You can sue somebody besides the perpetrator for sexual abuse. According to ChildWelfare.gov, there are individuals who maintain a responsibility to keep children safe. This includes parents, guardians, grandparents, other caregivers, teachers, school administrators, daycare workers, and clergy. When the people responsible for keeping children safe fail, then those individuals or organizations could potentially be held accountable.
Possible Legal Targets
It is possible to sue somebody besides the perpetrator for sexual abuse, including:
- Legal guardians
- School districts
This list represents just some of the possible responsible parties of a child sexual abuse case. However, other people or organizations could be responsible. If you have any questions about who could be held accountable for the abuse, contact a child sexual abuse lawyer to discuss the specific details of what happened in your case for more guidance.
Prevalence of Child Sexual Abuse
Child sexual abuse is a major problem in the United States and in other countries around the world. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, it is estimated one in 4 girls and one in 13 boys are sexually abused at some point during their childhood. Since a significant number of child sexual abuse cases go unreported, it is unclear exactly how widespread the problem is.
Long-Term Impacts of Child Sexual Assault
Child sexual assault can have a variety of long-term impacts on victims, including:
- Ongoing therapy
- Pain and suffering
- Fear of new relationships
These are just some of the long-term impacts of child sexual assault that are possible. However, like any other trauma, the long-term impact can vary by person. If you or a loved one has suffered because of child sexual abuse, it may not be too late to file legal action against the person responsible, even if the child abuse took place years ago.
Understanding Your Rights
No one has the right to injure, assault, or abuse you. You can hold anyone legally accountable who caused your injury, even if you do not have DNA evidence. According to Pediatrics, physical evidence was not essential for a conviction in child sexual abuse cases. This means that you can file a lawsuit even if you just have your own witness testimony available. Everyone has the right to seek legal action against the liable parties.
Statute of Limitations for Child Sexual Abuse
The statute of limitations for child sexual abuse varies widely based on who files the lawsuit, in what state, who you plan to sue, and some other factors. In some states, victims have only a few years that starts from the date of the incident. In others, there is not any statute of limitations in place that limits when you are able to file legal action. If you or a loved one has any questions about how the statute of limitations applies to your specific case, consult with a child sexual abuse lawyer practicing in your state.
Steps to Take and What to Expect
If you discover that you or your child has been sexually abused, it is best to discuss what happened with both law enforcement and a child sexual abuse lawyer. You will provide details about what happened and your goals for pursuing legal action. Should you decide to proceed with your sexual abuse lawsuit, your lawyer will file legal motions and start the process of gathering evidence. Your lawyer will then try to settle your case out of court, if possible, before trying your case in court, as needed. You may be asked to testify about what happened.
Your Rights as a Parent
Generally, victims pursue legal action for sexual abuse. For younger victims, sometimes parents or legal guardians start the legal process on their behalf. Depending on the individuals or organizations that you plan to sue, the amount of compensation for losses that you could expect to receive varies. If it turns out that the incident is part of a larger pattern of abuse from an organization and it impacts other children, you might be able to pursue other charges against the responsible party.
Reasons to Hire a Lawyer
There are many reasons why it makes sense to hire a child sexual abuse lawyer to help you with your case. The lawyer will be able to take care of all of the small details of your case and the process of discovery while you work toward your own recovery. Gathering evidence and taking legal action can bring up feelings of trauma and be uncomfortable. By working with a lawyer, you could potentially minimize this.
Contact Us Today
If you or a loved one suffered from child sexual abuse, you could be entitled to compensation from the perpetrator and any other party that is responsible. Contact Pintas & Mullins Law Firm at (800) 794-0444 to speak with a member of our team. There is no fee for speaking to a member of our team and we can answer any questions that you may have about the legal process for filing a child sexual abuse case.