How can Victims of Child Abuse Apply for Compensation?
Child abuse – sexual, physical or emotional – can be very traumatic and affects victims in more ways than one. The after-effects may not be immediately visible and can only be felt years later in some cases. What makes matters worse is that many child abuse victims refuse to speak up because of fear and shame, and such abusers go free and unscathed.
If you have been a victim of child abuse, you are entitled to all the help and support you need to cope with the psychological stress that you are under. Unfortunately, you cannot undo what happened but you can apply for monetary compensation for your suffering.
Who will pay the compensation?
You can sue the abuser for his misdeeds to receive compensation. You can make your claim even if you are a minor, but you need an adult person to initiate the proceedings. As an adult, you can directly approach the court and receive compensation of up to 5000 pounds.
You can also apply for compensation against the local authority or any other concerned person who failed to take up the responsibility of protecting you from abuse. In these cases you need to have proof that they had a duty to take care of you, the negligence of which caused you to suffer.
You can apply for compensation by filing a complaint with the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority or CICA. For your claim to bear fruit, you need to apply within two years of the abuse ideally.
Deadline for applying
Many courts realize that for a person to come ahead and reveal being a victim of child abuse requires courage and may take time. The time limit is usually three years from the time the abuse has occurred. However if you are underage, your eighteenth birthday will mark the beginning of your three-year deadline.
Steps to follow
You might apply for compensation of the fees you had to pay for therapy and counseling, or any financial losses that you incurred as a result of the abuse. It is also a good idea to report the incident to the police and keep all the relevant documents as proof.
If you are suing the abuser, you might not get legal aid but you can always apply for a No Win No Fee agreement that keeps you covered so that you do not have to pay your solicitors in case your claim is not successful – read the helpful issue about no win no fee terms for more information.
Taking professional help while applying for the claim will be a wise decision. You can consult experienced solicitors as they will be there to help and guide you through the various steps and maximize your chances of success. If you are looking for a solicitor in England, Wales or Scotland, you can find a list of suitable solicitors on the Solicitors Guru website.
Child abuse is a heinous crime. Children are defenseless and helpless against anyone stronger than them and anyone who takes advantage of this should be severely punished.