Compensation claims through the courts

The purpose of civil claims is to recognise a wrong by awarding 'damages', or compensation. It aims to put the claimant back into the financial position they would have been had they not been wronged or harmed, in so far as it is reasonably possible. This is all a court can do ? it cannot put back the clock, it cannot force an apology.

Ideally you must register your claim at court within three years of your abuse occurring, or if you were abused when you were a child, by your 21st birthday. However the courts are increasingly recognising that it is many years before survivors are able to disclose their abuse. You may therefore be allowed to pursue your claim even when the abuse happened many years ago, so long as this is fair to both you and any potential defendant.

You can pursue:

  • your abuser
  • your abuser's employer or any organisation responsible for your abuser's acts
  • a local authority if you think social services has failed to protect you