Trauma-informed lawyering in the context of civil claims for sexual violence – Journal of Law and Society

Posted May 1st, 2024 in civil justice, compensation, damages, news, sexual offences, victims by sally

‘Over the last decade, there has been an increase in civil compensation claims for sexual violence in the United Kingdom (UK). Given that trauma-informed approaches have been called for in relation to legal responses to sexual violence, we put forward seven key principles of trauma-informed lawyering in this context and draw on interviews with UK-based civil lawyers who represented sexual violence survivors to explore the extent to which trauma-informed work is taking place. While we found that our sample of lawyers typically had a very good knowledge of sexual violence and the trauma that it can cause, there was less certainty about how to accommodate the impacts in practice. Moreover, there was a tendency to prioritize individual healing and medicalize a form of social injustice. We conclude by emphasizing the need for legal training and education on a trauma-informed approach that accounts for the social and political dimensions of sexual violence and trauma.’

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Journal of Law and Society, 29th April 2024