SOLICITORS HELPLINE 0844 332 0812
Child Sexual Abuse Compensation Claim Solicitors
Our specialist personal injury solicitors deal with child sexual abuse compensation claims on a no win no fee* basis and offer free initial advice with no obligation from qualified lawyers of your chosen gender. We will explain fully and in great detail exactly how a child abuse compensation claim works and what you may expect to get out of it upon finalisation, be it simply the satisfaction of knowing that the matter has been fully aired or an award of damages either thought concerted action in the civil courts in cases where the abuser has personal assets or a by a simple application for damages for sexual assault or prolonged sexual abuse to the Criminal Injury Compensation Authority. Our child abuse solicitors will be happy to answer any initial queries you may have on a totally pro bono basis with non further obligation and absolutely no charge. To speak to one of our solicitors simply call the helpline or email our offices and we will take full information before advising you about the best course of action to resolve you potential compensation claim.
The Sexual Offences Act
Some incidents of child sexual abuse come to the attention of the public through media coverage following criminal conviction however most incidents go unreported. Current UK law concerning child sexual abuse is contained in several statues including the Sexual Offences Act 1956, the Sex Offenders Act 1997, the Sexual Offences Act 2003 all of which are now applied in conjunction with the Criminal Justice Act 2003 :-
- Child abuse is now redefined and incestuous relationships carrying severe penalties now include sexual assaults by blood relatives, foster parents, adoptive parents and live in partners all of which are recognised as illegal and unlawful familial sexual abuse.
- It is now a criminal offence for those in a position of authority to engage in sexual activity with a person under the age of 18 years primarily aimed at protecting vulnerable young adults from abusive relationships with members of the teaching professions.
- It is also now illegal for any adult sexual activity to be performed on or with any person under the age of 16 years and involvement of any sexual activity with a child under the age of 13 years is likely to be defined as rape or sexual assault for the purposes of criminal prosecution.
- The offence of ‘sexual grooming’ is now covered by the 2003 legislation as child sexual abuse and applies mainly to the internet and texting however a growing number of these incidents results from long term personal connection between the child and a dominating or abusive adult. There need have been no actual sexual contact for this offence to have been committed which requires only preparation for such contact enabling police to make arrests and secure conviction at an early stage before any serious damage has been done.
Third Party Responsibility
There have been many cases of child sexual abuse occurring whilst children, both male and female were, in the past, resident in care homes, orphanages and religious institutions. The fact that the perpetrator of the illegal activities is no longer alive or is no longer of full mental capacity or is long retired often does not preclude a claim being made against the institution or the successor to the original institution or the management of the institution. In all of these cases, if a claim against the institution itself fails for one reason or another, then a claim for compensation can often be made to the Criminal Injury Compensation Authority which will in certain circumstances, including claims of sexual abuse or sexual assault waive their normal time limit requirements and accept claims decades after the event. If you would like advice on these historical matters from a child sexual abuse solicitor with no further obligation please do not hesitate to make contact with us.
Group Legal Action
A group action or multi-party action or class action occurs when a number of people, all suffering similar injury, caused by similar events at a similar location in a similar time period get together as a co-operative to pool evidence and resources in order to sue the proposed defendant for damages. These actions have the benefit of reducing legal costs and ensuring that as much evidence as possible is available to prove the case on the balance of probabilities. Civil action has a different standard of proof to criminal cases where proof beyond reasonable doubt is required and whilst a criminal conviction may not be possible, a civil case may well succeed on the basis of proving sexual abuse or sexual assault on the basis of balance of probability i.e. is it more likely that the abuse occurred than not. For a defendant to rebuff multiple claimants evidence in these cases is extremely difficult and many claimant cases will succeed or be settled out of court.
In some cases it may be preferred to take action against the perpetrator of child sex abuse in the civil courts. This may well be an issue where the abuser has substantial assets as a financial award by a civil court may well exceed the amount on offer under the CICA tariff scheme which is capped. A summons is issued in the court which in the absence of a satisfactory offer of settlement will proceed to a full trial and subsequent judgement.
Criminal Injuries Compensation
The Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA) was set up by government to compensate the innocent victims of violent crime which includes those who have suffered from child sex abuse. The aim of the scheme is to recognise physical and mental injuries, caused by crimes of violence and where appropriate to compensate for pain and suffering and pay certain special expenses. Application for compensation must be made to the CICA within certain time limits however time limits for cases of child sexual abuse may be extended. If you would like advice on a prospective CICA claim for child sexual abuse please call our helpline for free advice without further obligation.