How To Make A Claim For Child On Child Sexual Abuse
By Fern Easton. Last Updated 2nd March 2021. Welcome to our guide, where we’ll address the question, “my child was sexually abused by another child, can I claim?”. In a perfect world, every child would be happy and have enough freedom to allow them to develop into young adults. In reality, every parent knows that there are risks involved in allowing their child that freedom. Child abuse is a horrible crime and, in many cases, carried out by adults known to both the child and their parent. With the increased coverage of such abuse, parents might be less trusting of adult friends than they were previously.
However, it’s very uncommon for a parent to consider that another child could sexually abuse their own – but it does happen. In this guide, we’re going to review compensation claims where a child is sexually abused by another child. We’ll consider cases where parents want to claim on behalf of their child as well as historical offences where an adult was sexually abused by a child when they were younger.
Accident Claims UK is here to support you with your claim. You can call our advisors for confidential and free advice even if you don’t end up claiming. They’ll review your case and could refer you to a specialist solicitor if your claim is viable. To remove some of the stress that will no doubt arise, our solicitors operate on a No Win No Fee basis for claims they take on.
Please carry on reading to find out more about claiming for child sexual abuse or call us today on 0800 073 8801 if you’re ready to start a claim.
Select A Section
- A Guide To Claims Where A Child Was Sexually Abused By Another Child
- What Is A Child Sexual Abuse By Another Child?
- Do Children Commit Sexual Abuse Against Other Children?
- Age Appropriate Child Behaviour And Development
- Behaviours Which Are Harmful To Children
- Why Children May Commit Sexual Abuse
- Symptoms Of Child-On Child Abuse
- Physical And Emotional Injuries Caused By Abuse
- Calculating Compensation For A Child Sexually Abused By Another Child
- Special Expenses Or Damages Claimable By Child Victims
- No Win No Fee Claims Where A Child Was Sexually Abused By Another Child
- How We Could Help Victims Of Child Sexual Abuse
- Start Your Claim Against An Abuser
- Essential References
A Guide To Claims Where A Child Was Sexually Abused By Another Child
According to the Crown Prosecution Service, children under 10-years old cannot be charged with criminal acts. You might think that means it’s not possible to claim compensation if a child that young has committed sexual abuse on another child. However, that’s not the case.
Even if the abuser is too young to be charged, so long as the police have been informed of the crime, a claim could be made through the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA). This is a scheme that is able to compensate victims of violent crimes for injuries (whether they’re psychological or physical).
In this guide, we’ll review how a parent could claim on behalf of their child by acting as their litigation friend or how an adult who was abused as a child could make their own claim. So if you’re wondering, “as a child, I was sexually abused by another child, can I claim?” or would like more information on making a claim as a litigation friend on another’s behalf, then please continue reading.
Becoming A Litigation Friend When A Child Is Sexually Abused By Another Child
As a child under the age of 18-years old is unable to represent themselves in legal matters, the courts have a process where an adult can become a litigation friend. This means the court will approve an appropriate adult to represent the child’s interests and handle communication with solicitors and courts. When a successful claim is made through the CICA scheme, a local court will review the settlement to make sure it’s a fair amount and then place it in a trust fund.
The adult responsible for the child could ask the court to release funds early so long as they can show the courts how it will directly benefit the child. When you contact us, we’ll be able to walk you through the process of applying to be your child’s litigation friend.
Making A Claim
We understand how difficult it will be to discuss this type of claim with a complete stranger. Our staff will act with compassion, at a pace suitable to you, and they won’t put any pressure on you at any point. We offer a live chat service if you’d prefer to begin your claim in that way.
While we won’t pressure you to make a claim, there is a time limit in which claims must be made. The personal injury claims time limit is usually 3-years. For this type of claim, however, it’s more likely that you’ll claim through the CICA scheme which has a 2-year time limit. This runs from the date of the last incident. However, a claim on behalf of a child can be made at any time before they turn 18. If you didn’t report the crime against you until later on in life, then you’ll usually have 2-years to claim through the CICA from the date you told the police.
If you find yourself asking, “as a child, I was sexually abused by another child, can I claim and if so, what is the time limit?” please get in touch to clarify how long you have to start your claim.
What Is A Child Sexual Abuse By Another Child?
Child sexual abuse is where a child is tricked, bribed or forced into sexual activities by another person. In a lot of cases, the abuser will be an adult known to the child. However, it is also possible for the abuser to be a child themselves. Often, but not always, the abuser will be the older of the two children. Sexual abuse can happen almost anywhere, including at school, at home, in the park and online. It goes without saying that if a child is sexually abused by another child, a crime has been committed. That means you could be entitled to seek compensation via the CICA scheme.
Types of Child Sexual Abuse
There are two types of abuse that take place: contact and non-contact. The forms of contact abuse where the abuser physically touches the victim include:
- Touching the child’s body sexually (whether clothed or not).
- Forcing the victim to participate in sexual activity.
- Forcing the child to touch somebody else sexually or undress.
- Penetrating or raping a child with a body part or object.
Although penetration is mentioned in that list, contact abuse also includes kissing, touching and oral sex.
Non-contact abuse happens where the abuser doesn’t make any contact with the victim. This can happen online as well as in-person and includes:
- Showing the child pornography.
- Forcing the child to masturbate.
- Exposing the victim to sexual activity.
- Flashing or exposing.
- Telling the child to view, make or share child abuse videos or images.
- Forcing the child to use their smartphone or tablet to take part in sexual conversations or activities.
Whichever type of abuse your child has been the victim of, a claim through the CICA scheme could be possible. If you’d like to discuss that with us, please get in touch and let an advisor know what happened. They’ll provide free advice on your options whether you decide to make a claim or not.
Do Children Commit Sexual Abuse Against Other Children?
Most parents are aware of sexual abuse that happens in society because it is so commonly mentioned in the press. The stories are generally about celebrities, people in positions of trust or family members who’ve gone on to harm children in such a horrible way. However, nearly all of the cases referred to are where the abuser of the child is an adult.
It’s very common for parents to not realise that children (including teenagers) can also pose a risk to their children. That might be because we don’t want to think of the possibility that a child we know, love or trust is capable of sexually abusing a child. In addition, it’s not necessarily easy to determine between normal sexual curiosity and abuse.
While it’s never going to be nice to read about or talk about a child sexually abusing another, it can happen. If it does, there may or may not be a criminal charge brought against the child (depending on their age). Regardless of that, though, you may want to make a claim through the CICA scheme to help you or your child recover both physically and mentally.
If you’re asking yourself, “my child was sexually abused by another child, can I claim?”, please discuss your case with a member of our team today. We won’t pressure you into starting a claim but will happily provide free advice so you can make an informed decision on what to do next.
Age Appropriate Child Behaviour And Development
Every child is unique and will develop at different rates to other children in their cohort. The speed of their sexual development can be affected by numerous different factors. For instance, a child may develop knowledge and attitudes about sex before their friends because they have an older sibling.
If a child exhibits unwanted or unnatural sexual behaviours for their age-group, then it can be stopped by simply telling the child that it is wrong. It may be more concerning if a child doesn’t stop or is unable to stop after being told to do so.
Here are some actions which could be concerning at different ages:
- 0 – 5-year olds (preschool): Using explicit sexual language or possessing knowledge of sexual acts.
- 6-12-year olds: Discussion of specific sexual acts, self-stimulation in public, and adult-like sexual interactions.
- 13-16-year olds: Consistent sexual behaviour, including genital contact and sexual interest directed towards much younger children.
If you feel uneasy about a child’s sexual behaviour at any age, you may wish to discuss it with a GP, their school, or you could contact the NSPCC advice line.
Behaviours Which Are Harmful To Children
There are several different types of behaviours that could be harmful to children; not all involve sexual abuse. Here are some examples:
- Sexual experimentation that went too far.
- Bribing another child or forcing them to engage in sexual play.
- Sexual assault.
- Forcing another child to watch pornographic content.
It’s worth bearing in mind that sometimes one or both the children involved may not realise that the action is harmful. The victim may also believe they are partly to blame or scared of what might happen if they tell somebody. If you suspect your child is suffering in this way, speak to the NSPCC for advice on what you should do.
Why Children May Commit Sexual Abuse
While there is no justification for any form of child sexual abuse, there may be reasons why it happens. These may not always be obvious and will vary from case to case.
In some cases, the abuser may have suffered physical or sexual abuse themselves. In other scenarios, they may have witnessed abuse in their home. There’s also a scenario where the abuser has witnessed sexual acts in pornography. Finally, the child may just act on impulse and abuse another child for no obvious reason.
Symptoms Of Child-On Child Abuse
While each victim of child abuse will suffer in different ways, there are some common signs that could highlight their suffering to you:
- Personality or behavioural changes.
- Poor relationship with their parents.
- Becoming anxious or withdrawn.
- Going missing (running away from home).
- Wearing clothes that cover their body at all times.
- Becoming aggressive.
- Having few friends, if any.
- Having knowledge of adult issues unsuitable for their age.
If your child has been abused, even if the crime isn’t reported to the police, you should take them for a medical assessment. It may be possible for any physical injuries to be treated and prevented from worsening. The NHS also provides a number of mental health services that could help the child to go on and lead a more normal life.
Physical And Emotional Injuries Caused By Abuse
Any form of child abuse, including sexual abuse, can lead to long term physical and psychological suffering. Physically children who’ve been abused could suffer from a number of injuries that could affect their ability to work, socialise or have children of their own.
Psychologically, abuse can lead to self-harming, depression, substance misuse, and also eating disorders. Also, when the child becomes an adult, they may develop trust issues and fail to maintain relationships with other adults.
If you suspect a child is being abused, you can call the NSPCC helpline on 0800 800 5000 or the police on 999.
Although there isn’t much data on sex abuse committed by children in which children are the victims, we can look to the data released by the Crime Survey for England and Wales.
According to Childline, the most common kind of abuse that they deal with is sexual abuse. It was also the type of abuse reported most often by adults to the National Association for People Abused in Childhood’s (NAPAC’s). It’s estimated that 3.1 million adults in the UK experienced sexual abuse before they turned 16, and in some of these cases, the perpetrator will have also been a child.
When we look at the graph above, we can see that the most common perpetrators of child sexual abuse were those who the victim considered a friend or acquaintance. This applies to both men and women who were victims of child sexual abuse. When we look at how likely friends and acquaintances are to inflict other kinds of abuse on children, like emotional or physical abuse, we see that this category of perpetrator is more likely to abuse a child sexually than in any other way, as shown in the graph below.
Although these figures do include adults, such as neighbours or friends of the family, this will also include cases where the friend or acquaintance committing the abuse were also children themselves.
Calculating Compensation For A Child Sexually Abused By Another Child
We’ve looked at the question, “my child was sexually abused by another child, can I claim”? This section will now look at the compensation amounts that may be awarded. The amount of compensation that will be paid for a child sexual abuse claim will depend on what type of claim is submitted. Therefore, we’ve provided two tables below. The first shows potential compensation amounts for personal injury claims. The second shows amounts that could be awarded by the CICA scheme. In both cases, the figures listed are designed to cover pain, suffering and loss of amenity caused by psychological and physical injuries.
Personal Injury Claims
Injury Severity Compensation Details Further Advice
Psychiatric Damage Severe £51,460 to £108,620 Where the prognosis is poor and the damage will have an impact on work, education, life, relationships and where treatment is unlikely to help.
Psychiatric Damage Moderately Severe £17,900 to £51,450 The suffering will be similar to the category above but there will be a better prognosis that treatment will successfully improve symptoms.
Psychiatric Damage Moderate £5,500 to £17,900 Where there will have been suffering in claims in this category, there will already have been a marked improvement and a good prognosis for it to continue.
The figures listed here are taken from a document produced by the Judicial College. These are used when courts, lawyers and insurers calculate settlement figures.
Injury Compensation Details Further Advice
Sexual Assault (Child) £1,000 A minor, non-penetrative physical act over clothing.
Sexual Assault (Child) £3,300 A serious pattern of repetitive, non-penetrative, acts over clothing.
Sexual Assault (Child) £11,000 One incident of non-consensual act of penile penetration.
Sexual Assault (Child) £22,000 Repeated incidents of non-consensual act of penile penetration for a period of more than 3-years.
Sexual Assault (Child) £33,000 Where the sexual abuse has resulted in a serious internal injury along with a disabling moderate mental illness (permanent)
Sexual Assault (Child) £44,000 Where the sexual abuse has resulted in a serious internal injury along with a disabling severe mental illness (permanent)
You’ll notice the amounts awarded by CICA are a lot less than personal injury claims, but this might be the only option if the perpetrator can’t be sued.
For recent cases of abuse, a medical assessment will be required when submitting a claim to try and prove the extent of the injuries sustained in the abuse. When claiming through the CICA, you’ll need to have reported the crime to the police. That means it’s possible the evidence they collect could be used to support your claim too.
Special Expenses Or Damages Claimable By Child Victims
On top of your injury claim, both methods of claiming allow you to recover some expenses incurred as a result of the sexual abuse.
For personal injury claims, this is known as special damages. You could ask for care costs, travel expenses, medical expenses, property damage and lost income, and future lost income to be paid back.
The CICA scheme allows ‘special expenses’ to be paid, which are similar to those listed above, but they’ll only pay for items that can’t be claimed through the NHS or the benefits system.
For both types of claim, you will need to provide evidence to show your losses. That could be in the form of wage slips, benefits statements, receipts or bank statements.
To discuss what expenses you may be able to include in your claim, please discuss your claim with a member of our team today.
No Win No Fee Claims Where A Child Was Sexually Abused By Another Child
Claiming when a child has been sexually abused by another child is going to be stressful enough without worrying about how much the claim will cost you. Our solicitors want to remove as much stress and financial risk as they possibly can for you. That’s why any case they commit to will be handled on a No Win No Fee basis.
The first step of the claims process is for your solicitor to review the claim and check its feasibility. Once they’ve done so, if you’re willing to proceed, you’ll be given a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA).
A CFA is how your claim will be funded and provides a number of benefits, including:
- You aren’t required to make an upfront payment meaning the solicitor can get to work straight away.
- There won’t be any solicitor’s fees payable during the claim.
- Should the claim be unsuccessful, you won’t be expected to cover any of your solicitor’s fees.
The CFA will detail a ‘success fee’, which is deducted from your compensation when a claim is won. This is a small percentage of the settlement, which is legally capped. To ensure complete transparency, the success fee is explained in the CFA, so you’ll know the percentage you’ll pay from the start.
When you get in touch, and your claim has been reviewed, we’ll let you know if a No Win No Fee claim is possible.
How We Could Help Victims Of Child Sexual Abuse
With decades of experience handling claims of such a sensitive nature, you can be sure that your case will be in good hands. Our solicitors are well-versed in both the personal injury and CICA processes and can expertly guide you through them. What’s more, they can accurately value your claim to make sure that you get as much compensation as possible. And all throughout the claim, they will give you updates on every bit of progress.
Start Your Claim Against An Abuser
We know how awkward it will be to discuss a claim regarding child sexual abuse with a stranger. To make things a little easier, we provide a number of different ways to begin your claim, including:
- Get free claims advice with an online advisor via our live chat service.
- Call and speak to one of our friendly advisors on 0800 073 8801.
- Let us know the basis of your claim by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Request a call from an advisor at a convenient time by submitting this form.
All discussions will be handled compassionately and in confidence. We’ll start by reviewing your claim and any type of evidence you can supply. If the claim appears feasible, your advisor will connect you to a personal injury solicitor. Any claim they agree to work on will be handled using a No Win No Fee agreement.
This is the last part of our guide about claiming when a child is sexually abused by another child. We’ve added some links below to additional guides that might prove useful to you. Please speak with an advisor via live chat or on the phone if there’s any further information you need.
What Is Child Abuse – An NSPCC guide on what child abuse is and how you could spot the signs of it.
Childline – Free online and telephone support for children by the charity created by Esther Rantzen.
Victim Support – This UK-based charity can support victims of crime and other traumatic events.
Claiming For Historical Abuse – Information about claiming through the CICA scheme for historical sexual abuse.
Psychological injury claims – Advice on how to claim for psychological injuries.
Child Abuse Claims – This guide explains claiming for different types of child abuse.
Thank you for reading our guide, focussing on the question “my child was sexually abused by another child, can I claim?”.
Guide by BH
Edited by REB