View Sidebar
Sexual Abuse Compensation Claims Guide – How to apply for victims of sexual abuse compensation?

Sexual Abuse Compensation Claims Guide – How to apply for victims of sexual abuse compensation?

August 22, 2019 12:49 am0 comments
Criminal Injuries CICA Free Advice On Payouts Sexual Abuse Criminal Injuries CICA Free Advice On Payouts

Every year there are thousands of rape cases that are reported throughout the UK. Some are rape related being cases of non-consensual sex, but a very large number of rapes go unreported with many victims believing they are to blame whereas others just do not want to be put through the ordeal of having to relate their story to the Police and to doctors. Being a victim of rape or sexual abuse can leave you marked both physically and psychologically for years to come.

If you were the victim of sexual abuse and would like to more information on the type of support that is out there for you and whether you could be entitled to receive sexual abuse compensation for having been put through this type of violent ordeal, please read on.

What Authority Deals With Criminal Compensation for Sexual Abuse Victims in the UK?

The authority that deals with all criminal compensation which includes for those people who are the victims of sexual abuse, is the CICA – Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority. It would be fair to say that the approach to people who have been subjected to any sort of non-consensual sex act, is a sympathetic one and that the amounts that are awarded by the CICA tend to be on the generous side as compared to compensation awarded for other types of crime.

People Most at Risk of Sexual Abuse

All too often some form of sexual abuse and/or violence occurs in a home environment. The Police now treat domestic violence seriously when a partner turns on someone and subjects them to sexual abuse or physical harm. If you are subjected to any sort of sexual abuse in the home, you should report it to the authorities even though it may seem to be an impossible thing to do. Reporting sexual abuse takes courage but is must also be recognised as being an inevitability.

Who Could Qualify for Sexual Abuse Compensation?

Anyone who has been the victim of sexual assault or child sexual abuse, has the right to seek compensation which can be done through the government funded scheme which is known as the CICA – Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority. However, there are specific criteria that must be met for you to qualify which is as follows:

  • The sexual abuse or child sexual abuse must have been reported to the Police
  • You would need to give the Police your full cooperation so they can investigate your sexual abuse case thoroughly
  • Your claim must be submitted within 2 years of having reported the sexual abuse to the Police – there are exceptions to the 2 year time limit if a victim suffers from mental health issues or there is an exceptional reason for not having claimed within the statutory 2 year time limit

How to Report Sexual Assault, Rape or Sexual Abuse

Should you have been or are a victim of sexual abuse, sexual assault or rape, there are organisations other than the Police that are there to offer you help and support when you need it the most. If you were the victim of sexual abuse you should do the following as soon as you are able to:

  • Call the Police by dialling 999

  Should your assault have recently occurred, you should do the following:

  • Make sure you keep all the clothes you were wearing at the time of the sexual assault. You should not wash them even if there is a strong urge to do so because your clothes may be needed as evidence by the Police for them to investigate the assault against you
  • You should not take a bath or have a shower, even if you feel you must because there could be evidence that the Police may be able to use against your assailant

If the sexual abuse, assault or rape occurred when you were under the age of 17, your case would be dealt with by the Child Protection Unit of the Police.

What if I Do Not Want to Report the Sexual Abuse to the Police?

If you do not want to report the fact that you were the victim of sexual abuse and you live in England or Wales, there are some Sexual Assault Referral Centres (SARCs) in certain areas which can be found using the NHS Choices tool. You would be provided with medical support while at the same time evidence of the sexual abuse can be collected so that it can be used at a later date.

Other sexual abuse support organisations that you can contact include the following:

  • Rape Crisis – an support organisation that helps women who have been victims of sexual abuse
  • Victim Support – provides essential information to women who have been subjected to sexual abuse
  • Victim Support – provides essential information to men who have been victims of sexual abuse

It is worth noting that none of the organisations listed above would report your sexual assault to the Police unless you specifically ask them to do so.

If you live in Scotland, you can contact the following sexual abuse support organisations:


What Happens After I Report a Case of Sexual Abuse?

When you report sexual abuse to the Police or the staff at SARC, they will arrange the following for you:

  • That you undergo a medical examination and be treated for any injuries you may have suffered as a consequence of being the victim of sexual abuse
  • Offer you advice and support
  • Explain to you what is going to happen next

When reporting sexual abuse to the Police, there are specialist teams who will deal with your case and who are specifically trained to do so. You can also request that you talk to an Police officer who is the same sex as you are if it makes you more comfortable.

What is the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority and How Can They Help?

The Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA) is a scheme run by the government that provides financial compensation to victims who are subjected to any sort of violent crime in the UK which includes sexual abuse, sexual assault or rape. The Fund is managed by the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority otherwise referred to as the CICA. The authority was first introduced in the UK in the sixties. It was at this time that the scheme for victims of violent crime was established. Every year, anything up to 35,000 applications are dealt with and awards to victims of violent crime add up to around £150 million annually.

Criminal Injuries CICA Free Advice On Payouts Sexual Abuse Criminal Injuries CICA Free Advice On Payouts

What About Confidentiality and Privacy?

When you make a sexual abuse claim through the CICA, all applications are treated with the utmost privacy and confidentiality. The only authority that CICA would share any of the details pertaining to your sexual abuse, would be the Police because the evidence they provide form an essential part of the crime committed against you. The other person who would be told would be your own GP or the hospital doctor who treated you and who would provide a medical report should this be required which is not always the case.

The offender would not be told anything about your claim or the fact that you have made a claim for compensation from the CICA. An offender would never be involved in any part of the process. However, there is nothing to stop you if you choose to pursue a case against your assailant through a civil action.

Would a Personal Injury Solicitor Manage My Sexual Abuse Claim?

Although it is not essential to have a personal injury solicitor manage your sexual abuse claim, it is far better to seek legal advice before proceeding with a claim. Strict criteria must be met for your claim to be acceptable and because sexual abuse claims tend to be complex, a solicitor who boasts years of experience in managing this type of claim through the CICA is able to avoid the many legal pitfalls that can complicate your case.

Would My Sexual Abuse Claim Through CICA Be Accepted?

For a sexual abuse claim to be accepted by the CICA would depend on whether a case meets the necessary criteria and that there is enough proof to determine that the “balance of probability” establishes that a crime occurred against you. Should your case have been heard by a judge in court, this is typically an indicator that probability has been determined. However, you may also receive sexual abuse compensation even if your case did not go to court. The burden lies on whether there is sufficient evidence to prove your case.

Why Are Sexual Abuse Claims Refused By CICA?

The rules that apply to the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority are extremely strict and for a case to be accepted, it must meet the necessary criteria which all claims do not. The reasons why your claim for sexual abuse compensation through CICA may be refused are detailed below:

  • There a unspent criminal convictions which are often referred to as being “live”
  • The person who applies did not cooperate fully with the Police whether at the beginning of the investigation or as investigations progressed
  • A claim was not submitted within the strict deadlines for claiming compensation
  • A lack of cooperation on the part of the applicant with an example being that necessary evidence was not provided to the CICA

It is worth noting that making a “duplicate” claim is forbidden. In short, you are only allowed to make one claim per criminal case.

What Would Happen When I Report a Sexual Abuse Crime to the Police?

Reporting a sexual abuse crime to the Police can in itself be a traumatic experience for many victims. There is a fear about having to go to court, naming an abuser, telling the story of the abuse and having to face the truth can be extremely overwhelming. With this in mind, today the Police are far better equipped to handle this type of sensitive investigation and with all the modern techniques at their disposal, sexual crimes have been made a lot easier to investigate than ever before.

When the Police investigate cases of sexual abuse, they need to interview all parties involved which includes witnesses. As a victim of sexual abuse, your witness statement would typically be carried out in a video after an initial report or disclosure of the crime has been made to the Police.

Your assailant/offender could also be interviewed on video, under caution. Other evidence the Police would require would include the following:

  • Medical reports/records
  • Media evidence – an example being phone based evidence relating to the crime committed
  • Witnesses who have been interviewed

In due course, a sexual abuse case would be referred to the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) is the crime was committed in England or Wales. Should the crime have taken place in Scotland, the case would be referred to the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service (COPFS) for a decision to be made as to whether a case would go to trial. If this is the case, a trial date would be set or in some cases a window would be set. This process can take anything up to 1 to 2 years, bearing in mind that the more complex sexual abuses cases that involve multiple victims can take longer.

Do I Have to Go to Court if I Make a Sexual Abuse Claim?

To make a sexual abuse claim, you would not have to attend court or indeed, have a case succeed through the courts for you to receive sexual abuse compensation. However, your case must meet the “eligibility” test which is to establish the following:

  • That the “balance of probability” a criminal act against you was committed

This “balance of probability” must be met for your sexual abuse claim to be accepted by the CICA and for you to be awarded compensation through the scheme.

How Long Does it Take to Receive Compensation Through the CICA Scheme?

The majority of claims are settled within a window of 12 to 18 months. With this said, if you choose to make your sexual abuse claim through the CICA, you would be offered two options on how your claim may be assessed which would affect the length of time it would take for a settlement to be reached. The two choices are as follows:

  • Whether you would like to settle your sexual abuse case by using Police evidence only
  • Whether you would like to settle your case using both Police evidence and medical evidence

If you do not suffer from any serious mental health complication, it would probably more advantageous for you to choose to settle using “Police only evidence” which means that a settlement could be reached within a timeframe of 6 months. However, this option should only be chosen if you decide not to claim for any medical related issues and because you do not have any loss of earnings to factor into your sexual abuse claim. It is also worth noting that should you take option one, you could be awarded a lower amount in the way of sexual abuse compensation than you may be entitled to receive.

Is There a Time Limit to Making a Sexual Abuse Claim?

There is a strict 2 year time limit associated with making a sexual abuse claim for compensation to the CICA. This can be within 2 years of the first time sexual abuse was reported to the Police. Because it takes time for the Police to gather the necessary evidence when making a sexual abuse claim through the CICA, the 2 year time limit is often criticised for being far too short. With this said, the statutory 2 year rule may be extended should there be an ongoing trial or if there are exceptional circumstances associated with a sexual abuse claim which includes when mental health issues may be involved.

What Happens If the 2 Year Deadline for Filing a Sexual Abuse Claim is Missed?

As previously mentioned, in exceptional circumstances the 2 year deadline for making a sexual abuse claim to the CICA may be extended and there are several reasons why this may be missed which includes the following:

  • Mental health issues
  • Other exceptional circumstances

How Much Sexual Abuse Compensation Could I Be Awarded Through the CICA Scheme?

The level of sexual abuse compensation you may receive through the CICA scheme would depend on the severity of the abuse you were subjected to, how long the abuse lasted and whether as a consequence you now suffer from mental health issues. With this said, examples of the amounts that may be awarded are detailed below:

  • If you suffered any sort of molestation above your clothing, you could be awarded anything from £1,500 to £2,000
  • If you were subjected to a period of penetrative (penile) assaults, the sum you may be awarded £16,500 (up to three years duration)
  • Should you suffer from mental health issues as a result of having been the victim of sexual abuse and your condition is diagnosed by a clinical psychologist or psychiatrist, you may be awarded £22,000

The amounts of compensation provided above are given as guidelines only bearing in mind that every sexual abuse claim is different and as such the amount of compensation you may receive through the CICA scheme could be more or less that indicated.

It is also worth noting that under the CICA scheme you can also claim for any loss of earnings you incurred because you were the victim of sexual abuse. However, there are specific constraining criteria which are as follows:

  • You are unable or have no capacity to work
  • You would need to prove that you were in paid employment prior to being sexually abused and because you were a victim, you can no longer carry out your job
  • Only long-term absence from work would be considered by the CICA, the first 28 days of not being able to carry out your job would not be taken into account
  • Any loss of earnings claimed would be capped at the level of Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) that is valid when a settlement is reached

It is also worth noting that you would need to provide proof either from HMRC or your employer proving any loss of earnings that you claim through the CICA compensation scheme.


Criminal Injuries CICA Free Advice On Payouts Sexual Abuse Criminal Injuries CICA Free Advice On Payouts