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Legal help for victim’s of sexual assault or abuse
A sexual assault lawyer from The Carlson Law Firm can help victims through the toughest moments of their lives. A sexual assault is a traumatic experience and can completely alter your life physically, mentally and financially. Sexual assault victims often need to seek therapy to overcome the traumatic experience, in addition to lost wages or loss of support stemming from the assault. Unfortunately, criminal proceedings do not award damages to victims. To mitigate some of the financial burden that can soar from seeking and receiving the help you need, it is important that you and your family file a civil lawsuit to receive the compensation you deserve to move forward. Speaking to a victim’s sexual assault lawyer can help you as you begin to put your life back together.
With The Carlson Law Firm on your team, you can take back control. Our firm has leading victims of sexual abuse attorneys ready to help you recoup damages from your sexual assault. We have been representing clients for more than 40 years and have helped personal injury victims recover millions of dollars. If you are a sexual assault survivor schedule a free and confidential consultation with us today.
Sexual Assault lawsuits
The Carlson Law Firm is dedicated to raising the voices of victims silenced by their abusers. As more survivors find their voice, our country is coming to reconcile the fear and trauma suffered by survivors. If you are survivors of sexual abuse, you need a law firm on your side to help you in your recovery. Our firm has some of the leading legal advocates to elevate your voice in the courtroom. If you want a firm that embodies the compassion you need to get you through a legal battle, as well as the resources to ensure you get top-notch legal representation, you want The Carlson Law Firm.
Are you a Boy Scouts Sexual Abuse survivor?
The Boy Scouts of America are being held legally responsible for hiding decades of child sexual abuse cases. Thousands of reports have emerged from secret Boy Scouts files showing that the organization hid a massive amount of child sexual abuse from the public for nearly a century. You are not alone. The Carlson Law Firm is here to help victims of child sexual abuse recover
If you were sexually abused as a Boy Scout, you have a limited time to file.
Contact The Carlson Law Firm to speak with a civil sexual abuse lawyer right away to discuss your legal options.
Are you a Clergy Sexual Abuse survivor?
Survivors of church sexual abuse often live with a tremendous amount of guilt and shame that has negative effects on their mental health. In addition to physical, mental and financial damages, church abuse survivors can also suffer from spiritual damages as a result of what happened to them in the church.
It is important to contact a sexual abuse lawyer for legal advice after an assault. While we cannot undo the damage you have suffered, we can help you begin the road to recovery. Our attorneys can help you recover compensation to help pay for past, present and future medical treatment, as well as other damages.
Take Back Control with a Qualified Victim’s Sexual Assault Lawyer
Accountability is making a person own responsibility for their actions. If you have been sexually assaulted, you can hold the perpetrator and an institution accountable. For example, when an institution employs a sex offender and fails to supervise them, it can be held accountable. Or, when an apartment complex fails to provide adequate security to keep its residents safe, it can be held accountable. A sexual assault lawyer from our firm can help you hold a perpetrator accountable.
If you or your loved one were assaulted in a childcare facility, place of worship, school, hospital or commercial facility, you can be confident that a Carlson Law Firm victims sexual abuse lawyer will dedicate 100 percent of its resources to fight for justice. Our team of attorneys will help you determine whether you can hold the perpetrator, landowner, employer or another party accountable for the harm you suffered.
What is sexual assault?
Sexual abuse, or sexual assault, boils down to consent. No one can touch you in a sexual manner without getting the OK from you. Children, in the state of Texas, cannot give consent. Texas laws define a child as any person younger than the age of 17.
In recent years, the definition of abuse has expanded to include any sexual activity perpetrated “by threat, force, intimidation, or manipulation,” including, non-contact abuse such as exposure and voyeurism.
Who does sexual abuse affect?
The child sexual abuse, or molestation, statistics compiled by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Children’s Bureau, show that:
- 1 in 5 girls and 1 in 20 boys are victims of child sexual abuse.
- During a one-year period, 16 percent of youth ages 14 to 17 will be sexually victimized.
- Over the course of their lifetime, 28 percent of U.S. youth ages 14 to 17 have been sexually abused.
- Children are most vulnerable between the ages of 7 and 13.
Sexual violence statistics in adults:
- 1 in 5 women and 1 in 71 men will be raped at some point in their lives.
- 8 percent of rapes occur while the victim is at work.
- The estimated lifetime cost of rape is $122,461 per victim.
Who Commits Acts of Sexual Abuse?
In a majority of cases, sexual assault survivors know, or are casually acquainted with their abusers. According to the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN), “approximately seven out of 10 sexual assaults are committed by someone known to the victim.” Rape can be broken into three categories:
- Intimate Partner Rape: Refers to sexual assault committed by a person in a romantic relationship with the victim.
- Date rape, or acquaintance rape: Perpetrators are usually casually known to their victims. They can be classmates, neighbors, the significant other of a friend, or any number of roles.
- Stranger rape: In these instances, the perpetrator is not known to the victim at all. Stranger rape can take many forms:
- Blitz sexual assault: A victim is quickly and brutally assaulted with no prior contact. Usually occurs are night in a public place.
- Contact sexual assault: A stranger tries to gain the trust of their victim and lure an unsuspecting victim into a situation where the sexual assault will occur
- Home invasion sexual assault: A stranger breaks into the victim’s home to commit sexual assault.
Contact The Carlson Law Firm to speak with a qualified victims of sexual assault lawyer.
Effects of Sexual Assault and Rape
Rape is a form of sexual assault, but not all sexual assault is rape. Rape is a legal term that is usually reserved for acts that include sexual penetration without consent. Sexual assault is a broader definition that refers to the general sexual contact or behavior without explicit consent from a victim. Survivors can immediately begin dealing with extremely distressing emotions following a sexual assault or rape. Every survivor responds to the damaging effects of sexual violence differently. The healing process can seem like a lonely path, but you don’t have to go it alone. A Carlson Law Firm victims sexual abuse lawyer can help you get the resources you need to ease the pain in the aftermath of sexual assault. Survivors often experience physical, mental and emotional effects including, but not limited to:
Physical Effects of Sexual Assault
- Difficulty walking
- Fractured or dislocated bones
- Sexually transmitted diseases
Mental Effects of Sexual Assault
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Suicidal thoughts or attempts
- Disassociation (unable to focus on work, school work and inability to be present in everyday life)
Emotional Effects of Sexual Assault
- Loss of control
- Changes in trusting others; for children, this can manifest as mistrust of adults.
- Self-blame/ guilt
Survivors can sometimes develop feelings of being damaged or undeserving of a better life. In some cases survivors can turn to drugs or alcohol as a way of coping with the overwhelming feelings of sexual assault. A sexual assault lawyer from The Carlson Law Firm can help you take back control.
Sexual Assault Justice in Civil Courts
While sexual assault is a crime, consulting with a civil sexual assault attorney can give you a different kind of justice. A civil sexual assault lawsuit can give you remuneration for the following sexual assault damages:
- Psychological trauma
- Loss of income
- Sexual assault-related medical treatment
- Other damages caused by sexual assault
For civil lawsuits, survivors of adult sexual assault must file their claim within five years of the event; while child sexual assault survivors have 15 years from their 18th birthday to file a claim.
Texas does not have a statute of limitations for criminal cases involving:
- Aggravated Rape;
- Rape where DNA evidence is collected, but the suspect is not immediately identified; and
- Rape where the perpetrator is an alleged serial rapist.
However, the state has a 10-year statute of limitations on sexual assault and other offenses in the criminal courts, so it is important that you report any sexual abuse to law enforcement authorities in a timely manner.
Civil courts do not need to prove the innocence or guilt of an offender. Instead, it determines the liability of an offender or a third party in the damages or injuries sustained from the crime. Civil court findings liability usually result in an offender or negligible third party paying a survivor monetary damages. It can provide victims with financial resources to rebuild their lives.
My abuser was found not guilty, can I still seek accountability?
Yes. Survivors of sexual assault or abuse can still sue the perpetrator in civil court, no matter the outcome of criminal proceedings. The major difference between a criminal case and a civil case is a criminal case views the perpetrator as innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt and holds the perpetrator accountable to the state. On the other hand, a civil case is victim-led and holds the perpetrator accountable to the victim. Both are equally important in your fight for justice.
I don’t need a civil case; I was given restitution by the criminal court.
While criminal courts may order a perpetrator to reimburse certain expenses incurred by survivors, or guardians of the survivors, restitution is often not collected. The lack of enforcement, coupled with the court’s inability to order restitution for non-economic damages, often means that restitution falls short of meeting a survivor’s needs.
Businesses, schools and other organizations can be held responsible for the negligence that created the conditions that led to sexual assault.
A facility can be held responsible when it negligently:
- Hired the perpetrator without doing an adequate background check.
- Supervised its employees.
- Retained an employee after potential predatory signs.
- Trains its employees on how to watch out for signs of potential sexual assault.
- Enforces guidelines on how to prevent sexual assault
- Fails to supply the necessary security to protect its employees and customers
- Fails to investigate complaints of an alleged sexual assault.
At The Carlson Law Firm, we will investigate all of the details surrounding your case and help you fight for the proper compensation. If aggravating factors existed—such as the threat of violence, injury, kidnapping, brandishing or use of a deadly weapon, or an administered substance—we will make sure you receive every penny for the suffering and duress you endured.
A Sexual Assault Attorney can help you rebuild
Sexual assault and abuse can take its toll on your well being, but you don’t have to go through it alone. The Carlson Law Firm is ready to guide you through the legal steps you can take to begin the process of rebuilding your life after a sexual assault. We can help you determine where you can hold the perpetrator, landowner, employer or another party accountable for the harm you suffered. Our compassionate, hard-hitting legal team is the legal advocate you need. We have a team of attorneys with the knowledge, skill and passion for justice that you deserve in your fight for justice. Contact our firm today for more information on how a victims sexual assault attorney can assist you.
Here at The Carlson Law Firm, we care and we can help.