Woman drinking coffee against tree - from behind

Sexual and criminal abuse

Abuse claims solicitors

If you have been a victim of sexual or physical abuse, we understand how incredibly hard it is to talk about. When you’re ready, our abuse solicitors will listen and advise you throughout your compensation claim. Our team will work with you in complete confidentiality.

Meet our supportive abuse claims experts

Many of our abuse claims solicitors are considered leaders in the field with a significant amount of expertise.

Richard Scorer

Head of Abuse Law

Kim Harrison

Head of Operations - Abuse Law, Human Rights and Public Inquiries

Shane Smith


One of the UK’s leading specialist law firms.

We are proud to have partnerships with national charities and be recognised in the latest legal directories.

Lexcel Law Society Accredited
Chambers Top Ranked UK 2023
The Times Logo in White
Legal 500 in White

Sexual abuse claims and compensation

Talking about being abused, whether it happened recently or many years ago, is never an easy thing to do for anyone who has experienced it. The thought of discussing these personal, emotional, and distressing issues with a lawyer can feel quite traumatic and daunting when contemplating putting in a sexual abuse claim. Having specialised in cases of abuse and sexual assault for decades, we understand just how difficult this can be and it is our aim to make the process as easy as possible and ensure you get the justice you deserve.

What is an abuse claim?

Abuse can happen at any stage of life and can present itself in many forms. There are three main forms of abuse:

  • Sexual abuse – a person making sexual contact without consent
  • Physical abuse – hitting, kicking, punching, and biting
  • Emotional abuse – for example, harassment, threats of violence, image-based abuse (such as sexting or revenge pornography or sharing images without your consent)

If you have been a victim of abuse in any of the ways above, not only has a criminal offence potentially been committed, but you have suffered as a result. where harm has been suffered, either physically and/or psychologically, it may be possible to bring a claim.

Bringing a civil abuse claim can also recover costs which you have incurred, such as loss of earnings if you have been unable to work and any treatments such as counselling. It is therefore important that not only do you get the justice you deserve, but also, you are compensated for your suffering and any financial losses.

Types of abuse claims

There are various situations where compensation may be claimed. The most common abuse claims include:

  • Abuse suffered in an organisational setting such as a religious institution, schools, youth clubs, sports clubs.
  • Abuse suffered as a child in local authority or foster care: This refers to any form of harm that happens to a child who is under the care of a local authority.
  • A failure by social services to protect a child from abuse: This refers to situations where social services, who in certain situations have a duty of care towards children as well as a duty to act in accordance with the Human Rights Act 1998, do not adequately intervene or take necessary steps to prevent harm to a child who is known or suspected to be at risk of abuse
  • Abuse by a person in a position of trust: This could be someone in a higher position of power including a priest, a teacher, a sports coach, or a doctor.
  • Abuse suffered within the family: This is abuse that has happened within the family or family home.
  • Abuse of the elderly in a nursing or care home: Elder abuse refers to any form of harm that comes to a resident living in a long-term care facility.
  • Sexual or physical abuse suffered as an adult: This is any abuse that has been suffered over the age of 18.

Who can make an abuse claim?

Anyone who is a victim or survivor of abuse, whether that is physical or sexual can make an abuse claim. This includes any abuse that happened in the past or recently. It is therefore important that not only do you get the justice you deserve if you are a victim of abuse, but it is also your right to claim compensation.

Given the complex nature of these cases, whether you’re a survivor of abuse as an adult or a child, or if a loved one has suffered from abuse, it is important you speak to a lawyer who specialises in this area of law. Our team is experienced in all types of abuse claims and will work hard to get compensation for victims of abuse. If you’re not sure whether you are entitled to compensation, don’t worry. Our legal experts will speak to you in confidence and advise on whether you are eligible to make a claim.

How do I make an abuse compensation claim?

We understand that taking those initial steps to start a claim can often be daunting. However, we have made the process as easy and straightforward as possible. When you contact us, one of our experts who specialises in representing victims and survivors of abuse will speak to you in confidence and take details of your claim. We can take as long as you need to discuss your experience.

They will then provide you with their expert advice, talk you through the process and answer any questions you may have. You will also be provided with paperwork from your lawyer with documents for you to sign so we are able to continue with your claim.

To support your claim, we will need to gather evidence. Your expert lawyers will obtain all the relevant records in your case, take a detailed statement from you if appropriate and will also instruct a medical expert to review your medical records and prepare a professional report as evidence. The type of medical experts we instruct will depend on how the abuse has affected you both physically and psychologically. Appointments can take place in person or virtually and we will support you every step of the way.

After gathering evidence, we will present your claim to the responsible party, such as a school, church, local authority, or care home. They will then pass the claim to their insurers, who will assess the claim, and either they or their legal team will determine if they are at fault, a step known as "establishing liability."

In some cases, liability is established under the principle of vicarious liability, without proving prior knowledge of abuse. In other cases, proving negligence or prior knowledge is necessary, and our experienced lawyers will provide guidance accordingly.

We will engage in negotiations with those we believe are legally responsible for your safety. Our experts are renowned for securing optimal settlements in such cases, making trials exceedingly rare. Once a settlement is reached, the responsible party's insurers will make the compensation payment, concluding the case.

Discuss switching your case with our experts

Call us now on:   0330 041 5869

Why choose our abuse claim solicitors?

Our abuse team are experts in this field of law with many years’ experience, during which time they have represented victims and survivors of abuse in some of the most high-profile cases in UK history. Deciding whether to pursue a claim is a very important decision and advice from specialist abuse lawyers is essential.

As well as being committed to securing the right result for our clients, we go that extra mile to help reduce the burden of dealing with any of the additional worrying issues faced at such a challenging time. We recognise the importance of minimising trauma throughout the legal process. Our approach is designed to be as gentle as possible, ensuring that we handle your case with empathy and sensitivity, respecting your emotional well-being at every step.

Our highly experienced team understands the sensitive nature of your experience. We will listen to your story with unwavering empathy and without judgment. Your journey to healing and justice begins with a compassionate ear, and we are here to provide that support. Head of abuse law at Slater and Gordon, Richard Scorer, has nearly three decades of experience specialising in personal injury and human rights law, making him one of Britain's foremost specialists in abuse law. His unwavering commitment extends to advocating for victims and survivors of abuse across various contexts, from schools and churches to religious institutions, consistently securing justice in high-profile cases, whilst campaigning for law changes.

Leaders in advocacy, justice, and healing

One such example is the campaign that urges the mandatory reporting of abuse within the Church to secular authorities. As an accredited Fellow of the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL) and a top-ranked Band 1 lawyer in Chambers and Partners, Richard's expertise is widely recognised. Beyond the courtroom, he contributes to media, authors books, and actively engages in social causes, making him an exceptional leader in the field of abuse law, dedicated to justice, healing, and safeguarding vulnerable individuals.

Principal lawyer and Head of Operations - Abuse Law, Human Rights and Public Inquiries, Kim Harrison, has over 18 years of experience and is recognised in the independent legal guide, the Legal 500 as a legal individual as well as accredited by the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL) as a Senior Litigator. Her commitment to personal injury law spans two critical areas: representing abuse and assault survivors, both recent and non-recent, and engaging in public inquiries. Her expertise also encompasses complex human rights issues, inquests, and Human Rights Act claims.

Kim tirelessly champions abuse survivors' rights against institutions such as churches, schools, hospitals, and sports organisations, including handling intricate "failure to protect" and Human Rights Act claims against local authorities. With career highlights that include pivotal roles in the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA) and ground-breaking cases, such as holding the Ministry of Defence accountable for a human rights breach, Kim is dedicated to justice, consistently going the extra mile by sharing her expertise with the media and actively participating in legal associations.

We go beyond the ordinary by helping you claim the costs of past, present, and future private therapy or treatment. We understand that healing is a lifelong process, and we are here to ensure you have the resources you need to rebuild your life.

Our specialisation lies in claims against organisations and institutions, including schools, religious organizations, hospitals, and local authorities. We are well-versed in navigating the complexities of such cases, holding institutions accountable for their responsibilities in safeguarding your well-being.

Renowned for taking on cases that other law firms have turned away, we are driven by a deep passion for seeking justice on behalf of survivors and victims of abuse. Holding organisations and institutions accountable for their lack of safeguards is our mission, and we are dedicated to making a difference in your life and the lives of others who have suffered.

Can you still make an abuse compensation claim if the abuser is a high profile/public figure?

It doesn’t matter if your abuse claim involves a high-profile individual, a public authority or a powerful organisation - you deserve justice and compensation regardless of the abuser. Our experts have dealt with many high-profile abuse cases over the years. We have acted for people who have suffered from abuse in many high-profile cases, such as:

  • Jimmy Saville
  • Rolf Harris
  • Max Clifford
  • Stuart Hall
  • Cyril Smith
  • Rochdale Exploitation Scandal
  • Football Coach Scandal
  • The Catholic Church
  • The Church of England
  • The Methodist Church
  • Jehovah's Witnesses
  • Chetham’s School of Music
  • Durham Chorister
  • The Scout Association
  • St John's Ambulance Service
  • Ashdown House
  • St Pauls / Colet Court
  • Hillside First
  • St Paul's Cathedral Choir School
  • St George's School
  • Barnardo's
  • North Wales Child Abuse Scandal

Talk to us about your case

Call us now on:   0330 041 5869

Why choose Slater and Gordon?

No Win No Fee

We can offer No Win No Fee funding for your abuse or sexual assault claim, so there’s no financial risk to you.

Talk to the experts

Our abuse law experts are some of the most well known in the country with a vast amount of expertise and understanding.

Speed of delivery

As specialists in abuse law, we’ll ensure your case is dealt with swiftly, whilst ensuring you receive the maximum compensation and support.

Your local law firm

We’re a reputable National law firm, with expert lawyers in local areas across England, Scotland and Wales.

Call us now on:   0330 041 5869

Sexual and physical abuse frequently asked questions

Can I make a no win no fee abuse claim?

Most of our cases are funded under a No Win No Fee Agreement which means if the case is unsuccessful, you will not have to pay anything. We also offer several other financial options.

How long does an abuse claim take?

All cases vary so the timescale on how long a claim will take varies. Our expert solicitors will advise you on the timeframe of your claim as soon as you get in contact.

How much compensation will I get for sexual abuse or assault?

As each case is unique, we can’t give an accurate compensation amount until we have examined your claim as the amount is affected by several elements. However, our experts will ensure they get you the best possible outcome for your case.

Is there a time limit for bringing claim for sexual abuse or assault?

Most cases fall under a three-year limitation but with the court's discretion they tend to extend the time limits due to the nature of these cases. It is therefore important to contact a specialist lawyer who can advise you on any time limitations.

Will I need to go to court over my abuse claim?

Most abuse compensation claims successfully conclude before reaching the final court hearing which means there would be no need for you to attend a court hearing. There are occasions when cases do go to court, but it is your lawyers' job to fully support and represent you through this process.

Search our website
Sorry, we have no results to show
Please try a different search term.
Oops, something went wrong
Please try typing in your search again.
Back to top