Sexual Abuse Solicitors Nationwide

Any form of Sexual Abuse is naturally a very sensitive issue. Our sexual abuse solicitors are very experienced in this type of case. They will discuss your situation sympathetically and explain each step of the process to you along the way.

Whatever type of abuse you have suffered, you have rights, and we can bring you through the process of having your voice heard, and your rights vindicated.

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Coleman Legal specialises in the area of sexual abuse law, acting on behalf of those who have been sexually abused and who seek monetary compensation for the pain and suffering inflicted upon them as a result of the abuse.

Monetary compensation is achieved through civil proceedings, and it is a different process to criminal proceedings which are handled by the Director of Public Prosecutions and An Garda Siochana.

This firm acts on behalf of victims who wish to take civil proceedings against the perpetrator of abuse with a view to obtaining compensation from a Court for personal injuries, loss, and damage suffered as a result of a wrongful assault, sexual assault, battery, and trespass as well as a breach of their constitutional right to bodily integrity.

To speak with one of our sexual abuse solicitors call (1800)844104 or complete our online enquiry form.


Below is a non-exhaustive list of the types of sexual abuse cases dealt with by this firm

  • Cases on behalf of clients who have been sexually assaulted by an individual not previously known to the victim;
  • Cases on behalf of clients who have been sexually abused by an individual known to them and who hold a position of power or control over them;
  • Cases on behalf of clients who have been sexually abused as minors on one or more occasions by family members, foster parents or those in loco parentis to them;
  • Cases on behalf of clients who have been sexually assaulted at work;
  • Cases on behalf of clients who have been sexually abused as a minor whilst at school or whilst partaking in youth groups or other such organisations;
  • Cases on behalf of clients who have been sexually abused as minors by members of religious orders;
  • Cases on behalf of clients who have been sexually abused whilst in residential care.

Civil Process Stages

The person bringing a case against another for sexual assault is called the Plaintiff. The individual (or company, institution) against whom a case is brought is called the Defendant.

In a civil case for sexual assault, the Court must be satisfied that ‘on the balance of probabilities’, the sexual abuse occurred.

The Statute of Limitations applicable to civil assault cases is six years from the date of the assault. This means that legal proceedings must be issued within six years of the assault, otherwise the case is considered to be statute barred.

However, where an employee, school, association or other institution is being sued due to the fact their negligence permitted the abuse, the time limit is two years from the date of the assault. There are certain exceptions to this rule, such as for those victims who were abused whilst children, or those suffering from a psychological injury which prevented reporting of the abuse or where the injury caused by the abuse does not manifest itself for a period of time, or a person does not know that they have suffered a significant injury.

In such circumstances, proceedings must be issued within two years from the date of when they were considered to be capable of bringing an action. This is a matter for psychiatric opinion.

    The Steps taken in a Sexual Abuse Claim

    Given that the remedy available in civil proceedings is monetary compensation, it is necessary to ascertain whether the perpetrator of the abuse has sufficient assets to enable recovery of this compensation should the Court find in favour of the plaintiff.

    In cases of this nature, it is necessary to take up all relevant medical records and evidence of the abuse and the effects that same have had on the individual who has been sexually abused. It is also necessary to procure psychiatric evidence on any psychological or psychiatric injuries that the individual has suffered as a result of the abuse.

    When the necessary evidence has been gathered, to include any statements or documentation held by An Garda Siochana where applicable, a letter setting out the allegations and reliefs sought from the perpetrator and/or associated company – institution is issued.  Where no meaningful response is received from the perpetrator and/or associated company institution, an application is submitted to the Injuries Board for the purposes of obtaining Authorisation to issue proceedings in Court.

    Cases of sexual abuse are usually issued in the High Court and can be heard by a Judge and Jury or Judge sitting alone. From the time that proceedings are issued, it can often take more than three years before the case reaches Hearing before the Court at which time the plaintiff is required to give their evidence. The Court will also hear the evidence of the Defendant.

    Some cases, depending on the circumstances, are settled outside of Court where the Defendant(s) agrees to pay compensation to the plaintiff without the necessity for the matter to be heard by a Judge. Where this occurs, the plaintiff is not required to give evidence in Court.

    We at Coleman Legal fully understand that any form of abuse is extremely distressing, and we deal with each case on a personal, one-to-one basis with compassion, empathy and understanding

      Important Time Frames

      The Statute of Limitations provides a general time limit in which you must normally bring your claim for sexual abuse compensation to court in civil proceedings. Generally, this limit is six years from the date of the assault in the case of adult sexual abuse compensation claims.

      However, provisions were made in the Statute of Limitations a number of years ago to take account of a person who may not have been in a position to report an assault to the gardaí – or pursue any action in respect of the abuse they experienced – for an extended period of time.

      These provisions were made in recognition that the nature of sexual abuse, and in particular the sexual abuse of a child, means that the victim is often unable to speak about the abuse for many years after an assault has taken place. Despite these provisions, courts still retain the discretion to dismiss a case on the grounds of an avoidable delay if the delay prejudices the rights of the perpetrator.

      Compensation claims for sexual abuse to the Criminal Injuries Compensation Tribunal will only be extended beyond three months from the date of a conviction in exceptional circumstances if, for example, psychiatric evaluations were still ongoing to establish the extent of your emotional trauma and the impact that the sexual assault will have on you for the rest of your life.

        Recent News & Updates

        Attorney General advises against the publishing of the complete Brandon Report

        The Department of Health has been advised by the Attorney General not to publish the full Brandon report, the sexual abuse of residents.

        Concerns regarding child abuse in St John Ambulance described as “open secret”

        Former members of the St John Ambulance paramedic organisation have claimed that concerns about alleged child sexual abuse in the 1990s by a past senior officer were an “open secret” in the...

        Oxfam Aid Workers Face Further Allegations of Sexual Exploitation and Mismanagement

        In 2018, it was revealed by The Times that sexual exploitation by Oxfam workers in Haiti, in 2010–11, had been covered up. But despite being recently cleared to apply for Government aid funds Oxfam...

        Oireachtas Justice Committee Hears Submissions on Provision of Independent Legal Representation for Victims of Sexual Offences

        On March 24th the Oireachtas Justice Committee began hearing evidence on the issues surrounding the giving of testimony by victims of rape and sexual assault. As well as receiving numerous...

        Further Allegations of Sexual Assault have Emerged in Relation to Irish Defence Forces

        Concerns have been raised by numerous former members of the Defence Forces in relation to the manner in which allegations of sexual abuse and assault have been handled. It is claimed that there...

        Support Organisations

        If you or someone you care about has suffered sexual abuse, there are various support organisations you can contact

        ONE IN FOUR

        This organisation offers a voice to and support for women and men who have experienced sexual abuse and/or sexual violence and also to their family and friends. You can contact them on  

        01 662 4070

        dublin rape crisis centre

        The centre offers a confidential, 24-hour telephone helpline, 7 days a week staffed by trained counsellors who are available to listen to you and any concerns you may have in regard to issues of rape, sexual assault, sexual harassment or childhood sexual abuse. Contact them on

        (01) 661 4911 or 1800 778 888


        As part of the Government programme to assist those persons who as children were abused in Institutions; and in co-operation with groups representing victims of abuse. Free-phone help-line: 1800 25 25 24 (if you are calling from the UK the number is: 

        0800 039 0301

        Therapy and Support for Children affected by Childhood Sexual Abuse. 


        Support for Women and Children who are victims of Domestic Abuse.

        Provide support for children who have been or are victims of childhood sexual abuse, and other areas. 

        How can we help?

        If you  are a survivor of sexual abuse, physical abuse, emotional abuse or neglect, and you wish to explore your legal rights, our team have many years’ experience dealing with victims of all forms of abuse, including institutional abuse, clerical abuse, childhood sexual abuse, abuse within the family or in any other situation where abuse occurred.

        Our sexual Assault solicitors Nationwide can help you through the entire legal process should you wish to proceed, and put you in touch with various organisations that are there to help. We understand that any form of abuse is extremely distressing for the victim and their family, and we deal with each case on a personal, one-to-one basis with compassion, empathy and understanding.

        We act on behalf of people who have been raped (vaginally, anally, orally, digitally), molested, sexually harassed (in the workplace or elsewhere) or forced to engage in and perform sexual acts against their will.

        We act on behalf of both adults and children who are victims and survivors of sexual abuse, as well as those who were sexually abused as children but are now adults seeking to vindicate their rights following abuse perpetrated upon them as a minor.

        If you have been the victim of sexual assault or sexual abuse, please contact Diane Treanor or Johanna Ryan either by email or freephone us on 1800 844 104 for a Free Case Evaluation.

        Diane Treanor

        Senior Solicitor
        (Sexual Abuse Law Team)



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        Johanna Ryan

        Senior Solicitor
        (Sexual Abuse Law Team)



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