Survivors of sexual abuse and harassment – whether by an individual or at a school, church or place of work – are often unaware that they may have a legal right to compensation from those responsible. At Jordans, we can help give guidance about the evidence needed to support your case and how to proceed.
Each case is unique and therefore a specialist sexual abuse lawyer will take the time to talk through your experience to get an understanding of what has happened to you. Sexual abuse can take many forms – from rape and violent attacks to inappropriate touching and sexual harassment.
Why Jordans Solicitors?
Seeking help from a specialist sexual abuse lawyer can be a difficult first step but it is often the start of taking back power. Our sexual abuse department is one of the most prominent in the country and has been instrumental in paving the way for this developing area of law.
Jordans has represented the interests of abuse survivors across Yorkshire for over two decades. Our specialist team of sexual abuse lawyers in Wakefield, Dewsbury, Horsforth and Selby manage each case with sensitivity and total confidentiality.
You can be assured the lawyer assigned to your case will be there to support and guide you through what can sometimes be a complex area of the law.
Who can I make a sexual abuse claim against?
Your claim may be against the individual who caused the harm or an organisation or employer who is closely connected.
Jordans have successfully recovered thousands of pounds in compensation and have represented survivors in claims against the following bodies:
- Local authorities
- The catholic church/religions institutions
- Individual abusers
- Private schools
- Scouting associations/youth groups
- Sports groups
- Military organisations
How do I make a sexual abuse claim?
Sexual abuse and harassment claims can take a long time and it is not uncommon for them to continue for many years.
Time limits do apply to rape compensation and sexual abuse claims, so it’s important to seek advice as soon as you can. But you may also be able to claim compensation even if the abuse occurred many years ago.
Your specialist sexual abuse solicitor will begin with an investigation stage to gather evidence in support of your case. This initial work could take months, depending on the type of evidence needed.
We will often need to access:
- historical documents such as social services records
- education records
- medical records
Depending upon when your abuse occurred these documents can be difficult to get hold of and may have been destroyed.
Speaking to other survivors
Locating and speaking to other survivors who have reported abuse at the same institution or by the same individual is also a key part of the investigation stage.
Often abusers targeted more than one victim. In these cases, the claims can be pursued as a group action. The more people who disclose similar accounts of abuse the greater the prospect of persuading a court that the abuse occurred.
Reporting sexual abuse to police
During the investigation stage, your lawyer may advise you to report your abuse to the police if you have not already done so. The civil claims process can seek compensation but it is not designed to punish the abuser, this is a matter for the criminal courts.
If the police are investigating your allegations, we will work in conjunction with them to help whenever possible. A criminal conviction against your abuser could greatly improve your prospect of recovering compensation and it is therefore common to wait for the outcome of the criminal case before progressing a compensation claim.
The next steps
At the end of the investigation stage, your lawyer will be in a better position to advice on the merits of your case and make a decision on how to proceed.
In our experience, the vast majority of claims settle out of court and we will push for an out of court settlement when it is in your interests to do so.
Court appearances for sexual abuse claims
It’s important you are aware that when starting a case, you may be required to give evidence in court.
Appearing in court can be demanding and stressful, but if your case does get this far your lawyer will be there to make sure you are full prepared and supported every step of the way.
Sexual abuse compensation
Money can never change what has happened – but recovering compensation can help to rebuild lives by funding treatment costs, further education or provide financial security for their family.
The amount of compensation that’s recoverable depends upon the extent of the injuries suffered and how it has affected every aspect of your life.
In addition to payment for the injuries, you can also recover money for other financial losses that are directly related to the abuse such as lost earnings.
Support for sexual abuse victims
As lawyers, our role is to support and guide you through the claims process and give advice on the law.
We appreciate that we are we are not qualified to provide counselling or psychological treatment and we therefore try to work closely with both local and national charities who can provide this additional support throughout the claims process and beyond.
You can talk to one of our male or female specialist abuse team in absolute confidence free on 0800 955 5094.
Sexual abuse FAQs
Could I be entitled to compensation from sexual abuse?
If you have been the victim of physical, sexual or emotional abuse, you could be entitled to pursue a claim for compensation. Compensation for sexually abused victims and the prospects of succeeding with such a claim can vary greatly depending upon a variety of factors. Because it is such a complex area of law, it’s important you seek legal advice from an experienced abuse lawyer as soon as possible.
Who will my sexual harassment claim be against?
Following an initial interview, your lawyer will be able to give you guidance about the best way to recover the damages to which you are entitled. Your claim might be against the individual who caused the harm, however it is more common for claims to be pursued against an organisation or employer who is closely connected to the abuser.
What if the abuse happened many years ago?
In cases involving historic sexual abuse, the courts have used their power to allow claims to proceed outside the usual limitation deadline. This is not an automatic right and any further delay in starting your claim could affect your chances of being allowed to proceed.
Will my sexual abuse claim effect the police investigation?
If there is a criminal case proceeding in respect of the abuse, it’s likely your civil claim will be put on hold until the criminal investigation is complete. Because of the deadlines for bringing civil claims, it’s important you start your claim as soon as possible and then agree a postponement with the other parties rather than taking no action at all.
How long will my sexual abuse claim take?
It’s not uncommon for claims to take many years, so don’t anticipate sexual abuse compensation to paid quickly. The amount of time a claim takes depends upon how many factors. For example, an ongoing police investigation can delay cases and a lot depends upon whether the Defendant’s are prepared to admit responsibility from the outset.
Will I need to give evidence against my abuser in court?
The vast majority of civil claims for sexual abuse or rape compensation are settled out of court. But you should be prepared to give evidence about the abuse in court if necessary. Your account of what happened is likely to be one of the strongest pieces of evidence and will hold great weight in a courtroom. If you do need to attend court, your lawyer will fully support you throughout.
How much compensation will I receive?
You will be able to recover compensation for physical and psychological injuries that have been caused by the abuse. In addition, you may also be entitled to claim compensation for other losses such as loss of earnings or treatment costs if these can be attributed to the abuse.
How much will I be required to pay in legal costs?
During the initial interview, your lawyer will be able to assess the merits of your claim and provide advice on the most appropriate funding option for you. The vast majority of our sexual abuse cases are run on a ‘no win, no fee’ agreement, which means you do not have to pay any legal costs if your claim is not successful.