Sexual abuse by a child: What are the legal options?
In cases of sexual abuse by a child criminal prosecution is often not an option. So what legal recourse can a victim of child-on-child sexual abuse have? Find out by contacting us for a free case assessment on 0333 888 0445 or by sending us an email.
A BBC Panorama investigation has found that reports of children sexually abusing other children had doubled in the two years to 2019. In 2017 there were about 8,000 incidents of sexual abuse between children and this had risen to 15,000 to 16,000 in 2019; a huge increase.
While cases seem to fall during the Covid-19 pandemic the overall trend of increasing incidents of child-on-child sexual abuse is obviously a huge concern.
Figures also show that about 10% of the reported cases involve children aged 10 or under. A majority of cases involved boys abusing girls. This can mean that a child who is abused by another child can see their abuser face no criminal consequences due to “doli incapax” – the legal principle that those under 10 years old are incapable of forming the intention to commit a crime.
A child who is abused by another child still suffers the adverse effects of that abuse – confusion, shame, fear and guilt are common. For some victims and survivors these effects can endure throughout adult life.
However, even where criminal prosecution is not possible, a civil law claim for compensation can give some sense of justice closure as well as allowing the survivor to seek private psychological treatment to help them recover from their experiences.
Specialist abuse lawyer Elizabeth Duncan, who is currently working for a number of cases involving sexual abuse by a child says, “Often child-on-child sexual abuse takes place in school and in those cases there may be a claim against the school on the basis of poor supervision, failing to notice warning signs and failing to take heed of concerns and complaints. No one likes to think that a child may be capable of harming their other children, but that is no excuse to ignore the risk and fail to take appropriate safeguarding steps to look after all children in the setting”.
If you need expert guidance on sexual abuse by a child then get in touch for a free confidential case assessment. After an initial free call we can deal with most claims on a No Win, No Fee basis.