Child Abuse Solicitors

Child abuse of any type has profound effects on all aspects of your adult life, both physically and emotionally.

If you were abused as a child, there are procedures and support systems available to you.

There are invaluable facilities one can obtain through the NHS and Social Services however such facilities are very much oversubscribed and often mean a long period on a waiting list before treatment, support and facilities can be accessed.

We have found that for the victims of abuse to ever be able to effectively be able to deal with the torture of what they have been physically and emotionally since their abuse it is vital that they receive the treatment, support and facilities that are available out there.

Claiming compensation for the abuse you have suffered not only empowers you as a victim, but provides a platform for healing. It means enabling you to claim for the funds allowing you to:

  • Obtain financial compensation in relation to the abuse and mental health conditions suffered as a result of that abuse;
  • Access to doctors, specialist psychotherapists, psychiatrists and psychologists beyond limited NHS resources;
  • Access to specialist emotional and outreach support, as well as medical support;
  • Obtain compensation for your loss of opportunity of potential earnings due to any mental health condition suffered as a result of the abuse.

Bringing the claim can also act as a perpetuator to justice, preventing other potential victims from being abused. Your action could encourage other victims of abuse to come forward.

Abuse can vary from sexual, physical, and psychological, to neglect:

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

You can claim against individuals or organisations in such cases. For instance, individuals can be family members, relatives, foster parents or family friends. Organisations can include hospitals, community groups, schools,  local authorities or religious organisations.

Many victims take years to fully understand and acknowledge the events which took place, and do not come forward until years after the abuse has taken place. Even if abuse happened years ago, you will still be able to claim compensation.

Usually, there are time limits to such claims for compensation. However in child abuse cases, it is recognised that many factors prevent individuals from coming forward for years. Child abuse claimants are usually given greater leniency with the time limits to bring claims forward.

The nature of such claims needs expertise knowledge, sensitivity and confidentiality. Whatever the circumstances may be, it is advised that you seek legal advice, to learn of the next best steps. It is very difficult to make the first point of contact. But doing so may enable you to gain answers and the tools to move forward with life without the constant daily battle of wading through the past.

Remember everything is confidential and you can bring your claim through the court with your name anonymised. No one else ever has to know unless you want this as part of the healing process.

All cases are dealt with on a No Win No Fee basis, so it costs you nothing to explore seeking justice for what you have endured and then suffered in the years following.

Contact us on 0113 284 5000 or alternatively email for a free confidential consultation.

Child Abuse FAQs

Abuse can range in many forms; from physical, sexual, to neglectful abuse. Sex abuse includes rape, harassment, and subjecting to pornographic material. Abuse can be psychological, physical, and financial domestic abuse.

There are rules requiring those acting in a professional or occupational capacity to report abuse to the correct authorities. Many reports can be ignored, and results in victims coming forward many years after the abuse has taken place. Some choose to report abuse to police, others do not. However to make a claim for compensation you would be expected to have reported the abuse to the police and sought a prosecution of the offender. It does not matter whether the prosecution is successful or not as the standard of proof in a civil court is on the balance of probabilities and not beyond a reasonable doubt.

This can be common when dealing with such cases; this can be dealt with and overcome by skilled solicitors specialising in child abuse claims. Many victims think they cannot claim because there are no witnesses; however this is not the case. Supporting evidence such as reports to the police near the time of the abuse strengthens the case.

This will likely make the claim more difficult to pursue, but ultimately does not stop a claim from being successful.

This will likely make the claim more difficult to pursue, but ultimately does not stop a claim from being successful.

Yes, the criminal justice and civil justice systems are separate. The civil justice system enables survivors to claim compensation.

Often victims of abuse claim compensation for the impact on their mental health and wellbeing, and financial losses suffered due to the abuse. Included in such financial loss will be things such as the costs of psychiatric or psychological treatment, loss of opportunity, earnings capacity or earnings, the costs of care and support, wasted expenditure on alcohol (when one becomes alcoholic as result of the abuse and subsequent psychological/psychiatric damage). Payment of compensation is also seen as acknowledgement of responsibility- which sometimes is of most benefit to the victim of abuse.

This is determined by the nature of the claim, the severity of the injuries and the amount is determined by the consequences over a person’s life, the cost of medical treatment and any financial losses.

Abuse cases are often treated in the same way as a personal injury claim, and usually have a three year limit (or three years from the victim’s 18th birthday if the abuse took place during the victims childhood) within which claims should be brought. Many claims do not stick to these rules; there is discretion to allow claims brought outside of the time limit. Courts understand the suffering and difficulty victims endure coming forward. It is possible to bring successful claims many years long after abuse has occurred.

There is no answer to this; each case is different and can vary in length. The amount of time taken on cases depend upon many factors; whether police have conducted investigations, whether there has been a prosecution in criminal courts, and whether the abuser admits the abuse. All of the above can lengthen the time taken on cases.

There are two methods by which a victim of abuse can bring a claim for compensation

a. Through the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA). If the person responsible for the abuse has no assets there is no point in bringing a claim for compensation against them. In such a case a CICA claim can be brought to recover compensation. The CICA does not pay legal costs therefore a No win no fee type of agreement called a Contingency Fee Agreement must be entered into. This will mean the Claimant will have to pay a proportion of their damages to meet legal costs.

b. If the Claimant is against a body such as Local Authority, as vicariously liable for the actions of the abuser, the claimant can bring the case under the No Win No Fee agreement called a Conditional Fee Agreement, or may be entitled to claim for their legal fees through Legal Aid. In both scenarios there are circumstances in which an amount can be deducted from damages recovered depending on the agreement made between the Claimant and their legal representatives.

Local GP’s can provide the best guidance on where to seek additional treatment. There are many referrals and options to find further support. Various organisations offer programmes, counselling and support to survivors of all ages.

Although cases are easier when there is a criminal prosecution, it is still possible to claim without. Any supporting evidence, such as reports to school, family and friends is useful

The majority of cases, there are settled through negotiation rather than at court. If court proceedings become necessary, you can apply for anonymity, to protect your identity.