Sexual Abuse Survivors
What is considered sexual abuse?
Sex abuse is any sexual activity where consent has not been obtained or freely given. In many instances, perpetrators use force, make threats or take advantage of someone who is in a position of dependency on them. Oftentimes, the victim and perpetrator know each other.
Sex abuse can cause long-lasting damage. A Department of Justice report revealed that roughly 70% of sexual abuse victims experience moderate to severe distress, a higher percentage than victims of any other crime. Survivors of sexual abuse can face far-reaching consequences, including an increased likelihood of drug use, emotional problems and suicide attempts.
Every 68 seconds, someone in America is sexually assaulted and every 9 minutes, that victim is a child, according to RAINN, the largest anti-sexual violence organization in the U.S. If you are a survivor of sexual abuse, know that you are not alone.
Listen to Courtney’s story to learn more about how PCVA has helped survivors:
Who can I sue for sexual abuse?
In addition to the perpetrators themselves, institutions that failed to safeguard the victims can also be held liable. We have helped survivors of sexual abuse recover damages from the following institutions:
- Boy Scouts and other youth organizations
- Coaching settings in schools and community sports organizations
- Foster care and other protective care settings for minors
- Group homes and other care settings for people with disabilities or special needs
- Nursing homes and other long-term care facilities
- Church settings including the Catholic church and other faith-based communities
- Public and private school settings
- In the workplace
How long do I have to file a lawsuit for sexual abuse in Washington State?
In Washington State, you have three years from the time where you realize that damage was caused by sex abuse. In many cases, this has resulted in successful claims decades after the abuse occurred, as it can take victims many years to realize the psychological nature of the injuries caused by sexual abuse.
Should I file a sex abuse lawsuit?
The decision to file a civil lawsuit over damages caused by sexual abuse is a personal one, and several factors must be considered. A lawsuit will allow you to expose the wrongs of your perpetrator and potentially receive financial compensation for your pain. However, you will have to provide information about the trauma you experienced as well as other aspects of your personal life.
PCVA’s sexual abuse attorneys are trained in trauma-informed counsel. This means that to prevent re-traumatization, we have undergone professional training on how to work with individuals who have been subjected to trauma. When you work with us, know that you are working with an advocate who represents you with the utmost empathy and care.
What are the signs of sexual abuse among minors?
The signs of sexual abuse will vary depending on the minor’s age and can present themselves physically, behaviorally or emotionally. While there may be other causes behind some signs of abuse, it is important to trust your gut. Addressing sexual abuse can be painful, but the sooner you take action, the better off the minor in your care will be.
Among minors, warning signs can be difficult to spot, but include the following:
- Evidence of trauma to the genital area
- Sudden regression to old habits such as bed-wetting or thumb sucking
- Excessive knowledge of sexual topics
- Overly compliant behavior
- Spending an excessive amount of time alone
- Changed eating habits
- Reduced self-esteem
- Lost interest in daily activities
- Sudden fear of being away from primary caregivers
Signs that an adult may be grooming a minor for future abuse include:
- Fails to respect boundaries
- Tries to be a child’s friend rather than an adult role model / does not seem to have an age-appropriate relationship.
- Spends time alone with a child outside of their role in the child’s life
- Gives gifts without reason
How PCVA Can Help
Our nationally recognized attorneys have represented thousands of sexual abuse survivors, helping them achieve justice by holding the institutions that failed to protect them accountable and recovering hundreds of millions of dollars in damages on their behalf. Our attorneys have been involved in some of the most complicated and concerning sexual abuse cases in the country and are often consulted by other law firms for guidance and expertise when representing sexual abuse survivors.
If you or a loved one has experienced sexual abuse or assault, our attorneys are here to listen and help. Schedule a no obligation consultation with one of our lawyers by completing our intake form or calling us at (253) 948-3199 or (206) 536-2850. All conversations are completely confidential.
How much do you charge?
Our work is done on a contingency basis. This means that if your case settles favorably, we collect a portion of the settlement.
Our Case Results
National Sexual Assault Hotline: 1.800.656.HOPE (4673)
RAINN (Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network): https://www.rainn.org/
State Law Database: https://apps.rainn.org/policy/