Child Abuse in Rugby

Child Abuse in Rugby

At IBB Law, we believe children should be free to enjoy participating in sports such as rugby without the fear of being abused, either emotionally, physically or sexually.

Unfortunately, as we have recently seen, sexual predators do target sports clubs and rugby can offer additional protection for abusers because of the macho culture that often surrounds even very young players.

The Rugby Football Union’s safeguarding team dealt with 141 cases involving adults and children in the 2015-16 season in England, with some involving “serious, harmful sexual behaviour”. The RFU did not put a number on the incidents involving sexual behaviour, saying they were very small.

Our expert child abuse lawyers do not believe victims of child abuse should ever suffer in silence. We have a reputation for representing victims of child abuse and obtaining compensation. By providing sensitive, astute advice and keeping clients fully informed and supported through every stage of the process, we empower victims of child abuse to take control of their lives and receive the compensation they need to move forward.

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Can I claim compensation if I suffered sexual abuse at my rugby club as a child?

If you were the victim of abuse whilst participating in rugby run by a club or other organisation, you need to show, on the balance of probabilities, that your abuser abused you. 

Although it is frequently the case that there is no evidence of the abuse other than the survivor’s account of the assaults, you can still win your claim for compensation. This is because you do not have to prove 100% that the assaults took place: you only have to show that it is more likely than not, that you were the victim of assaults.

If you suffered sexual or physical abuse at the hands of a rugby coach who had previously been dismissed from a coaching position at another club for inappropriate behaviour, then a judge may rule that those responsible for recruitment where you suffered abuse failed had in their duty of care by hiring that individual.

How do I make a claim?

The first step is to instruct an experienced solicitor, who specialises in child abuse work, who you feel you can trust and develop a rapport with Is there a time limit on making claims for sexual abuse that occurred at a rugby club?

There are generally no time limits for prosecuting abusers; however, there are time limits imposed for making a compensation claim. Usually, victims have three years from the time the abuse took place, or from the time of their 18th birthday, to bring a civil claim for compensation.  

However, due to the impact of sexual abuse on survivors, these times limits are not always strictly applied. The court has the discretion to extend the time for bringing a claim, meaning compensation claims for historic abuse which occurred in rugby clubs can be heard many years down the track. Nevertheless, time is not automatically extended and thus it is important to bring a claim as soon as possible, to improve your chances of making a successful claim.

What is the process of making a claim?

Our personal injury team will arrange an initial consultation to discuss the circumstances of your case.  We will refrain from asking any specific details about the abuse and will only ask when we have earned your trust and you are ready.

We will then recommend you report allegations of the abuse to the authorities as this will improve the prospects of a successful claim.

Once we have carried out inquiries and the evidence is gathered, we will then contact the club in question, on your behalf, notifying them that you are claiming compensation for abuse. They can either choose to accept the allegations and settle the claim or defend them. If the latter occurs, we are likely to recommend court proceedings

We will support you in getting medical reports detailing the mental and physical effects of abuse.  We will also advise you on what you can claim for and the likely level of compensation.

How long with the process take?

Claims for historic abuse can take a couple of years, especially if there is a going to be a criminal case.  Our child abuse lawyers will support you through the process.  We care deeply about our clients and we commit to you and your case.

Will I have to go to court?

We understand the trauma attending court can cause the victim of sexual, physical or emotional abuse, especially if you have never spoken about the incident until now.  However, our vast experience and skill in alternative dispute resolution procedures such as settlement meetings with the lawyers working for those legally responsible for the abuse means that the vast majority of the claims we bring are settled long before they get to court.

How much will it cost to make a claim?

At IBB Claims we provide ‘conditional fee arrangements’, otherwise known as ‘no win, no fee’.  This means that if your claim is unsuccessful, you will not have to pay any legal fees to our solicitors.

Because we are shouldering the risk of your claim, you can therefore feel confident that we believe it has a reasonable chance of success. You can further protect yourself by taking out After the Event insurance to cover the other side’s costs if the court orders that you must pay them.  This is something that we can organise for you.

By instructing IBB Claims to manage your compensation claim for abuse occurring whilst you participated in rugby as a child (or when your child participated), you can be confident that you have the best possible chance of success.  We will expertly guide you through the process, providing you and your family with support.

If early settlement is not possible, you can be assured that we will robustly fight your claim, protecting your interests and obtaining the compensation you deserve.

Contact our compassionate abuse experts today

We are committed and passionate about supporting victims and getting justice for them.  Every child has the right to participate in extra-circular activities without the risk of harm coming to them.  By bringing a claim for compensation, you are not only empowering yourself, but ensuring those whose negligent acts and/or omissions failed to protect you are held to account.   If you would like further information on making a compensation claim for child abuse which occurred in a rugby club, please call our office on 0333 123 9099 or email to make an appointment with one of our team. Alternatively please complete our online form.


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