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 schools, summer camps, bus companies, colleges, and universities throughout the country. We hold authorities and institutions that enable sexual abuse and assault accountable through civil litigation.
HOLDING ABUSERS ACCOUNTABLE
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 a number of factors can contribute:
Authority: Individuals holding a position of inherent authority sexually abuse others by taking advantage of the authoritative dynamic. An example of this would be a teacher becoming sexually involved with a student. The student may feel obligated to take part in the abuse simply because the teacher holds a role of power.
Age: Acts that involve an adult and a minor are despicable acts; children are victimized simply because they are too young to protect themselves from the assault. Research has found that those who suffer sexual abuse as a child are more likely to develop depression, anxiety, addictions, and personality disorders.
Physical size: A larger physical presence can be exerted as a form of influence. Smaller individuals may shy away from stopping sexual abuse out of fear of a physical confrontation.
Coercion: Children and mentally handicapped individuals can be especially vulnerable to sexual assault. Perpetrators often concoct stories to explain their behavior and discourage reporting.