Sexual Assault And Sexual Abuse
As a survivor of sexual abuse, you are not alone. There is an epidemic of sexual assault on women, children and the vulnerable; every 98 seconds an American is sexually assaulted. Estimates tell us nearly one in five people have experienced some form of sexual assault, abuse, or molestation. But few survivors have historically come forward to confront their abusers. This is slowly changing as society is exposing the covering up of systemic abuse. The #metoo movement and other civil rights advocates are starting to gain momentum to stem the injustice of the failure to prosecute these cases.
- Penn State’s Jerry Sandusky is convicted of sexually assaulting minors at summer camp.
- The U.S. Gymnastics Team scandal exposes College and Olympic team cover-up.
- Bill Cosby is convicted and sentenced to jail.
- Harvey Weinstein is being criminally prosecuted.
- BackPage sex traffic website operators are arrested and criminally charged.
- Southern California University OBGYN exposed for abusing hundreds of students.
- Pennsylvania grand jury finds over 1000 Catholic churchgoers were sexually abused.
Too Often Professionals Violate Relationships Of Trust
All too often the abuser is a trusted professional such as a teacher, priest, doctor, coach, camp counselor, scoutmaster or even a volunteer at organizations that cares for children. Pedophiles, rapists, and even sexual harassers take advantage of their positions of power over vulnerable individuals. Frequently the abuser has a pattern of criminal or abusive behavior that is repeated over a period of time. Once they are exposed or reported they should be removed from contact with vulnerable survivors.
But sometimes organizations cover up sexual abuse and permit it to continue.
Employers Have A Responsibility To Properly Screen, Supervise And Dismiss Dangerous Employees
The organizations where sexual abusers work can be held responsible if they did not act properly. This is important when the abuser does not have enough assets to pay the harms that they have caused. If an employer fails to screen or monitor an employee it can be held responsible for the sexual abuse in a civil case. Colleges have responsibilities under Federal Law, Title IX of the Education Amendment of 1972, to protect students from sexual harassment by professors, a student on student bullying and harassment, and to even properly investigate and prevent rape on campus. Churches must report criminal sexual assaults to the police or be responsible for ongoing harm caused by its clergy. Employers may not enter into a quid pro quo arrangement where employees perform sexual acts for job advancement or pay. Hospitals and medical groups must implement safeguards to avoid sexual abuse by their partners and workers. These are some of the scenarios that are commonly reported.
Sexual Abuse Can Vary In Degree
Sexual assault and sexual abuse can occur in many different degrees of severity. But each instance of assault or abuse may be actionable. The most frequent cases involve:
- Attempted Rape
- Child Sexual Abuse
- Photographing a child in a sexual context
- Lack of consent or inability to consent to sexual contact
Each of these types of sexual abuse can be legally actionable based upon the individual circumstances. Many people never come forward to report rape, abuse or molestation. Some of the contributing factors include the type of harm that is caused to the survivor. Survivors often experience:
- Feeling of withdrawal
- Difficulty trusting
- Loss of self-esteem
- Inability to forge close emotional relationships
Every survivor of sexual abuse can react differently to the trauma they have experienced. Contact our office for a free, confidential initial consultation to learn about your legal rights.
Claims Against The Catholic Church – Clergy Abuse
Where there is trust and power, there is an opportunity for abuse. Nowhere has that ever been clearer than the church’s scandals of sexual abuse of women, young boys, and young girls. The church engaged in a pattern of covering up repeated instances of sexual assault and abuse. They choose not to report countless criminal sexual assaults to law enforcement. Instead, they protected the criminals by moving them to new parishes and permitting them to have ongoing access the laity, who would likely trust the abuser.
Recently the criminal justice systems in various states have renewed efforts to go back to review older cases of serial abuse to potentially hold pedophile and rapist priests criminally accountable. A Pennsylvania grand jury found probable cause that over 1000 sexual assaults to parishioners went unreported in Pennsylvania. The Maryland attorney general has initiated an investigation into the Archdiocese of Baltimore for a similar investigation.
The Catholic church’s reaction has been mixed. In some countries, like Germany, they are offering monetary reparations. In the US the church has also started some programs to compensate sexual abuse survivors who have had the time to file a lawsuit lapse. If you or a loved one is a survivor of abuse by anyone associated with the church, call for a free consultation.
Sexual Abuse And Sexual Assault By Doctors And Other Medical Providers
We all trust our doctors to give us treatment and advise to promote our health and well-being. But sometimes doctors betray that trust. It is never okay for a doctor to have sexual relations with a patient. Doctors do not routinely need to perform personal exams of private areas that are unrelated to the request for medical consultation. There is an alarming rate of quid pro quo where doctors prescribe opioid medications in exchange for sexual favors. If you feel you have been treated inappropriately by a doctor or other medical professional, call the medical malpractice lawyers at the Yost Legal Group.
Schools Owe A Responsibility To Protect Students From Abuse
Federal laws know as Title IX have been enacted to protect students enduring abuse or discrimination that might prevent them from obtaining an education. They protect students from teachers, school counselors, coaches, as well as others on school property. There is litigation against the University of Southern California for the actions of an OBGYN who inappropriately examined thousands of young college women. There is litigation at the University of Michigan for the inappropriate sexual battery of the gymnastics doctor that was covered up for decades. Penn State was sued over the sexual abuse of children at a sports summer camp by Jerry Sandusky, a coach. There are many more situations where teachers have sexual relationships with their students. If you or a loved is the survivor of sexual abuse, sexual harassment, or other misconduct, call for a free initial legal consultation.
Human Trafficking and Child Pornography
One of the most horrible sex crimes of our society involves the trafficking of young women and children into the sex trade. Until recently, these individuals were easily found on the internet ads of the website “Backpage.com.” But in 2018, the federal legislature stripped away the complete immunity for the promotion of prostitution on the internet. The owners of this business enterprise were then arrested and charged with crimes. If you or a loved one is a survivor of human trafficking, call the Yost Legal Group for advice about your legal rights. You are not alone.
Legal Representation For Survivors Of Sexual Abuse
Many survivors of sexual assault just want to first know what their legal recourse may be. There are time limits (statutes of limitations) to file civil lawsuits seeking monetary compensation. There are time limits (statutes of limitations) to criminally prosecute. The time to pursue justice in the courts vary from state to state and can vary upon the circumstances of the individual’s case. That is why it is important to call the sexual abuse attorneys at the Yost Legal Group for a free, confidential, initial consultation to find out about your right to bring legal action. One of our experienced sex abuse attorneys investigated and prosecuted hundreds of sex offense cases involving women, children, and vulnerable adults. Call the experienced sexual assault lawyers of the Yost Legal Group. All communications to us are completely confidential. We will discuss your rights and advise you of your best options in which you wish to pursue justice. You remain in control of the decision to move forward. The consultation is free whether you proceed or not. If you choose to pursue your legal rights, there is no fee or expense unless you recover.