Abuse by a friend or relative

Abuse by a friend or relative

For a voice in your corner

Facing abuse is always difficult, but when it comes from a friend or relative, the emotional toll can be even more devastating. You may feel isolated and unsure of where to turn for help. That’s why we’re here.

At Switalskis, we understand the unique challenges you’re facing. We offer a safe space for you to share your story, get expert legal advice and find the emotional support you need. Our aim is to guide you through every step of this difficult journey, helping you seek justice and, more importantly, begin the process of healing.

To speak to one of our specialist abuse solicitors about your situation in confidence, call us on 0800 1380 458, or contact us through the website.

How Switalskis can help you

When you're dealing with abuse by a friend or relative, you need more than just legal advice. You need a team that genuinely cares about your wellbeing and is committed to helping you find justice and peace.

From the moment you reach out to us, you'll find a safe, confidential environment where you can share your story without fear of judgement. We understand how difficult it is to talk about these experiences, and we're here to listen and support you. Our initial consultations are designed to make you feel comfortable and secure, allowing you to open up at your own pace.

Our team is led by David Greenwood and has extensive experience in dealing with the complexities of abuse cases, especially those involving friends or relatives. We'll explain your legal options in simple, straightforward language, so you can make informed decisions about how to proceed. We'll also help you understand the potential outcomes of your case, including the types of compensation you might be eligible to claim.

Cases involving abuse by friends or relatives often come with unique legal hurdles. You may want to protect your identity or need to deal with media attention. We're experts in navigating these challenges and will take every precaution to safeguard your wellbeing. We can also guide you through securing restraining orders and other legal protections if necessary.

Legal fees may be a concern, but we're completely transparent about costs from the start. We'll discuss our fee structure in detail, so you know exactly what to expect financially. We can also explore funding options that might be available to you, such as no win, no fee agreements.

Once your case is resolved, our support doesn't end. We'll guide you through any further steps you may wish to take, whether that's an appeal, additional legal actions, or connecting with resources for ongoing emotional support.

Read what our clients had to say about the help they received from Switalskis

What is abuse by a friend or relative?

Abuse by a friend or relative is a deeply unsettling experience that can manifest in various ways. It's not just about physical harm; abuse can also be emotional, sexual or financial. Each form of abuse carries its own set of challenges and impacts, and it's important to understand these as you consider taking legal action.

Physical abuse

This involves any form of physical harm, from slapping and hitting to more severe forms of violence. Physical abuse often leaves visible marks, but the emotional scars can be just as damaging.

Emotional abuse

This type of abuse can be more subtle, but equally harmful. Emotional abuse includes manipulation, humiliation and constant criticism. It can erode your self-esteem and leave you feeling worthless. This can have serious negative effects on your mental health.

Sexual abuse

Sexual abuse involves any unwanted sexual activity forced upon you. This can range from inappropriate touching to more severe forms of sexual assault. The emotional and impact of sexual abuse can be long-lasting and deeply traumatic.

Financial abuse

This involves controlling or exploiting your financial resources without your consent. It can include stealing money, restricting access to funds, or forcing you into financial decisions that aren’t in your best interest.

When the abuser is someone you know and trust, the emotional toll is often magnified. You may feel a sense of betrayal, guilt or shame that can make it difficult to come forward. The abuser may also use your relationship to manipulate or intimidate you, making the abuse even harder to escape.

The long-term effects of abuse by a friend or relative can be severe, affecting your mental health, relationships and overall wellbeing. You may struggle with issues like anxiety, depression or (PTSD). The abuse can also impact your ability to trust others and form healthy relationships in the future.

Understanding the different forms and impacts of abuse is the first step towards seeking justice and healing. At Switalskis, we're here to help you navigate this complex and emotionally charged issue, offering expert legal advice and compassionate support.

Making a claim for abuse by a friend or relative

Understanding the legal process can make your journey towards justice less intimidating. Here's a detailed, step-by-step guide to what you can expect when pursuing a case of abuse by a friend or relative:

Step 1: Initial consultation

We start with a confidential, no-obligation consultation. During this meeting, we'll listen to your story and assess the viability of your case. This is also a chance for you to ask questions and get to know us better.

Step 2: Case assessment

This involves reviewing any evidence you may already have, such as medical records, text messages or emails, and discussing the best course of action.

Step 3: Gathering evidence

Collecting evidence is an important step in building a strong case. This can include medical records, assessments, witness statements, and any other documentation that can support your claim. We may also consult with experts to strengthen your case.

Step 4: Preparing your case

Once we have all the necessary evidence, we'll start preparing your case. This involves drafting legal documents, such as a claim form and particulars of claim, which outline the details of your case and what you're seeking in terms of compensation.

Step 5: Settlement and compensation

If your case is successful, the next step is securing your compensation. The amount you receive will depend on various factors, including the severity of the abuse and its impact on your life. We'll negotiate on your behalf to make sure you get the compensation you deserve.

Step 6: Aftercare and next steps

Even after your case is resolved, our support doesn't end. We'll guide you through any further steps you may wish to take, such as pursuing an appeal or taking additional legal actions. We can also connect you with resources for ongoing emotional and support.

Is there a time limit for making a claim?

Generally, you have until your 21st birthday to make a claim for abuse that happened when you were a child. However, exceptions can be made, especially in cases involving severe emotional trauma that may have delayed your ability to come forward. We can discuss the specifics during our initial consultation; however, many cases we handle don’t experience problems with meeting time limits.

How does Switalskis ensure my privacy and safety?

Your confidentiality and safety are our top priorities. From the moment you contact us, all conversations and case details are kept strictly confidential. We also take measures to protect your identity during legal proceedings, such as using pseudonyms (fictitious names) or requesting private hearings.

What types of evidence are important for my case?

Evidence can vary depending on the nature of the abuse. Medical records, and witness statements are often vital. Text messages, emails or any other written correspondence between you and the abuser can also be valuable. During our case assessment, we'll guide you on what types of evidence will strengthen your case.

What about the costs involved?

We're upfront about all costs from the start. During our initial consultation, we'll discuss our fee structure and any funding options that may be available to you, such as no win, no fee agreements and Legal Aid. That way, you can proceed with full knowledge of the financial implications.

Can I claim compensation even if the abuse happened many years ago?

Yes, it's possible to claim compensation for historical abuse. The courts understand that the emotional impact of abuse can delay reporting. We can discuss the specifics of your situation to determine the best course of action.

What kind of compensation can I expect?

The amount of compensation varies and is generally based on the severity of the abuse and its long-term impact on your life. This can include factors like medical costs, loss of earnings and emotional suffering. We'll work diligently to make sure you receive the compensation you deserve.

How long does the legal process usually take?

The duration of the legal process changes depending on the complexity of the case, the availability of evidence and court schedules. We'll give you an estimated timeline during our initial consultation and keep you updated throughout the process.

Child abuse claim resources

Questions to ask when looking for a Child Abuse Solicitor

Types of Child Abuse Compensation claims we can help with

Catholic Church cases

Failed care cases

What is involved in making a claim for Child Abuse compensation?

What lawyers have to offer to survivors of child abuse

Church of England cases

To speak to one of our specialist abuse solicitors about your situation in confidence, call us on 0800 1380 458, or contact us through the website.

Our child abuse claim specialists

photo of David Greenwood
David GreenwoodDirector and Solicitor
Rob CaseyDirector and Solicitor Advocate
Photo of Amy Clowrey
Amy ClowreyDirector and Solicitor
Helen HughesAssociate Solicitor
photo of Sally Smith
Sally SmithAssociate Solicitor
View more

Why Switalskis?

At Switalskis, we're not just about legal expertise; we're about building a relationship of trust and support with you. When you work with us, we won’t just be your legal representatives - we’ll be your allies in a fight for justice. Here's why you can count on us:

Clarity in complexity

Legal matters, especially those involving abuse by a friend or relative, can be incredibly complex. We pride ourselves on making complicated issues understandable. We'll break down the legal jargon and explain your options in plain English, so you're never left in the dark.

Empathy at every step

We understand that you're going through an emotionally challenging time. That's why we offer more than just legal advice; we offer emotional support too. From our first meeting to the resolution of your case, Switalskis is here to listen, understand and guide you through this difficult journey.

Expertise you can trust

Our team is experienced in handling sensitive cases involving abuse by friends or relatives. We've successfully helped many clients navigate the complexities of such cases, securing them the justice and compensation they deserve. When you choose Switalskis, you're choosing a team that's not only skilled in the legal aspects of your case but also deeply committed to your wellbeing.

Championing your rights

We're passionate advocates for justice. We'll fight tirelessly to make sure your voice is heard and your rights are upheld, whether that's in negotiations or the courtroom. We're not just your lawyers; we're your supporters in this challenging journey towards justice and healing.

Please see below for more information on the ways we can help with your claim.

Our awards and accreditations for child abuse cases

At Switalskis, we take immense pride in the work we do, helping survivors of child abuse to find justice and move forward. Over the years, our commitment has been recognised through various awards and accreditations. Here's a quick look at some of our achievements, so you know you're working with a team you can trust.

National recognitions

2014: National PI Awards

  • Case of the Year for Rotherham grooming
  • Claimant Personal Injury Team of the Year
  • Claimant Lawyer of the Year: David Greenwood

2015: National PI Awards

  • Claimant PI Team of the Year

2016: National PI Awards

  • Claimant Lawyer of the Year: David Greenwood

2018: National PI Awards

  • Claimant PI Team of the Year

2022: National PI Awards

  • Claimant PI Team of the Year

Yorkshire recognitions

2015, 2017, 2021: Yorkshire Legal Awards

  • Dispute Resolution Team of the Year

2022: Yorkshire Lawyer of the Year

  • David Greenwood

Rising stars and special mentions

2018: Modern Law Awards

  • Rising Star of the Year: Amy Clowrey

2023: Modern Law Awards

  • Lawyer of the Year: Amy Clowrey

Other accolades

2023: Legal 500 Northern Powerhouse

  • Winning Lawyer in Insurance: David Greenwood

Find out how Switalskis can help you

If you’ve faced abuse by a friend or relative, take the first step towards justice and healing today. Contact us for a confidential, no-obligation consultation.

Reach out to us today by calling 0800 138 0458 or by contacting us through the website.

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