What is physical abuse?
Physical abuse is a term usually used to refer to assaults of a physical nature committed upon one person by another. It is where one person’s behaviour or actions causes physical harm to another. It may involve the use of a weapon or object. Examples of physical abuse are:
- Excessive punishments
There may be a single incident of assault or a pattern of assaults. Abuse can happen to people of all ages, both male and female.
What is excessive punishment?
Our solicitors have dealt with many cases where compensation has been recovered for excessive punishments. We have been successful in recovering damages where a teacher used a cane or slipper to administer physical beatings. We have also acted for individuals who have been in Detention Centres and Youth Custody and have been subject to cruel and humiliating treatment and excessive physical exercise.
In state run schools and partially government funded private schools in England and Wales corporal punishment was banned in 1986. In wholly private schools the ban did not take effect until 1998. Even when corporal punishment was allowed, it could still amount to physical assault if the punishment was in excess of what was considered acceptable at the time.
Physical abuse in Detention Centres and Youth Custody
Whilst physical abuse can sometimes be considered less serious than sexual abuse, the effects can be just as devastating.
The occurrence of physical abuse on a large scale in Detention Centres and Youth Custody has been recognised by the police and official bodies. Detention Centres operated in England and Wales for 35 years between 1952 and 1988. With 20 Centres in operation across the UK, they housed thousands of young, mainly male, offenders. It is not surprising that they have been described as horrifically violent places.
Intended to take a harsher approach to repeat offenders by the ‘short, sharp, shock’ treatment, many became places of physical abuse and torture.
Ex residents of Detention Centres including Kirk Levington, Medomsley DC, Whatton DC and Eastwood park have all reported a regime of harsh physical punishment, excessive exercise causing physical harm and indiscriminate violence.
There have been several large scale police investigations involving ex staff and as a result we have seen the development of compensation schemes for those who have been abused in such places.
Can I claim compensation for physical abuse?
If you have suffered physical abuse or assaults then you may be entitled to claim compensation through the civil courts or through one of the various compensation schemes. Frustratingly for us lawyers, the level of damages often awarded for physical abuse cases often seems very low, especially when the damage that can be caused can be long lasting and life changing. Our team can advise you as to the prospects of recovering compensation and the likely outcome. We also have an institutional abuse and assault compensation claims calculator that will offer a guide as to what you could be entitled to claim.