Jeremy Indika contacted Emmott Snell seeking justice for the sexual abuse he had suffered at the hands of his childminder whilst he was a child. We advised him on an application to the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority.
Whilst by no means straightforward, it is possible for victims of sexual abuse to pursue their compensation claims against the person who assaulted them if it can be established that the perpetrator has sufficient assets (preferably property) to pay that compensation and legal costs.
The concept of modus operandi in the context of sexual assault cases refers to a perpetrator’s behaviours prior to, during, and following sexual abuse.
One of Emmott Snell’s clients (hereafter referred to in this article as Mr M, to protect his identity) has successfully obtained an out-of-court settlement after bringing a civil compensation claim against a parish in the Oxford Diocese for sexual abuse he suffered whilst he was a chorister in a church choir.
It is always heartening when any institution chooses to initiate formal scrutiny when something has gone badly wrong. In the Church of England, the House of Bishop’s guidance states that once matters relate to a safeguarding concern or allegation against a church officer have been completed, lessons should be identified and learnt from the case.
Rebekah Vardy’s Channel 4 programme ‘Jehovah’s Witnesses and Me’ in which she alleges that she was sexually abused between the ages of 11 and 15, and that the abuse was covered up by the Jehovah’s Witness leadership in the community of which she was a part, shines a light once again on how reporting of childhood abuse in religious contexts is dealt with, often inadequately.
Many victims of sexual abuse live in silence and fear. It is heartening that more victims of sexual abuse are speaking out. The reporting of high-profile cases in the media has helped public awareness of childhood sexual abuse. A growing awareness and acceptance of mental health issues and the role of childhood abuse in causing mental health difficulties has also played a part in emboldening survivors to speak out.
What is it?
The Association of Child Abuse Lawyers (ACAL) was set up in 1999 by leading solicitors in the field of civil compensation claims, for the physical, sexual, or emotional abuse of children and adults.
The Association consists of solicitors, barristers, legal executives, trainee solicitors, barrister pupils, experts, and paralegals.
Sexual abuse and sexual violence is a deeply damaging reality. Sexual Abuse and Sexual Violence Awareness Week is a national event aimed at building awareness and campaigning against sexual violence and abuse.
Editor's note: Since we reported successful compensation claims against the Cistercian Order in 2017 in respect of six survivors of abuse by Father Kotik Thaddeus, a monk on Caldey Island, more survivors have come forward.
It is reported that over 20 survivors have now disclosed abuse suffered at the hands of monks. Claims of non recent abuse involving priests and religious figures are being re-investigated by police. A public inquiry is being called for, 5000 signatures having been obtained on a petition.
It is hoped that a public inquiry will shine a much needed spotlight on the child exploitation that occurred on Caldey Island, to learn lessons from the past and prevent future failings. As important it is vital that survivors are heard and can find justice and much needed resolution.