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Abuse Claims

Revenge Porn

Relationships should be trusting, and when that trust is breached, the consequences, both practical and emotional, can be devastating.

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We understand the difficulties faced by victims of image-based sexual abuse: from fighting to get the images removed; reporting the offence(s) to the police; the CPS decision-making process on whether to proceed with a case; and the criminal and civil court processes.

Bolt Burdon Kemp’s team has unrivalled experience in bringing claims on behalf of victims of image-based sexual abuse, having brought the first successful claim for compensation relating to sexting; the principles of which apply to image-based sexual abuse.

If you or a family member have suffered image-based sexual abuse, get into contact with our team of leading solicitors who can help you make a compensation claim. We have a proven track record of winning cases – even ones which other firms have said they can’t take on – and claims are usually funded on a no-win, no-fee basis.

Types of image-based sexual abuse

Images can often be shared by those that are closest to you. Your intimate image maybe shared by a former partner, friend or relative.

There are different ways people can be subject to image-based sexual abuse:

  • Your intimate videos and/or photos shared on a website
  • Your intimate videos and/or photos shared on an online messaging platform such as WhatsApp, Signal, Telegram
  • Your intimate videos and/or photos shared on Social Media applications such as TikTok, Snapchat, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram

If you or your child has been a victim of image-based sexual abuse, we advise that you report it to the police as soon as you can. The police have trained officers who can visit you in a place where you feel safe and they can investigate the circumstances of your case if a crime has been committed.

Victim Support is able to help. The Revenge Porn Helpline is well placed to offer assistance to anyone affected by revenge porn.

If you would like to discuss how best to report abuse, get into contact with one of our team of leading solicitors who will be happy to talk you through the process in confidence.

Or first read our guide on how to report or disclose abuse.

Who is responsible?

If you have suffered image-based sexual abuse you may be able to bring a claim against the person who abused you or against the website or platform, or both. This will depend on the circumstances of your case. Bolt Burdon Kemp will advise you on the most appropriate option to recover the maximum compensation.

Making a claim against the person who shared the images

In order to make a successful claim we must be able to show:

  • That the incident(s) took place: If the person has been convicted of the offence this will be very straightforward. If not, our solicitors will help you to prove that the abuse took place. We will take statements, obtain expert evidence and secure any documentation including screenshots, messages and photos, that will help us prove your claim.
  • That you have suffered harm and should be awarded compensation: Our expert team will show the impact that the abuse has had on you by obtaining supportive witness statements from family and friends who can tell us how the abuse has affected you. We will also instruct a medical expert (a consultant psychiatrist experienced in helping survivors of abuse) who will prepare a report explaining the damage caused. We will use all this evidence to help secure the highest level of compensation possible.

Making a claim against a website or platform

In addition to making a claim against the individual who abused you, it may be possible to bring a claim against a website or platform who hosted the images.

The claim can be brought if an organisation, a website or platform were responsible for the person who abused you or if they made mistakes which allowed the abuse to happen. Websites or platforms are insured against such claims and will be financially capable of paying compensation if we prove your claim.

To hold an organisation responsible for your claim, Bolt Burdon Kemp relies on establishing negligence or vicarious liability.

Negligence

It may be possible to claim compensation from a website or platform by establishing that it was negligent in allowing your images to be shared. To do this, we must show that the organisation owed you a duty of care and that a failing or mistake on their part allowed your images to be published and / or circulated. For example, if you notified the website or platform that the image was not shared consensually, but they failed to remove it, or continued to host the image.

Vicarious liability

By establishing that the person who abused you used their position to commit the abuse, we can establish that an organisation, website or platform is responsible for the person who committed the abuse, and should therefore compensate the survivor.

Time limit for bringing a claim

There is a time limit, or limitation period, for bringing a claim for compensation. In general, this is three years from the date of the incident.

If a victim / survivor  does not issue their claim at court within three years of the incident, it is possible to ask the court to exercise its discretion to waive the time limit or extend it. Each request to waive the time limit is decided on a case-by-case basis. However, the courts are fully aware of the difficulties that survivors of abuse have in disclosing abuse due to trauma. Bolt Burdon Kemp has a great deal of experience in successfully persuading the court to waive the time limit. Generally, the court will look at the three following factors in deciding whether or not to waive the time limit:

  • Reasons for not bringing the claim within the time limit
  • The fairness to the claimant and defendant if the time limit is waived
  • Whether or not a fair trial is still possible.

Bolt Burdon Kemp’s leading solicitors are experts in successfully arguing for the limitation period to be disapplied and fighting for justice.

How Bolt Burdon Kemp can help

Bolt Burdon Kemp’s specialist abuse solicitors are experienced in securing compensation for those who have experienced image-based sexual abuse. We successfully represented the first person to have been awarded compensation in England and Wales for their claim relating to sexting, the principles of which apply to image-based sexual abuse.  We want to get justice for you.

We know money doesn’t make up for what happened, but it can help you to move on and heal. We will always seek to secure compensation that allows you to have any private counselling or treatment that you need.

We offer a personal service, so you can choose whether your solicitor is male or female and you can contact them at any time. We will also assess your potential compensation claim for free, and work with you to fund any action you decide to take.

We understand exactly how difficult it can be to talk about extremely traumatising experiences. You can be sure that we will work tirelessly to secure compensation for you, so you can try to move on with your life.

Meet our Abuse Claims Team

Zahra Awaiz-Bilal
Senior Associate – Part of the Abuse Claims Team
Jessica Standley
Associate – Part of the Abuse Claims Team
Siobhán Crawford
Senior Associate – Part of the Abuse Claims Team
Meet the full team

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