According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), sexual abuse leaves lasting impacts on a victim’s life, often for years after the incident took place. If you or a loved one was the victim of sexual abuse, it may be possible to hold the perpetrator responsible. A sexual abuse lawyer may handle your case so that you can focus on your recovery. We can listen to the details of what happened to you or your loved one and answer any questions that you may have about the process of filing a civil sexual abuse lawsuit.
Consult D. Miller & Associates, PLLC™ at (713) 850-8600 to determine your legal options.
Types of Sexual Abuse
Not all sexual abuse cases are the same. Some types of sexual abuse cases include:
- Sexual assault
- Intimate partner sexual violence
- Child sexual abuse
- Sexual harassment
- Elder sexual abuse
- Drug-facilitated sexual assault
Other types of sexual abuse are possible. If you experienced a form of sexual abuse not included on this list, you could still have a legal case. You have a right to seek legal recourse with a sexual abuse lawyer.
Signs of Sexual Abuse
Sometimes, victims of sexual abuse do not initially come forward to disclose what happened to them. This can be an especially difficult admission from young children. Some signs of sexual abuse to look out for are:
- Bite marks
- Unusual vaginal discharge
- Vaginal bleeding
- Rectal bleeding
- Anal tears
- Anal dilation
- STD symptoms
- Behavioral changes or regression
- Fear of being alone or being touched
- Excessive genital play
- Stomach pain
This list highlights just some of the signs of sexual abuse; however, trauma can manifest in different ways. If your loved one or child exhibits strange behaviors or signs, it is a good idea to discuss any concerns that you may have with their doctor.
Understanding Your Rights
The Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) defines the difference between rape and sexual assault. No matter what you call what happened to you, you have the right to live your life free of sexual abuse. Depending on the nature of the case, you may qualify for recovery for a variety of losses stemming from your abuse. You can discuss the best options for your case with your sexual abuse lawyer.
Steps to Take After Sexual Abuse
If you or a loved one was the victim of sexual abuse, the most important step that you can take after being sexually abused is to disclose what happened and file a police report. Be sure to request of rape kit if the event took place within the last few days. Any evidence, such as DNA found in the rape kit, can be used later in the course of a legal trial. Even if you are not sure that you want to press charges against the person responsible, you will never have the ability to retrieve this DNA again.
Additionally, you may need to seek medical attention. Sometimes sexual abuse does not include rape. Talking with your doctor or law enforcement about other signs of sexual abuse that could be prevalent or filing a report could get the process of investigation started. They can be uncomfortable to disclose what happened to you, but all of these steps create evidence and support your case.
After talking to the appropriate authorities or soon after the incident occurred, you can contact a sexual abuse lawyer to discuss possible actions of recourse. In some cases, you do not need to make a decision about filing a civil case right away; however, it can be helpful to know what options are available to you and to start the process of evidence collection before too much time passes.
Sexual abuse can have a significant impact on your life. Even if you have yet to experience the full extent of your injuries and trauma, you may later decide that you wished that you took action. Taking these steps preserves your choice. It does not necessarily force you to make a decision before you are ready.
In addition to potential criminal charges, you could receive recovery from your civil sexual assault case. Some applicable losses may include:
- Hospitals stays
- Cognitive therapy
- Ongoing medical needs
- Pain and suffering
Every sexual abuse case is different. The types of recovery that you might be entitled to will vary based on the details of your case. Call D. Miller & Associates, PLLC™ at (713) 850-8600 to discuss what types of recovery could be possible.
If you have any questions about how the statute of limitations applies in your specific case or about other aspects of your case, you can discuss your questions with a sexual abuse lawyer. Statutes of limitation for sexual abuse cases, especially those involving children, often provide a much longer period of time for victims to file lawsuits.
Contact D. Miller & Associates, PLLC™ for Legal Help
If you or a loved one was the victim of sexual abuse, it might be time to seek the support of a sexual abuse lawyer to see what options are available in terms of a civil case. Call D. Miller & Associates, PLLC™ at (713) 850-8600. We can discuss what happened to you and help you handle your legal case while you can focus on your recovery.