Rape & Sexual Assault
When you’ve suffered a traumatic experience, you may feel as though there is nowhere to turn. The team at Criminal Injuries Helpline is here to listen to you. We offer a team of trained solicitors who can advise you on how to make rape compensation claims, and get your life back on track.
Claiming for Rape compensation
You may have suffered at the hands of an individual or an organisation. Whatever your circumstances, you deserve justice. Rape compensation claims cannot undo the pain that you suffered, but they can help you to gain closure and get your life back on track.
For friendly advice without judgement, speak to our expert solicitors at Criminal Injuries Helpline. We offer decades of experience handling rape claims just like yours, and we’ll guide you through every step of the legal process.
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What is a legal definition of “rape” or statutory rape?
By definition, rape is penetrative sexual activity (no matter how slight) without your consent. Rape is a crime regardless of your age, gender, profession or personal circumstances.
It is one of the most serious offences, punishable by up to 19 years in prison. Rape compensation claims can be made for any kind of penetrative sex act that takes place without permission, for example:
- Penile penetration of the vagina, anus or mouth
- Penetration of the vagina, anus or mouth with other body parts
- Penetration of the vagina, anus or mouth with objects.
In most cases, rape victims are forced into these acts against their will. This includes circumstances in which they are not able to give consent, for example if they are heavily intoxicated with drugs or alcohol. Similarly, if the victim is a child or mentally incapacitated, they cannot give consent.
The difference between rape and sexual assault
It’s important to note that rape and sexual assault are different in legal terms. Rape is reserved for penetrative sexual acts without your consent. Sexual assault claims are for those who have been touched in a sexual manner or forced to perform sex acts without penetration.
Rape compensation claims can affect anybody – men, women or children. Whatever your circumstances, our trained legal team is here to listen to you in a sensitive manner and offer advice.
Compensation rights for rape victims
In the United Kingdom, we have a scheme known as the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA). This can help rape victims make compensation claims even if the offender has not been identified. Our expert solicitors will guide you through this process – you deserve to be heard and there is no shame in coming forward.
If you were forced into non-consensual sex and suffered injuries(they can claim for the rape itself so I would remove/change this to avoid confusion), you may be able to claim compensation through CICA. You may also make claims against the attacker if you know them, or in some cases, their employer. We will talk you through this process, helping you to recover costs for physical and psychological damage as well as rehabilitation.
As a violent act, rape may lead to physical injuries including:
- Soreness or bleeding in the vagina or anus
- Bruises, cuts and swelling if the victim has been beaten
- Infections or sexually transmitted diseases.
This damage is not always immediately obvious and may not present until weeks later. Our solicitors will guide you on how to talk to a medical professional to support your rape compensation claim.
Remember – you are not alone. In many cases, victims may not want to talk about the incident due to feelings of trauma, shame, guilt or even blaming themselves. Tragically, in 2018, five out of six sexual offences were not reported to the police.
We are here for you, not just to advise on how you can claim compensation but to listen. We’ll help you start the path to recovery and regain control of your life.
How do you know you are eligible to make a compensation claim?
You can apply for a rape compensation claim with the CICA if:
- You have reported the incident to the police
- You have given the police permission to investigate fully
- The incident has taken place within the last two years, although this time limit can be extended.
There are cases in which you can report the crime after two years. Often, victims suffer psychological damage and do not speak out for years afterwards. Your compensation claims expert will need to see medical evidence that you have seen a consultant psychiatrist or psychologist to support your claim. We can help arrange this if required.
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Claiming against the abuser
You can also make a current or historical sexual abuse compensation claim by suing the abuser directly. If you know your attacker, you could claim for assault or threats of violence. You may also be entitled to a court order to prevent the abuser from contacting you.
Minors (those under the age of 18) can also claim against their abusers, but they will need an adult representative, known as a litigation friend, to start the claim. You don’t need as much proof if you’re suing an individual directly. Ask our specialist legal team about what you’ll need to start your claim against an abuser.
Problems with suing an abuser
You should always seek legal advice before suing an abuser directly. These cases are often lengthy and there is no guarantee of the outcome. As it is a civil issue, there is also no criminal charge, so they will not be sent to prison and could potentially abuse others.
These cases usually involve a court appearance to give evidence, which is in public unless you ask otherwise. We can make a private application on your behalf. You do have rights to anonymity – for example, the media cannot publish your name or identify you unless you give them permission to do so.
Support is available to help you through the claim process
Compensation levels for victims of rape and sexual assault from the CICA
Compensation amounts paid by the CICA depend on three factors:
- How often the attacks happened
- The seriousness of the injury
- The age of the victim (children’s cases are treated differently).
The CICA uses a tiered system for assessing the value of rape compensation claims in adults.
Single incidence of sexual assault
In cases of sexual assault where no penetration is involved, and the victim is fully-clothed, the compensation amount would be £1,000.
Full penetrative rape
A single incident of full penetrative rape could amount to £11,000 in compensation. This includes forced oral sex.
Repeated incidences of rape
Claims for incidents that happened more than once over a period of time can be worth as much as £33,000. However, the CICA will assess your claim based on all three of the factors above.
Victims may also make rape compensation claims for:
- Physical or internal injuries
- Sexually transmitted diseases
- Psychological damage, in some cases
- Lost income (if time off work exceeds 28 weeks)
- Pregnancy (though childcare costs are not covered).
We understand that all of this may seem complicated and overwhelming. Our expert sexual assault claims solicitors will guide you through the process and be sensitive to your needs.
Other Compensation Services
Compensation levels for victims of rape and sexual assault under a civil claim
If you can identify your attacker, then your case will undergo a more thorough review than the CICA tier system. You can make a claim against an individual or his/her employer.
Usually, this means that civil compensation claim amounts are higher. For example, whereas the CICA only awards compensation after you have been off work for 28 weeks, in civil cases you can claim for any lost income.
Likewise, the CICA does not cover your legal fees. In civil claims, however, you are entitled to claim these back as part of your compensation.
How long do I have to make a claim for rape to the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA)?
Generally speaking, you will have two years from the date of the rape or the date of the police report to make a rape compensation claim with the CICA. We generally advise that you start your claim as soon as possible, though it is completely understandable if you do not feel ready to report the case straight away.
We understand that you may feel frightened, ashamed or even guilty to report your trauma to the police. That’s why we offer a specially trained team to listen to your story without judgement and get you on the road to recovery.
In rare cases, you can make a claim beyond the two-year limit for psychological damage. However, you will need to prove that you have sought psychological help. This needs to be from a trained psychiatrist or psychologist. Counselling sessions are not enough to qualify.
Who are the criminal injuries compensation authority (CICA)?
The Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA) is a government scheme that was set up to help victims of crime claim compensation. Those making rape compensation claims can receive a settlement based on mental and physical abuse suffered.
Supported by the Ministry of Justice, the CICA awards £200 million annually in criminal compensation. Those who have been the blameless victim of a crime can claim compensation, including anybody harmed while trying to prevent crime or protect themselves.
The CICA also awards compensation to those who have been psychologically affected by a violent crime. If the crime has led to death, the victim’s relatives may make a claim. At Criminal Injuries Helpline, we understand the long-term effects of rape and will guide you through the CICA process to get you the compensation you deserve.
What is the role of the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA)?
The CICA is there to help you claim compensation if you’ve been the victim of rape or other violent crimes. This compensation covers everything from loss of earnings to the trauma of physical and psychological damage.
The victim does not need to know their attacker to make a rape compensation claim. Even if the offender has not been caught, the CICA is government-funded and can therefore still award compensation.
The CICA will be able to award compensation for rape claims if:
- The victim reported the incident to the police or relevant prosecuting authority
- The victim sought medical care where appropriate
- The victim can prove they did not give consent
- The victim can provide evidence where appropriate
- The victim can offer witness statements or psychiatric reports
- The victim is not attempting to deceive or make malicious claims
- The victim cooperates with the CICA, police and any other relevant judicial bodies.
This is a strict compensation process with many contributing factors. Our role is to make this as simple for you as possible – we’ll only ask for your involvement where absolutely necessary.
It is strongly advised that you contact a solicitor to make a rape compensation claim with the CICA. They will only ask you for details when needed, rather than have you repeat the trauma over and over again in your head. A solicitor has no emotional attachment to the incident, and is looking out for your best interests when making a claim. Our team at Criminal Injuries Helpline will listen to you and take you through the process in as sensitive a manner as possible.
Facts and statistics about sexual assault and rape
It’s important to understand that you are not alone. By reporting your incident, you can help yourself and others to come forward. Sadly, rape crimes are very common and many go unreported. According to Rape Crisis England and Wales:
- Between 2015 and 2016, there were 29,625 report rape cases in the UK.
- In the same year, the Rape Crisis Helpline received 3,000 calls per week, or 171,000 calls.
- Nearly 2,000 people who call Rape Crisis are under 15 years old.
- 95% of those contacting Rape Crisis were women.
- A third of those contacting Rape Crisis are under 25.
- Five in six rape cases are unreported.
- Nine in 10 victims know their attacker.
- One-fifth of women aged 16 to 60 has experienced sexual violence at some point.
- Rape cases have the lowest conviction rate in the UK at just 5.7%.
At Criminal Injuries Helpline, we believe no rape case should go unreported. We understand how daunting it may be to come forward, but we are here to listen to you and help you get the compensation you deserve. Contact us to start your rape compensation claim today.
The process to follow if you want to make a rape claim
After suffering an incident as traumatic as rape, you will understandably be going through mental and physical distress. The most important thing is to go to somewhere safe and contact somebody you trust.
To help your rape compensation claim with the CICA, it’s important that you follow the right processes. This starts with a phone call to the police to report the incident. You should also arrange a medical exam where possible, as this may support your case.
- If the attack has just happened, you should avoid destroying any forensic evidence. Do not shower or remove your clothes until police have told you it is safe to do so. Try to write down everything you can remember.
- You can call the Rape Crisis helpline on 0808 802 9999. They will be able to help you with the police report, and take down statements.
- In addition to police reports and Rape Crisis, you may also have to file a report if the incident happened in commercial premises like a school or workplace. You will have to report the incident to the manager.
- When you feel ready, you should see a doctor for an examination. This will help to gather forensic evidence for the police, and your medical records can support your claim.
- Hold on to any documents you have that relate to your injuries or financial losses, such as time taken off work.
- When you’re ready, contact the Criminal Injuries Helpline. We’ll help you to start your rape compensation claim with the CICA. You have two years from the date of the incident or the date you reported it to do this.
We understand that this process can be traumatic and overwhelming. We are here to take the stress out of the complex process with the CICA, and get you the compensation you deserve. Contact us to start your rape compensation claim and get the closure you deserve.
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Further information and support
If you’re looking for emotional support beyond your rape compensation claim, we highly recommend you speak to these organisations.
Rape Crisis England and Wales is a feminist organisation that supports Rape Crisis Centres throughout England and Wales. It is the national umbrella body for 39 Rape Crisis Centres, and offers counselling, information resources and contact centres.
While the organisation supports women and girls only, it does have links to services for men and boys. Rape Crisis also seeks to spread awareness of rape crime statistics in the UK, as well as information on consent and legal definitions.
Call 0808 802 9999. Lines are open between 12 and 2:30pm and 7 and 9:30pm every day.
Victim Support is an independent charity in England and Wales that helps those affected by crime. All support is free and confidential. The organisation offers information on different types of crime, what happens in a court case, and safeguarding.
There is also an online live chat service as well as free online resources with interactive guides and videos.
Call 0808 168 9111 24 hours a day.
Pandora’s Project is a non-profit support group for victims of rape and sexual assault. It offers an online community with a message board and links to rape crisis organisations. It also has a dedicated community for LGBT survivors as well as online articles discussing life after a crisis.