexual Abuse Claims Against A Family Friend

Sexual abuse of any kind that involves a child is wrong. It leaves them traumatised and often unable to cope with the sort of stresses they are bound to encounter in later life. When the abuser is someone a child trusts, it can be doubly bewildering.

Our guide to claiming compensation for sexual abuse by a family friend aims to provide adequate information on how you may be able to seek compensation for physical harm and psychological damage.

We cover both claims processes for submitting an application for sexual abuse compensation through the CICA, or if you make a personal injury claim for sexual abuse through a Civil Court against an abuser.

We also provide information on the following:

  • The definition of sexual abuse
  • The type of sexual abuse you may have been subjected to
  • The signs and indications that sexual abuse is being committed
  • The symptoms you may have suffered as a result of having been sexually abused by a trusted family friend, and the physical/psychological damage the abuse causes victims
  • We go into how you should report sexual abuse and how a minor would need a litigation friend to represent them when seeking compensation
  • We cover the time limit associated with both personal injury claims and claims submitted through the Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme
  • We go into the amount of sexual abuse compensation you may be awarded, whether your case is heard in a court or through the CICA and this includes the type of damages you may be able to claim
  • We also explain the way a No Win No Fee agreement works and why a solicitor may be able to offer you these terms when representing you

What Is Sexual Abuse By A Family Friend?

A family friend should be seen by a child as a person they can trust. When this person then breaches a child’s trust and sexually abuses them, the effects on the child can be totally devastating. The consequences for a child can lead to them developing mental health issues, and a lack of trust in other people whether they know them or not. These are just some of the ways that a child may be affected if they are sexually abused by a family friend, but the consequences are often a lot more far-reaching.

If you or one of your children was sexually abused by a family friend, it is important to seek advice and support, which can be found through the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children – NSPCC. You can speak to an adviser on 0808 800 5000, or you can report child abuse by clicking here.

You must also report any concerns you have to the authorities, which includes the police, as soon as you can. Sexually abusing a child is a criminal offence no matter who the perpetrator happens to be. This is especially true if you believe someone may be in imminent danger.

Types Of Sexual Abuse By A Family Friend

When a family friend, a person a child trusts, sexually abuses them, the effects leave a child bewildered, often not understanding what has happened to them. There are many ways a person could sexually abuse a child, which includes the following:

  • Committing contact sexual abuse where the abuser has direct contact with their victim. This can be in person or online
  • Committing non-contact sexual abuse where the abuser does not have any physical contact with their chosen victim

Contact sexual abuse by a family friend could see them doing the following to their victim:

  • They touch a child in a sexual manner on specific body parts, which can happen whether a child is fully dressed, not wearing any clothes or they are partially clothed
  • The abuser may use a body part, or they may use an ‘object’ on a child to rape them or penetrate them
  • The family friend forces a child to get involved in sexual activities
  • The abuser makes a child undress, or they force them to touch someone
  • An abuser forces a child to touch inappropriately, kiss or to have oral sex. It is worth noting that an abuser does not have to penetrate a child for it to be deemed sexual abuse

Non-contact sexual abuse by a family friend could include the following:

  • They may flash or expose themselves to the child
  • An abuser shows pornographic videos or images to the child
  • A family friend forces a child to see sexual acts or they force them to masturbate
  • The abuser forces a child to make inappropriate videos or images of child abuse, and/or they make them share or view them
  • A family friend makes a child get involved in inappropriate activities or conversations that are sexually-orientated, whether online or on a smartphone

Signs That You Are Being Abused By A Family Friend

If you are sexually abused by a family friend, you may start acting strangely and do things which are out of character. When a family friend is the abuser, you may not want to be left alone with them, stressing when you think you might be. With this said, if a younger victim is being abused, they may not fully understand what is being done to them and that it is very wrong.

You may think you have done something wrong and keep quiet, not telling anyone what has happened to you.

There are specific signs to watch out for which could be an indication that a family friend is behaving inappropriately towards you. This could include the following:

  • You may try to tell someone and hint that the family friend is acting in an inappropriate way
  • You may have sore genitals or injuries that cannot be explained
  • You may have contracted some kind of sexually transmitted disease or infection

Whether you were the victim of sexual abuse by a family friend in childhood, or you suspect one of your children is being sexually abused by someone you trust, you must voice your concerns and seek support and advice from the NSPCC straight away.

Symptoms That A Child May Be Being Abused By A Family Friend

As previously mentioned, there are signs that a child is being sexually abused by a family friend and someone you trust. They could be using their friendship with the family for inappropriate reasons, and the signs this could be happening may include them doing the following:

  • Choosing to pick on one specific child
  • Treating one child as a favourite over other children
  • Walking into a bathroom when they know a child is in there
  • Offering a child gifts and money without a good reason for doing so
  • Taking a child on overnight outings on a regular basis
  • Offering to babysit but never asking to be paid
  • Spending too much of their free time around children
  • Asking to be left alone with a child and not to be interrupted when they are alone
  • Having too much interest in the sexual development of a specific child or children
  • Liking to take part in physical activities with a child which would include wrestling, lots of kissing and hugging when a child clearly shows they do not like it
  • Not giving a child enough time on their own or privacy

Signs A Family Friend Is Using A Relationship To Abuse A Child

There are specific signs that a family friend may be abusing a child. This includes the following:

  • They want to spend too much time with a particular child
  • They insist on not being interrupted when they are alone with a child
  • They buy expensive gifts for a specific child
  • They want to take a child out on their own far too often

If you believe a family friend may be abusing a child, you must seek advice by getting in touch with someone who is trained to deal with child abuse. You should contact the NSPCC as soon as you can.

Psychological And Physical Harm Caused By Child Abuse

The consequences of being sexually abused by a family friend, as previously mentioned, can often be devastating. It can lead to all sorts of health issues, development issues and mental health problems later in a child’s life. This often includes a child having trouble with the following:

  • Forming meaningful bonds or relationships with other children/people
  • Their health, well-being and learning ability are negatively impacted
  • They could start self-harming
  • They have trouble trusting anyone
  • They may try or they do run away from home
  • They develop destructive and unruly behaviours
  • They have issues related to brain development

If, as an adult who was sexually abused by a trusted family friend, you may have trouble coping with what could be considered as normal stresses that everyone encounters during their lives. You may also have real difficulty in finding useful and meaningful employment. Other issues that may affect your adult life may include the following:

  • Being a good parent to your own children
  • You may have a drug or alcohol dependency
  • You could have turned to crime
  • You may suffer from depression and have thoughts of suicide
  • You could have eating disorders and suffer from low self-esteem
  • Your health may be poor
  • You could suffer from anxiety, sadness and you may often show anger

How To Report Sexual Abuse By A Family Friend

It is crucial that you seek advice from professionals if you were sexually abused by a family friend during your childhood, or you believe your own child may be the victim of sexual abuse by someone you trust. You can contact an NSPCC adviser who would offer support and advice on what you should do. You should also contact the police to report your concerns. You can ask for trained child protection police officers to visit you at home, or somewhere else that is deemed safe.

The police would then begin their investigations, providing support in every way they can so the offender is brought to justice while always ensuring your safety and that of a child, should they have been sexually abused by a family friend.

How Litigation Friends Could Support Claimants Under The Age Of Eighteen

Should a claim for compensation be made for a child under the age of eighteen, a member of the family or responsible person would be appointed their ‘litigation friend’ by the court. This would entitle the litigation friend to represent the child. Although they would not be able to legally represent them, they would be permitted to ‘act on the child’s behalf’.

If the person pursuing the claim is an adult, but a litigation friend acts on their behalf because they are unable to do so themselves, the adult is known as the ‘protected party’.

Limitation Periods In Sexual Abuse Claims

There is a statutory time limit to making a sexual abuse claim for compensation and this must be respected. If you file a claim through a Civil Court, there is a 3-year time limit from the date of the last incident of abuse, but due to the sensitive nature of sexual abuse claims, this may be extended under specific circumstances.

If you were a minor when you were sexually abused by a family friend, you would have up till your 21st birthday to seek compensation, but courts may extend the deadline providing you can show good reason for not having filed a sexual abuse claim within the time limit and after you turned 21.

Should you make an application for sexual abuse compensation through the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority, CICA, the time limit is shorter, being 2 years. Again, the authority may extend this time limit providing exceptional circumstances apply to a claim. Should the case involve historical sexual abuse, the time limit may also be extended.

Because the time limits can vary, it is best to seek advice from a solicitor as soon as possible. This is where we can be of assistance. A member of our team can sympathetically walk you through the process of claiming compensation for sexual abuse, providing essential legal advice on how best to proceed.

Calculating Compensation If Sexually Abuse By A Family Friend

If you are wondering how much sexual abuse compensation you may be awarded through a Civil Court, you may have already looked at the many online compensation calculator tools. Although useful, these would only offer a general idea of the amount you could receive in a successful sexual abuse claim. The reason being that every claim is unique and without all the necessary details, it is impossible to know an exact amount.

For a general idea of how much sexual abuse compensation you may be awarded if you make a claim through the courts, please refer to the table below.

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£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
PTSD Severe£56,100 to £94,470
PTSD Moderately severe£21,730 to £56,180

Please note, the amounts provided in our table are given as a guideline only and are sourced from the Judicial College Guidelines. It is also worth noting that should you make an application for sexual abuse through the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority, the amount awarded may differ to that received via the courts.

The table below provides an idea of the amount of compensation you may be awarded in a successful application to the CICA.

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

For a more accurate idea of how much you may receive, please get in touch with a member of our team today.

Additional Claimable Damages

Personal injury compensation consists of two parts, the first being ‘general damages’, which are awarded to compensate a claimant for the injuries sustained. The amount you could receive would be based on the extent of your injuries, the length of time it would take you to recover, and how your future life could be impacted.

The second part of the compensation you may be awarded would be to reimburse you for any ‘out of pocket’ expenses you incurred due to the injuries and damage suffered. These are known as ‘special damages’ and you may be able to claim the following providing you have proof of expenditure:

  • Medical expenses
  • Travel costs
  • Care costs
  • Loss of earnings and future income

If you are not sure what may be claimed in special damages, a member of our team can assist you by offering essential advice on what may be included and what would not be allowed.

When claiming through the CICA, the authority would consider awarding ‘special expenses’ but would only do so providing the expenses were absolutely essential.

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

You may be worried about the cost of seeking legal representation should you decide to pursue a sexual abuse compensation claim. However, there are options open to you when it comes to being represented. A solicitor would offer you No Win No Fee terms but for this to happen, they must first establish your sexual abuse claim is valid which they would do in an initial consultation that would be free of charge.

Once a No Win No Fee solicitor is satisfied your claim is valid and there is sufficient evidence to support a sexual abuse claim, they would begin their investigations without requesting that you pay an upfront fee. There would be no ongoing fees to pay either. The only time you pay for the services of a No Win No Fee lawyer is when you are awarded compensation whether through a court or through the CICA Scheme. The amount you would pay is known as a ‘success fee’ which is deducted from the money you receive. The balance is then paid to you.

If, after having entered into a No Win No Fee agreement, you lose your case, the success fee would not be payable, taking all the worry of having to pay for legal representation even if your claim is unsuccessful.

Why Choose Us For A Sexual Abuse Claim?

Seeking compensation if you were sexually abused by a family friend can be a daunting prospect. Having to relive traumatic experiences is often too much for many people to bear. However, when you discuss a claim with someone who appreciates what you may be going through, it can help you take control of your life again. Our advisers are trained to offer the right sort of assistance and would listen to your case with a sympathetic, attentive ear.

We can provide essential legal advice on how best to pursue a sexual abuse claim and would assist you when it comes to gathering all the relevant evidence to support your claim, whether this is through a Civil Court or through the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority.

We would offer to represent you on a No Win No Fee basis once we have established your claim is valid. This takes all the worry of finding the funds to pay for legal representation off the table and we would work hard to ensure you receive a level of compensation that is both acceptable and fair.

Start Your Claim

To start your claim, please contact a member of our advisers on 0800 073 8801 who would be happy to provide advice on how best to pursue your claim for sexual abuse compensation.

You may prefer to contact us by email at the following address:

office@accidentclaims.co.uk

You can also request that we call you back by filling out the form provided.

Essential References

For more information on claiming compensation for historical sexual abuse, please click on the link below:

Claiming compensation for historical sexual abuse

For more information on the time limit associated with sexual abuse claims make through the CICA, please click on the link below:

CICA time limits

If you would like more information on how to begin your sexual abuse claim, please follow the link provided below:

How to begin your claim

If you would like more information on how much sexual abuse compensation you may be awarded, please follow the link below:

Sexual abuse calculator

For more information on claiming compensation through the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority, please follow the link below:

Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority

For more information on keeping children safe and reporting abuse, please follow the link provided below:

Keeping children safe and reporting child abuse

 

For more information on claiming compensation for historical sexual abuse, please click on the link below:

Claiming compensation for historical sexual abuse

For more information on the time limit associated with sexual abuse claims make through the CICA, please click on the link below:

CICA time limits

If you would like more information on how to begin your sexual abuse claim, please follow the link provided below:

How to begin your claim

If you would like more information on how much sexual abuse compensation you may be awarded, please follow the link below:

Sexual abuse calculator

For more information on claiming compensation through the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority, please follow the link below:

Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority

For more information on keeping children safe and reporting abuse, please follow the link provided below:

Keeping children safe and reporting child abuse

 

Guide by HW

Edited by REB