Sexual abuse is something nobody should ever have to experience. Unfortunately, the sexual abuse of both children and adults occurs regularly in California and throughout the US. According to the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN), around 60,000 children are victims of sexual abuse each year, and more than 430,000 Americans aged 12 and older are sexually assaulted or raped annually.
At Callahan & Blaine, we are here if you need an Irvine sexual abuse attorney. If you or somebody you care about has been sexually abused by someone else, we want to help ensure are you receive some measure of closure and compensation for what happened. We understand how challenging this can be for you and your loved ones, so let us be your advocate throughout this process.
There are various statutes in California that could be considered sexual abuse. This includes, but is not limited to, the following:
There are various signs that could indicate that a person has been the victim of sexual abuse. This includes physical, behavioral, and emotional signs:
The process of healing, or helping someone else heal, from sexual abuse can be incredibly challenging. If you have experienced sexual abuse, please understand that seeking assistance from counselors is not a sign of weakness – is a sign of strength.
You need to first ensure your own safety and get out of a situation where you may be in danger. Find someone that you trust in reach out for support while also considering your medical options. You may need to go to a hospital so that DNA and blood samples can be gathered (particularly if a sexual assault has recently occurred).
Healing from sexual abuse does not happen through avoidance, but it may take some time until you are comfortable talking about what happened. You should also consider legal options against the perpetrator of the sexual abuse. Regardless of whether or not the perpetrator of the sexual abuse will be held accountable through the criminal court system, you may be able to hold them accountable through a civil lawsuit.
A skilled Irvine sexual abuse attorney can help walk you through this entire process to ensure that you are properly cared for and that you get the help that you need.
It is important to understand that there are multiple timelines in place for sexual assault and abuse cases in California. Unfortunately, this plethora of timelines can be very confusing for survivors. When we look at the timeframes for filing these claims, we have to look at whether or not the survivor was a child or an adult when the sexual abuse occurred.
For adults, we will turn to CA Civ Pro Code § 340.16 and see that this statute of limitations applies to those who were sexually abused after they turned 18 years of age. In these situations, the commencement of civil legal action shall be the later of the following:
When it comes to child survivors of sexual abuse, these victims will have until their 40th birthday or within five years from the day they discover or should have reasonably discovered the abuse to file a civil lawsuit. This timeline reflects changes to California statutes and took effect on January 1, 2020. This law also allows for a three-year “lookback window” which will essentially revive any claims that would have previously been barred by the statute of limitations.
Even though no amount of money can erase the horror of experiencing sexual abuse, it can help bring some closure to survivors. As medical and therapy bills climb, it may be necessary to turn to the civil court system in order to hold the perpetrator or another party financially responsible for what happened. If your Irvine sexual abuse case is successful, you could be entitled to various types of compensation, including money for the following:
In the event the sexual abuse was covered up by an institution, survivors in these situations may be entitled to treble damages, which can significantly increase the amount of money the survivor receives.
If you or somebody you love is a survivor of sexual abuse in the Irvine area, reach out to the team at Callahan & Blaine for help as soon as possible. We have extensive experience handling complex sexual abuse cases throughout California, and we know what it takes to help ensure that you recover the closure and compensation you are entitled to. Let us help you focus on confidently moving forward with your life. When you need an Irvine sexual abuse attorney, you can contact us for a free consultation by clicking here or calling us at (714) 241-4444.