Sexual abuse is a harrowing and life-altering experience that no child should ever have to live through. Unfortunately, discovering the true abusive nature of a person can be difficult if they hide their intentions under the veil of working as an educator. This situation can become even more complicated if a school attempts to protect a sexual abuser. If you or a family member was sexually abused by school staff, consult with an experienced Philadelphia school sexual abuse attorney today.
The Reiff Law Firm has an unwavering commitment to fighting for children that suffered abuse at the hands of sexual predators that posed as educators. You do not have to fight alone. To schedule a free legal consultation to discuss your claim, contact the Reiff Law Firm at (215) 246-9000, or contact us online.
Forms of Sexual Abuse
Sexual abuse is not just limited to actions like rape and similar situations. A child can endure sexual abuse despite not even being touched by their abuser. Understanding the types of abuse a sexual predator may employ can help a survivor build their case to stand against their abuser.
As mentioned, physical sexual abuse is just one form of sexual abuse. Common actions that a sexual abuser may take when committing physical sexual abuse may include:
- Coercing a child into allowing their genitals to be fondled
- Forcing a child into performing sexual acts on them, another adult, or another unwilling child
- Physically harming a child when they do not consent to commit sexual acts
- Raping a child or performing oral copulation on a child
- Penetrating a child’s genitals with a foreign object
In addition to physical sexual abuse, a sexual predator may also use other tactics to abuse a child mentally and emotionally. For example, exposing a child to pornographic material to make them believe the abuser’s actions are common instead of perverse is a form of sexual abuse.
A sexual abuser may try to keep an abused child in check by trying to isolate them from others who may help them. An abuser may accomplish this by constantly telling a child no one will believe they are being abused or convincing them that they will be in trouble if they alert another person.
There are many other foul tactics an abuser may use to manipulate a child. When this abuse and manipulation occurs within the scope of the abuser’s employment, this could make the abuser and their employer responsible for their actions. For example, a priest using their role as a teacher to lure unsuspecting students can reflect upon the educational institution.
To learn more about filing a lawsuit against a sexual abuser, continue reading and speak with an experienced Philadelphia sexual abuse lawyer today.
Statute of Limitations for Sexual Abuse Lawsuits in Philadelphia
If you were abused by a teacher or other members of the school staff, you should pursue compensation for the unspeakable trauma you experienced. Unfortunately, the statute of limitations may sometimes act as an impediment to a survivor of sexual abuse.
The statute of limitations determines the amount of time that a person has to file a specific type of claim. In Pennsylvania, the statute of limitations for civil sexual abuse claims is when the survivor reaches the age of 30. While this would be a substantial amount of time for many other types of lawsuits, this may not be enough for a sexual abuse lawsuit.
Many survivors of sexual abuse were abused when they were children. To conceal their terrible actions, their abuser may even have manipulated them into believing that they were not abused at all. Alternatively, some survivors may fear the stigma of telling family and friends that they were sexually abused. As a result, it could be decades before a survivor of sexual abuse is ready to face their abuser, which could lead to the lapse of the statute of limitations and the inability to pursue compensation.
Pennsylvania legislators are still determining whether it would be appropriate to increase the statute of limitations for sexual abuse lawsuits. If passed, the law would mirror similar bills in other states that raised the statute of limitations for civil cases up to the age of 50 or above. Other states have also implemented renewal periods for lawsuits that have expired before the increase of the statute of limitations.
It is important to note that despite the age 30 limit on civil sexual abuse cases, a sexual abuser can still face criminal charges until their victim reaches the age of 50.
If you are confused about the final filing date for your sexual abuse claim, you should speak with an experienced attorney as soon as possible.
Consult with an Experienced Philadelphia School Sexual Abuse Lawyer You Can Trust
If you are a survivor of sexual abuse and you wish to file a claim against your abuser, contact an experienced Philadelphia school sexual abuse lawyer today. The skilled injury lawyers at the Reiff Law Firm have fought for clients for decades, and we would be honored to work with you. To schedule a free case evaluation, contact the Reiff Law Firm at (215) 246-9000.