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What constitutes sexual abuse?

Sexual abuse is any unsolicited sexual act forced upon a woman, man, or child without prior consent. Anyone can experience sexual abuse regardless of age, gender, background, or race.

Sexual abusers are criminals who take advantage of vulnerable victims. The objective of those who commit sexual crimes is to gain complete power and control; attackers also sexually abuse people to degrade and humiliate their victims. Whilst anyone can be subjected to sexual abuse, most victims of sexual violence are women. In 2017 the Crime Survey for England and Wales (CSEW) estimated that 20% of women and 4% of men have experienced some type of sexual assault since the age of 16. This is equivalent to 3.4 million female and 651,000 male victims. A common misconception about sexual abuse is that the assailant is a stranger to the victim. However, in most cases, abusers are members of the family or they could be a figure of authority who the victim’s family knows and trusts.

Types of sexual abuse compensation

General damages

The court awards general damages to survivors of sexual abuse as compensation for the pain and suffering they have sustained. General damages awards can vary depending on the severity of the case. General damages can be awarded to survivors for injuries of both a psychological and physical nature; the court considers the following factors when awarding compensation:

  • Physical injury
  • Poor mental health following the incident/s
  • PTSD
  • Thoughts of a suicidal nature
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Anxiety
  • Mood disorders

Special damages

Special damages are designed to reimburse the claimant for any financial losses they may have experienced as a result of the abuse. The following list demonstrates the criteria for special damages:

  • Medical bills: this refers to any medication, equipment, surgery, or private health care that was needed following the abuse.
  • Travel expenses: you can claim travel expenses if, for example, you had to travel to another city to see a specialist doctor.
  • Loss of earnings: if you were out of work following the incident/s you may be reimbursed for any loss of income incurred while you were recovering. You can also be compensated for any future losses.
  • Household care/assistance: if the abuse left you needing home care/assistance, you may be reimbursed for this under special damages.

To receive the highest amount of sexual abuse compensation, it is important to keep a record of all your expenses. Without them, you may not be reimbursed.

Aggravated damages

The purpose of aggravated damages is to compensate survivors for the humiliating and malicious aspects of the abuse they have suffered. Aggrevated damages provide financial compensation for mental distress or injury to feelings caused by the manner or motive of the abuser.

Survivors of sexual abuse may be awarded aggrevated damages if they have experienced:

  • Upset
  • Worry
  • Anxiety
  • Humiliation
  • Stress
  • Depression
  • Fear

How do I make a claim?

  1. Report the abuse to the police: You should report the incident to the police and obtain a police number reference number as soon as possible. There may be exceptions to this if you have a valid reason for why you couldn’t report the incident to the police at the time.
  2. Medical Examination: You must have a medical examination and obtain a doctor’s report about the injury/s you have sustained for medical evidence.
  3. Find a solicitor: Find a solicitor who can guide you through the claims process and help you get the amount of compensation you deserve.

How much compensation will I receive?

Given the nature of this crime, compensation awards vary significantly from case to case. The court will examine a range of factors including the age of the plaintiff at the time of the abuse, the duration of the abuse and when the abuse occured. Sexual abuse compensation can range from £1,000 to £44,000. To understand your claim better, and get a better idea of how much compensation you could receive, get in touch with a trusted solicitor for advice.

Get in touch

If you have experienced sexual abuse then you may be eligible for compensation. We understand that no amount of money will make up for the physical and mental damage caused by sexual abuse. However, sexual abuse compensation can provide you with significant financial help if you wish to enrol in counselling or therapy.

Please call +0151 242 5111 for free confidential advice from an experienced and empathetic solicitor today.