We win a sexual assault compensation claim against the church
While representing a client in respect of another matter, we became aware she had been sexually assaulted during her childhood. Specialist abuse lawyer, Rachel Thain, recognised she would be entitled to make a claim for compensation and was still in time to do so. Cases involving childhood abuse are frequently brought many years outside the legal timeframe but in this case we identified the potential claim before the time limit expired on the woman’s 21st birthday. We advised her about the options available and after careful consideration she instructed us to pursue a sexual assault compensation claim against the church.
The case was based on what our client had experienced when she was just 11 years of age. She had attended a gathering at her local youth club and while she was there she was sexually assaulted by a church youth worker.
Rachel sent a detailed Letter of Claim to the church that ran the youth club. We alleged the church were ‘vicariously liable’ for the criminal actions of the youth worker who was in a position of authority and trust.
Evidence to support the sexual assault compensation claim was obtained. This included police records and witness statements.
The church denied liability. It disputed that it could be held responsible for the assault as it did not take place within the context of a youth club activity.
We disagreed with the church’s position. As specialists in the field of sexual assault compensation claims we know that organisations like a church, a local authority or an employer can be held vicariously liable for the criminal acts of others. We are also aware that there have been a number of recent developments in the law in this area which are favourable to claimants.
Rachel therefore advised our client that she had reasonable prospects of succeeding in her claim and arranged for court proceedings to be issued against the Church.
Our client found the claim unexpectedly challenging. We therefore asked the court for a pause in the legal proceedings to give her some time away from the claim. This was unusual, but Rachel recognised that she needed to do all she could to ensure the well-being of her client. The court agreed to grant a 6 month pause.
Once matters were able to move forward again, Rachel was able to secure an out of court compensation settlement to bring the matter to an conclusion without the need for the client to give evidence at a trial.
If you require expert guidance on bringing a sexual assault compensation claim against the church, a local authority, an employer or any other individual or organisation then call us for a free case review on 0808 139 1597 and details of no win, no fee funding or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org