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Any member of a family can commit or be a victim of family abuse; it is critical that conceptions of abuse in the family do not limit themselves to seeing children as the only victims and parents as the only perpetrators.

It is also critical to understand the secrecy with which offenders operate; in many circumstances, most members of a family will be ignorant that abuse is occurring - knowledge of the abuse is likely to be limited to the victim and their abuser.

Because of the emotional pain produced by familial abuse, it can be difficult to know where to turn if you are a victim of, or witness, abuse by a family member; yet, such abuse must be reported.

The most crucial components in any case of abuse are halting the abuse, pursuing justice against the abuser, and recuperating from the terrible event.

Examples Of Family Abuse

Abuse in the family can refer to a variety of different sorts of abuse, such as:

A family member can abuse at any time, and in certain circumstances, a trusted loved one can abruptly transform and become a perpetrator of violent or sexual abuse. Because of the trust that families foster, family members can be more vulnerable to abuse than other members of society.

Examples of how a family member may abuse a relative include:

Physical Abuse

Physical abuse  is a type of domestic violence that involves physically dominating someone. Physical abuse typically presents itself through contact designed to frighten an individual, resulting in pain, injury, and other bodily harm.

Emotional Abuse

Emotional abuse, also known as psychological abuse, may be more difficult to detect than physical abuse because it does not leave a tangible mark on the victim. Emotional abuse is typically manifested through verbal abuse with the purpose of humiliating a person and making them feel worthless. Making threats, attacking other family members in front of an individual, or entirely ignoring someone are all examples of emotional abuse. Emotional abuse is typically employed to achieve psychological influence over a family member, with the goal of imposing authority and dominance.

Sexual Abuse

Family members can perpetrate sexual abuse, which is frequently referred to as sexual exploitation. Sexual contact is not required for sexual abuse to occur, and many kinds of sexual abuse do not include victim-abuser contact, such as grooming or introducing a victim to another abuser.


Neglect is a type of abuse in which families fail to fulfill their duty of care to a kid. Neglect usually results from an unwillingness to provide for a kid's needs, and it can leave a youngster hungry, unclean, without adequate clothing, housing, supervision, or medical or health care.

Tackling Abuse

Abuse in the family can appear to be a difficult endeavour; yet, it is critical that family abuse be addressed. In certain circumstances, an abusive cycle can emerge, consisting of abusive behaviours that can be passed down through generations. This cycle can only be broken if abuse is addressed head on.

Filing A Police Report

Abuse prevention begins with reporting the incident to the authorities, which demands enormous bravery from victims who have been emotionally tortured by their abusers. Communicating with the police is the only option to launch a criminal case against an abuser, which is the most effective strategy to halt the cycle of violence.

The police will begin gathering evidence as soon as you make a report; they will conduct witness interviews and obtain as much physical evidence as possible, which may include forensic evidence.

Every evidence acquired by the police will be presented to the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS). The CPS will evaluate whether the case is strong enough and whether there is sufficient evidence to show guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. Criminal charges will be brought against an abuser only if this high standard is reached.

If charges are filed, a court hearing will be held, during which the police liaison officer and investigative team should give emotional support if you are obliged to provide evidence in court.

Care Proceedings

Care procedures are required in some circumstances of family abuse to protect children who have become entangled in the cycle of abuse. Care procedures are typically initiated by a local authority and are aimed at promoting a child's well-being.

Care procedures frequently conclude in the placement of a child in care, which is why they are commonly referred to as 'public children' cases.

Care proceedings are especially common in circumstances of familial abuse since children are likely to be affected by the abuse even if they are not victims themselves.

Care procedures are filed in circumstances where a child's wellbeing, safety, or physical and mental status is jeopardised, as protected by the Children Act 1989.

Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme

The Government administers the Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme, which is intended to recompense victims of violent crimes for physical or psychological harm.

While compensation cannot undo the harm done to a family by abuse, it can help victims get their lives back on track. Mitigating the loss caused by an abuser can assist victims in recuperating and ensuring that they receive the optimum degree of treatment and assistance when recovering from physical or psychological trauma.

Compensation under the Government Plan is available even if an assailant has not been convicted of the alleged offences. There are a variety of reasons why an assailant is not sentenced for an alleged crime; regardless of the reasons, a compensation claim can still be filed with the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA), which will judge the case on the merits of compensation and make an award based on presented facts.

We can assist victims of family violence in filing a compensation claim with the CICA, and they may be awarded money to help them heal the harm done by an abuser. A claim through the CICA is recommended for victims who are not entitled to file a civil claim but nonetheless feel mistreated as a result of abuse.

Civil Claim

In some cases of family abuse a civil compensation claim can be made against an abuser. Compensation claims relating to abuse will normally apply to child abuse where an institution or organisation failed in its duty of care. Despite this, civil claims can be made against an individual and it is possible to sue your abuser for damages.

Civil claims can be made independently of criminal proceedings and an individual is not required to be found guilty in a criminal court for a civil claim to be made. In some instances a civil claim will be settled before it goes to court, meaning that you will not need to go through the process of submitting evidence or facing your abuser in court for a second time.

In cases where a settlement is not reached before a court date, a judge will rule on the facts of the case, without the assistance of a jury. The judge will hear evidence from both sides of the dispute and will make a ruling on the civil claim according to the strength of evidence.

civil compensation claim can be made against an abuser in some circumstances of family violence. Child abuse compensation claims will typically apply where an institution or organisation failed in its duty of care. Regardless, civil claims can be filed against an individual, and you can sue your abuser for damages.

Civil claims can be filed independently of criminal processes, and a person does not have to be tried and convicted in a criminal court to file a civil claim. In certain cases, a civil action will be settled before it goes to court, which means you will not have to produce evidence or face your abuser in court a second time.

If a settlement is not reached before a court date, a judge will make a decision based on the facts of the case without the assistance of a jury. The court will hear evidence from both sides of the dispute and rule on the civil claim based on the strength of the evidence.


Compensation claims, either through the CICA, or via a civil claim for personal injury, can help to gain justice against an abuser in cases where a criminal prosecution was not passed, or if the abuser has died since the abuse took place.

If you have been the victim of abuse at the hands of a family member it is important that you build a trusted support network. Our team of compassionate abuse law specialists will help you every step of the way and will be an understanding point of contact while you take the steps necessary to recover.

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Obviously this advice is not intended to replace legal advice, nor can we guarantee that the information on the site is completely up to date. Thus we can accept no responsibility legally for any reliance upon it. It is intended to be merely guidance. For a legal opinion upon which you may rely, we insist that you contact us by email or fill in our form