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Historic Abuse

Historic abuse is when an individual was abused from when they were a child onwards

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Historic abuse is when an individual was abused from when they were a child to what might be only a few years ago. Whether it occurred once or numerous times, no matter how many years in the past, this counts as historic abuse, and it does not matter if that abuse was physical, sexual or psychological. In some abuse cases, you may have come to understand what happened in the past very recently.

Survivors of historic abuse

Survivors of historic abuse are often unaware they may have a legal right to compensation from those responsible. An historic claim for sexual or physical abuse can have been suffered at any time from childhood to a few years ago. But however long ago the historic abuse occurred, it is important to obtain expert legal advice from specialist lawyers.

Our highly experienced team understands the enormous challenges inherent in having to think about your past if it has involved any kind of physical or sexual abuse. But rest assured, we will speak with you with empathy and a genuinely human approach, putting our vast knowledge and experience at your disposal, helping you to make a legal case and claim.

To bring an historic abuse claim to court one must prove that a fair trial will proceed.

This is key: the claim will be pursued outside the customary time period to present a claim. It isn’t an automatic right to bring a claim, so it is crucial you obtain legal advice as soon as possible. Any delay might affect your prospects of being allowed to proceed by the court.

In historic sexual and/or physical abuse cases, victims often express concern there will no longer be any evidence available. This is why it is helpful to make a report to the police, and while we understand how daunting this might be, it does help obtain the necessary evidence to proceed with a claim; please be reassured that we will help you every step of the way.

The police are experienced in dealing with historic abuse cases, and they will help obtain evidence against your abuser, and encourage more people to come forward.

Here at Price Slater Gawne, we have brought successful claims for compensation against a wide variety of bodies, including local authorities, the church and charitable organisations, individuals, schools and colleges, sports and youth groups, and homes and institutions.

Locating and speaking to other survivors who have reported abuse at the same institution or by the same individual is also a key part of the investigation stage, because very often, abusers target more than one victim and in these cases the claims can be pursued as a group action. The more people who disclose similar accounts of abuse, the greater the prospect of persuading a court that the abuse occurred.

The civil claims process can seek compensation, but it is not designed to punish the abuser: this is a matter for the criminal courts. If the police do investigate your allegations, we will work in conjunction with them to help whenever possible.

A criminal conviction against your abuser could greatly improve your prospect of recovering historical abuse compensation. It is therefore common to wait for the outcome of the criminal case before progressing a compensation claim.

If the abuse you wish to make a historical abuse compensation claim for is of a sexual nature and was committed prior to 1st May 2004, the crime will be dealt with under the Sexual Offences Act 1956. If the abuse you suffered happened after 1st May 2004, the crime will be charged under the Sexual Offences Act 2003.

Historic physical and sexual abuse claims can take a quite some time to conclude, indeed some cases take many years, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t pursue that compensation.

We know that compensation won’t change what has happened to you, but it can help you rebuild life, for example by funding treatment costs, further education and providing financial security. The amount of historical abuse compensation that is recoverable depends on the extent of the injuries suffered and how it has affected each and every aspect of your life.

In addition to payment for any injuries, you can also recover money for other financial losses directly related to the abuse, such as lost earnings. Your compensation is not affected by how much time has passed since the abuse was suffered.

If you have been a victim of historic abuse, please contact our team today on 0161 615 5554, or email They will fight for you every step of the way.

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Meet the Team

  • Victoria Price


    Victoria Price

    t:03333 058375


  • Gemma Stanley

    Associate, Serious Injury Claims

    Gemma Stanley

    t:07534 847421


  • Alexandra Bastow

    Paralegal, Serious Injury

    Alexandra Bastow

    t:07939 988918


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