Sexual assault and sexual abuse can take place anytime, anywhere. Survivors of both sexual assault and sexual abuse can suffer life-long consequences including physical, psychological, and emotional trauma. Victims of sexual abuse may develop difficulties in trusting others, which will have a long-term effect on their ability to establish and build healthy relationships. If you've been a victim of sexual abuse, let our top-rated California sexual abuse lawyers get you the financial compensation you deserve.
Perpetrators of sexual abuse often victimize others for the sake of feeling powerful rather than for the sake of sexual gratification. Although there is no way to know when and where sexual abuse will take place, a common trend in the United States today is for perpetrators who are in a position of authority to take advantage of their subordinates and those they are responsible for. Currently, there are countless reports of sexual abuse occurring in schools, preschools, and even in church communities.
Although survivors of sexual assault and sexual abuse may face their abusers in criminal court, they are still entitled to receive financial compensation for their injuries. If civil cases for sexual abuse are filed within the statute of limitations, survivors are entitled to compensation for any medical expenses that they may have incurred as a result of the sexual abuse. Medical expenses may include costs of treatment for physical injuries as well as psychological treatment to help a survivor cope with the trauma. In civil court, survivors of sexual abuse may also be able to recover punitive damages and attorney’s fees.
If you have been a victim of sexual assault or sexual abuse in California, The California sexual abuse lawyers at The May Firm wants to help you seek justice in the civil system. You have more than enough to worry about already - let us fight for you!
School should be a safe place for children to learn and grow. They should be able to go into their classrooms without fear that the adult responsible for providing them with an education will take advantage of them. Unfortunately, teacher/student sexual abuse has become very prevalent across the United States.
Teacher/student sexual abuse can occur within any level of education and to students of any age. Still, the U.S. has seen increasing rates of sexual abuse of middle and highschool students over the last decade. In many cases, a teacher will manipulate a teenage student into thinking that they are in love. Because the student believes that they have a relationship with their teacher, they also often come to the conclusion that sexual contact is appropriate and even something that they want. It isn’t until later that they realize that the entire situation had been fabricated and that they had been taken advantage of. By then, the trauma has been induced.
Cases of sexual abuse between teachers and students have become easier to prove in recent years. With the development and expansion of technology and various social media platforms, there is often a cyber trail. Whether a teacher is sending provocative photos to a student or the teen is bragging about “hooking up with a teacher,” authorities are often able to trace the activity.
Unfortunately, even preschool students fall victim to sexual abuse, often at the hands of their caregivers. Parents leave their young children in preschool for a variety of reasons, the most common being to provide their children with the opportunity to learn before beginning kindergarten. When they select a preschool, parents are choosing an environment and daycare teachers that they believe will be healthy and supportive. The last thing on their minds is the thought that these people would ever harm or abuse their child.
Preschool students are especially susceptible to sexual abuse due, in large part, to the fact that they don’t understand what it is that is being done to them. If they don’t understand what is happening, it’s harder for them to report the abuse to their parents or to anyone else. Additionally, young children are easily manipulated. An abuser within the preschool can simply tell the child that they are playing a game, that it’s their little secret, or even that they would hurt them if they ever told mom and dad, and they would be believed.
Based on the social media frenzy surrounding sexual abuse within various church communities over the last few years, it’s important to clarify that churches are not a cesspool for sexual abusers. That being said, there are still religious leaders who use their status and religious teachings to manipulate their followers.
When children and adults are abused within the church community, it is often because their abuser convinces them that they will go to Hell if they don’t allow the abuse or that God wants it to happen. While there are other ways in which sexual abuse occurs, manipulation of the victim’s religious beliefs is the most common. Survivors who were sexually abused within the church community suffer not only the consequences of sexual abuse itself but from feelings of guilt and confusion related to the manipulation that they suffered surrounding their religion.
The state of California imposes a statute of limitations, or a time limit, on when civil cases seeking damages for sexual assault and sexual abuse can be filed. Survivors of childhood sexual abuse must begin legal proceedings in civil court within 8 years of reaching the age of majority or within three years from the date they discover, or should reasonably have discovered, the psychological injury caused by the sexual abuse. California imposes the limitation that expires later. In other words, if a 25-year-old discovers that they are suffering from a psychological injury, such as depression, as a result of childhood sexual abuse, the statute of limitations will expire three years later, when they are 28, rather than when they reach age 26.
If you or someone you love has been the victim of sexual abuse, your first course of action (after seeking counseling to help cope with the trauma) should be to contact a personal injury attorney with knowledge of sexual abuse cases. While The May Firm is willing and able to represent survivors of sexual assault and sexual abuse, regardless of how the case arises, we specialize in recovery for those who have been harmed by a teacher or within the religious community. We have extensive experience in winning personal injury cases for sexual abuse survivors who were harmed by a teacher, while at daycare, or by someone within their church.
Because there is a statute of limitations for the filing of a sexual abuse civil claim, it is important to speak with an attorney as soon as possible. The California sexual abuse lawyers at The May Firm provides free consultations and operates on a contingency basis. This means that we don’t get paid until we win your case!
The May Firm understands that recovering from sexual abuse can take a lifetime. Although no amount of money can take away your pain, we are here to provide you with the support, guidance, and legal representation necessary to ensure that you are financially compensated for your suffering.
The May Firm has offices located in San Luis Obispo, Santa Maria, Santa Barbara, San Diego, Ventura, Bakersfield, and Fresno. Give us a call at 1-844-MAYFIRM today. We are here for you.
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