Sexual abuse will have a life-long impact on victims, whether the abuse happened when they were kids or adults. Long-term impacts of sexual abuse, such as low self-esteem, depression, substance abuse and other mental health problems, might last for many years after the abuse.
Child and adult sex abuse victims can seek justice for crimes committed against them by filing a sex abuse lawsuit against the perpetrator or institution that might have facilitated the abuse.
Even though the lawsuit won’t change whatever happened or eliminate the trauma the survivor endured, it will hold the responsible individual or party accountable and offer a financial settlement. Since sex abuse is a civil tort and state crime, victims have the chance to seek justice via the criminal sex abuse lawsuit, civil sex abuse lawsuits, even both. A lawyer who has been defending sex abuse lawsuits for years will have vast experience to help you.
What is considered sexual abuse
American Psychology association points out that sexual abuse is any form of unwanted sexual contact that involves the use of force by the abuser. Examples are
- Attempted rape or rape
- Sexual abuse of a child
- Unwanted sexual touching
- Sexual battery
- Sexual harassment
- Indecent exposure
Difference between criminal and civil sex abuse lawsuits
One of the greatest differences between these two types of lawsuits is the possible results. In criminal cases, the state makes the charges instead of the survivor. If the criminal case against a sexual offender leads to a guilty verdict, it might result in a jail term. In a civil case, the charges are made by the survivor against the offender or entity or company that might have taken part in the abuse. The lawsuit will lead to financial compensation if the judge rules in favor of the victim.
In the criminal case, the survivor is considered the key witness and is requested to testify. That implies recounting their disturbing experience in the courtroom. The jury will determine if the abuser is guilty beyond any reasonable doubt. That means the evidence must indicate that the abuser committed the crime. Moreover, the victim has no say in the sentence or outcome the abuser gets. In a civil case, the survivor controls the proceedings and outcome.
Benefits of filing a civil sex abuse lawsuit
Typically, a civil abuser lawsuit concentrates on the victims’ needs instead of the abuser’s punishment. Besides, an experienced lawyer has been defending sex abuse lawsuits for many years. So they’ll know what’s best for your case. The advantages of filing a civil sex abuse case include the following:
More control over the lawsuit: in many cases, the victims don’t have a say in the sentencing the abuser gets. In civil cases, victims have greater authority over the proceedings of the lawsuit and will make informed decisions regarding settling the lawsuit or going to court.
A civil sex abuse case allows victims to get a settlement for the damages and injuries suffered due to the abuse.
The burden of proof
One needs enough evidence when it comes to defending sex abuse lawsuits. So, in civil sex abuse cases, the perpetrator should only be found liable and not “beyond reasonable doubt” like in criminal lawsuits.
When planning to file sexual abuse case, it’s important to consult a qualified sexual abuse attorney. The professional will guide you throughout the entire legal process.