Sexual Assault

A sexual assault can take many forms, but is any type of sexual contact or behaviour that occurs without the consent of the recipient. This can include any unwanted sexual activity as fondling, kissing, masturbation, and digital or penile penetration or uninvited sexual touching, even through clothes. It can be an attack or it can be more subtle. It can occur between adult and child as well as between adults.

According to an official report* released in 2013, approximately 12,000 men and 85,000 women are raped in England and Wales every year. Of those, 1 in 5 women aged between 16 – 59 have experienced some form of sexual violence since the age of 16. Only around 15% of victims of sexual violence choose to report their abuse to the police, and approximately 90% of those who are raped know the perpetrator prior to the offence.

Other key statistics are:

  • 31% of young women aged 18-24 report having experienced sexual abuse in childhood (NSPCC, 2011)
  • In 2012-13, 22,654 sexual offences against under-18s were reported to police in England and Wales with 4 out of 5 cases involving girls (NSPCC, 2014)
  • A third of people believe women who flirt are partially responsible for being raped (Amnesty, 2005)
  • Conviction rates for rape are far lower than other crimes, with only 5.7% of reported rape cases ending in a conviction for the perpetrator. (Kelly, Lovett and Regan, A gap or a chasm? Attrition in reported rape cases, 2005)

* An Overview of Sexual Offending in England and Wales, a joint official statistics bulletin on sexual violence released by the Ministry of Justice (MoJ), Office for National Statistics (ONS) and Home Office in January 2013.

Sexual assaults can happen in the context of:

  • Dating
  • Social occasions
  • Public transport eg aeroplanes and tube

Sexual assaults are criminal offences and are also actionable in the civil courts, following which compensation could be recoverable.

If you or someone you know has been sexually assaulted it is important that you report the matter to the police as soon as possible. The police will take investigations into sexual assault very seriously, using specialist officers. We can support you making first contact with the police if you wish, and signpost you to appropriate support services while any police investigation is ongoing.


Our specialist team can advise you and provide you with a clear way forward, representing you in your legal claim, and advocating on your behalf. We have considerable experience in helping those who have been sexually assaulted launch and win compensation .

eBook image

The abuse Survivor's guide to making a claim for compensation

If you're considering pursuing compensation for abuse you've suffered, our guide will tell you what you need and what to expect.

Download eBook Now
sexual assault

"Thank you for all you have done. Your humane approach and business balance is 'spot-on' and I have been totally confident in your ability to explore every possible route available to us along the way. I will also miss speaking to you - I don't suppose there are many people who say that about their solicitor?!" - Mrs DB


Contact us.
At a free informal initial consultation, which can be held over the telephone, we will discuss the circumstances surrounding your abuse and answer any questions you may have. We can then advise you as to whether, in our opinion, we believe you have a claim with reasonable prospects of success.

To arrange a friendly discussion with one of our helpful experts click on the "Talk to Me" buttons below.

Jacqui Morton Emmott Snell

Jacqui Morton

Jacqui is known for her hardworking and careful approach to any legal problem, her excellent rapport with clients and professionals.

Talk to me
Francesca Cirillo Emmott Snell

Francesca Cirillo

Francesca is known for her willingness to assist, keen eye for detail and is an integral and valued member of the team. She is also fluent in Italian.

Talk to me
Bernadette James Emmott Snell

Bernadette James

‘Barny’ is recognised for her sympathetic ear and good relationships with our clients. She possesses an ever-cheerful outlook, which clients really appreciate.

Talk to me
Toslima Islam Emmott Snell

Toslima Islam

As the youngest member of the team, Toslima is known for her willingness to take time to carefully listen to clients. She is fluent in Bengali.

Talk to me