Those who have been sexually abused face a lifetime of pain and suffering and often never receive justice for what has happened to them. If you or a loved one have been sexually abused, please seek legal assistance to take the first steps forward.
Soloff & Zervanos, P.C. is ready to step in and be your advocate. Our knowledgeable and experienced team understands these cases and will work to secure compensation for what has happened to you. When you need a Queens sexual abuse attorney, we are here for you.
A Reality Check
Sometimes people need to see the cold hard reality of sexual abuse. It can happen to anyone and usually involved the perpetrator being in a position of trust or authority over the victim. This can include children being assaulted by teachers, clergy members, mentors, scout leaders, and even older children. It can also include the abuse of adults by doctors and abuse of the elderly by caregivers.
What does abuse look like?
Sexual abuse can include the following:
- Unwanted or forced sexual acts performed on someone.
- A person being forced to perform a sexual act.
- Sexual touching outside or underneath the clothing.
- A minor being exposed to pornography.
Who commits sexual abuse?
Sometimes sexual abuse is committed by a stranger to the victim, but that is rare. According to the National Sexual Violence Resource Center, 91% of abuse victims knew their abusers. In many cases, an abuser is a member of their victim’s family. Darkness to Light says that one in five girls and one in 25 boys will be sexually assaulted during their lifetimes.
The Effects Last A Lifetime
The victims of abuse feel the effect of what happened to them long after the abuse has ended. In many cases, victims suffered abuse for years at the hands of their perpetrators before it stopped.
The majority of sexual abuse victims report suffering from emotional and psychological damages, including post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Victims may struggle to have healthy sexual relationships and, in the worst cases, could become abusers themselves.
Adults who are abused by someone they trust are just as likely to develop mental health disorders as minors who are abused.
FAQs for Queens Sexual Abuse Lawyer
Fear, shame, depression, embarrassment, withdrawal, isolation, denial, and post-traumatic stress disorder. The list of consequences of sexual abuse can go on. Some of these effects are short-term, while others linger for a lifetime.
One of the reasons why sexual abuse and assault survivors are unable to move on after the traumatizing event is because they have never found the justice they so desperately desired. Let our Queens sexual abuse lawyer at Soloff & Zervanos, P.C., help you with the healing process by seeking justice and holding your abuser criminally liable for what happened.
Who Commits Sexual Abuse in New York?
While anyone can become a sexual abuser, approximately eight out of ten sexual assaults are committed by someone known to the victim. Even someone respectable and trustworthy can be an abuser.
In the vast majority of sexual abuse lawsuits in Queens and elsewhere in New York City, the following persons are often accused of committing the crime:
- Employers or supervisors;
- Doctors and other healthcare professionals (hospital sexual abuse);
- Workers in nursing homes and assisted care facilities (elder sexual abuse);
- Clergy and church (priests, ministers, and other people providing religious service);
- Family members and relatives (incest and foster care sexual abuse);
- Teachers and instructors;
- Members of youth organizations;
- Coaches and others in youth sports organizations; and
- Government officials, businesspeople, and other powerful people.
What Are the Common Types of Sexual Abuse in New York?
In Queens or elsewhere in New York City, any amount of unsolicited, unwanted, and non-consensual sexual contact, activity, or attention is considered “sexual abuse.”
The most common types of sexual abuse include:
- Non-consensual oral sex performed on or by the abuser;
- Forcing the victim to touch the abuser’s genitalia;
- Touching the victim’s private parts;
- Taking or distributing sexual photos or videos without permissions;
- Making unwelcome sexual advances or requests;
- Exposing genitals to another person;
- Forcing the victim to view pornographic content (inappropriate or explicit photos and videos); and
- Forced penetration (vaginal, oral, or anal) of or by the abuser.
More often than not, abusers take advantage of another person’s vulnerability or powerlessness to commit acts of sexual abuse or assault. That is why children, teenagers, and older people often become victims.
How Much Time Do I Have to Report Sexual Abuse?
Under the New York Child Victims Act, signed by Governor Andrew Cuomo in February 2019, all sexual abuse and assault survivors who were previously barred from filing a lawsuit can sue their abuser within a year from the Act’s effective date (August 14th, 2019).
A victim can file a sexual abuse lawsuit against the abuser or institution up until the victim reaches the age of 55. The Act is an exclusive exception to the statute of limitations for sexual abuse claims in New York City.
Do not waste your chance, as the Act expires on August 14th, 2020. Consult with a Queens sexual abuse attorney to prepare for your criminal case.
What Damages Are Recoverable in a New York City Sexual Abuse Case?
Sexual abuse and assault can have life-long consequences and impact many aspects of the victim’s life, significantly diminishing the quality of their life, making them unable to find a romantic partner or get married, and taking a toll on their psychological and emotional wellbeing.
As a plaintiff in a sexual abuse suit in New York City, you may be able to get compensation for the following types of damages:
- Medical bills;
- Lost wages;
- Therapy expenses (psychological, physical, and emotional);
- Pain and suffering;
- Emotional distress;
- Shame and guilty;
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD);
- Diminished quality of life;
- Inability to enjoy life;
- Inability to perform daily tasks;
- Loss of companionship; and
- Punitive damages.
That is a non-exhaustive list of damages that can be recovered in your sexual abuse case. Speak to an experienced Queens sexual abuse lawyer at Soloff & Zervanos, P.C., to identify the recoverable damages and seek compensation.
Meeting With a Queens Sexual Abuse Attorney: Important Information About Gathering Evidence
Gathering evidence is an important step when preparing to meet with a Queens sexual abuse attorney. This evidence will be used to build a strong case and increase the chances of a favorable outcome. Here are some tips on how to gather evidence when preparing to meet with a Queens sexual abuse attorney:
- Keep a journal: Keeping a journal of the abuse can be helpful when preparing to meet with a Queens sexual abuse attorney. Include as many details as possible, such as dates, times, and locations of the abuse, as well as any physical or emotional effects it has had on you.
- Collect medical records: Medical records can provide important evidence of the abuse, such as bruises, injuries, or STIs. Make sure to bring copies of any medical records that pertain to the abuse, including any medical examinations that were conducted after the abuse.
- Gather any physical evidence: If possible, keep any clothing or bedding that may have been worn or used during the abuse, as well as any other physical evidence that may be relevant to the case.
- Obtain any relevant documents: Documents such as police reports, restraining orders, or any other legal documents that pertain to the abuse can be helpful when preparing to meet with a Queens sexual abuse attorney.
- Identify any potential witnesses: If there were any witnesses to the abuse, make a list of their names and contact information, so that the attorney can interview them.
- Be prepared to talk about the abuse: When preparing to meet with a Queens sexual abuse attorney, it is important to be prepared to talk about the abuse in detail. This may be difficult, but it is important to be as honest and forthcoming as possible.
- Get a Support System: It is wise to have a support system in place while going through the process of seeking legal help. This can be a therapist, a friend or a family member
Gathering evidence is an important step when preparing to meet with a Queens sexual abuse attorney, but it is also essential to remember that the attorney will be there to guide you through the process and help you to understand what is required.
It Is Time To Act
Sexual abuse is wrong and it can happen to anyone: children who trust a mentor, patients who trust doctors, and to the elderly in nursing homes. If you or someone you love has been sexually abused recently or in the past, we are here for you now.
Soloff & Zervanos, P.C. wants to help you secure the compensation you deserve. This can include:
- Pain and suffering damages
- Compensation for counseling
- Punitive damages against the perpetrator(s)
- The person who abused you
- Institutions they worked for
- Institutions that may have covered up the abuse
Though we know that no amount of money will ever erase your pain, this can help bring a sense of justice and closure. When you need a Queen’s sexual abuse attorney, you can contact us for a free consultation by clicking here or calling us at 215-929-7216.