Possibly one of the most damaging experiences a person can go through is sexual abuse. This type of violation can completely traumatize you and leave you feeling confused, hopeless and terrified. Being sexually abused will forever change you, but you are capable of overcoming this trauma and coming out on top in the end.
One way you can do this is by filing a claim in civil court against your abuser and anyone else who could have contributed to the abuse you endured. Continue reading to learn more about the red flags you should look out for when you suspect that someone you love is being sexually abused and what you can expect when you bring a claim against your abuser.
Signs of Sexual Abuse
There are seemingly countless signs that someone you love may have been sexually abused or assaulted, and while someone exhibiting just one of these warning signs may be going through something, it doesn’t necessarily mean that they’re being abused. If you see a combination of any of the following red flags, it’s time to do something to protect your loved one:
- Feelings of self-harm
- Substance abuse
- Weight loss or gain
- Social isolation
Before anything else, you should try to talk to the person you suspect is being abused. See if you can get them to open up to you about what they’ve been through by being compassionate and letting them know that they aren’t alone in this- you’re there are ready to help build them back up and recover. If they admit that they’ve been abused, it’s time to go to the police.
Your local police department will take the victims statement and open up an investigation that will hopefully result in criminal charges being filed. This is different from the civil suit you’ll be seeking, as criminal charges are likely to result in jail time, probation, and registration as a sex offender.
Filing Your Claim in Civil Court
When you make the decision to pursue a claim against your abuser, your attorney will begin reviewing the various ways your life has been impacted by your injuries. These are referred to as the damages you endured. Such losses may include:
- Lost wages
- Medical expenses
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Emotional distress
- Relocation costs
- Emergency funds
- Attorney fees
- Mental health counseling
- Loss of companionship and love
- Replacement services
- Funeral/burial costs where applicable
There is also a strong possibility that you’ll be awarded punitive damages, for what actions could be as abhorrent or egregious as that of sexual abuse? The judge will make this decision as their own form of punishment for the abuser and anyone else who could have played a part in allowing you to be abused.
Get Help From an Experienced Sexual Abuse Lawyer
When you’re ready to take back control of your life but aren’t sure where to turn, reach out to a qualified sex abuse attorney as soon as possible.
Your lawyer will be able to build a compelling case against your abuser and the perpetrators of your abuse to ensure that you achieve maximum compensation for your suffering. Don’t let your abuser get away with it. Bring them to justice and start to pick up the pieces of your life.