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Abuse Claims Farleys Solicitors LLP
Abuse Claims Farleys Solicitors LLP

Religious Institution Abuse Claims Solicitors

Religious Institution Abuse Claims Solicitors

Religious abuse can happen within any religion, and within any religious setting; including churches, mosques and synagogues. If you or a loved one has been subjected to abuse by a religious figure or institution, rest assured that we’re here to help.

At Farleys, we recognise that the status of abusers can often make it harder for survivors to come forward, often for fear that they might not be believed. That’s why you can count on your specialist abuse claims solicitor to listen without judgement, and be clear and direct with you. We want to make the abuse claims process as stress-free as possible for you.

With decades of experience behind us, we know that in recent years there has been a significant increase in the number of cases reporting abuse that has been committed by established members of the clergy and Church in particular. The exposure of the deep rooted levels of systematic abuse within the Roman Catholic Church and the Church of England has revealed the extent to which abuse can occur within voluntary organisations. It also revealed a series of cover ups that have taken place over the years, including historical abuse committed within various religious bodies throughout the UK.

Survivors of such abuse often have to contend with feelings of shame or guilt, which can sometimes develop into self-blaming tendencies. All that can make it much harder to open up to someone else about the abuse.

As leading specialists in this highly emotive and complex area of law, we understand the struggle our clients face when required to speak out about their past for the very first time. Our dedicated team support abuse survivors throughout the process, treating every case with the sensitivity and discretion it deserves.

The extensive experience our team possesses allows us to identify the best course of action, ensuring you finally gain a sense of closure and justice over past events. We will also work tirelessly to ensure you receive the support required to allow you to move forward with your life, working closely with top clinical specialists.

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Farleys Solicitors are recognised both regionally and nationally for their work in abuse cases with over 20 years’ experience acting on behalf of victims of sexual and physical abuse.

For a free confidential discussion with a solicitor who specialises in abuse claims please don’t hesitate to contact us on 0330 134 6430. Alternatively please complete your details below and we will call you back.

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What are the time limits for making a religious abuse claim?

Technically, the letter of the law says that claims have to be made within 3 years of the date that the abuse occurred, or in cases of child abuse, before the child’s 21st birthday. However, in reality the UK legal system recognises that it’s often incredibly difficult for survivors to speak out about the abuse they’ve been subjected to, and it’s not unusual for years or even decades to pass before many people are ready.

That means no matter how long ago the abuse occurred, you still have a right to seek justice – and we’ll do everything we can to help.

Survivors often have to face one or more of the following:

  • Fears of not being believed
  • Feelings of shame or guilt
  • Fear of the abuser, especially after intimidation or explicit threats of violence
  • Difficulty in articulating the nature or scale of the abuse
  • Trying to protect family or loved ones (or even the abuser themselves)
  • Feelings of powerlessness
  • Suppression of the memories of the abuse
  • Struggles with the psychological impact of the abuse

If any of this sounds like something that your or a loved one has experienced – or you’re currently experiencing – then we’re here to help at Farleys.

Though timescales can be flexible, it’s worth us highlighting that once the abuse comes to light, it’s best to start legal proceedings as soon as possible. This is because the sooner the case begins, the easier it is to gather relevant evidence that may be in danger of being moved, lost, or destroyed over time.

Who do I claim against for abuse in the Church?

That depends on the specifics of the case itself. Compensation claims against the Church can be made against the individual who carried out the abuse, or the organisation who employed the abuser. (In some cases, both.)

Before 2012, religious institutions had been known to try to argue that the organisation as a whole should not be held legally responsible for the criminal actions of people working within their organisation. However, that was changed by a Supreme Court ruling in 2011, which was upheld by the Court of Appeals in 2012. The judge ruled that the Portsmouth diocese was legally responsible for the alleged wrongdoings of its clergy, paving the way for countless future abuse survivors to continue their search for closure, even after their abusers themselves had died, or otherwise escaped justice.

Will my confidentiality be protected?

Yes. We take your privacy very seriously here at Farleys, and we know how important trust and confidentiality is to ensuring that you feel safe and comfortable enough to share your experiences with one of our specialist solicitors. Therefore, we’ll treat everything you tell us in the strictest confidence, and ensure that any documents connected to your case are treated as strictly classified.

If it’s necessary for us to enlist any help from outside experts for your case, such as psychologists, psychiatrists, or representatives from social services or the police, we’ll always ensure we have your written permission before we get in contact with them.

What is the process for making a religious abuse claim?

A free case assessment with one of our expert solicitors. Here, we’ll assess the likelihood of success for your claim. We know that this initial conversation can be the hardest part of the process for many of our clients, so your sense of comfort and safety will be amongst our top priorities.

Allocation to a specialist who will handle your case. From this point onwards, your specialist solicitor will serve as your sole point of contact, and will only share the details of your case in specific circumstances, on a need-to-know basis.

Collection of evidence. This is arguably the most pivotal stage, and can be the most complex and time-consuming. Depending on the background of your case, we may consider bringing in outside experts, such as a psychiatrist or psychologist. Before we do that though, we’ll always get your express permission in writing first.

Tally of compensation amount. For many of the abuse survivors we help here at Farleys, we know that the exact amount of the financial settlement isn’t their biggest priority – it’s more about the sense of justice and closure they’ll achieve. Equally though, we know that the right amount of compensation can make all the difference to getting you the support you need, ultimately helping you to properly move on with your life. For that reason alone, we make sure to focus on securing you an amount that properly reflects the gravity of your case.

Settling your claim. Once we’ve overseen the collection of the relevant evidence, we’ll be ready to bring your case against the person or party responsible. We should take a moment here to highlight that you’ll never be forced to have any direct contact with your abuser. In fact, most abuse claims are resolved long before they go to court. But whether or not yours is one of the very few exceptions, you can always count on us to be here to support you at Farleys.

How will I fund my religious abuse claim?

We will advise you on funding for your claim. We are often able to bring such cases on a ‘No Win, No Fee’ basis.

Some abuse survivors will qualify for public funding. Farleys Solicitors holds a Legal Aid franchise in five of our offices and we can advise you as to whether you will qualify.

What compensation can I claim?

Farleys’ abuse claim solicitors can help you claim for:

  • Care requirements, present and future
  • Loss of earnings, present and future
  • Medication
  • Physical injury
  • Psychological trauma
  • Other treatment costs
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