Rape has been in the news today for 2 reasons.
Firstly the national crime figures have been released which suggests that the number of reported rapes this year has increased. Fortunately, this is not thought to be because the number of rapes taking place is increasing but rather because people are now more comfortable about being able to report this horrendous crime. The only worrying trend is that there has been a definite increase in the number of rapes that have taken place at knife point.
The second reason rape has been in the news is because of comments made by Judy Finnigan of “Richard and Judy” fame. On the Loose Women program she made remarks which suggested that a rape carried out by a professional footballer was somehow less serious because it had not involved violence.
As a Lawyer who deals with rape victims on a daily basis I am certain that the presence of violence when the offence was committed is in no way directly relevant to the harm done to the victim. In many of the cases I deal with the rapist uses psychological pressure to force the victim to comply with his demands. It may be a teacher at school or a house master.
It may be a priest or a social worker. It is often somebody who does not need to use violence but can use his position of authority to persuade the victim to comply with his wishes. The long term effects of this abuse on the Claimant can be just as serious as a rape at knife point. 2
What Judy seems to have missed is that rape is not purely about the physical assault on the victim but about the exertion of power by the rapist, be it physical or mental and the long term psychiatric sequelae of the victim feeling powerless to prevent the abuse.
Victims of rape are entitled to compensation. The Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority has many complex rules in relation to eligibility but if you employ a Solicitor with expertise in these areas you have an entitlement to compensation. You will see from our blog and recent case studies that we have been successful in many recent cases in securing damages for victims. Likewise, the victim can also sue the rapist for damages and again we have successfully done this on many occasions in the past.
If you want to discuss in confidence a potential claim we have a specialist team here at Farleys who can provide the initial advice. To speak to an experienced abuse claims solicitor please call us now on 0845 050 1958 or email us.