Sexual Abuse Attorneys in New York
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Sexual abuse, whether committed against a child or an adult, is never okay. Anyone who perpetrates such abhorrent conduct should be held accountable for their actions. If you were a victim of sexual abuse, know you do have legal options to obtain justice.
At Nisar Law Group, P.C., our New York attorneys are well-versed in the laws and processes required to pursue civil action against sexual abusers. We will handle your matter with sensitivity and confidentiality as we compassionately guide you through your case. Fighting for justice is what we do best, and we have dedicated our professional careers to doing exactly that.
What Is Sexual Abuse?
Sexual abuse is unwanted sexual contact. Although it does include instances of physical touching and penetration, it could also include behavior that does not involve such conduct, such as exposing oneself to a child or sending or requesting sexually explicit images or videos.
Often, the abuser will use force to get their victim to comply with their demands. Force does not have to be physical. Perpetrators might use psychological tactics, manipulation, threats, or their position as an authority to make non-consensual sexual advances against another.
Sadly, sexual abuse is often committed by someone the victim knew or had a relationship with, such as:
- A caretaker
- A church or religious official
- A coach
- A family member
- A friend
- A teacher or educator
- A youth organization or instructor
If you or your child was sexually abused, find support for help, and report the matter to the police. Then, reach out to our skilled sexual abuse attorneys in New York to get started on your civil case. We'll help you understand the process and provide the legal advice and guidance you need along the way.
What Are the Signs of Child Sexual Abuse?
Most often, children who are victims of child sexual abuse do not tell anyone about the incident.
There are various reasons a child may stay quiet about sexual abuse. For instance, they might:
- Fear retaliation from the abuser
- Be embarrassed about the incident
- Be apprehensive about telling on an adult
- Trust the person who abused them
- Have promised to keep the abuse a secret
- Feel guilty because they blame themselves for the abuse
Although a child might not want to talk about sexual abuse they suffered, you can look out for certain things if you suspect they have been a victim.
A child may exhibit physical and/or emotional signs of sexual abuse, including:
- Blood in their underwear or on their bedding
- Trauma near their genital area
- Persistent stomach pains
- Low self-esteem
- Depression or anxiety
- Avoidance of certain people
- Sexual knowledge or behavior inappropriate for their age
- Trouble in school
Changes in behavior may be subtle, but if you notice those listed above or any others, look into the matter further and seek help.
Types of Sexual Abuse
Sexual abuse is unwanted or forced sexual contact, and it takes many forms.
A few types of sexual abuse include:
- Rape: This involves non-consensual sexual intercourse through the use of physical or psychological force. Rape can be committed by a person the victim knows or a stranger.
- Child sexual abuse: This is any type of sexual conduct committed against a minor, regardless of the age of the perpetrator. Child sexual abuse can involve various acts, such as masturbation in front of the minor, sex with the minor, or making obscene phone calls or sending explicit texts.
- Intimate partner sexual assault: This includes instances of sexual violence by someone with whom the victim has an intimate relationship, such as a dating partner or a spouse.
- Incest: This occurs when the victim's family member commits an act of sexual abuse against them. It can be difficult for survivors to talk about such incidents because of the familial relationship.
- Drug-facilitated sexual assault: This occurs when the abuser uses drugs and/or alcohol that compromises the victim's ability to resist. The perpetrator may take advantage of a person who has voluntarily used intoxicating substances or they may force their victim to use such substances. Unfortunately, because of their inebriated states, victims of drug-facilitated sexual assault often have trouble recalling the details of the incident.
Legal Options for Victims of Sexual Abuse
If you or someone you know has been sexually abused, it's crucial that you take action as soon as you are able. You may report the incident to the police to begin a criminal case.
You may also file a civil lawsuit against the abuser. Sexual assault can result in physical and psychological injuries that can persist for years. Such trauma may require medical care and therapy. When you take civil action, you can seek monetary compensation for the harm you suffered and expenses and losses you incurred as a result of the incident. Although it cannot erase your experience, it can help you get the treatment you need.
In a civil suit, the types of damages sexual abuse victims may seek compensation for include, but are not limited to:
- Medical expenses
- Therapy bills
- Lost wages
What Is the Statute of Limitations for Filing a Civil Lawsuit?
Legal options are available for holding sexual abusers accountable, but there is a time limit for when such action can be taken. In New York, victims of sex crimes have 20 years to bring a civil lawsuit in court.
New York’s Child Victims Act
In the past, when the victim was ready to hold their abuser accountable, the statute of limitations for filing a claim had lapsed. However, in February of 2019, New York passed the Child Victims Act, extending the deadline for initiating a claim. Before, victims had until they were 23 years old to file a lawsuit against their abuser; now, they are able to pursue a civil case until they are 55 years of age. Additionally, beginning in August of 2019, and continuing for 1 year until August 2021, the statute of limitations will be suspended, allowing victims to file claims against child sexual abusers regardless of how far in the past the acts occurred.
Protecting the Rights of Victims
Our New York sexual abuse attorneys are practiced at handling emotionally charged cases and are ready to help you pursue a lawsuit against your abuser. At Nisar Law Group, P.C., we are committed to providing superior legal service to fight for your rights and show the perpetrator their actions will not be tolerated. We have the skills and resources needed to advocate tirelessly on your behalf to seek the settlement you deserve.