SEXUAL ABUSE LAWYERS

Helping victims of sexual abuse to get compensation for their damages.

Helping victims of sexual abuse to get compensation for their damages.

Summary

  • Sexual abuse refers to any sexual contact or behavior that takes place without specific consent.
  • Sexual abuse tends to occur within the victim’s close social circle.
  • Sexual abuse has devastating effects on victims, causing long-lasting trauma.
  • Criminal litigation and civil lawsuits are both options for survivors of sexual abuse to seek justice.

Sexual abuse is a devastating crime. Survivors are left grappling with physical, mental, and emotional scars.

Many survivors seek justice as part of the healing process. Sexual abuse lawyers can play a key supporting role here, providing compassionate advocacy for survivors as they navigate the complex legal terrain around sexual abuse.

What is Considered Sexual Abuse?

Sexual abuse is sexual contact or behavior that occurs without explicit consent. Physical contact may or may not occur–verbal sexual harassment, indecent exposure, and revenge porn also count.

Where Does Sexual Abuse Occur?

Despite public perception, research has shown that sexual abuse tends to occur within the victim’s close social circle. Three out of four survivors were victimized by someone they knew well.

Common locations for sexual abuse include workplaces, schools, healthcare facilities, and within the home.

Steps to Take After Sexual Assault or Harassment

Each survivor of sexual abuse has their own unique needs, but some general steps can help start the process of finding justice.

  1. Make sure you’re safe. Survivors often face shock, derealization, and other overwhelming mental states, and seeking people or places that make you feel safe can help.
  2. Reach out for support. Confiding in someone you trust can provide essential support, especially in a culture that doesn’t quite know how to handle these cases.
  3. Consider medical treatment. This can feel harrowing and invasive, but it can help ensure your long-term health and provide evidence in a potential case.
  4. Reach out for legal help. An experienced sexual abuse lawyer can help you seek justice against your abuser.

Why Should You File a Sexual Abuse Lawsuit?

Filing a lawsuit serves multiple purposes, each important in serving justice and holding an offender responsible for the harm they’ve caused.

Receive Compensation for Your Damages

The impact of sexual abuse is profound, and survivors often face medical bills, therapy, lost wages, and other financial hardships. You deserve compensation, not only for these expenses but for the pain and suffering you endure.

Hold Your Abuser Accountable

Many perpetrators of sexual abuse go unpunished, with their crimes unnoticed. Legal action holds your abuser accountable for their actions, both identifying the danger they pose and sending a message that such actions will not be tolerated.

Potential Liable Parties in a Sexual Abuse Case

Apart from the abuser, other parties may share responsibility for the abuse. Negligent security, such as a poorly lit parking lot, can create an environment where abuse can occur. Holding these parties accountable can be key to achieving comprehensive justice.

In a negligent security case, you would file a lawsuit against the property owners, citing evidence such as poor lighting or lack of security as hazards that lead to your abuse.

Another example of a liable party would be the company responsible for vetting the person who assaulted you, as in the case of the Uber sexual assault lawsuits. WHG will be able to tell you who the target of your lawsuit should be, and they’ll investigate your case to determine how best to bring about justice.

The Impact of Sexual Abuse on Victims

No matter the victim, sexual abuse has a profound impact that extends far beyond the immediate trauma. Victims often grapple with long-lasting effects on their mental and emotional well-being.

PTSD, anxiety, and depression are common. Survivors have increased rates of drug and alcohol abuse and are more likely to experience more violence later on in their lives.

Medical expenses, counseling, lost productivity, and pressing criminal charges also have a financial impact on sexual abuse survivors–sometimes estimated at over $100,000 for some victims–further highlighting the importance of compensation in the fight for justice.

Criminal Litigation vs. Your Civil Lawsuit

Survivors of sexual abuse can pursue justice in two settings: criminal litigation and a civil lawsuit. Both approaches have their strengths. Plaintiffs can pursue both at the same time.

Criminal Litigation

When sexual abuse occurs, survivors often turn to the criminal justice system first. In a criminal case, the state brings charges against the perpetrator. The focus is on holding the offender criminally responsible for their actions, potentially leading to fines, imprisonment, or other criminal penalties.

While criminal litigation can be a way for survivors to obtain justice, the focus is on addressing the crimes committed against society, not necessarily on the needs of the survivor. The state prosecutes the case how they see fit, and may not adequately address the individual survivor’s need for compensation and closure.

Your Civil Lawsuit

In contrast, a civil lawsuit is initiated by the survivor, to recover damages. The burden of proof is much lower here: the plaintiff only needs to show that it is more likely than not that the defendant is responsible for the harm.

The civil lawsuit is a way for survivors to pursue justice on a personal level, addressing the specific harm inflicted upon them. While a successful criminal case may result in the offender facing jail time or other legal consequences, a civil lawsuit focuses on obtaining financial restitution for the survivor. Your lawsuit is a way to take control of your own narrative, pursue compensation, and hold additional parties responsible.

Contact WHG to Speak with Our Team of Caring Sexual Abuse Lawyers

Werner, Hoffman, Greig & Garcia is dedicated to advocating for survivors of sexual abuse and ensuring they receive the justice they deserve. Our compassionate approach and legal expertise make us a strong ally for any survivors as they navigate the complexities of their case.

Your well-being is our priority.

Frequently Asked Questions

What evidence is needed to file a sexual abuse lawsuit?

Medical records, text messages, and witness statements can all help provide evidence in a sexual abuse case.

How much compensation can I receive for my damages?

The compensation available in a sexual abuse case varies depending on the resulting damages. An experienced sexual abuse lawyer can assess your case and provide guidance on the compensation you can pursue.

Do I need to file a police report after sexual abuse?

While it is not mandatory to file a police report after sexual abuse, doing so can help strengthen your case. However, your well-being is the priority. If filing a police report isn’t feasible, consulting with a sexual abuse lawyer can help you explore other options for seeking justice.

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