ABUSE IN SCHOOLS
All students have a right to feel safe in their place of study. When an adult in charge of safeguarding them fails to protect or uses their position to abuse students, it can be devastating. Abuse can be emotional, physical or sexual and can take place over days, months, or even years. No matter the kind or duration of abuse, it can have an impact.
If you or someone you know is being abused, or you suspect a teacher or member of staff within a school to be abusing a child, contact the police immediately. They can take action to protect you or any children that may be in danger.
If you have been a victim of abuse then you have options available to you.
Who Can I Bring My Claim Against?
You can claim against the individual who abused you. Unfortunately, individuals often do not have sufficient funds or assets that allow them to pay you compensation that you may be awarded, or they may already have died.
If this is the case, then you can bring your claim against the school or local authority which was responsible for the abuser at the time that the abuse occurred.
How Is A Claim Brought Against A School?
Even if you are over the age of 21, you can bring a claim of child abuse, because the Court recognises the impact that abuse can have on child and the time it may take to come to terms with the abuse.
Our cases rely on a principle called ‘vicarious liability,’ in which it has to be proven that the individual who perpetrated the abuse was put in a position of trust that allowed them to commit the abuse.
Once we establish vicarious liability, we will bring your best possible case to the defendants in order to get you the compensation you deserve. This may include gathering records that show how the abuse has affected you over your life and asking you to see a psychiatrist for a report. We know this can be a difficult process, but our Solicitors will guide you through every step.
If you are thinking about bringing a claim against a School, contact us and have a confidential conversation with one of our experienced legal staff.
My Abuser Has Never Been Convicted, Can I Still Bring A Claim?
Even if you have never reported the abuse to police, you still may be able to bring a claim, because a claim can proceed without a criminal conviction.
It is easier to bring a civil claim if your abuser has been convicted, because the police already have records and evidence against them, but do not let this deter you from considering bringing a claim. If you would like to speak about the specifics of your case, you can contact us.
Do I Have To Bring My Claim In Court?
Even if you do not wish to take your abuser to court, you can still claim compensation for the harm you have suffered. The Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA) is a government funded scheme which provides compensation to people who have suffered abuse with awards ranging from £1,000 to £500,000.
This may be a good option if you wish to pursue an individual who cannot afford to compensate you or if the abuser has died.
A CICA claim is designed to be a last resort for those who cannot pursue another method of compensation. If you believe that this is the best option for you call our experienced legal team, who will talk you through your options and give you advice on your application.
Why AO Advocates?
Our experienced legal team has helped many survivors bring claims against their abusers or the schools or councils that were responsible. We understand that abuse is a difficult subject to talk about, and our team will handle any information that you give us with sensitivity and the strictest confidence.
We know that money cannot undo the damage caused by abuse, but we hope it can give you peace of mind and allow you to begin rebuilding your life.
Counselling can be essential to recovery, but it is also expensive. This is why we are leading the way in rehabilitative measures by requesting that defendants pay for treatment from the beginning of the claim instead of waiting to recover damages at the end of the claim.
We have brought a number of successful cases against
· St Bede’s College in Manchester, England.
• St Hugh’s
• Winterfold House
• St George’s School, Windsor
• Derbyshire County Council (Gayton Junior School)
If you have any further questions, see our frequently asked questions page or contact us directly. Your initial consultation will always be free and confidential.