We take great care to discuss the case confidentially and sensitively with our client and help them to find the support they need and the compensation they deserve.
If you have been affected by sexual assault in the military please get in touch with our team for confidential advice. We usually represent clients on a no-win, no-fee basis, so making a claim will not be a financial burden.
Sexual assault in the military
Service personnel assume that the special bond they have with their comrades will mean they are never in danger of any kind of assault, never mind one of a sexual nature.
It is this very camaraderie and esprit de corps that makes such assaults feel, if anything, like more of a betrayal, made even worse if the chain of command has not taken steps to protect the victim.
Sexual assault can often be the culmination of a campaign of sexual harassment or bullying and the victims of such operations are in an especially vulnerable position. Our team knows this, and has great experience in sensitively helping victims get redress for their experiences.
Losses and injuries
Victims of sexual assault are dealing with both physical and psychological issues. Particularly after a prolonged period of abuse, service men and women may be suffering from PTSD or other mental health problems. Our team ensures all consequences of the assault are considered when compensation is sought.
For example, very real financial loss can result because a person may be too unwell to continue in the military. Alternatively, they may simply feel they can no longer work in the armed forces even if they are physically or psychologically fit to do so. Either way, a claim can be made against the MoD.
Liability for a claim
After a sexual assault, the military may have vicarious liability (legal responsibility) for the perpetrator’s actions, so that a victim of sexual assault can sue both the MoD as well as the person responsible.
This dual approach is more likely to be possible if certain factors are present. Examples would be if:
- The perpetrator was of a higher rank
- Had been acting in a way that should have been noticed and prevented
- Had been harassing the victim
A claim can always be made against the perpetrator, although it is not always practicable to pursue it If, for example if they are bankrupt if would be hard to enforce a claim.
Obviously, a sexual assault is a crime. However, the military has discretion as to whether to deal with cases of sexual assault, exposure or voyeurism via the Military Police or to refer them to the civilian police for investigation.
Rape, surprisingly, is not included in the definition of “very serious crimes” which must be automatically referred to civilian authorities for investigation.
A civil compensation claim is easier if the perpetrator has been convicted in a criminal court, but the fact that the military or civilian police have not pursued a case does not automatically mean that a civil claim will be unsuccessful.
Information about military sexual assault
Unfortunately there is no systematic information gathering about the number of allegations of sexual assault in the UK military. This needs to remedied, especially as the US and Australian military are getting increasing reports of sexual assault.
At the moment, we do not know if the UK military’s experience is the same. Liberty, the human rights group, is campaigning for a fair and independent military justice system, which will help remedy some of these problems.
If you have been a victim of sexual assault in the military, then please contact our highly experienced team of military claims experts for confidential advice about bringing a claim for compensation.