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Can I claim compensation for historic sexual abuse?

The CICA will pay compensation for historical sexual abuse, providing all their eligibility rules are met.

To discuss a criminal injuries claim, call 0113 320 5000

The abuse must be reported to the police. If it was reported when you were a child, you will need to show you had good reason for not applying for child abuse compensation within the normal 'CICA 2 year rule'. They do not for instance accept that you simply did not know about the scheme. Whereas historic claims that are reported to the police many years after the abuse and within the last 2 years do comply with this eligibility rule. As the rules are complex, advice from a CICA solicitor is recommended.

You may have heard recently that a victim of abuse won a landmark case at the Court of Appeal. The Court decided that the 'CICA's same roof rule' of refusing abuse claims when the abuse happened before 1979 and the victim and abuser lived in the same household was unfair. We are now acting for many victims who were previously denied compensation because they lived under the same roof of their abuser. Current clients include victims living in Aberdeen, Birmingham, Bradford, Coventry, Dewsbury, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Huddersfield, Leeds, London, Manchester, Scarborough, Sheffield, Whitby and York.

Unless the CICA is provided with a Police Crime Number the CICA will not accept your claim. If you still live in the area you can usually call 101 and that will put your through to a local police centre that can help you with tracking down the PCN. If you no longer live in the area, a call to the main police station in that county will usually help. If you are struggling a CICA Solicitor may be able to do this investigation for you, as they can act on your behalf.

It all depends on the police evidence and whether the CICA consider that you are an eligible victim of crime. If the police evidence is available, and your claim is being dealt with on a Police Evidence only basis, these claims are surprisingly quick. Currently we are managing to obtain appropriate awards for our clients in about 3 months. Where the police evidence is hard to track down, or where medical evidence is required because the claim is for clinically diagnosed permanent mental injury the timescale is about a year to 18 months. A CICA Solicitor will advise on the best course of action for your particular case.

Sexual abuse compensation ranges from £1,000 to £44,000. We find historic claims tend to be between £6,600 to £22,000, as the victim is often subjected to repeated abuse for months if not years. £6,600 is awarded for sexual abuse that involves repeated non penetrative abuse for less than 3 years. £22,000 is awarded for penetrative abuse lasting more than 3 years. There are a number of different awards in this range which your adviser can explain. The highest awards between £22,000 and £44,000 are paid to victims suffering serious internal injury and or mental injury clinically diagnosed by a clinical psychologist or psychiatrist. The CICA do not consider mental injury diagnosed by a counsellor or a therapist.

Check out our CICA Compensation calculator

Many victims are rightly nervous about seeking compensation. They may have family concerns, as the family does not want to speak or be reminded of this dark episode in their past. They may feel worried about speaking to the police, or worried this will bring back all those memories they have tried to forget for years. Having listened for years to victims concerns, out team can share with you their experiences and help guide you through this difficult time.

Will it cost me to use a solicitor?

There is no cost to speak to our CICA Solicitors. This free initial chat will help you decide if you are eligible to claim. If you do wish to proceed, we will offer you a 'no win no fee' agreement. This means you have no legal costs unless you are awarded compensation. Your legal costs on a successful claim are 25% which means you keep 75%.

Speak to our criminal injuries claim team, call us on 0113 320 5000

For an initial free assessment of your case, please call our CICA Solicitors on 0113 320 5000 or email

Experience tells us that it is beneficial to the overall success of your claim, to instruct a solicitor at the very start. The CICA do not offer a solicitor to you and you are able to apply directly; however, without extensive knowledge of the scheme we see too often that applicants who have applied directly, face trouble and stumbling blocks along the way. By instructing Winston Solicitors you are receiving specialist advice from our Criminal Injury Lawyers, representation throughout your claim, including at Review and Appeal stage if required. We will ensure that you achieve the maximum award for your injuries, including loss of earnings and special expenses where applicable.

You may be able to. The burden of proof required by police and the Crown Prosecution Service is that they must show “beyond all reasonable doubt” that the assailant is guilty – sometimes this will lead the CPS being unable to charge if there are some discrepancies or a lack of evidence. The burden of proof the CICA require is much less and it is accepted “on balance of probability” that the crime took place, then you should be able to claim compensation.

Yes. So long as you have required medical treatment for the same. The CICA would require you to have a diagnosis from a psychiatrist or clinical psychologist; if you don't have this yet but are receiving counselling or therapy, please call our specialist Criminal Injury Lawyers on 0113 320 5000 who will be able to advise you further. You can also use our Criminal Injuries Compensation Calculator to see how much your claim may be worth.

Yes. Each case will be assessed on its own merits so it will certainly depend on why a claim is being sought now; however, we have successfully represented thousands of clients who have claimed compensation as an adult. Please talk to our specialist Criminal Injury Lawyers on 0113 320 5000 and they will be able to advise you further.

Absolutely not. We do not share your information with anyone else without your prior consent. As your compensation is paid by government funds, there is no reason why the assailant would be aware of your claim for compensation.