What’s the Point in Filing a Sex Abuse or Assault Lawsuit?
Before filing a lawsuit for sex abuse or assault, it is important to consider what the goals are and whether those goals will be met. Victims of sex assault or abuse often become interested in filing a civil lawsuit when they learn that the abuser is still working with children, or there are other victims. For example, a patient is sexually assaulted by her doctor during an exam. However, given the reputation of the doctor in the local community, the patient does and says nothing. She is simply too afraid that she won’t be believed. Later on, the patient learns that the doctor is being investigated for inappropriate conduct with his patients. She contacts a lawyer to discuss her options.
Filing a civil lawsuit for sexual abuse or assault is no easy task. From the standpoint of the victim, it takes immense courage to discuss the details of the acts in a public setting. In addition, there are sizable costs associated with filing and litigating a civil lawsuit. So, how does a victim decide whether to go ahead with the lawsuit?
Goals of Filing a Lawsuit for Sex Abuse or Assault
1. Expose the Perpetrator
Victims of sex assault or abuse may have different goals in pursuing justice by filing a civil lawsuit. For some victims, justice means exposing the perpetrator or place where the abuse occurred. Civil lawsuits often succeed even where the criminal case has failed. So, victims can publicly expose a perpetrator and those who harbored the perpetrator by filing a civil lawsuit; a criminal prosecution is not the only way to obtain justice.
2. Make a Difference
For other victims, the primary goal is making a difference in the institution where the abuse or assault occurred. For example, in a school sex abuse case where multiple students were abused, the school’s administrators failed to institute appropriate policies about reporting allegations of sexual abuse by teachers. In a subsequent lawsuit, one of the victims may negotiate a term that makes a difference, i.e., forcing the institution to adopt better policies.
3. Obtain Financial Compensation
Then of course, there is the goal of receiving fair financial compensation. Financial compensation is very important. It’s how the civil justice system works. The plaintiff in a civil lawsuit makes a claim for damages, like pain and suffering, which can only be compensated via a financial award. Learn more about financial compensation in civil sex abuse lawsuits.
Pennsylvania & New Jersey Sex Abuse Victims Law Firm
Our law firm represents victims of sex abuse or assault in Pennsylvania, New Jersey and other states. Call us for a free consultation. 215.399.9255
DISCLAIMER: This website does not create any attorney-client relationship or provide legal advice. It is crucial to speak to a qualified lawyer prior to making any decision about your case. Read full disclaimer at the bottom of this page.