Published: 17 September 2019
Author: Kate Malone
The disturbing rise of child-on-child abuse
A recent report highlights the increased prevalence of child-on-child abuse. This trend is also reflected in the claims and enquiries we receive from our clients. This blog explores the types of child-on-child abuse that are becoming more prevalent and discusses whether legal claims can be bought for such abuse.
Act for Kids is a charitable organisation that focuses on the prevention and treatment of child abuse and neglect. It recently released research findings indicating that child-on-child sexual abuse referrals have noticeably increased in the past decade.
Nearly one-quarter of abuse committed by other children
The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse also reported similar findings, suggesting that 23.4% of the 7,981 survivors who engaged with the Royal Commission indicated they had been sexually abused by another child.
At RCT Law, we have received many enquiries from survivors who have suffered child-on-child abuse, both sexual and physical, in a variety of settings. Some of our clients were abused by other children in orphanages, children’s homes, reception centres and youth training centres. Other clients were abused by other children in foster care placements or family group homes.
We have also received a growing number of enquiries from people who suffered child-on-child abuse at school.
Can claims be bought for child abuse committed by children?
Some clients are under a misconception that they can only make a claim for compensation if they were abused by officers, staff members, foster carers etc and not if they were abused by other children in that placement. This is not the case.
We have successfully brought claims on behalf of many survivors who have suffered abuse by other children/residents in their placements.
To be successful in a claim involving child-on-child abuse, it needs to be established that the owner/operator of the placement/institution was negligent in the care that was provided to the person which has resulted in them suffering from physical or psychiatric injuries.
In a case involving child-on-child abuse, we are often able to establish that the owner/operator was negligent by failing to properly supervise the children in their care or having insufficient staff members for the number of children in their care. In some institutions, we have seen that staff members have in fact encouraged or forced some children to abuse other children within the placement, which clearly demonstrates a failure to ensure the safety of the children in their care.
If you have suffered from institutional child-on-child abuse, we encourage you to contact one of our experienced institutional abuse lawyers for further information and advice.