Sexual abuse is devastating to its victims, whether it occurs at the hands of a family member, mentor, teacher, caregiver, or stranger. The mental and emotional scars left in the wake of sexual abuse can last a lifetime.
Our sexual abuse attorneys have extensive experience bringing cases against churches, schools, daycares, summer camps, and others. We hold authorities and institutions that enable sexual abuse and assault accountable through civil litigation.
While the legal definition varies by state and type, it is generally understood that sexual abuse involves unwanted sexual contact. Cases of abuse typically involve inappropriate use of power, and several factors can contribute:
Damage done by sexual abuse is not just physical; often, the mental and emotional impact of sexual abuse continues for many years or even a lifetime. Those who have been abused might develop unhealthy ideas about sexual relationships that can cause destructive behaviors and emotional distress.
Signs that a child has been sexually abused may include:
When children show symptoms of sexual abuse, professionals must report those behaviors and protect the child. Health professionals, police, teachers, school employees, social workers, and others must ensure the mental and physical safety of the children they watch over. Unfortunately, our lawyers have seen many cases of institutional disregard for the safety of children or others who are in their care.
Sexual abusers must be held accountable; likewise, people in a position of authority who fail to protect those in their care must also be held responsible for what happens on their watch.
Being sexually abused can impact the victim for an exceptionally long time, and they should be compensated for the damages caused by the negligence of these churches. Victims of sexual abuse can recover compensation for needed psych treatment, emotional trauma, or even PTSD.
If the victim suffered health care or mental health care expenses because of the abuse, they could be entitled to have those costs covered in full. If they also suffered physical or mental effects that made it challenging to work at a job, they may be entitled to claim damages for lost wages or reduced earning capacity.
In most cases, there is also substantial pain and suffering to compensate, whether physical, mental, or emotional. Moreover, many cases may result in “punitive damages” to punish the institution and the individuals for widespread, repeated, or pervasive misconduct.
If you or a loved one suffered through sexual assault, you deserve justice, support, and a chance at moving on with your life. Our legal team understands what sexual abuse or assault can do to someone, and we are committed to holding abusers and the institutions that protect them accountable for their actions.
Maginnis Howard’s team of experienced sexual abuse attorneys are passionate about defending the rights of victims. Recently, our firm’s lead personal injury attorney, T. Shawn Howard, recovered over $1 million for a child who was sexually abused at a church-operated Day Care Center.
If you or a loved one have questions about this blog or an individual case, contact our office for assistance. Our offices are conveniently located across the state in Raleigh, Charlotte, and Fayetteville. We may travel to your location for some personal injury cases, including for South Carolina clients. Visit the contact page for more information on each branch.