Specialist child abuse solicitors at Irwin Mitchell have secured a six-figure sum for a woman who suffered five years of sexual and physical abuse by her stepfather.
Our client, Claire, was abused several times a month from the ages of 7 to 12 by the man her mother married in 1972. It only came to an end when a classmate encouraged her to report the abuse to their head teacher.
Her stepfather was sentenced to a two-year probation order after being convicted of indecent assault in 1978. But Claire continued to suffer greatly from the effects of his abuse, becoming suicidal and depressed, self-harming and unable to start a career or form long-term relationships.
How We Helped Claire
Claire contacted Irwin Mitchell’s child abuse experts, who have now secured a settlement of £470,000 for her. This sum will compensate for her future and past loss of earnings, as well as funding psychiatric appointments and treatment for the permanent scars left by regular self-harm.
Claire said: “My stepfather ruined my life. I only learnt about the conviction when I was in my teens and it gave me little comfort. What he did has haunted me for the last 30 years and it has never become any easier to accept.
“I left school with barely any qualifications because I couldn’t concentrate and I’ve struggled to keep jobs because of my psychiatric illness. I have regularly tried to end my life because I just couldn’t see the point anymore.
“The ruling means I can now get help from the best support and psychiatric services and I hope I can finally start to move on with my life.”
Natasha Fairs, a child abuse and serious injury expert at Irwin Mitchell’s London office representing Claire, said: “We represent many victims whose lives have been shattered because of their abusers. Sadly, in an overwhelming majority of cases, they require professional support to help them piece together their lives.
“Claire has suffered greatly because of her stepfather, a man who was entrusted with her care. Even though the psychological and physical scars will last a lifetime, Claire is resolved to try and recover from her trauma.
“The compensation will go some way towards providing the support she needs. We hope she can use it to obtain the treatment she needs.”
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