Physical and Sexual Abuse FAQs

  • Physical abuse can be defined as “an injury or a pattern of injuries that is non-accidental.” It is often the most recognisable form of abuse, as visible physical indications may be evident.


    Physical abuse can be as emotionally traumatising as it is physically traumatising. It is also usually accompanied by emotional abuse; the physical assaults being interspersed with verbal insults and unreasonable expectations.

  • Sexual abuse is where the perpetrator carries out sexual acts which the victim does not consent to. Where children are concerned, there is often sexual exploitation for the gratification of the abuser.

  • This is a common question. According to the Limitation Act 1980, the time limit for making a claim for sexual and physical abuse is three years from the date of knowledge of the abuse, or within three years of turning 18 years old if the abuse took place while the victim was a child. If a claim is being pursued through the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA), then a claim must be made within two years of the date of the incident or, if the victim was a child at the time of the incident, within two years of turning 18 years old.

    However, there are circumstances where these time limits can be disapplied so that a claim can continue, even if it is out of time. At Emsleys, our specialist solicitors have a wealth of experience in challenging this defence so that the case can proceed irrespective and will be able to advise you on this aspect of your case.

  • Your case may have been undersettled. A claim can be made against the solicitor who dealt with the original case for you if it has; meaning that they will be obliged to pay additional compensation for the undersettlement (i.e. the difference between what you received and what you should have received). Although financial compensation can never compensate for the trauma you have suffered, it is important to ensure that you achieve recognition (for the trauma suffered). Our team has a wealth of experience in acting in undersettled cases and will do all they can to ensure it is dealt with in a confidential, safe and secure manner.

  • Yes. We have expertise in dealing with cases such as this. We will review all ongoing cases free of charge and advise on how to proceed. We work nationally and can meet clients and their appointed carers at a convenient location and time.   

  • Abuse can be defined as treating an individual with cruelty or violence, especially regularly or repeatedly.

  • The primary time to bring a claim against an individual is before the victims’ 21st birthday or, if the claim is being made through the CICA, before their 20th birthday. However, it can take some victims several years before they feel able to report the abuse they have suffered to the police, a medical professional or any other authority. At Emsleys, we have a specialist team who can advise on how the time limit can be set aside and the claim pursued with success.

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