How Much Compensation is Awarded for Child Abuse?

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Joshua Hurst

Solicitor, Abuse

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There are two types of claims you can make for child abuse – a Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA) claim or a civil claim against the defendant through the Courts. We show the amounts of compensation that can be awarded in both types of claims below.

The amount of compensation you can receive from a child abuse claim varies based on several factors, including:

  • The type and amount of abuse you have suffered
  • The length of time the abuse took place
  • The psychological effects of the abuse
  • The costs of appropriate psychological therapy
  • Loss of earnings, if the abuse you suffered caused you a disadvantage on the open labour market

Due to the delicate matters involved in child abuse cases, nobody can accurately value a claim at the outset of a case and every case will be different. However, our Abuse Claims Solicitors can estimate how much compensation your claim could be worth once we have had the opportunity to assess your case. To assess the value of your claim, it’s important that we obtain as much evidence as possible in each of the above categories, including social care and medical records.

For a free confidential consultation and free legal advice contact our Abuse Claims Solicitors. Ask about Legal Aid or if we can deal with your case on a No Win, No Fee basis. We understand that access to legal support is crucial for survivors pursuing compensation and funding options like this make sure that financial constraints don’t stop survivors from seeking the justice that they deserve.

a child looking sad

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To find out more about how our experienced and compassionate abuse law solicitors can help you, get in touch with our team.

CICA Claims for Child Abuse

Compensation from the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority is different from any compensation that you may receive through making a civil claim.

The Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority is more commonly referred to as CICA. They administer a Scheme known as the Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme which is designed to compensate victims of violent crime in Great Britain. The organisation is run by the government who assess if applicants are eligible and then assess the appropriate value of any award.

It is recognised by the CICA that no amount of compensation can ever make up for the harm and suffering caused to a person through violent crime, however their injury awards are intended to be an acknowledgement of the harm and suffering that was sustained in addition to being a gesture of public sympathy.

The relevant CICA compensation awards are set out below for both sexual abuse and physical abuse. The following information is factually correct, but you may find reading this to be very unpleasant. Additionally, it should be noted that these figures act as a guide only and that any compensation received will vary on a case-by-case basis.

a young boy sat down looking sad

Sexual Child Abuse

  • Non-penetrative sexual physical act/s over clothing - £1,000 or £1,500 (depending on frequency)
  • Non-penetrative sexual physical act/s under clothing - £2,000 or £3,300 (depending on frequency)
  • One or more of non-penile penetrative or oral genital act/s:
    • Once – £3,300
    • Two or more isolated incidents - £4,400
    • Pattern of repetitive, frequent incidents
    • Up to three years abuse – £6,600
    • Over 3 years abuse - £8,200
    • Resulting in serious internal bodily injuries - £22,000
    • Resulting in permanently disabling mental illness confirmed by psychiatric prognosis - £22,000 or £27,000 (depending on severity)
  • Non-consensual penile penetration of one or more of vagina, anus or mouth (rape):
    • One incident - £11,000
    • One incident involving two or more attackers - £13,500
    • Repeated incidents over a period - £16,500 or £22,000 (if over a period of more than 3 years)
    • Resulting in serious internal bodily injuries - £22,000
    • Resulting in permanently disabling mental illness confirmed by psychiatric prognosis - £22,000 or £27,000 (depending on severity)
    • Resulting in serious internal bodily injury with permanent disabling mental illness confirmed by psychiatric prognosis - £33,000 or £44,000 (depending on severity).

Physical Child Abuse

  • Isolated or intermittent assault/s resulting in welts (red, swollen marks), hair pulled from the scalp etc. - £1,000
  • Intermittent physical assaults resulting in an accumulation of healed wounds, burns or scalds, but with no appreciable disfigurement - £2,000
  • Persistent pattern of repetitive violence resulting in:
    • Moderate multiple injuries (e.g. bruising and minor fractures) or minor disfigurement - £5,500
    • Significant multiple injuries - £8,200
    • Severe multiple injuries - £13,500

The CICA compensation scheme operates to award one figure, the one which represents the highest level of abuse you have suffered, according to the above criteria. That means you don’t add up each individual amount, but rather go down the list until you reach the most serious level of abuse you have suffered.

These figures are the starting point for the CICA in determining the value of your claim. In the most severe cases, our Solicitors have been successful in making CICA applications which reach the maximum award available from the CICA, which is £500,000.

Time Limits & Awards

There are strict time limits for bringing a CICA claim. You have 2 years to bring a claim from first reporting the abuse to the police. If the police report happened before you reached the age of 18, you have until your 20th birthday to bring a claim. However, in exceptional cases, this time limit can be extended. An example of this might be if you’re making a claim for abuse you suffered as a child. In these cases, the CICA will consider the reasons for the delay in submitting the application, such as the psychological impact of the abuse.  

The CICA awards compensation on a tariff basis, meaning that if your abuse falls into one of the categories of CICA claim, you will be awarded a set amount. The details of the crime and injuries that must be entered on the claim form are very important and if you’re making a claim, it’s best to obtain specialist legal advice. Our expert team of Abuse Claims Solicitors will be able help you through this process.

Importantly, the abuser does not have to beconvicted of, or charged with the crime for you to be able to obtain compensation through the CICA.

Civil Claims for Child Abuse

Whereas there is a set table for CICA claims, civil claims are based on what can be proven at Court and are valued in relation to other successful claims. In order to value a claim, our expert team of Abuse Solicitors need to obtain all your records, get a medical expert’s opinion as to the psychological damage you have suffered, and get advice from a Barrister.

Each case is different and will reflect your own individual situation and circumstances.

There are some different options in pursuing a civil claim for child abuse. Firstly, you may be able to get compensation for child abuse by bringing court proceedings against the person who has abused you. A civil case is different from a criminal case where a jury must find that they are guilty of the crimes that they have been accused of beyond a reasonable doubt. This is a high standard.

However, in a civil case the person making the claim  has to prove that the defendant is responsible for the abuse on the balance of probabilities, which is to prove that something is more likely than not. Jury trials in civil cases tend to be rarer which means your case would only be heard in front of a Judge. We appreciate how daunting the prospect of this can feel however it is unlikely that your claim would go to a trial and if it did, we would be there to support you through the process.

Time Limits

There are time limits for bringing a civil claim and in certain circumstances you can bring a claim out of time. We will be able advise you about this in more detail during our initial call.

Our expert team will be able to help to assess whether you are still able to make a claim arising from historical abuse as this will vary from case to case. It will very much depend on the individual circumstances in each case. Once you contact us, we will assess this and let you know if we’re able to proceed with a claim on your behalf, i

If you have been affected by any of the issues raised in this article, you can contact one of the below organisations for help:

The National Association for People Abused in Childhood (NAPAC) – can be contacted by telephone on 0808 801 0331 or by email at [email protected]. Further resources are available on their website at napac.org.uk
Support for Survivors – can be contacted on 0115 962 2722 or by email at [email protected]. Further information can be found on their website at supportforsurvivors.org

References:

National Association for People Abused in Childhood (NAPAC). (n.d.). Retrieved from napac.org.uk (Accessed December 5, 2023)

Support for Survivors. (n.d.). Retrieved from supportforsurvivors.org (Accessed December 5, 2023)

Simpson Millar Solicitors. (n.d.). "No Win No Fee Personal Injury Solicitors." Retrieved from https://www.simpsonmillar.co.uk/personal-injury-solicitors/no-win-no-fee-personal-injury-solicitors/ (Accessed December 5, 2023)

UK. (2023). "Criminal Injuries Compensation: A Guide." Retrieved from https://www.gov.uk/guidance/criminal-injuries-compensation-a-guide (Accessed December 5, 2023)

Joshua Hurst

Solicitor, Abuse

Areas of Expertise:
Abuse Claims

Joshua works as a Solicitor in our Abuse Department, which operates under the leadership of Liam Goggin.

Joshua has been with Simpson Millar since 2019, where he started as a Paralegal in the Abuse Department, a role he stayed in for two years. His dedication and drive then led him to a position as a Trainee Solicitor, where he worked in the Industrial Disease and Military Claims Departments. Buts passion for representing victims of abuse made him return to the Abuse department, where he completed his training contract and began working as a Solicitor.

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