Compensation will not change what happened to you. But the sense of justice that comes with it will help in your recovery process. This has been the experience of our network of sexual abuse lawyers all across the country.
Whether it's rape, sexual assault, abuse, sex trafficking or molestation, our compassionate attorneys have the experience to understand what you are going through. They know how to investigate and prosecute these cases.
When you are ready to take back control and get justice, we are here for you. For an evaluation of your case, please call us.
It wasn't your fault.
Sexual abuse is a crime based in power. Many offenders gravitate towards occupations and positions of authority. Exploiting trust and respect, victimizers use vulnerability to commit their horrendous crimes. All too often, the criminal justice system focuses on punishing these reprehensible individuals, offering little support for assault survivors as they recover.
You are not alone.
Sexual assault is quite possibly the most traumatic experience anyone can live through. It's not uncommon to feel shame, guilt and fear in the wake of a terrible violation. All of these feelings are normal, but you must know that you did nothing to deserve this. We will work to ensure that the abuse or assault you suffered does not come to define your life.
Restitution and compensation funds may suffice for immediate medical expenses and counseling, but many survivors must turn to civil lawsuits, and the assistance of experienced sexual assault lawyers, to secure lasting compensation and begin recovering from the deeper scars left by sexual abuse.
Victims of sexual assault or sexual abuse are permitted to seek justice through both the criminal and the civil court systems. Criminal prosecution is key for punishing offenders and preventing them from harming other potential victims.
While convictions are an important part of the healing process, most victims will have to file a civil lawsuit in order to receive financial compensation for the physical and emotional pain they've suffered. Lawsuits may be filed against the perpetrator, and depending on circumstances, negligent third parties who allowed the assault to occur or covered it up after the fact.
In a civil trial, juries will usually sympathize with the victims of these heinous crimes and often award high amounts for financial compensation. Sometimes, perpetrators and/or the institutions they represent may decide to settle out of court instead of taking the case to trial.
It's important to note from the outset that no one can predict the settlement or verdict value of a sexual assault before the fact. Each case depends on unique factors that must be thoroughly evaluated before worth can be estimated with any accuracy. Even then, value estimates are usually unreliable. Anyone who tells you they can estimate the value of your case during an initial consultation is lying.
Examples of institutions which have been held liable for sexual crimes include:
In recent years, many colleges and universities have faced lawsuits for either failing to prevent campus sexual assault or improperly handling reports of sexual assault. These lawsuits are usually based on a violation of Title IX, which is a federal law that protects students from sexual discrimination. Recent examples of lawsuits against institutions of higher education include:
High schools, middle schools, and elementary schools may be held liable for a failure to protect their students from sexual abuse.
In December 2016, A Virginia elementary school student sued his school board and two of its employees for failing to protect him from sexual abuse by the school's janitor. The lawsuit claims that the school's two principals violated the alleged victim's Title IX rights by failing to independently investigate a complaint of sexual abuse. The victim is seeking $10 million in damages.
Multiple churches and religious organizations have been sued for failing to protect young church members from sexual assault and for attempting to cover up these crimes in order to preserve the church's public image.
The Catholic Church is the most prominent example of a religious organization facing liability for sexual abuse by clergy members. In the past 65 years, the U.S. Catholic church has paid out nearly $4 billion in settlements to victims of child sexual abuse.
In February 2017, a Pennsylvania woman reached a settlement with a Jehovah's Witness Church for abuse she suffered as a teenager. The lawsuit was filed against the alleged abuser, the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of New York, the Christian Congregation of Jehovah's Witnesses, and the Spring Grove Congregation of Jehovah's Witnesses. The suit claims that the church failed to follow Pennsylvania's mandatory child sex abuse reporting laws, even after her family had reported the abuse to church elders.
Business owners may be found liable for allowing sexual assault to occur on their properties. A lawsuit may be appropriate if the assault occurred as a result of negligence, such as inadequate security or improperly trained staff, or if the business inappropriately handled a claim of sexual abuse or assault.
In 2017, a Texas woman sued a Chipotle restaurant after an employee installed a hidden camera in the women's bathroom, which recorded the woman and her daughter changing. Upper management allegedly tried to cover up the evidence of these illegal recordings. The lawsuit seeks punitive damages for:
Youth programs may also be held liable for failing to protect child participants from sexual abuse. The Boy Scouts of America have faced several lawsuits alleging that group leaders have sexually abused children under their watch. The amount paid in settlements is unknown because the Scouts keep reports sealed from the public.
In 2017, two former Boy Scouts sued the Boy Scouts of America and its Northeast Georgia Council after neither party did anything to stop their sexual abuse, despite being aware of the accusations against the abuser Two churches which were allegedly aware of allegations of sexual abuse but did nothing to stop it have also been named as defendants in the case.
No crime is more heinous than childhood sexual abuse. Every victim is faced by a lengthy road back to normalcy, but the survivors of abuse during adolescence may be forced to deal with psychological trauma long into adulthood. Repression and post-traumatic stress disorder are common, and can make securing criminal justice difficult. We’ve made it our moral duty to support victims in any way we can, from start to finish.
Every day, we work to help survivors find the strength inside themselves to step forward and fight for justice. You can be a light for other survivors. It only takes one decision, one brave choice to regain your power.
The vast majority of abusers know their victims. Many offenders are the intimate partners of the people they abuse. Family violence is real, rampant and unacceptable. Assault and abuse survivors, along with those still living through the horrors of abuse, often fear speaking out and remain trapped in unsafe situations. No one deserves to live like that.
We can help you step forward. Out of the darkness and into the light. Whether you want to pursue civil litigation or just need someone to talk to, we are always here for you.
Even after a criminal conviction, victims must live with the physical and emotional trauma of abuse. We can’t take back those days, months or years of fear and violence, but we can help you find the support and resources that you and your loved ones deserve.