NAPAC – Improving the Civil Law Process with the Help of Abuse Survivors

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Hywel Thomas Profile Picture
Hywel Thomas

Senior Associate Solicitor, Abuse

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Starting the legal process after suffering any form of abuse takes a significant amount of courage, and it’s vital that the right support is in place for anyone who makes the decision to sue an individual or organisation.

A lot of research has been done into the support available for survivors of abuse going through the criminal reporting process, and rightly so, but less is known about how survivors feel about the civil claims process.

To address this, the National Association for People Abused in Childhood (NAPAC) have set up a questionnaire for abuse survivors who have experienced the civil law process at any stage. The answers collected will be used to inform an academic paper and a practical insight report with recommendations for professionals who work with survivors of abuse.

As Abuse Lawyers, we recognise the importance of survivor-led research, and we’ll be paying close attention the results of this questionnaire so that we can continue to support our clients to the best of our ability.  

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Our Work with NAPAC

We were proud to partner with NAPAC earlier this year, and we’re pleased to be in a position to provide support and legal advice for survivors of childhood abuse through the charity’s various projects.  

Since partnering with NAPAC, we’ve walked over 300 miles to raise money for the fantastic work they do, and we hope to continue providing support through both fundraising and by offering our legal expertise.

NAPAC’s Survivors and Civil Law survey can be found on their website and all answers received will be completely anonymous.

Why would you Claim Compensation for Abuse?

Making a civil claim, also known as taking legal action, can’t take away the suffering you’ve experienced, but there are many reasons why you might want to consider making a civil claim.

  • Legal action can help you accept that what happened to you wasn’t your fault, particularly if criminal prosecutions are unsuccessful or not possible.
  • Compensation can help you to get treatment, such as counselling, and help you start to rebuild your life.
  • Public bodies can learn from previous failings allowing them to act responsibly and to protect vulnerable people in the future.
  • Coming forward and speaking about sexual or physical abuse can lead to changes in the law, and hopefully mean others don’t have to suffer in the same way.
  • You may be able to be compensated for the abuse you have suffered.

It is never too Late to report Historical Abuse.

Sadly, there were 32,961 child abuse offences recorded by the police in England and Wales in 2022/2023; which is a rise from the years prior. Sadly, it’s the stark reality for victims who suffer abuse, but you should always be aware that help is available when you’re ready to talk.

Courts do have times limits in place for bringing compensation claims. But where the claim is for sexual abuse, the Court does have the ability to disapply these time limits. The Court has this ability to change the time frame rule, as they understand there are many reasons why victims don’t come forward straight away.

Who Can You Make a Claim Against?

We can help you bring a claim against an individual abuser or an institution or organisation such as:

This is not a limited list and we consider all potential defendants when assessing cases.

If your abuse took place a long time ago, and you’re not sure if your abuser is still alive or the organisation still exists, don’t let this put you off coming forward.

How Simpson Millar Can Help People who have Suffered Abuse

Talking about physical or sexual abuse you suffered as a child takes bravery and courage. But many of our clients tell us that they feel better after having a completely confidential conversation with one of our specialists Child Abuse Solicitors.

If you have sustained physical, sexual or psychological injury as a result of abuse in your childhood, within a children’s home, school, or other institution, it can be difficult to come to terms with what has happened to you. When you’re ready to talk about your experiences, we’re ready to advise you on what steps you can take, and we can be there every step of the way.

Our Abuse Team has extensive experience representing survivors of child abuse, including people who were abused in children’s homes that are both privately run, and run by Local Authorities. You can read more about how we can help with institutional abuse claims like these. We also have experience dealing with instances of non-recent abuse, if you were abused in your childhood. If you would like to speak confidentially to a member of our team, please call us on 0808 239 8212.


Simpson Millar Solicitors. (n.d.). How to Report Being Abused to the Police. Retrieved from

National Association for People Abused in Childhood (NAPAC). (n.d.). Retrieved from

Simpson Millar Solicitors. (n.d.). Sponsored Walk for National Association of People Abused in Childhood. Retrieved from

NAPAC. (n.d.). Survivors and Civil Law Research. Retrieved from

Statista. (n.d.). Child cruelty and abuse in England and Wales (UK) year-on-year (YoY) from 2002 to 2023. Retrieved from

Hywel Thomas Profile Picture

Hywel Thomas

Senior Associate Solicitor, Abuse

Areas of Expertise:
Abuse Claims

With a background in Personal Injury Claims and Criminal Injury Compensation Claims, Hywel started specialising in Abuse Claims in 2001. Over the years, he has seen the area of abuse law evolve, presenting new challenges and learning opportunities. He has tackled cases against diverse groups, from local authorities to private schools, charities, medical organisations, and even individuals.

His passion for understanding psychological injuries led him to this area of Law.  Hywel's work extends beyond seeking financial compensation for his clients; he focuses on helping victims and survivors access support, making a real difference in their healing process. He values each client's unique motivations, ensuring they achieve what they desire through the legal process.

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