This content contains sensitive subject matter related to sexual abuse.
Survivors of sexual abuse can feel like the law isn’t on their side. Sexual abuse often goes unreported, and abusers can get away with abusing people for years without facing charges. Victims of sex abuse may be able to file a civil claim to get compensation for their losses.
If you are a survivor of sexual abuse and want to know your legal options, consider speaking with a local attorney. You may have criminal and civil legal options to make sure the abuser is held accountable.
What Is Sexual Abuse?
Sexual abuse can involve sexual conduct without consent or sexual activity with a minor. Not all sexual abuse involves physical molestation. Non-touching child sexual abuse can involve solicitation for sex with a minor, showing a child pornography, or online sexual harassment.
According to the Justice Department, almost 4 out of 5 rapes or sexual assaults are unreported. Many victims don’t come forward because of threats, self-blame, fear they won’t be believed, or because abusers are in positions of power. Abusers can include family members, religious leaders, teachers, coaches, spouses, acquaintances, or total strangers.
What Are the Penalties for Sexual Abuse?
Sexual abuse is a crime, but it can be difficult to prosecute because there may not be much evidence that a crime took place. When someone is convicted of a sex crime, they may be sentenced to prison time, fines, and registering as a sex offender.
What Are the Rights of Sex Abuse Victims?
While sometimes it may seem too difficult to get justice through a criminal case, sexual abuse victims may be able to get financial compensation through a civil lawsuit. While sex abuse is a crime, it can also be considered a civil wrong, also known as a tort. That means victims could hold abusers responsible for their actions, to recover any damages suffered because of abuse.
In a civil sex abuse claim, the survivor of sex abuse can get compensation for damages, including medical care, lost income, mental distress, and pain and suffering. In some cases, you might also be able to get punitive damages, which are intended to punish the wrongdoer.
How Can a Sex Abuse Attorney Help?
It’s easy to feel like you don’t have anyone to turn to after going through an experience like sexual abuse. A sex abuse attorney can explain the legal options that you have to get in the strongest possible position to hold your abuser accountable.
This can include reporting a sex abuse crime for prosecution or recovering compensation through a sex abuse civil lawsuit. To get started, find a personal injury attorney with experience handling cases like yours for legal advice about your case.
Speak to an Experienced Sexual Abuse Attorney Today
This article is intended to be helpful and informative. But even common legal matters can become complex and stressful. A qualified sexual abuse lawyer can address your particular legal needs, explain the law, and represent you in court. Take the first step now and contact a local sexual abuse attorney to discuss your specific legal situation.
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