May 30, 2023
Updated Scoping Inquiry
The Government has launched a Scoping Inquiry into Historical Sexual Abuse in Day and Boarding Schools run by Religious Orders. The Inquiry aims to find out what survivors want the...
Child Abuse and Sexual Abuse Claims
We act on behalf of those who have been sexually abused by issuing civil proceedings.
Victims have the right to pursue child and sexual abuse claims, which can include for historic child and sexual abuse. This could be against an individual or against an institution that failed to prevent abuse.
We understand that cases involving sexual abuse are sensitive and the victims are often left traumatised and distressed. Our sexual abuse solicitors in Dublin can help manage your case in a confidential and compassionate manner.
Child abuse covers a range of issues, including physical, emotional and sexual abuse. Child sexual abuse is where a person under the age of consent is used by another person for their sexual arousal and/or gratification. This can involve acts such as exposing children to sexual activity (including through pornography), as well as sexual touching, masturbation, oral and penetrative sex.
Child abuse, including child sexual abuse, can occur in a wide range of settings, including in the home and in institutional settings.
Unfortunately, in Ireland, we have a history of institutional sexual abuse of children. Institutional abuse can take place in a wide range of public organisations including:
School abuse claims are some of the most common types of claims as child sexual abuse in schools is, sadly, all too common.
In a civil case, the statute of limitations allows six years from the date of the assault to bring a child abuse claim against an individual. However, if pursuing an organisation or institution the time limit is two years from the date of the assault.
There are certain exceptions to the statute of limitations rule. It can often take a victim of sexual abuse years to realise the injury that they have sustained. In such cases, a child sexual abuse claim may be possible outside of the normal time limit. This may apply in situations such as potential school child abuse claims.
Under Section 48 (a) of the Statute of Limitations the clock on the statute of limitations only commences once the victim is deemed psychologically capable of bringing a case. To rely on Section 48(a) the victim must prove that they sustained a psychological injury, and that this injury prevented you from bringing proceedings. This is a matter that a psychiatrist must provide an opinion on, so their expertise should be sought for potential historic sexual abuse claims.
Anyone who has experienced child abuse may potentially be able to make a claim. It is important to seek specialist legal advice to be clear about the right to claim, including with regard to the relevant time limits.
Reporting the abuse to An Garda Siochana is an important first step as this essential for any criminal proceedings and will act as a key piece of evidence for any civil proceedings.
A solicitor will be able to help with civil proceedings for anyone who wishes to pursue a claim against their abuser or an institution that failed to prevent the abuse.
It is important to note that criminal proceedings are brought by the Director of Public Prosecutions and seek to punish the perpetrator of the alleged abuse. Civil proceedings are brought with the intention of seeking compensation for the victim of the sexual abuse.
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For further information on making a claim for sexual abuse or child abuse, please contact Lavelle Partners in confidence on (01) 644 5800 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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