Pursuing legal action

NAPAC is supported entirely by voluntary contributions. Financial arrangements with corporate organisations enable us to provide free support to survivors via our telephone line and website.

Reach out when you’re ready

Call our free, confidential support line:

0808 801 0331

Monday to Thursday: 10am – 9pm

Friday: 10am – 6pm

Saturday and Sunday – Closed

Need to talk? Call our support line, free from landlines or mobiles.

0808 801 0331

10am-9pm Mondays to Thursdays & 10am-6pm on Fridays

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NAPAC’s series of booklets for survivors and those who support them are free to download
and are also available in audio format.

Pursuing legal action

You may find some of the following legal resources and information helpful when considering legal action against the person who abused you or the institution responsible for your safeguarding.

Restorative Justice may be used for child sexual abuse cases. It represents an alternative to criminal justice processes and can mitigate re-traumatisation from giving statements and cross-examination in court. Find out more about Restorative Justice for survivors of child sexual abuse.

There are also child abuse inquiries across the UK – Find out more

Information and resources about legal options for survivors

We’ve collated a range of resources from other organisations providing specialist information about criminal and civil options for survivors. The links (in red) will open in a new browser window.

Guide on reporting non-recent child sexual abuse to the police in the UK

This useful new guide is for people who have not yet have contacted the police to report child sexual abuse. You may or may not be ready to take this step now, but if you are thinking about it, this guide will help you to make an informed decision.

The Hydrant Programme’s Victim Reporting Factsheet 

Brief details about the process of reporting non-recent child abuse to the police.

Appealing CPS decisions 

If you contacted the police prior to 5 June 2013 to report child sexual abuse and you were advised either through a police or CPS decision that there would be no further action, you can appeal this decision. This leaflet to explains how to appeal Child Sexual Abuse Review Panel Leaflet. If you reported to the police after 5 June 2013, you can appeal via the Victims’ Right to Review scheme.

Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme (CICA)

CICA is a government-funded scheme designed to compensate victims of violent crime in Great Britain. To be eligible it requires all incidents to be reported to the police.

Northern Ireland Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme

This is the CICA scheme for survivors abused in Northern Ireland. There are also proposals following the Hart inquiry – see the NI Executive website for details.

Scottish Government guidance on making a claim

The Scottish government has amended its legislation so there is no longer a time limit on claims in the civil courts. This short booklet explains the changes brought about by the Limitation (Childhood Abuse) (Scotland) Act 2017 and provides advice on making a claim.

‘From Report to Court’

A handbook for adult survivors of sexual violence to help them negotiate the legal process.

Rights of Women

Free confidential legal advice by specialist women solicitors and barristers.

Citizens Advice

Free advice about a wide range of legal and civil rights. 

Pre-trial therapy 

In 2022, the Bluestar Project was funded by the Home Office to develop research exploring the barriers to pre-trial therapy and develop some best practice guidance surrounding the new CPS guidelines.

Their free booklet on pre-trial therapy gives background on what may happen in this type of therapy and where to go if you have any questions.

They also have a wide array of resources and information for practitioners offering pre-trial therapy.