California’s Premier Litigation Law Attorneys

Irvine Sexual Abuse Lawyer

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. 

Why Hire Callahan & Blaine for Your Sexual Abuse Case? 

  • At Callahan & Blaine, we have a tradition of client service and litigation success that goes back more than 39 years.
  • Our trial practice reflects this firm’s commitment to helping those who have been harmed by others, and we will stop at nothing to ensure that our clients receive the compensation they need.
  • Together, our attorneys have more than 700 years of trial experience. 
  • We take Irvine sexual abuse cases on a contingency fee basis, which means that our clients will not have to pay any legal fees until after we recover the compensation they are entitled to.

What is Considered Sexual Abuse in California? 

There are various statutes in California that could be considered sexual abuse. This includes, but is not limited to, the following:

  • Rape. Rape is a crime committed if a person engages in sexual intercourse with someone else when consent has not been given. This crime can be committed when a person uses violence or intimidation, when a person is unable to resist because of intoxication, when a victim is unconscious, when a victim is incapable of giving consent because of a mental or physical disability, and more. Additionally, a person can be convicted of rape of their spouse under most of the same circumstances.
  • Forcible acts of sexual penetration. A person will commit this crime if there is any forceful penetration of sexual organs that occurs under the same non-consensual circumstances as a normal rape case. 
  • Oral copulation. This crime is committed anytime there is oral copulation involving the mouth of one person with a sexual organ or anus of another person that is not consensual.
  • Sexual battery. This crime is defined by an offender touching the intimate parts of another person under the same types of non-consensual circumstances mentioned and a normal rape case. This does not have to involve any penetration.
  • Aggravated sexual assault of a child. This crime is defined by committing aggravated sexual assault of a child under the age of 14 who is seven or more years younger than the offender. This can include rape, sodomy, oral copulation, or forceful sexual penetration under the same circumstances mentioned for the crime of rape.
  • Unlawful sexual intercourse with a person under 18. This is commonly referred to as statutory rape, and occurs when the sexual act is accomplished with a person who is not the spouse of the perpetrator, when the victim is a minor, and the perpetrator is an adult who is at least 18 years of age. This can include “consensual” sexual acts.
  • Sexual acts with a child 10 years or younger. This crime involves rape, sodomy, or oral copulation when an offender is at least 18 years of age, and the victim is 10 years old or younger.

What are the Signs of Sexual Abuse? 

There are various signs that could indicate that a person has been the victim of sexual abuse. This includes physical, behavioral, and emotional signs:

  • Physical signs:
    • Itching or pain in the genital area
    • Bleeding or bruising in the genital area
    • Sexually transmitted infections
    • Sleep disturbances or nightmares
    • Loss of appetite
    • Frequent urinary tract infections 
    • Torn, stained, or bloody clothing
  • Behavioral signs:
    • Increases in physical complaints
    • Problems with sleep patterns
    • Fear around certain people or places
    • Regression to younger behaviors like thumb-sucking or bed wedding
    • Abnormal interest in sexual issues inappropriate for the age range
    • Sexual activities with toys or other children, including simulating sex acts
    • Using new words for body parts 
    • Having a “secret” they will not discuss
  • Emotional signs:
    • Lack of confidence
    • Sudden mood swings
    • Unexplained fear about certain places or people

What Should You Do if You’ve Experienced Sexual Abuse? 

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.

Statute of Limitations on Sexual Abuse Claims in California 

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:

  • Within ten years from the date of the last sexual abuse act, attempted act, or assault with the intent to commit an act of sexual abuse by the perpetrator.
  • Within three years from the date when the survivor discovers or reasonably should have discovered that an injury or illness resulted from the act, attempted act, or assault with intent to commit an act of sexual abuse by the perpetrator.

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.

Compensation for Sexual Abuse Victims in Irvine, CA 

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:

  • Medical treatments
  • Mental health services
  • Counseling and therapy
  • Prescription medications
  • Loss of income
  • The cost of relocation to a new area
  • Emotional distress and mental anguish damages
  • Physical pain and suffering damages
  • Court costs and legal fees

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.

Free Consultation With a Sexual Abuse Attorney in Irvine 

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.