Statistics published by Rape Crisis show that around 97,000 women and men are raped in the UK every year with close to half a million adults suffering a sexual assault in any 12 month period. The physical and psychological damage and injuries you sustain have long lasting effects that can negatively impact the remainder of your life. If you were a rape victim and need help and advice on how to claim the compensation for the pain, suffering and psychological damage you have to cope with, you should seek legal advice from a solicitor who specialises in rape compensation claims.
What Are the Long Lasting Effects of A Rape Assault?
If you were a victim of rape, it is not only the physical injuries sustained that you find hard to cope with, but also the psychological damage you have to endure. Physical injuries of rape include the following:
- Fractured and broken bones
The psychological damages you may have to endure for the remainder of your life could include the following:
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Low self-esteem
According to the Office of National Statistics, the number of rape and sexual assault crimes increased by 37% during the year 2016 as compared to the previous year. Unfortunately, rape remains a real issue throughout the UK with victims not receiving the level of protection needed when reporting a rape incident to the authorities. With this said, if you have been a victim of rape, you should report your ordeal to the Police and you should not be afraid of seeking compensation which you can do through the Criminal Injuries Scheme 2012.
What is the Legal Definition of Rape?
The legal definition of rape is when a person performs “unlawful sexual intercourse” without the consent of their victim. This includes all sexual acts which are detailed below:
- Penetration using a sex organ, other body parts or objects in a person’s vagina, mouth or anus without the person’s (victim) consent
It is worth noting that there is a legal difference between “rape” and “sexual assault” which is explained as follows:
- Sexual assault is when a person touches you in an inappropriate sexual way or they force you to perform a non-penetrative sexual act and they do so against your will
- Rape is when penetration without your consent takes place
It is not just women who are the victims of rape, men and children also being rape victims who would be entitled to claim compensation for the pain, suffering and damages they had to endure at the hands of an assailant.
What Would My Rape Claim Include?
Filing a rape compensation claim through the Criminal Injuries Scheme 2012, means that you could be awarded an amount for all the physical and psychological injuries and damages you had to endure. You would also be entitled to claim the following through the scheme:
- Your financial losses which includes rehabilitation and medical expenses
- Any loss of income you incurred
- Loss of future earnings should you not be able to work again
- Loss of opportunities as a direct result of the incident you had to endure
How Do I Claim for Physical Injuries Caused by Rape?
It would be fair to say that victims have to endure violence when they are raped which in short means, sustaining physical injuries such as the following:
- Vaginal bleeding
- Anal bleeding
- Genital soreness/injuries
- Cuts/bruises around the pelvic area and other parts of the body
- Swelling around the genital area
- Choking and beating injuries
- Tears of the tissue between the vagina and anus (perineum)
- Sexually transmitted diseases
The physical injuries and damaged caused to rape victims may be immediately evident, or they could show up weeks later.
If someone forced themselves on you and performed penetrative sex which results in you suffering any sort of physical injury, you should report the incident to the Police and seek medical attention without delay. You could be entitled to file for damages and be awarded compensation for the injuries you had to endure as a direct result of being a rape victim. You rape claim would go through the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA) and the person who attacked you (or their employer) could be made to pay damages for your pain, suffering and other expenses you incurred.
Providing you are able to identify your attacker, you could claim damages from them providing their assets cover the amount of compensation you are claiming from them. Should your assailant be working for a company or organisation and they were carrying out their normal daily duties when the rape attack occurred, you may be entitled to claim damages from the company or organisation they work for.
The best course of action is to contact a solicitor who deals with rape victim claims. They would be able to identify who you should file a rape claim against which they would do by assessing all the facts pertaining to the case.
How Do I Claim for the Psychological Damage I Suffered Having Been Raped?
The emotional and psychological damage of being raped can be devastating and the long-term effects can remain with you for the rest of your life. The psychological damage you may suffer having been a victim of rape could include the following:
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) – which results in you suffering intense fear, a sense of helplessness, lack of trust, depression, irritability, mood swings, lack of concentration, bitterness and violent flashbacks
- Low self-esteem
- Eating disorders
- Sexual disorders
Some victims of rape can also be the victims of bullying and harassment following an assault. Many also find that they miss out on opportunities that arise and this includes the following:
- Social opportunities
- An ability to work
The negative emotional effects that you may have to suffer and endure can be debilitating, changing your outlook on life which is why seeking compensation for all the psychological damage you sustain having been a victim of rape, should never be overlooked.
How Can the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA) Help?
The Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA) was set up by the UK government with the end goal being to deal with cases of violent crimes, including rape compensation claims filed by victims of this type of assault. Every year, victims of violent crime are awarded compensation to the tune of £200+ million for the pain, suffering and damages they had to endure through no fault of their own but at the hands of a third party or parties.
It is worth noting that CICA also awards compensation to innocent witnesses and bystanders if they are psychologically affected by what they saw and this applies to any relatives of victims who died as a result of violent crime too.
What Does The Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority Scheme Cover?
There are specific things that are covered by the CICA when it comes to criminal injury claims which are detailed below:
- A victim’s loss of earnings
- The medical expenses they incurred
- Child/dependency payments
- Bereavement payments
- Other expenses incurred as a direct result of violent crime
If you were the victim of rape, you would still be entitled to receive compensation even if your assailant was not caught or placed in custody because the CICA takes the following criteria into account when reviewing rape claims:
- That the rape was reported to the police and other prosecuting authorities promptly
- That a victim of rape sought medical attention as soon as possible
- The extent and nature of rape injuries sustained
- The circumstances in which the rape occurred – whether the sexual act was consensual or not
- Witness statements
- Psychiatric reports
- A victims’ behaviour both before and after the incident
- Past criminal records
- Cooperation with the police, the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority, the criminal justice system and all other relevant authorities
Filing a rape compensation claim is often a stressful and complex legal process bearing in mind that necessary procedures are complicated more especially as the CICA procedure is strict and must be adhered to. As such, it is far better to seek legal advice as soon as possible which ensures all the necessary evidence and documentation pertaining to a rape case, is gathered in a timely manner.
What is the Time Limit for Making a CICA Rape Compensation Claim?
There is a strict 2 year time limit associated with rape compensation claims filed through the CICA. The 2 year limit starts from the date of a rape incident or date the incident was reported to the police. Failing to start a claim early enough could mean you would be unable to seek the compensation you rightly deserve for all the pain, suffering and expenses you incurred as result of being a rape victim.
What Do I Need to File a Rape Compensation Claim?
If you were the victim of rape, it is understandable that you may not want to tell anyone about the fact you were assaulted in such a violent way. However, you must seek medical attention as soon as possible and report the rape assault to the police in order to file a claim through the CICA. Other steps you should take are detailed below:
- Gather as much evidence as possible – keep your clothes on, do not take a shower straight after the assault. You should wait until you have reported the incident and sought medical attention before doing this
- Write down as many details of the rape assault as you can remember and a description of your assailant
- If you were raped in commercial premises (hotel, school or other business premises), you should report the incident to the management and do so formally
- Keep all the receipts you incurred as proof of your out of pocket expenses which you had to pay out as a direct result of being raped
- Seek legal advice as soon as possible because you do not want to run out of time when filing a rape compensation through the CICA
Working with a No Win No Fee Solicitor on Your Compensation Claim
If you were the victim of rape and are unsure of how best to proceed, the best course of action is to seek legal advice from a solicitor who specialises in rape compensation claims. Having the support of a solicitor, helps you cope with what can only be described as a traumatic and painful experience. A solicitor would assess your case before offering to work with you on a No Win No Fee basis taking the extra burden of finding the money to pay for legal representation when you need it the most.
You would be asked to sign a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA) which sets out the “terms and conditions” of the contract you enter into with the solicitor. It also sets out the percentage you agreed to pay the solicitor but only if your rape compensation claim is successful and the amount you would pay is deducted from the amount you are awarded. Should you lose your claim, there would be nothing to pay for the legal representation you received in filing a rape compensation claim.
The number of sexual abuse and assault cases throughout the UK are troubling whether it involves adults, minors or teenagers with both female or male victims being subjected to often violent sexual abuse. If you were a victim, you could be entitled to file a sexual abuse claim and receive the level of compensation you rightly deserve for the pain and suffering you had to endure at the hands of your assailant.
What is the Legal Definition of Sexual Abuse?
The definition of sexual abuse as compared to sexual assault is as follows:
- Sexual abuse is when a person makes “undesired sexual advances” towards another person
- Sexual assault is when a person makes “undesired sexual advances” towards another person and force is involved in the incident
When it comes to cases of sexual abuse, it can fall into 2 categories which are detailed below:
- Contact abuse – sexually touching you in an inappropriate way on some part of your body. Rape or penetration which includes inserting foreign objects into your mouth, vagina or anus. Forcing you to engage in a sexual act. Making you remove your clothes
- Non-contact abuse – exploitation or grooming another person which includes encouraging you to watch or listen to sexual activities. Forcing you to watch pornography
Anyone one, both female and male, adult or minor can be a victim of sexual abuse and it can involve both physical and psychological injury and damage.
Sexual Abuse Statistics
The cases of sexual abuse is common throughout the UK, and more especially when children and minors are involved. Statistics show the following:
- 1 in 20 children have been reported as being sexual assault victims
- About 470,000 adults experience some form of sexual abuse annually
- Over 400,000 women are victims of sexual abuse
- Over 70,000 men experience sexual abuse
- About 90% of sexual abuse victims know their assailant
The statistics above were taken from a Crime Survey carried out in England and Wales.
How to Claim Compensation for Physical Injuries Sustained Through Sexual Abuse
It goes without saying that suffering any sort of physical injury through sexual abuse can be devastating no matter when, where or for how long the abuse took place. If you are a victim of sexual abuse, you could be entitled to claim compensation for your injuries. Should the abuse have taken place at work, your employer or the business owner could be held responsible for the injuries you sustained through sexual abuse.
The Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 states that all employers must abide by specific standards as well as regulations that are in place which are detailed below:
- That all employees are kept safe from harm in the workplace
- To protect all persons other than employees against risks to their health and safety
Under UK law, all employers are responsible for keeping a working environment a safe place for you to work in. Should your employer fail in their duty to keep you safe from harm, they could be in breach of the law and you could claim compensation against them should you suffer any sort of injury or harm which includes having been the victim of sexual abuse in the workplace.
How to Claim Compensation for Psychological Damage Caused by Sexual Abuse
It would be fair to say that proving emotional and psychological damage due to sexual abuse can prove challenging because it is hard to measure emotional stress and the damage you sustained. With this said, the best course of action to take is to contact a solicitor who specialises in sexual abuse claims. They would be in the best position when it comes to offering essential advice and what steps are needed to prove the psychological damage you have to cope with because of the sexual abuse you had to endure.
With this said, under the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA) rules, whether your assailant has been arrested or held in custody, does not matter because all that you need to prove is that the person was your assailant. However, like most legal processes, filing a sexual abuse claim can be complex which is why it is best to seek legal advice as soon as possible so you are given the right guidance from the outset.
How Can The Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA) Help With a Sexual Abuse Claim?
The UK government set up the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA) as a way of providing victims the compensation they rightly deserve having been subjected to violent acts at the hands of a third party or parties which includes sexual abuse. If you were the victim of sexual abuse, you could be entitled to file claim for compensation through the CICA. However, there are specific steps that must be taken in order to do so which are detailed below:
- Report the incident to the police and keep the police reference number which you will need when filing a CICA sexual abuse claim
- Get a medical report detailing any injuries you sustained
- Seek legal advice from a solicitor who specialises in sexual abuse claims filed through the CICA
The above steps are necessary when filing a sexual abuse claim with the CICA
What is the Time Limit When Filing a Sexual Abuse Claim With the CICA?
There is a strict 2 year time limit to filing a sexual abuse claim through the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority which is detailed below:
- 2 years from the date of the sexual abuse incident or 2 years from the time the incident was reported to the police
With this said, because this type of criminal offensive is deemed so sensitive, there are exceptions to this rule depending on the circumstances surrounding the sexual abuse you had to endure. As such, a time limit could be as long as between 10 and 20 years.
What To Do When Filing a Sexual Abuse Claim?
If you were a sexual assault victim, there is a procedure to follow should you want to file for compensation through the CICA scheme which is detailed below:
- Seek medical attention as soon as possible so you have a doctor’s record of the injuries you sustained
- Collect as much evidence as possible which includes photos of where the sexual abuse took place, your injuries and photos of your assailant if possible.
- Get witness statement and their contact details
- Report the incident to the police
- Report the incident to the owner of a business/company
- Document all your out of pocket expenses which you incur as a direct result of the sexual abuse assault
All of the above will prove and strengthen your sexual abuse claim.
How is the Severity of Physical and Psychological Damage Following Sexual Abuse Assessed?
In order to assess the severity of the physical injuries and psychological damage you suffered from being a sexual abuse victim, it is necessary to have a detailed medical report which would form the basis of your claim and the compensation you may be awarded. It is best to arrange an appointment with a therapist who would be able to establish the extent of emotional and psychological damage you are suffering as a direct result of suffering sexual abuse at the hands of someone. Determining just how much you may be awarded for psychological damage is more challenging than it is when calculating the level of compensation you may be awarded for the physical injuries you sustained.
Working with a solicitor who specialises in sexual abuse claims has many advantages, one of which is that an appointment to see a medical professional can be arranged if you have not yet been examined.
What are the Long-Term Effects of Physical and Psychological Damage of Sexual Abuse
If you have been the victim of sexual abuse, the long-term effects can seriously and negatively impact your daily life and it could do so for a long time. This would be factored into the level of compensation you may be awarded. Long-term effects of sexual abuse include the following:
- Low self-esteem
- Other mental health issues
You may have to take medication which includes antidepressants to help you contend with the emotional stress and pain you are feeling which could continue over a long period of time with many victims of sexual abuse never fully recovering from their ordeal.
What Can My Claim Include Following Sexual Abuse?
If you were a victim of sexual abuse and have decided to file for compensation, there are specific things that can be included in your claim which are as follows:
- General damages
- Medical expenses incurred
- Travel expenses incurred
- The time it takes you to recover – if you are unable to work during this time, you could be reimbursed for the loss of earnings you incurred
- Care costs should you need help around the home
It is essential that you keep the receipts for all out of pocket expenses you incurred as a direct result of being a victim of sexual abuse as these costs would be factored into a successful sexual abuse claim.
Working With a Solicitor on a No Win No Fee Basis
As with all compensation claims, the legal process of making a sexual abuse claim can be a long-drawn out, complex and stressful experience more especially if you have been a victim of sexual abuse. As such, the best course of action is to seek legal representation as soon as possible. This takes all the financial pressure as well as the anxiety associated with this type of claim, off the table. A solicitor who specialises in sexual abuse claims would walk you through the process and help you when it comes to gathering all the necessary evidence and documentation required to strengthen your case.
Once a solicitor has determined that you have strong case, they would typically offer to work with you on a No Win No Fee basis which in short, means you would sign a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA) which sets out the “Terms and Conditions” of the contract. The agreement also sets out the agreed “success fee” which you would only have to pay for the legal representation you received, when you are awarded compensation on a successful sexual abuse claim. Should your claim not be successful, there would be nothing to pay the solicitor because they agreed to take the “risk” when entering into a Conditional Fee Agreement with you.