Many times after a sexual assault or abuse, victims live silently in their own psychological and emotional prison. Many individuals are not aware that victims of sexual abuse have a right to file a civil or third party action against a sexual offender or other parties that may be responsible for the abuse. The civil standard is much less stringent that the criminal standard which means that even if there was no criminal prosecution or if the offender was found not guilty in a criminal case, there may still be a viable third party action to recover compensatory financial damages for the injuries sustained as a result of the crime against the wrongdoer.
One cannot imagine the trauma of being a victim of a sexual crime and the effects that such an abusive crime has on their families. Survivors of sexual abuse often experience feelings of anxiety, stress, or fear, also known as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) as a result of the assault.
Mental And Physical Effects Of Sexual Abuse
Very frequently victims of sexual assault may turn to alcohol or other substances to alleviate the pain, emotional suffering, and memories of the event. Many sexual abuse victims suffer severe emotional and psychological reactions affecting them in their day to day living. In some cases, the effects lead to such severe depression that suicide occurs.
As a sexual abuse lawyer and member of a family where an immediate member was sexually tortured and violated by a predator, I am well aware of the devastating and life-altering aftermath that occurs to victims and their families after a sexual assault. Many victims of sexual abuse and assault live with persistent feelings of guilt, shame, and fear and tend to distrust others.
Many survivors of sexual abuse report sleep difficulty and night terrors and re-experience the sexual abuse as if it were occurring at that moment. Many victims are unable to relate to people in the same way they were prior to the abuse and have difficulty in physical and emotional relationships. It is important to remember that if you have been the victim of sexual abuse, you are not responsible for the abuse and you are not alone. While we recognize that a civil monetary award is not a means to the end of the trauma, it can assist victims and their families in the process of rebuilding their lives, and in obtaining necessary therapy and treatment. It sends an important message of deterrence to those responsible that such behavior must never be tolerated without any financial ramification.
After litigating numerous sexual abuse cases involving rape in a parking lot, rape and sexual abuse in a retail business establishment, apartment complex, and hotel, we were able to demonstrate to the business owners and operators of the premises that they repeatedly failed, refused, and neglected to take adequate and necessary precautions to prevent other customers from foreseeable harm.
Many times, the responsible business owners continue to operate their business with tragic indifference to the rights of innocent third parties and skimp on security, background checks, and other measures in their greed for profitability rather than securing the safety and well being of their business invitees or clients.
The effects of sexual abuse almost never go away and one never fully “gets over it”. It takes much courage to speak about the abuse and harassment that a victim has suffered. The victim speaks not only of him or herself but for those who faced the same cruelty in the past and who will continue to face the same risk of harm in the future.
Turn to The Reiff Law Firm Sexual Abuse and Personal Injury Attorneys for Help
If you have been a victim of sexual abuse, it is important to make an informed decision by speaking with an experienced sexual abuse advocate who can discuss “the pros and cons” of moving forward and investigating and potentially litigating your case. It is important to let the investigation take its course and hire the best professionals possible to assist you in looking into the situation and resolving all remaining issues.
This is not a hopeless situation and yes there is light at the end of the tunnel if one has the courage to take the first step on the journey forward. If you have been a victim of sexual abuse, the attorneys at Rieff & Bily have the experience to help. Call (215) 246-9000 or visit us online today.