The Major Kinds of Sexual Abuse Torts

The Major Kinds of Sexual Abuse Torts

Negligence or a lack of care is the most common personal injury claim (tort). Examples include car crashes and slip-and-falls. Sexual abuse claims are intentional torts. There is a difference between intentional and negligence. In one famous case, a court ruled that a boy who pulled a chair from underneath an elderly woman, causing her to fall, was liable for an intentional tort, even though he did not intend to hurt her.

An experienced sexual abuse survivor lawyer can often obtain more compensation in an intentional tort claim than in a negligence claim. Frequently, the injuries in an intentional tort claim, especially a sexual abuse claim, are more severe.

Additionally, the wrongful actor in an intentional tort claim deliberately ignored the safety of other people and selfishly pursued a course of action that resulted in serious injury.

Sexual Harassment

Workplace sexual harassment is the most common form of sexual harassment. However, it could occur almost anywhere, most notably in schools. Sexual harassment is an umbrella term that includes several kinds of intentional torts, such as:

  • Hostile Environment: If a boss knowingly tolerates a sexually charged environment, such as pictures of nude women on computer wallpaper, that makes a reasonable person unable to do their job, that boss creates a hostile environment.
  • Quid Pro Quo: On TV shows, it might be portrayed as romantic when a shy boss offers to discuss a promotion over dinner with a pretty intern. In the real world, that action is quid pro quo sexual harassment. Bosses cannot tie favorable treatment to sexual favors in any way, shape, or form.
  • Retaliation: This sexual harassment tort does not require proof of sexual harassment, which is probably why it’s the leading Equal Employment Opportunity Commission sexual harassment charge. It is illegal to take adverse action against a person who reports sexual harassment, encourages someone else to report such behavior, or serves as a witness in an investigation.

Employers may also be responsible for third-party sexual harassment (e.g., a customer sexually harassing a waitress) if the employer knew about it, had the power to do something about it, and did not act.

If you or a loved one is a sexual abuse survivor, our compassionate attorneys at The Yost Legal Group are here to offer free, confidential consultations. If you are ready to talk, we are ready to listen: 1-800-YOST-LAW.

Sexual Abuse

Sexual abuse is unconsented genital touching, regardless of whether the survivor was clothed. Usually, consent is a voluntary, affirmative agreement to a particular act. Prior sexual touching is not consent to current touching. 

In civil court, a sex abuse lawyer must prove abuse, and all other intentional torts, by a preponderance of the evidence (more likely than not).


Sometimes, sexual abuse involves non-sexual touching. For example, Bill might push Linda against a wall with the intent to sexually touch her, but change his mind at the last minute and release Linda. Bill did not commit a sexual abuse tort, but he did commit battery, which in most states is a harmful or offensive touch.

Sexual Battery

Laws vary in different states. Usually, sexual battery is the unconsented penetration of any organ (buttocks, vagina, etc.) with any part of the body (tongue, finger, etc.). Because of the physical, mental, and emotional damage it inflicts, an experienced sexual abuse lawyer can usually obtain more compensation in a sexual battery case than in any other sexual abuse tort case.

Experienced Lawyers Here to Help Sexual Abuse Survivors

The Yost Legal Group’s compassionate sexual abuse survivor attorneys are working diligently to get people the justice and compensation they deserve. If you or a loved one is a survivor of sexual abuse and ready to talk, we offer free and confidential consultations to all. Our experienced sexual abuse survivor lawyers are ready to help: 1-800-967-8529.