Compensation for historic sexual abuse

Can I claim compensation for historic sexual abuse?

The CICA will pay compensation for historical sexual abuse, providing all their eligibility rules are met.

What are the specific CICA rules for historic claims?

The abuse must be reported to the police. If it was reported when you were a child, you will need to show you had good reason for not applying within the normal 'CICA 2 year rule'. They do not for instance accept that you simply did not know about the scheme. Whereas historic claims that are reported to the police many years after the abuse and within the last 2 years do comply with this eligibility rule. As the rules are complex, advice from a CICA solicitor is recommended.

How does the 'same roof rule' affect my claim?

You may have heard recently that a victim of abuse won a landmark case at the Court of Appeal. The Court decided that the 'CICA's same roof rule' of refusing abuse claims when the abuse happened before 1979 and the victim and abuser lived in the same household was unfair. As this decision was made on 25th July 2018, the CICA has not yet indicated how they will handle such claims. We are currently submitting them and are monitoring the situation.

It's so long ago I do not have the Police Crime Number

Unless the CICA is provided with a Police Crime Number the CICA will not accept your claim. If you still live in the area you can usually call 101 and that will put your through to a local police centre that can help you with tracking down the PCN. If you no longer live in the area, a call to the main police station in that county will usually help. If you are struggling a CICA Solicitor may be able to do this investigation for you, as they can act on your behalf.

How long do historic claims take?

It all depends on the police evidence and whether the CICA consider that you are an eligible victim of crime. If the police evidence is available, and your claim is being dealt with on a Police Evidence only basis, these claims are surprisingly quick. Currently we are managing to obtain appropriate awards for our clients in about 3 months. Where the police evidence is hard to track down, or where medical evidence is required because the claim is for clinically diagnosed permanent mental injury the timescale is about a year to 18 months. A CICA Solicitor will advise on the best course of action for your particular case.

How much compensation could I receive from the CICA?

Sexual abuse compensation ranges from £1,000 to £44,000. We find historic claims tend to be between £6,600 to £22,000, as the victim is often subjected to repeated abuse for months if not years. £6,600 is awarded for sexual abuse that involves repeated non penetrative abuse for less than 3 years. £22,000 is awarded for penetrative abuse lasting more than 3 years. There are a number of different awards in this range which your adviser can explain. The highest awards between £22,000 and £44,000 are paid to victims suffering serious internal injury and or mental injury clinically diagnosed by a clinical psychologist or psychiatrist. The CICA do not consider mental injury diagnosed by a counsellor or a therapist.

I'm nervous about applying for compensation can you allay my concerns?

Many victims are rightly nervous about seeking compensation. They may have family concerns, as the family does not want to speak or be reminded of this dark episode in their past. They may feel worried about speaking to the police, or worried this will bring back all those memories they have tried to forget for years. Our CICA Solicitor Jonathan Winston has been advising victims since 1995. Having listened for years to victims concerns, he can share with you their experiences and help guide you through this difficult time.

Will it cost me to use a solicitor?

There is no cost to speak to our CICA Solicitor. This free initial chat will help you decide if you are eligible to claim. If you do wish to proceed, we will offer you a 'no win no fee' agreement. This means you have no legal costs unless you are awarded compensation. Your legal costs on a successful claim are 25% which means you keep 75%.

For an initial free assessment of your case, please call our CICA Solicitor, Jonathan Winston on 0113 320 5000 or email cica@winstonsolicitors.co.uk

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