Graham Roberts: Successful Child Abuse Case

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Graham Roberts, part of our Personal Injury department shares his recent success in a child abuse claim:

Miss C and Mr C ‘s mother could not look after her children appropriately, therefore  in the 70's the two children were placed by the Local Authority into Foster Care.

From the ages of 11 to 16 both of the children were sexually abused by their foster father. The children suffered psychologically as a result of the abuse.

They both went onto have families of their own and buried the effects of the abuse however neither got over the abuse.

Later in life the effects of psychological abuse rose to the surface. In her 50’s Miss C had a breakdown, became alcohol dependent and attempted suicide. She eventually disclosed to her daughter. Mr C subsequently disclosed that he had also been abused by the foster father.

Both went to the police and although the report had been made over 40 years later the foster parent was arrested, convicted and died in prison.

Graham Roberts comments:

I brought Claims for both of the Claimants. CICA claims were entered but put on hold pending a claim against the Local Authority. The claim against the assailant himself was discontinued once he had died and it became obvious he had no assets himself to claim against.

The substantive claims against the local authority were put on hold for one year until the decision in Armes (Appellant) v Nottinghamshire County Council (Respondent) 2017 was provided; which determined that Local Authorities could be held vicariously liable for the action of Foster Parents. On this basis the claim proceeded against the Local Authority.

Miss C’s claim included claims for the actual assaults themselves, loss of earnings suffered as a result of her psychological injuries, loss of future earnings, support, care and nursing, the cost of EMDR Treatment, travel expenses and wasted expenses on alcohol and settled in the sum of £100,000.00.

Mr C suffered a stroke some 20 years after leaving the foster home so his losses were calculated up to the date of the stroke. His claim included claims for the assaults, loss of potential earnings and treatment and settled in the sum of £50,000.00.

Types of abuse:

Abuse and neglect refers to any behaviour given by caregivers, parents, or any other adults or adolescents that involve risks of causing physical or emotional harm. The main types of abuse and neglect are as follows; physical abuse, neglect, sexual abuse, witnessing family violence, and emotional maltreatment. 

  • Sexual abuse:  Rape, assault, unwanted sexual behaviour, or force to perform acts
  • Physical abuse: Physical injuries, punishments, being restrained
  • Psychological abuse: Fear of injury, emotional trauma, threatening behaviour, intimidation, being insulted or humiliated
  • Neglect: Failure to provide protection from harm, adequate food, water, heating, housing or access to medical care

The Children Act 1989, states abuse as actions that have causes a child to suffer significant harm to their development or health. Significant harm means:

  • Overly punishing a child
  • Hitting or shaking a child
  • Constantly criticising, threatening or rejecting child
  • Sexually interfering or assaulting child
  • Neglecting a child; ignoring them, not providing adequate food or shelter

Stats in England and Wales:

  • 9% of adults experienced psychological abuse during childhood.
  • 7% suffered physical abuse in childhood
  • 7% suffered sexual assault in childhood
  • 8% witnessed domestic violence or abuse in the home during childhood

Source: ONS Crime Survey for England & Wales, March 2016.

Read more at National Association for People Abused in Childhood; www.napac.org.uk

Consequences of abuse

Abuse or neglect of any form can affect all domains of individual development. Emotional, behaviour, psychological, social and physical, all of which are interrelated. Adverse consequences and effects can take place after abuse in adult life.  The effects can be buried and can then hit us at any time during our adult lives. Common mental health issues that arise in victims of child abuse are PTSD, depression, drug or alcohol dependency, self-harm, relationship and anger management problems, and eating disorders, amongst others.

Although an intimidating process, it is imperative you seek legal advice if you have been abused as a child. There are support systems and procedures in place that can help. Graham Roberts could help you claim compensation from those responsible, whether that be an individual person or an organisation. 

Claiming compensation for abuse suffered not only empowers you as a victim, but provides a platform for healing. Bringing a claim also prevents other potential victims from being abused. Your action could encourage other victims of abuse to come forward. Winning financial compensation allows you to seek out much needed and deserved professional medical treatment.

We do not charge for initial inquiries or consultations- we can assist and alleviate any concerns you may have. 

If you have been affected by any of the above information discussed, or wish to seek clarity; contact Graham Roberts on 0113 284 5141 or alternatively email Graham.Roberts@isonharrison.co.uk. Before we give advice we make sure we listen carefully and understand your situation. 

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