Seattle Sexual Abuse Lawyer
There has been renewed media and public attention to the problem of sexual abuse in recent years. Many high-profile organizations such as the Boy Scouts of America and the Roman Catholic Church have seen a reckoning for the decades of sexual abuse committed by several of its members, primarily against children. Yet even as we have come to learn more about the lifelong consequences of sexual abuse, many victims are still reluctant to come forward.
The reality is that the criminal justice system often fails to do its part for victims. That means it is up to these abuse survivors to take civil action. An experienced Seattle sexual abuse lawyer can represent you in pursuing a claim for damages against your abuse and those who enabled them. At the Emerald Law Group, we can sit down and review your case and offer compassionate legal advice and guidance through this difficult period of confronting your abuser.
Dealing with the Long-Term Consequences of Abuse
Sexual violence and abuse remains shockingly common in the United States. According to figures from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, over half of women and one-third of men living in the United States have experienced some form of sexual violence during their lifetimes. Sexual abuse frequently begins during childhood and teenager years. The CDC reports that 80 percent of female rape survivors were first raped before the age of 25, and about half were raped before reaching the age of 18.
Sexual abuse frequently produces long-term physical and psychological side effects, including unwanted pregnancy, sexually transmitted diseases, depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, substance abuse, and eating disorders, just to name a few. In many cases, a victim’s subconscious can repress memories of sexual abuse for years–even decades–before they are able to publicly discuss what happened to them.
While the criminal justice system can prosecute abusers for specific offenses such as rape, a civil lawsuit is often a victim’s only mean of obtaining compensation and public accountability from their attacker. In most cases, sexual abuse does not occur in a vacuum. There may be multiple third parties–such as a school, employer, health care provider, local government, or religious organization–whose negligence allowed the abuser to do what they did. All of these parties can also be sued for damages under Washington law.
Compensation for sexual abuse depends on the specific facts and circumstances of a survivor’s case. A judge or jury will take into account a number of factors, such as the nature and duration of the abuse, the relationship between the abuser and the victim, and the impact of the abuse on the victim’s education and career.
Contact Emerald Law Today
No amount of money will ever undo the harm caused by sexual abuse. But for many survivors of such abuse, the process of taking legal action against an abuser–and the people who helped them–can be cathartic in its own right. So if you need legal advice or representation from a compassionate Seattle sexual abuse lawyer, contact the Emerald Law Group today to schedule an initial consultation.