The main purpose of bringing a civil claim for compensation for sexual abuse or physical abuse or assault is to recover damages, which is a sum of money intended to compensate you for the abuse itself, your pain and suffering and the effect it has had on your life. We have an online institutional abuse and assault compensation calculator that gives you an idea of what you could claim.
We appreciate that it can be very difficult for survivors of abuse to talk about their experiences and pursuing a claim can seem like a daunting and off-putting process. At the same time, pursuing a claim can give you back the power that you feel may have been taken away and it can actually be helpful to your recovery. In addition to monetary compensation, there are other things that can be achieved by bringing a claim.
Monetary Compensation for abuse
In civil claims monetary compensation is split into two categories, general damages and special damages.
- General damages – this is a lump sum intended to compensate you not only for the abuse or assaults themselves but for the pain and suffering it has caused you. This means that the sum will reflect not only the severity of the abuse but also the effect it may have had on your life, your mental health and wellbeing.
- Special damages – these are specific financial losses that you may have incurred in the past or will incur in the future and can include:
- Loss of earnings
- Costs of counselling or therapy
- Cost of treatment for addictions
Access to therapy or treatment that might not otherwise be available
If you have suffered or are suffering from ongoing mental health or anxiety as a result of abuse you have suffered, we can seek to recover a sum of money to enable you to pay for treatment or counselling that you might otherwise not have been able to access or afford. Whilst there is lots of help available on the NHS, waiting lists can be long and it is unlikely that you will be able to choose where your treatment takes place or who you are treated by. Monetary compensation may enable you to have the treatment that is right for you sooner and will give you more choice.
We have dealt with cases where the opponent has agreed, as part of the settlement, to set aside an additional fund, to be used in the future to pay for private treatment.
Help to prevent abuse happening in the future
The process of bringing a claim and speaking out about what happened to you can have wider beneficial effects and can help prevent abuse happening to other people in the future. The more we hold individual and organisations accountable for abuse, the more we encourage others to speak out, report and take action.
Local authorities, private companies, religious organisations and other bodies who face these claims are more likely to take action to prevent similar abuse happening in the future.
Acknowledgement, Accountability and Apology
Many or our client’s find that the process of bringing a claim is also a way of achieving formal recognition of what happened to them. This is particularly important in cases where the abuser may never have faced criminal prosecution for some reason. It is also a way to hold the body or organisation responsible for the abuser accountable. It is not unusual for some organisations to offer apologies in cases where they have accepted responsibility.
Closure is something that many of our clients want to achieve and we are please to say that many of them do feel that this has been achieved through the civil claims process. Whilst no amount of money, will ever be able to reverse the past or change what happened, it can often provide a sense that you have done all you can and have achieved some sort of justice.