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Tag Archive: Child Sexual Abuse

Abusers often rely on a mask of respectability and belief their victims won’t speak out

Renu on this morning


When I was first instructed to represent families of children who had been sexually abused by paedophile doctor Myles Bradbury, I was immediately struck by the high regard and admiration with which he had been held by those who eventually brought him to justice.

Bradbury was a serial abuser. He exploited his job as a respected paediatrician at Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge to target boys over a period of four years, all aged between eight and 16 and whom had suffered from cancer or blood disorders.

To the families, Bradbury was the ‘supportive and charming’ doctor helping their children through the toughest of times. He was respected and liked by almost all, and had therefore created the perfect mask from behind which he could commit his awful crimes.

One of my clients was the grandson of the lady who lifted the lid as to what was going on which finally brought Bradbury to justice – leading to him being jailed for 22 years, resulting in many other victims finally having access to much needed emotional, psychiatric and psychological support.

She may not have been the first to suspect any wrongdoing by Bradbury. She was though, the first to take action.

Grandmother’s complaint uncovered systematic abuse

“We all felt something was wrong, but we also recognised we had to be careful in how we handled it,” she said at the time.

“We slept on it but the next morning I woke up angry and knew I had to do something. The important thing was that I believed my grandson. We have always been so close, so I can sense when something isn’t right.

“Now, when I look back, I am so glad we listened to him. Not only for our family, but for the many other victims, and those who would no doubt have been victims of Bradbury in the future.”

New case of Whitchurch GP has similar pattern of growing number of victims 

In recent weeks my colleague Victoria Neale has been handling a similar situation which now sees a growing legal and police investigation being conducted in the small Shropshire town of Whitchurch.

It all centres on alleged abuse by a former GP in the town, who died 17 years ago, but appears to have left behind many troubled and traumatised former patients.

The first complaint was not made to police until a couple of years ago, not long after the case of serial sexual abuser Jimmy Savile had made headline news.

That remained the sole complaint until the same man, who alleges to have been abused between the ages of nine and 13 and is now in his 50s, wrote an anonymous article in his local newspaper earlier this year.

That article led to a number of others coming forward, naming the same GP as being the abuser, and sparked a full police investigation.

However, these cases have demonstrated that people who have suffered at the hands of abusers will be listened to.

The people and support networks are out there to talk to.

In some cases speaking out brings convictions for those responsible, in others the alleged offenders may no longer be alive.

However, talking can open doors to vital support which many people have often badly needed for years.

As someone who plays a small part in that overall support package, helping people take a first step towards hopefully finding some closure is always something I am immensely proud to do.

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01/09/2017 No Comments

Government Agency Refuses Compensation to Child Victims of Sexual Abuse

Sad teenage girl | CICA refuses to give child sexual abuse victims compensation


Children as young as 12 are being refused compensation by the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA), on grounds that they “consented” to their abuse.

The CICA has refused to provide compensation to around 700 young victims of sexual abuse since 2012, with blocked payouts ranging from £1,000 to £44,000. The information was revealed as part of a Freedom of Information request by a group of charities including Victim Support, Liberty and Barnardo’s, who have since written to Justice Secretary David Lidington, challenging the CICA to review guidelines on how it deals with sexual abuse cases.

Despite it being a criminal offence to engage in sexual activity with anyone under the age of 16, charities fear that the rules around payouts are being wrongly interpreted by the CICA, with underage children not receiving compensation because they supposedly consented to the abuse they suffered.

The charity coalition is demanding that the CICA change its rule on sexual abuse so that no child under the age of 16 is denied compensation. They rightly argue that consent through fear or lack of understanding isn’t consent, and that sexual abuse is a result of grooming and manipulation.

According to a recent YouGov poll, two thirds (66%) of people think the rules surrounding payouts to child victims of sexual abuse should be changed, and that refusal on grounds of “consent” should be scrapped in the case of sexual abuse of minors.

Speaking to the Independent, Martha Spurrier, director of human rights charity Liberty, said that it was a “disgrace” that the CICA would even imply that children had consented to their abuse, let alone deny them compensation. She said that the government “must urgently change these guidelines”, words echoed by Barnardo’s chief executive, Javed Khan.

In one case where the CICA refused to pay compensation, a young girl aged 14 was repeatedly raped by a gang of older men, only to have her compensation claim quashed because she had reputedly “not been the victim of non-consensual sexual acts”. This verdict came after the men responsible were jailed for 30 years — raising questions about how the CICA can justify its decisions on cases of child sexual abuse.

CICA Harming Young Abuse Victims, Not Helping Them

Under current guidelines, the CICA is harming young victims of sexual abuse by denying them compensation for the traumatic and life-changing abuse they’ve suffered. Not only are children missing out on monetary payments which are vital in securing aftercare and support, they’re effectively being shunned by a system designed to protect them — leaving them vulnerable, demoralised and with nowhere left to turn.

The complexities of consent have no place in cases of sexual activity relating to minors. Echoing the comments of Miss Spurrier, it’s a disgrace that young victims should be questioned on the circumstances of their abuse — particularly by a government agency whose sole purpose is to secure compensation for “blameless victims” of violent crime and abuse.

We stand beside the charity coalition in calling on the CICA to review its guidelines in relation to child sexual abuse, and hope that by further publicising the issue we can help to get justice for the 700 young lives left in turmoil by the agency’s unjust conclusions.

If your child was refused compensation by the CICA after suffering sexual abuse, our experienced criminal injury solicitors can help you appeal the decision. For more information, visit our CICA compensation claims page or take a look at our guide on what to do if your application to the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority is turned down.

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20/07/2017 No Comments

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