24 Jun 2016

Personal Injury

Never too late to report physical and sexual abuse

Child victims of physical and sexual abuse have endured years of psychological upset, coupled with the fear of reporting that abuse to the authorities.  The sexual and physical abuse by those specifically employed to care for them professionally, such as teachers, social workers and care workers, was rarely investigated.  Civil claims alleging that a public authority or institution was reasonable for exposing a child to the activity of the abuser is an area of litigation that began, in the main, in the 1990s.

Sexual and physical abuse of children by those in positions of trust with children has been perpetrated for many decades.  Abusers and their employers have denied both the fact and the extent of the abuse.  This has led to the present situation where abuse is being investigated by the police and by means of civil litigation many years after the event taking place.  Paedophiles operating as far back as the 1950s are now being convicted of serious sexual offences and sentenced to long terms of imprisonment.  The complainants (some now in their late 50s and perhaps older) are having to release details of their childhood to the police and criminal courts.  In the course of this process, complainants have come to recognise that not only their abusers but also the public authorities and institutions employing the abusers should be held accountable for the damage done.

It is never too late to report the matter to the police or to seek legal advice.  There are complex legal hurdles to overcome to bring a successful claim for damages where the allegations relate to historical physical or sexual abuse which we can assist you with.  What is important is the client’s reasons for taking the action late, backed up by good psychiatric evidence.

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