Understanding Sexual Abuse

Are you a survivor of sexual abuse? The consequences of what you suffered can have debilitating effects on your physical health, emotional well-being, and financial security. You should never have been made to experience what you did, and you deserve the chance to hold the abuser accountable for the ways they hurt you. A sexual abuse litigation attorney can be a powerful ally as you pursue justice.

At Holth & Kollman, LLC, we are committed to fighting for what’s right and helping people in situations like yours stand up and be heard. Let us be your voice, demanding both justice and financial compensation on your behalf. We look forward to meeting you and hearing your story when you contact us for a free consultation.

What Constitutes Sexual Abuse?

The term sexual abuse refers to a wide range of unlawful sexual conduct, such as sexual assault/rape, unlawful sexual contact, indecent exposure, or sexual exploitation. A perpetrator commits sexual abuse when they engage in sexual activity with a person without their consent and for the perpetrator’s personal or sexual gratification or stimulation. Civil and criminal laws prohibit sexual abuse. Perpetrators of sexual abuse may face imprisonment and other penalties under criminal law and financial liability to victims under civil law.

Sexual abuse always involves the non-consent of the abused victim. Specific categories of individuals, such as children and physically or mentally incapacitated persons, cannot consent to participate in sexual activity. A person may lose the ability to consent due to intoxication, which renders them unable to appreciate the nature and consequences of engaging in sexual activity.

A person gives valid consent to engaging in sexual activity when they do so without coercion, intimidation, or undue influence, including without any threat of harm or violence to themselves, their property, or others (including the perpetrator of the abuse).

Physical and Emotional Consequences of Sexual Abuse

The consequences of sexual abuse on survivors can be debilitating, lasting for years after the abuse ends or even for the rest of their lives. Physical trauma in the form of lacerations, bruising, broken bones, internal injuries, or trauma to the victim’s intimate areas is common. Consequent medical complications may include contracting STIs from their abuser, necessitating a course of treatment or lifelong medication regimens.
 
Sexual abuse frequently causes long-term emotional/mental consequences for abuse survivors, such as: 
 
Post-traumatic stress disorder
Panic attacks
Phobias
Anxiety
Depression
Suicidal thoughts
Loss of interest in sexual/physical intimacy
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Legal Rights of Survivors of Sexual Abuse

The law gives sexual abuse survivors the right to seek financial recovery and justice from their abusers and from other parties who may have facilitated the abuse. Abuse survivors may file personal injury claims against their abusers to recover compensation for the ways the abuse affected their physical, emotional, and financial well-being. They might also recover compensation through criminal restitution if the abusers are convicted of sex crimes.

Students who suffer sexual abuse at school, including in primary, secondary, and post-secondary institutions, may have a Title XI claim against their school if the school’s negligence, recklessness, or indifference facilitated the abuse.

Under Connecticut’s statute of limitations, an adult sexual abuse survivor typically has two years after the abuse occurs to file a civil lawsuit against the perpetrator. However, the law can extend this deadline in various circumstances. For example, the law eliminates the deadline for filing a sexual abuse claim if the perpetrator is convicted of first-degree aggravated sexual assault or sexual assault for the abuse. Furthermore, a person under 21 who suffers sexual abuse has 30 years upon turning 21 to file suit.

Notwithstanding these exceptions, sexual abuse survivors should speak with an attorney as soon as possible to file their claim before any applicable deadlines expire. A lawsuit filed after the deadline can be dismissed by the court as untimely, costing a survivor the right to hold their abuser financially accountable for their harm and loss.

What Steps Should You Take After Suffering Sexual Abuse?

Sexual abuse is inherently traumatic, and the aftermath can be overwhelming. Take as many of the following steps as possible, as doing so can help you hold the perpetrator of that abuse accountable for what they’ve done: 
 
Seek medical attention to document your injuries and recover forensic evidence of sexual assault or abuse.
Request copies of your medical records.
Report the abuse to the authorities and obtain any police reports or related records.
Gather documents or other relevant evidence of the abuse, such as email, voicemails, text messages, social media posts, photographs, or videos.
Keep copies of all bills, invoices, or receipts for medical treatment and other expenses you incur during your recovery.
Collect copies of your pay stubs or income statements if you need to take time off work while you recover.
 
Finally, contact a personal injury attorney from Holth & Kollman, LLC, as soon as possible. The sooner you do, the sooner we can start building a strong and effective case on your behalf.
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Compensation Available for Sexual Abuse Victims

Sexual abuse survivors can file legal claims against their abusers, demanding compensation for the many ways the abuse has affected their lives. This compensation could include money for: 
 
Costs of medical treatment, including emergency care, surgeries, pain management care, or medications to treat STIs
Mental health treatment costs
Costs of care/support services for long-term physical impairments
Loss of wages/income from time taken off work while recovering from abuse/assault
Loss of future earnings and job benefits when physical/emotional complications preclude a return to work
Physical pain and anguish
Emotional trauma and distress
Reduced enjoyment/quality of life
 
In limited cases, a sexual abuse victim might also recover an award of punitive damages in a lawsuit. Punitive damages do not compensate for any personal or financial losses suffered by an abuse victim. Instead, punitive damages punish an abuser for egregious conduct that shocks the public conscience and deters others from engaging in similar conduct in the future.

Why Choose Holth & Kollman, LLC?

The abuse you suffered is unconscionable, and you should be compensated fully and fairly by the person who perpetrated it. An experienced sex abuse litigation attorney can be a critical ally in your fight for justice, pursuing your claim on your behalf while giving you the time and space to heal. Choose the team at Holth & Kollman, LLC, to stand up for your rights because: 
 
We have over 45 years of experience guiding clients through challenging legal matters. We understand the needs and obstacles our clients face as they recover from life-altering trauma.
Our extensive legal knowledge allows us to build innovative case strategies and legal solutions aimed at securing a successful outcome in your claim. We will put our firm’s considerable skills and resources at your disposal.
We treat every client with the compassion, honesty, and respect they need and deserve during a challenging time. You can expect our attorneys to tell you the truth about your options and to work diligently to prepare a compelling case.
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Contact Our Firm Today to Discuss Your Legal Options with a Compassionate Personal Injury Attorney

If you’ve suffered sexual abuse in Connecticut, you deserve to seek justice and financial recovery for your physical and emotional harm. Contact Holth & Kollman, LLC today for a free, no-obligation consultation with an experienced sex abuse lawyer, and learn how our firm can help you demand compensation for your medical bills, mental health care, lost income, physical pain, and emotional distress.