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Securing Criminal Injuries Compensation following sexual abuse

Sexual Abuse and Rape Compensation Claims

Being a victim of sexual abuse can have a long-lasting impact on the lives of those affected and is often something people find extremely difficult to discuss, even with those closest to them.

According to figures from the Office for National Statistics Crime Survey for England and Wales, published in March 2021, nearly a quarter of women have experienced sexual assault or attempted sexual assault since the age of 16, while one in 14 has experienced rape or attempted rape.

The same survey said more than 750,000 adults aged 16-74 were victims of sexual assault or attempted sexual assault in the year ending March 2020.

Finding the courage and confidence to speak out about being subjected to any form of sexual abuse, at any time in your life, is far from easy, and that is why we have a dedicated Criminal injuries  team at Hudgell Solicitors who are highly experienced in supporting survivors. It is our aim to provide help and support to people and secure compensation for their suffering to help them rebuild their lives.

Our Sexual Assault Experts

Vicky Richardson Head of Civil Liberties Read more
Nicola Bailey-Gibbs Associate, Criminal Injuries and Civil Liberties Read more
Tracy Thames Litigation Executive, Criminal Injuries Read more
Rebecca Pick Litigation Executive, Criminal Injuries Read more
Alexandra Eldon Trainee Solicitor, Civil Liberties Read more

Making a sexual assault or rape compensation claim with Hudgells

We are committed to always putting the emotional and psychological needs of our clients first, ensuring we provide compassionate and considerate advice on the legal steps available to survivors of any form of sexual abuse and rape.

Whilst compensation can often be recovered, we know it is access to other areas of support that is often the most valued aspect of our involvement. A sexual abuse claim, however, can be a vital step towards finding some form of closure, bringing recognition of the suffering endured and its impact on lives.

The first step is often the hardest but by getting in touch, we can get you the justice you deserve. We’ll arrange a no-obligation, confidential meeting to discuss your circumstances and evaluate your options. Should you wish to speak to a male or female lawyer, we will ensure your needs are met, and that all discussions are conducted in a manner that makes you the most comfortable.

Specialist sexual abuse lawyers

We know that complete trust and confidence between ourselves, those who have suffered from any form of abuse, and their families is one of the most important aspects of the service we provide.

That is why we have a dedicated team of specialist lawyers who have been selected not only for their legal expertise, but importantly because of their experience in working with people of all ages who have suffered sexual abuse.

At Hudgell Solicitors we are committed to:

  • Giving all victims of sexual abuse and rape a voice by helping them feel able to access the vital legal support and help they need.
  • Assuring complete confidentiality and understanding at all times, with lawyers under obligation to keep identities and all information private.
  • Ensuring we put the emotional and psychological needs of those we support first at all times.
  • Using our expertise to ensure all allegations of sexual abuse and rape, and their impact, are fully investigated, no matter when the abuse happened.
  • Doing our best to help those who have been affected to find a road to their best recovery, with relevant and effective support, at the right time.

How will I fund my sexual abuse claim?

When taking on any compensation claims, we will discuss how the case will be funded to ensure you are comfortable and aware of the costs, if any.

For many of our clients, we are able to offer “no win, no fee” arrangements, meaning that our services only need to be covered if your claim is successful.

Additionally, those costs will be covered by a pre-agreed portion of the compensation awarded, meaning there are no upfront costs to you that might prevent you from seeking justice for your experience.

FAQs

What can victims of sexual abuse claim compensation for?
    Any sexual contact without consent is considered assault and a victim could have a valid case for compensation. This includes touching over clothing, groping, drug-facilitated sexual assault, child sexual abuse and rape.
    Abusers can often be people in respected professions and positions of trust and our team has handled cases involving family members, senior doctors and consultants, police officers, government-employed officials, school staff, and those linked to religious organisations.
    Following a law change in 2018, people abused at the hands of somebody they lived with between 1964 and the 1st October 1979 can now apply for compensation after the “same roof rule” was abolished, which had prevented people from doing so previously.
    We have supported many individuals and families affected by the failure of police forces to fully investigate allegations relating to sexual assault and rape prior to an actual assault taking place. We have represented people in cases where local authorities, child protection agencies, and social workers have all failed to protect vulnerable people from individuals who posed a threat to them.
    We also assist clients with claims to the rape victim compensation scheme. The Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA) is a scheme established by the Government specifically to compensate victims of violent crime. Our lawyers have in-depth knowledge of the CICA scheme and a track record of securing damages for victims of sexual abuse and rape through the application process.
How do I claim compensation for sexual assault and rape?
    Many cases naturally relate to harrowing crimes which survivors can find difficult to relive as part of the claims process, and this is something our team at Hudgell Solicitors are very much aware of.
    Our experience in supporting survivors of abuse means we can often secure much of the evidence and information required from bodies and organisations such as police forces, social services and others directly, minimising the impact on our clients.
    In order for us to pursue a claim, it is essential that a report has been made to the police and that a full statement has been provided. We will ask for details of when the alleged assault was reported to the police (and ideally a police reference number), the name of the offender (if known), the date of any related criminal court case, and contact details for any medical expert who has provided treatment.
    We will advise you as to whether your case should be pursued against an individual, an organisation, or through the CICA.
Is the information I provide confidential?
    Yes. Our focus is always on ensuring those who seek our help know they can do so with complete confidentiality, whether they initially turn to us for an informal discussion and general advice or wish to discuss the sexual abuse they suffered or was suffered by someone they know.
    This means that your lawyer will be under obligation to keep identities secret and all the information you confide in us with. We will always ask you first if you are comfortable with the information you provide to us being shared with others as part of the legal process, such as the CICA, and all information shared will of course remain strictly confidential, regardless of the outcome.
What are the time limits for making a sexual abuse or rape claim?
    Claims to the CICA should ideally be made within two years of the incident or abuse, or two years from the date of reporting the matter to the police.
    For someone who was the victim of abuse when they were a child, they have until their 20th birthday to make their application. However, because this is a highly sensitive area of law, where victims find it difficult to come forward, the time limits can be extended in certain circumstances, so we recommend that you take advice whatever your circumstances.
    You do not need to wait until criminal court proceedings have been concluded in order to make a sexual abuse compensation claim. Clients often tell us they have been advised to wait until after criminal court hearings have been completed, but we always recommend seeking access to justice as soon as possible.
My abuser has died and was never prosecuted, can I still pursue a case?
    Yes. We handle many cases where the abuser has died, even though the issue was never subject to a police investigation when they were alive.
    Cases can be made against their estate. Alternatively, claims can be made against employers by holding them vicariously liable if the abuse took place through their jobs, such as a teacher, medical professional, carers, or sports coach.
    Criminal injuries claims can also be pursued, particularly if there is evidence from other potential victims who independently make similar allegations that are consistent in terms of the kind of abuse and circumstance.
    The burden of proof is less in civil claims than in criminal cases. If enough evidence can be presented to demonstrate that sexual abuse was likely to have happened, claims can be successful.
How much compensation will I get for sexual assault?
    Depending on your case, damages could be through the CICA scheme, or perhaps against a state body which has failed in its duty to protect you from harm including police forces, local authorities, or religious organisations.
    If your claim is made through the CICA, a clear tariff of compensation is set out for survivors of sexual crimes. Compensation for sexual abuse victims in the UK range from £1,000 to £44,000, with certain levels of compensation only available for child sexual assault.
    Cases that are against individuals, organisations, and state bodies will not follow the above tariff and your lawyer will advise you about the potential damages you could receive.
How long will the claim take?
    The legal process can vary in length depending upon the evidence available to us and the considerations needed to ensure we can pursue the maximum possible compensation on your behalf.
    We always make sure we work at a pace that our clients are comfortable with, whilst ensuring we meet the required deadlines to keep your case progressing towards a conclusion and that we complete all required investigations.

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