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What do I need to consider if I am making a compensation claim for rape/sexual assault?

It is often helpful to understand the definition of “rape” as defined by the Ministry of Justice as being “The penetration, no matter how slight, of the vagina or anus with any body part or object, or oral penetration by a sex organ of another person, without the consent of the victim.”

Many victims we see do not believe they have been the victim of rape, as there was no penile to vaginal/anal penetration. Any act of penetration without consent will be awarded compensation under the CICA scheme. Sexual assaults where there hasn’t been any penetration may still qualify.

In order to claim compensation for your injury – you must first have reported the matter to the police. For the best chances of success for compensation, this should be reported to the police as soon as reasonably practicable and a claim made within 2 years of the matter being reported – There are of course exceptions to this rule.

Call 0113 320 5000 to discuss making a CICA claim

Is there a timescale for claiming compensation for rape?

It is always easier to claim within the 2 year CICA time limit for compensation claims, but there are instances when this time limit can be waived. If you are nearing the 2-year anniversary of the assault, do speak to a trained professional. Our team can be contacted on 0113 320 5000, or email cica@winstonsolicitors.co.uk.

If you are reading this and you are over the 2-year time limit, it is still worth contacting our specialists, as there are specific reasons that the CICA will accept in waiving the time limit for seeking compensation. The rules are complex, so it is best to obtain legal advice.

How long will my claim take?

Applications for compensation arising from Rape and sexual assault often be dealt with quickly, once the CICA have confirmed you are eligible. They do this by obtaining the police report, which is why this should always be reported if you are seeking compensation.

Our knowledge and vast experience of the CICA scheme allows us insight in to criteria the CICA use to check your eligibility and therefore our experts will be able to give you an indication as to how long your claim is likely to take.  Some applications can be finalised within as little as 4 weeks from submission, where there are no, or minimal psychological ramifications of the assault.

Of course, for various reasons, claims can and do take much longer, but usually rape and sexual assault cases are dealt with surprisingly quickly by the CICA.

I’d like to make a claim, but my support worker/police recommend I don’t claim until after the Court hearing.

These people are genuinely trying to help you and do have your best interests at heart when they say this, but unfortunately, they do not have the required knowledge or understand the complex rules of the CICA scheme to correctly advise you on this. In most cases, the CICA will not accept a late application because you were waiting for the outcome of a Court Hearing. We have listened to so many victims of crime say this, and we have to tell them that is not an acceptable reason for the CICA to waive their 2-year time limit. If you are unsure whether to take the advice you have been given, please contact our experts and they will advise you whether there are likely to be difficulties faced if you hold off applying for compensation.

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Experience tells us that it is beneficial to the overall success of your claim, to instruct a solicitor at the very start. The CICA do not offer a solicitor to you and you are able to apply directly; however, without extensive knowledge of the scheme we see too often that applicants who have applied directly, face trouble and stumbling blocks along the way. By instructing Winston Solicitors you are receiving specialist advice from our Criminal Injury Lawyers, representation throughout your claim, including at Review and Appeal stage if required. We will ensure that you achieve the maximum award for your injuries, including loss of earnings and special expenses where applicable.

Absolutely not. We do not share your information with anyone else without your prior consent. As your compensation is paid by government funds, there is no reason why the assailant would be aware of your claim for compensation.

No, you don't. The CICA expect an application to be made as soon as reasonably possible. The burden of proof for the CICA is lesser than what is needed in court; therefore, providing the police have agreed to investigate your allegations; this should be sufficient to proceed with an application. The CICA apply a limitation of 2 years* from the date of reporting to make a claim for compensation; therefore, waiting for the outcome of a court hearing could sometimes jeopardise your position.

Yes. As long as the historical abuse has been reported to the police. We recognise that all acts of abuse affect individuals differently and therefore each person’s story is different. We are happy to speak with you to advise you personally on whether your claim will be successful. Please call our specialist Criminal Injury Lawyers on 0113 320 5000 and they will be able to advise you.

Yes. Each case will be assessed on its own merits so it will certainly depend on why a claim is being sought now; however, we have successfully represented thousands of clients who have claimed compensation as an adult. Please talk to our specialist Criminal Injury Lawyers on 0113 320 5000 and they will be able to advise you further.

It may be possible. It will depend on your individual circumstances, however just because the assailant is deceased does not mean you will not be eligible for compensation. Call our specialist Criminal Injury Lawyers on 0113 320 5000 and they will be able to advise you.

You may be able to. The burden of proof required by police and the Crown Prosecution Service is that they must show “beyond all reasonable doubt” that the assailant is guilty – sometimes this will lead the CPS being unable to charge if there are some discrepancies or a lack of evidence. The burden of proof the CICA require is much less and it is accepted “on balance of probability” that the crime took place, then you should be able to claim compensation.

Yes. So long as you have required medical treatment for the same. The CICA would require you to have a diagnosis from a psychiatrist or clinical psychologist; if you don't have this yet but are receiving counselling or therapy, please call our specialist Criminal Injury Lawyers on 0113 320 5000 who will be able to advise you further. You can also use our Criminal Injuries Compensation Calculator to see how much your claim may be worth.

This will depend on the circumstances of your injury; however, as a general rule; you have 2 years from the date of the incident to submit an application*. If you are under the age of 18 (or were under the age of 18) when the matter was reported to the police, then you have 2 years from the date of your 18th Birthday. If the criminal injury occurred whilst you were under the age of 18, but the matter was reported to the police as an adult, you have two years from the date the matter was reported to the police.

*There are exceptional circumstances where these time limits can be waived.

When asked by the police if you wish to press charges against your assailant, you must agree to do so to be able to claim compensation for your injuries. The CICA expect all applicants to act as far as reasonably practicable in bringing their assailant to justice, and therefore any reluctance to assist the police in securing a prosecution, may see your claim rejected by the CICA.

Each case is assessed on its own merits and the length of your claim will depend on a number of factors; including, but not limited to: whether the police are able to release your report immediately, whether there is ongoing medical treatment and your overall cooperation with the process. In some cases, the CICA can reach a decision within 12 weeks of an application being submitted although on average, the majority of cases take between 12 and 18 months.