Grooming Gang Sexual Abuse

Grooming Gang Sexual Abuse

Those who sexually abuse children and young people, teenagers, will seek out those who they see as having some vulnerability. Those children from so-called “good homes” can be vulnerable to exploitation but more commonly we see those who are already living in a vulnerable situation, being most at risk of being sexually assaulted and sexually abused.

In the last few years a number of grooming gangs across the country have been arrested by the police, with long sentences being handed down to those found guilty of the most wicked crimes against children. Those offenders will spend many years behind bars and although there is some support from the NHS and other bodies to help the victim survivors of sexual abuse cope with the consequences of the crimes committed against them, sadly the support can only be provided for a relatively short period of time, even though we know the effects of sexual assault can be long lasting.

As Government support to help victims of grooming gangs is not open-ended, it may be particularly helpful to those victim survivors of grooming gang abuse to pursue a claim for financial compensation, to enable them to have further counselling or therapy, to provide access to further education and to compensate for the sexual abuse and health issues that follow.

If you would like advice, with no obligation, on whether you are entitled to grooming gang sexual abuse compensation please contact our specialist lawyers now. Either fill in our online enquiry form, email us at enquiries@ibbclaims.co.uk or telephone on 0333 123 9099.

Grooming gangs targeting girls

A grooming gang in Huddersfield were jailed for sexually exploiting young girls “for their own perverted gratification”. Girls were controlled by violence and threats against them, personally, and their families.  In Rotherham, a grooming gang were found guilty of exploiting young girls, including one victim who was sexually abused by “at least 100 Asian men” before the age of 16.

Independent review

The independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse was set up by the government in response to a number of serious historical child sexual abuse cases. There were specific concerns that some organisations were failing and were continuing to fail to protect children from sexual abuse.

In October 2020 it was reported that the Inquiry was not intended to investigate grooming gangs. This provoked a fierce response from leading campaigners, including Sammy Woodhouse, a victim of the Rotherham gang. She said the inquiry had “not placed survivors at the forefront” of the investigation. She went on to say, “If you are going to get to the root of gang related child sexual exploitation you need to go right to the heart of it. They are trying to bury what happened in places like Rotherham and Rochdale because they’re scared of being called racist”.

Sarah Champion, MP, similarly questioned the decision saying, “It’s more than a missed opportunity. So many survivors pinned their hopes on this inquiry getting to the truth”.

Where have the grooming gangs operated?

Following investigations by the police there have been prosecutions and convictions of grooming gangs operating across the country, in Rotherham, Huddersfield, Telford, Rochdale, Oxford and Aylesbury.

What harm is caused by grooming gang sexual abuse?

The consequences of being sexually abused can have lifelong consequences as the following examples illustrate.

At a sentencing hearing one victim of a grooming gang explained how she turned to crack cocaine to deal with the trauma she had experienced, which resulted in her leading a “life of crime” to fund her cocaine habit. She said, “I struggle to live a normal life day-to-day. I still have a fear of going outside. I feel my life has been taken away from me.

My life has been destroyed. I cannot form loving or lasting relationships with men. I have not been able to care for my children as a mother should be able to. This has ruined my chances of a normal life”.

Another victim survivor has said, “now, seven or eight years later, I see stories like Holly’s (not her real name) where she is not being listened to, she is not being believed, her abusers have acted with impunity because they think the authorities are not going to do anything about it. She is one of probably one of thousands of young girls and young boys who are being abused in street grooming up and down the country”.

It is not possible to turn back the clock but if sufficient financial compensation can be obtained, this may enable an individual to access long-term counselling or therapy, to give them the best chance of recovery.

Government Support

In the last few years financial support has been increased to support the victim survivors of sexual assault. In early 2020 the Ministry of Justice announced that there would be an increase in funding for the victims of rape. The purpose was to respond to over 160,000 sexual offences recorded by the police in 2019. The £12 million funding was to be used for counselling, personal support and for the recruitment of more Independent Sexual Violence Advisors.

In the same year the government announced an additional £22 million of emergency funding, to enable various charities to provide desperately needed life-saving counselling and advice services. Money was also set aside for The Support for Victims and Survivors of Child Sexual Abuse Fund, to help both adult and child victims of child sexual abuse, across Wales and England.

Although this funding is well received, support for individuals can still be time limited. 

Survivors often require counselling or therapy over a long period of time, but the cost of that may have to be paid for privately.  Therefore, pursuing a grooming gang compensation claim to pay for treatment may be the route to improved health.

How long do I have to make a grooming gang compensation claim?

There are two sets of time limits that need to be observed, in order to pursue a successful claim for grooming gang compensation. Under a government scheme, the compensation must be pursued within two years of making a report to the police.

However, if the sexual assaults occur when the victim is still a child and a report was made to the police before their 18th birthday, the two-year time limit will not run until they turn 18 years of age, meaning they have until their 20th birthday to apply for compensation. If a report to the police is not made until after an individual turns 18 years of age, the two years runs from the date of the sexual assault or abuse being reported to the police. Therefore, if a report to the police is made on 1 December 2020, the claim must be made by 1 December 2022.

A separate claim can be made against the person who committed the abuse.  A claim against the person who committed the assaults should be made within three years from the date of the sexual assault.  The exception to this time limit is that time does not run until the individual reaches their 18th birthday, meaning they have until the 21st birthday to pursue a claim for compensation.

These are the time limits although it may still be possible to pursue a successful grooming gang compensation claim, outside these periods depending upon the reasons for the delay in seeking compensation. Therefore, it is important to seek legal advice at the earliest opportunity to avoid the risk of falling bowel of the time limit rules on pursuing sexual abuse compensation and sexual assault compensation. Enquiries can be made to enquiries@ibbclaims.co.uk 

How much grooming gang compensation am I entitled to?

There are two claims. Under the government scheme for compensation the maximum award is £500,000, payable to the innocent victim of a criminal injury. However, the vast majority of awards are under £25,000.

A claim against those responsible for the grooming gang sexual assaults, subject to them having sufficient assets, is unlimited and depends upon the nature of the abuse, how long it went on for and the consequences of that upon the survivor’s health.

The awards can range from a few thousand pounds up to £50,000 or in some cases substantially more. In addition to an award for the abuse and its mental health consequences, it may also be possible to claim for the private cost of medical treatment, if further counselling and therapy is required, costs associated with education and training that may have been missed while the victim was being abused, plus loss of earnings if the abuse has affected the type of work they may do or how much work they may be able to undertake.

What do our clients say about us?

We regularly ask for feedback from our clients. Here is what others say about us.

“My experience with IBB solicitors was fantastic, my case was a very sensitive one dating back to my childhood but was dealt with in a way that I could only have wished for”.

“Precise information to me on time and at all times. Really felt they were getting the best result for me”.

“Malcolm Underhill-professional, knowledgeable, and sensitive to my needs during this distressing case. A joy to work with.”

“My experience with IBB Solicitors was excellent from the first phone call right until the end. They don’t give up. They fight all the way to get you justice. Malcolm Underhill took my case and ran with it…”

"We will be forever grateful for your kind and sensitive handling of (the) case and I will, of course, have no hesitation in recommending you and IBB to any other unfortunate individual
should we come across them."

“I would recommend IBB Solicitors as they were very clear from the beginning as to the process, timescale and commitment required to obtain a positive outcome. They were also instrumental in providing the platform for me to work through the experiences I had been through by putting me in touch with the right professional persons”

(Malcolm Underhill) “always very considerate, supportive and encouraging from the outset and always had a positive opinion that I could work through this and come out with a more positive mind frame. I truly believe Malcolm had as much interest in my personal well-being as he did in obtaining the compensation fee. Without Malcolm’s consistent support and guidance to me and my parents, I am sure I would not be in the positive position I find myself in today”.

“My experience with IBB solicitors was fantastic, my case was a very sensitive one dating back to my childhood but was dealt with in a way that I could only have wished for”.

IBB solicitors are recommended because of providing “concise and precise information to me on time and at all times. Really felt they were getting the best result for me”.

(Malcolm Underhill) - “professional, knowledgeable and sensitive to my needs during this distressing case. A joy to work with”.

(Malcolm Underhill) - “polite, understanding, thoughtful at all times. Proved to be on my side very successfully…a person I would wish fighting on my side……….honourable and worth my trust”

“I am very glad I chose IBB Law as I had a pleasant experience and found the staff to be informative throughout my claim.”

“A truth worthy company; overall I had a good experience. I am very grateful for the help I have received. I would recommend to anyone who is unsure about which company to go with, who may not have knowledge on what they are entitled to.”

“Malcolm Underhill, he did a fantastic job on advising with decisions and overall a pleasant person to speak to. I would have a response to emails and my questions were answered. As someone who did not know much about seeking a solicitor, I am very happy with the outcome. Malcolm worked hard on my case and the outcome was better than I had expected. I was explained anything I did not understand and advised where needed.”

“Professional from the start, gave 100% to our case”.

“I wasn’t just a number to IBB Law, they were truly committed to getting justice for me”

“Malcolm Underhill was all about getting justice, working after hours to call me when it was suitable for me to be called in the evening. Very passionate on getting justice, spoke in a way we could understand, not law jargon.”

“IBB provided very professional advice to me throughout my claim. I was kept very well informed with excellent communication from Malcolm and his team.”

“Malcolm Underhill represented me throughout my case with great integrity and understanding. I felt very confident when Malcolm offered me his knowledge and advice.”

“Highly satisfactory”.

“Fantastic service with compassion”

“Never gave up and believed in me”

“All team members were amazing”

"He [Malcolm Underhill]was very good at keeping in touch and explaining everything to me."

“I found them great at leading me through the minefield of personal injury claims”.

What should I do if I want to make a grooming gang compensation claim?

If you want to make a grooming gang compensation claim it is sensible to seek legal advice as soon as possible, to ensure a claim is made within the appropriate time limit and also to meet other conditions that will apply to pursuing a claim for compensation.

We specialise in helping victim survivors of sexual abuse and sexual assault and therefore if you would like advice on pursuing a grooming gang compensation claim, telephone us on 0333 123 9099, email at enquiries@ibbclaims.co.uk, or use the online enquiry form. Although we will ask you some questions, to advise you, we will not, during this first conversation, ask you for details of the sexual assault. We will not need to know such information in order to advise you whether you have the prospects of making a successful grooming gang compensation claim.

We are here to help.