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In 2017, there was a spike in people inquiring if they could make a historical abuse claim. This is because of the recommendations by the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse in its final report to the Governor-General. These recommendations led to legal reforms that allow survivors to claim damages irrespective of when the abuse happened.
Historical abuse continues to have devastating effects on the victim years after the occurrence. It often affects their mental health, and the victim requires counselling and other support. Although the traditional abuse compensation claims have time limits, it’s different for historical abuse claims. If you’ve suffered abuse at any point and you’re still feeling the effects, you can apply for compensation.
At Claims Bible, we help you determine what your compensation is worth using our historical abuse compensation calculator. This article will explore what historical abuse entails and whether you can claim settlement for historical abuse.
Historical abuse is any type of abuse that occurred when the victim was not legally of age to file a claim. This refers to people under the age of 18 years. For example, a victim might not be legally old enough or might be unwilling to make a claim within the time limit of filing one. In such a case, you can make a historical abuse compensation claim when you’re ready.
It is noteworthy that historical abuse is quite different from historical sexual assault. In the UK, 5 in 6 women who are raped or sexually assaulted fail to report it. There are many reasons this happens; fear of trauma, shame, or repercussions. The main difference between the two terms is that historical abuse refers to assault or criminal activities when the victim was under 18 years old.
Victims of any assault, including sexual assault, can still file a claim beyond the two-year limit. However, they must show that the incident continued to affect their life long after it happened.
Historical abuse can have effects that last a lifetime. Abuse usually has a significant impact on relationships, health and education. Sometimes, it stops the victim from enjoying the childhood and life they deserve. As a victim of historical abuse, you might find it harder to cope with life stress, get a job or enjoy a social life. You could also develop drug, alcohol or mental health issues.
The effect of historical abuse can be short term, but sometimes these effects make it into adulthood. In addition, there’s a likelihood that when someone has suffered abuse as a child, they’ll suffer it again; this is known as revictimisation.
The long-term effects of historical abuse include the following:
Ensure that you’re eligible for compensation before making a historical abuse claim or using the historical abuse compensation calculator to determine the worth. You need to meet some minimum eligibility criteria to apply for historical abuse compensation successfully. We discuss them below.
Some people feel anxious about reporting their historical abuse, mainly because they’re worried about what might happen. Luckily, it’s never too late to report abuse; you can inform the police when you feel most comfortable without any outside pressure. Many people decide to report historical abuse to stop the offender from harming other people. Others choose to make a report so they can experience closure and move on from experience. Whatever your reason is, there are some crucial things to note when you want to report historical abuse.
When you file a police report, they will ask for the following information:
Once you provide the necessary information, you’ll be transferred to a trained officer who will take your statement. Note that the police won’t ask you to face your attacker, nor will they let the person know you filed a report. Victims who don’t know their attackers can simply claim compensation for the abuse and move on with their lives.
When you file a claim for historical abuse, there are many damages you can claim. These damages depend on how the abuse affected you and what you had to endure because of the incident. Below are some of the top damages you can claim.
Physical Injuries: You can claim compensation for physical and psychological injuries if you’re a victim of a violent crime. For cases that involved physical assault, stabbing, gunshots, and more, you can file a suit if you have proof of physical injuries. This type of compensation falls under the general damages category.
Psychological Trauma: Some people have PTSD after historical abuse. If you sustained any psychological injury after abuse or witnessed a loved one fall victim to a violent crime, you can claim compensation.
Loss of Earnings: Sometimes, the effect of the abuse could mean you have to stop working, take time off work or even change jobs. If your loss of earnings is connected to the abuse, you can get it back as part of your settlement. You could also request a loss of past wages if you were absent from work for more than 28 days.
You can also claim any lost earnings going forward from the day you made a claim. However, the compensation you will receive for lost wages is limited to the statutory sick pay rates.
Medical Support: If you had to seek medical treatment or therapy because of the crime committed against you, you could claim these costs back. You can claim some medical care not provided by the NHS if you prove that it was the only option you had.
Cost of Professional Care: If you suffered from sexual assault or historical sexual abuse as a child or an adult, you could also claim compensation if it led you to receive professional medical care.
Travel Costs: If you incurred travel costs like travelling to therapy or medical appointments, you could also request these costs.Most of the damages above are special damages and require you to provide evidence that reflects the value of these losses.
Proving a historical abuse claim can be difficult because of how long ago it was. However, once you report to the police and file a claim, your lawyer will begin with an investigation into your claim to gather evidence. This could take weeks or months, depending on the proof required.
Some of the evidence you can use to prove a historical abuse case includes:
If your abuse happened decades ago, it could be difficult obtaining some of these records because they’ve been misplaced or destroyed. So, we recommend hiring a solicitor.
After the investigation, your solicitor will advise you on the steps to maximise your settlement. Historical abuse cases often settle out of court as most defendants do not want to deal with the hassle of going to trial.
However, you need to note that there’s a possibility of your case making it to the court, and you would have to give evidence. Appearing in court can be pretty demanding and stressful. Therefore, you need to prepare for this if you’re ready to file a historical abuse claim.
If you or a loved one suffered abuse, it’s never too late to make a claim. The law allows you to make a historical abuse claim years after the event occurred. Filing a claim might be all you need to finally receive closure from experience and move on with your life.
There is no time limit for when you can make a historical abuse claim against your abuser.
However, some people want to know how much they can receive as compensation to help them determine if it is worth the stress.
Getting the maximum compensation for historial abuse is essential, and we understand this at Claims Bible.
Read more about Personal Injury claims on our Personal Injury page or read more articles about Personal Injury claims.
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