Survivors of abuse deserve access to the right support to start their journey of recovery
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In the news today, a children's home boss has been found guilty of sexually abusing boys in his care during the late 70's and early 80's.
A jury found 75-year-old Colin Dennis Davis guilty of 30 of the 49 offences he was accused of that involved boys between 11 and 18 years old who lived at the former Salerno Road children’s home in Southampton.
It is shocking how widespread the abuse of children was in children's homes during those years and I am pleased that more rigorous safeguarding measures are now in place to help protect the vulnerable in our communities. Those children had no way of escaping their abusers – who were the very people who were supposed to be caring for them and protecting them.
For adults and children who have suffered at the hands of abuse, it is a long, painful journey of recovery. Many continue to suffer after the abuse has stopped as they struggle to come to terms with what has happened to them. I know of many victims who went on to self medicate with drugs and alcohol in order to block out the feelings of guilt and self-hate that they were left with. They never got the chance to have a 'normal' life or relationships. They were never able to complete their education so they struggled to have any meaningful career.
The fact that in this case the abuser has now been convicted and there will now be some kind of recognition for the terrible suffering that they endured may give some small comfort, I hope.
It is now possible for the victims to bring claims for compensation against Mr Davis and his employer. No amount of money can turn the clock back or compensate for what has happened, but it can help them to rebuild their lives by ensuring they have access to the support they need and the opportunity to invest in their future.
I have an important word of advice for those victims who may be considering bringing a compensation claim. There is a time limit which applies to all claims, which will have expired already as this happened so long ago. However, in situations like this it is usually possible to persuade the Court to exercise its discretion and allow the case to be brought 'out of time'. It is however important not to delay, otherwise that becomes more difficult and the claim can be lost as a result. This does not mean that your case will need to go to Court as most claims are settled by the Local Authority 'out of Court'.
It is also imperative that you speak to a solicitor who has specialist knowledge of these types of claims. Our team are experienced in handling sensitive cases of this nature and act with respect, confidentiality and empathy.
BL Claims Solicitors are here to help
If you would like to talk to someone and discuss a potential claim please call us on 0344 620 6600 anytime between 8am and 6pm Monday to Friday, or if you would prefer you can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org