Domestic violence, whether it happened in the form of sexual abuse or otherwise, leaves long-lasting effects on a person’s body and psyche. Even if the survivor did not suffer any physical injuries during the assault, the psychological effects can morph into psychosomatic symptoms brought on by depression, anxiety and a heightened sense of fear. While there are different charities who can offer guided counselling and a 24/7 helpline to call for support, many survivors require professional psychological treatment following sexual abuse. Depending on the case, therapy sessions aren’t always covered by the medical insurance and at an average of £50 per hour of therapy, this can quickly accumulate in a massive bill. Quite frankly, medical costs should be the last thing on the mind of anyone dealing with the aftermaths of sexual abuse but unfortunately our system is flawed.
Often survivors don’t realise that they are entitled to compensation following the physical or psychological harm of domestic violence or sexual abuse – even years following the incident. In the past, the law stated that claims had to be made within three years of the abuse, but this has now changed. You can claim compensation for sexual abuse if the abuse took place any time after September 26th, 1964, provided the victim was under eighteen years of age. The most common form of claiming compensation would be to sue the abuser and believe it or not, it takes less evidence to sue someone than it does to build a criminal case. Even children and adults who are not yet of legal age (18) have the right to sue and claim compensation provided there is an adult present.
You Have the Right to Claim Compensation
Domestic violence and sexual abuse often result in physical injuries, many of which turn into chronic pains due to poor medical assistance when they initially occurred. This is down to the fact that a high percentage of survivors will not seek medical help following a violent incident or sexual attack out of fear of being found out by the perpetrator, shame or the attacked stopping them from seeking medical assistance. Being exposed to repeated and/or continuous physical abuse and leaving concussions, broken bones and internal inflammations untreated can have serious long-term repercussions.
If the physical injuries you acquired through sexual abuse require special needs services or tools such as walking-aids, adjustable beds or back braces, you’ll have more cause to claim compensation from your abuser. You should not have to carry the responsibility for something that was done to you and have every right to be compensated for all the costs you have put towards your health and mental well-being – depending on your case, you may be entitled to up to £500,000. Although you will not be provided with legal aid upon suing your abuser, you may have the option to pay legal fees based on a no win no fee deal.
Free Legal Advice
If you are considering claiming compensation for any injuries or psychological issues sustained through sexual violence, it is important to be aware of the fact these processes are often lengthy, and the outcome is impossible to predict. You should also understand the difference between filing a criminal report and suing your abuser. While suing your abuser may result in a compensation payment, it may not result in their arrest. Appearing in court, reliving the trauma, public cross-examination and facing the abuser is often extremely stressful for victims of sexual abuse, therefore it is vital that you receive all the possible support from expert organisations, your family and your friends. The easiest way to get through a taxing court situation is with a network of loved ones behind you to keep you confident, brave and strong.
If you reported the abuse when it initially happened and local authorities or institutions failed in their duty to help and protect you, you could sue the entire organisation. This could be in the instance of a police officer or child protection team failing to investigate claims further, or an institution that allowed an abuser to remain on the staff following reports of sexual abuse and in so doing, facilitated similar instances. The legal process for claiming sex abuse compensation as such can be a lot more complex and take even more time than when a single entity is sued.