Sexual Abuse and Assaul

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Sexual abuse and assault are inexcusable

Being a victim of sexual abuse and/or sexual assault is traumatic, emotionally overwhelming and debilitating. What’s worse is that abusers make their victims fearful to speak out and deny their victim’s reality altogether. Over time, these feelings may drown a victim into depression or other serious health disorders. The psychological trauma an abuser subjects its victim to can last lifetimes and rob a victim of life and freedom.

If you are a victim of sexual abuse and/or sexual assault, it’s important to understand that you are not to blame. It is not your fault, and you did nothing wrong. Oftentimes, your abuser is knowingly using his or her position of power to intimidate you into engaging in otherwise unwanted sexual activity. More often than not, the abuser is someone you know, such as: a pastor, a religious figure, a schoolteacher, a nanny, a caregiver, a doctor, a mentor, a coach, an unsupervised classmate, an idol, a counselor or other individual. Most egregious, these institutions that employ or supervise these abuser’s put these abuser’s first by attempting to cover-up the abuse, deny it, and silence you only to leave you with a lifetime of psychological and emotional trauma as well as health issues/disorders. These crippling emotional scars may take years to heal, and victims are entitled to recovering compensation needed for services that help victims heal from the trauma.

While institutions put abuser’s first, Nabati Law puts victims of sexual abuse and assault first by providing a safe space for a victim and or survivor of sexual abuse and their families to come forward and explore their legal options confidentially.

If you are a victim of sexual assault, abuse, or harassment, you do not need to go through the pain alone. Nabati Law is here to stand by you and give you a powerful voice in your pursuit to hold your abuser accountable. We recognize the weight a victim of abuse carries, and Nabati Law provides support and resources for clients navigating their brave choice to come forward.

Nobody, but Nabati. Call us now

Nabati Law helps victims of sexual abuse and their families explore and pursue their legal rights and seek justice and compensation from the institutions that failed to protect them, including churches, summer camps, schools, religious organizations, youth recreation organizations, daycare centers, nursing homes, sports organizations, fitness centers, etc.

Nabati Law represents victims of sexual assault and victims of sexual abuse, whether they are still minors or are now well into adulthood, in their civil claims against their abusers and the institutions that failed to protect them. We help recover monetary damages including:

  • Medical expenses
  • Lost wages or loss of future earning potential
  • Your pain and suffering
  • Your loss of companionship with your partner
  • Physical injuries
  • Emotional trauma
  • Psychological effects
  • Tangible financial impact
Sexual Abuse

Sexual Assault

Sexual assault does not have one definition. Sexual assault includes any sexual act by another without your consent. Sexual assault includes, but is not limited to:

  • rape,
  • threats,
  • sodomy,
  • attempted rape,
  • fondling or unwanted sexual touching,
  • forcing a victim to perform sexual acts, such as oral sex or penetrating the perpetrator’s body,
  • penetration of the victim’s body, also known as rape,
  •  

And yes, you could be raped or assaulted by a spouse, intimate partner, acquaintance, or stranger. If you did not consent to the sexual touching, then you have been sexually assaulted. 

Consent is invalid in instances where you complied to the unwanted sexual act because you were:

  • threatened,
  • forced against your will, 
  • physically unable to grant consent because you were sleeping, unconscious, unaware, disable, inebriated, or drugged,
  • mentally unable to give consent,
  • under the age of 17,
  • under the age of 18, and the abuser was 18 or older.

Child Sexual Abuse

Unfortunately, our children and youth are the most vulnerable and innocent targets of sexual assault and abuse. It’s unfathomable that sexual assault and abuse exists at all, let alone amongst children. Protecting your child against his or her abuser by filing a civil lawsuit is always an option. Nabati Law is here to guide you and your family though the civil process and hold your child’s abuser accountable.

Childhood sexual abuse is a form of child abuse. All 50 states agree, and have laws recognizing that a child cannot consent to any form of sexual activity, period. Therefore, a perpetrator engaging in sexual activity with a child is not only committing a crime but is sexually abusing the child. The abuse will emotionally scar and alter the child’s life indefinitely. Child sexual abuse is not only physical, but also includes:

  • Exposing oneself to a minor (indecent exposure)
  • Fondling a minor
  • Intercourse
  • Masturbation in the presence of a minor or forcing the minor to masturbate
  • Obscene phone calls, text messages, or digital interaction
  • Producing, owning, or sharing pornographic images or movies of children (proliferating Child Pornography)
  • Sex of any kind with a minor, including vaginal, oral, or anal
  • Sex trafficking
  • Any other sexual conduct that is harmful to a child’s mental, emotional, or physical welfare
  • Forcible Rape

Psychological Pressure of Coercion

We Must Protect Our Children

We have a duty to protect our children from sexual abuse. Although abusers can be manipulative and silence children from reporting the abuse, as parents and adults we must be stronger than the abuser and break the silence. Creating a dialogue with children is imperative to keeping them safe.

Look for the Warning Signs

First, we must spot the warning signs. There are both physical and behavioral signs victims of childhood sexual abuse endure.

Physical signs include:

  • Bleeding, bruises, or swelling in genital area
  • Bloody, torn, or stained underclothes
  • Difficulty walking or sitting
  • Frequent urinary or yeast infections
  • Pain, itching, or burning in genital area

 

Behavioral signs include:

  • Changes in hygiene, such as refusing to bathe or bathing excessively
  • Develops phobias
  • Exhibits signs of depression or post-traumatic stress disorder
  • Express suicidal thoughts, especially in adolescents
  • Has trouble in school, such as absences or drops grades
  • Inappropriate sexual knowledge or behaviors
  • Nightmares or bed-wetting
  • Overly protective and concerned for siblings, or assumes a caretaker role
  • Returns to regressive behaviors, such as thumb sucking
  • Runs away from home or school
  • Self-harms
  • Shrinks away or seems threatened by physical contact

The Effects of Childhood Sexual Abuse Can Last a Lifetime

Childhood sexual abuse has a lasting and life altering effect of children, especially if gone unnoticed and untreated. Aside from the fact that their most formative, innocent and impressionable years of their life has been unjustifiably robbed from them, child victims experience a lifetime of trauma and pain. The illnesses and disabilities sustained from the abuse sometimes require a lifetime of treatment and therapy. Even with all the treatment in the world, abused survivors are unable to fully experience a peaceful and normal life. Survivors may spend a lifetime treating conditions related to their abuse, and the abuser must be held responsible for their actions and these expenses. It is impossible to undo the abuse that took place, but it is possible and imperative that the victims receive the compensation they deserve to treat the psychological and psychiatrist treatment needed to aid in recovering from the abuse.

Survivors of sexual abuse suffer from a variety of mental and physical illnesses in varying degrees. Most commonly, survivors experience depression, but also experience:

  • Anxiety disorders
  • Eating disorders
  • Personality disorders
  • Post-traumatic stress disorders
  • Relationship and intimacy issues
  • Somatic disorders
  • Gastrointestinal health
  • Gynecologic or reproductive health
  • Pain
  • Cardiopulmonary symptoms
  • Obesity

Increased drug use and/or abuse

Sexual Abuse2

Nabati Law California Sexual Abuse Lawyers Who Will Fight for You

If you have learned that your child or a loved one is a victim or survivor of sexual abuse, or if you are a survivor of childhood sexual abuse, you are justifiably feeling anger, helplessness and trauma. Whether the sexual abuse was suffered at a church, school, summer camp, youth recreation program, religious organization, or other institution, Nabati Law may be able to help recover compensation for the pain and physical and psychological issues caused by the abuser and its institution.

Nabati Law is ready and equipped to help explore all legal options confidentially and will tirelessly seek the justice and compensation deserved. Your child deserves the brightest future, and we are ready to help make that happen. Nabati Law is here for all abused victims and will provide a free, confidential, no-risk case evaluation. The only thing at risk is the future.

Statute of Limitations

Coming forward with your story of sexual abuse or assault can be difficult and scary. You may decline to come forward for a variety of reasons including embarrassment, shame, emotional trauma, or fear of no recourse, to name a few. Despite your ultimate decision, you must preserve your rights before the statute of limitations expires. California law bars claims that do not fall within the statute of limitations, therefore keeping a victim or survivor from pursuing their rights and receiving the compensation he or she deserves. California law recognizes that survivors of sexual assault and abuse do not immediately come forward with their experiences, and affords victims the following time frame to come forward with their civil claims:

Currently, adult victims of sexual assault may file a civil claim within 10 years from the date of the attack, or three years from the discovery of a disease or illness related to the attack. The latter is important to know because psychological injuries and illnesses caused by the sexual assault may manifest or appear years later.

If you are an adult survivor of childhood sexual abuse, you must file a claim by the time you are 40 years old, or within 5 years of the discovery of the abuse. Additionally, if you are an adult survivor of childhood sexual abuse and were previously barred from initiating a civil lawsuit because the statute of limitations had expired, you now have three years to initiate a lawsuit and revive a claim.

1. Prioritize your own safety

Experiencing sexual assault or sexual abuse leaves victims shocked, numb, or confused. These overwhelming feelings put an individual in fight or flight mode. To reorient oneself, a victim should use a healthy comping mechanism that helps them feel safe and comfortable. For example, a victim should consider:

  • Calling a close family member or trusted friend and discuss the incident or abuse
  • Request a trusted family or friend to stay over so the victim is not alone
  • Cut all communication with the abuser, block the abuser’s number, delete the abuser from all social media channels, remove the abuser from any platform that could help the abuser contact or locate the victim
  • Find safety at home, in your bed, or someone that feels like a safe haven

2. In case of an emergency, sexual assault or rape, call 911 immediately and report the incident

  • Los Angeles Rape and Battery 24-hour Crisis Lines
  • Central Los Angeles: (213) 626-3393
  • South Los Angeles: (310) 392-8381
  • West San Gabriel Valley: (626) 793-3385

3. Consider your medical options

Although you are experiencing so many emotions, your health comes first. You must consider contacting and consulting a medical provider for your physical, psychological and emotional needs. Regardless of whether you decide to go to a hospital or rape center following your sexual assault, you must consider going to a provider as soon as possible following your sexual assault.

A health care provider can importantly provide you with a rape kit, which is a sexual assault forensic exam that can be used to collect DNA, blood samples and other evidence of your sexual assault. Additionally, a doctor can do a physical checkup to determine the extent and treatment of any bodily injuries you may have sustained from the assault. Furthermore, if you have decided that you are not ready to immediately file a police report, some centers will be able to freeze the evidence they have collected from the rape kid and store it for later.

Deciding to go see a medical professional following a sexual assault or abuse incident can be very scary, but many providers are only able to proceed with a rape kit process and collect the forensic evidence in just 72 hours. In California, the window of time to collect bodily forensic evidence in 96 hours, but regardless, you should still consider getting one sooner rather than later to maintain as much evidence as possible in the exam.

If you do bravely decide to get a medical exam, you are encouraged to avoid showering, combing your hair, using the restroom, or changing your cloths before you complete your rape kit examination. This will help ensure the accurate information is collected during the examination.

4. Reach out for help and create an army of support

Many survivors are reluctant to ask for help or speak to someone about their sexual assault or abuse. It is understandable. Doing so can leave you feeling vulnerable and fearful of admitting to yourself and others that you were a victim. However, repressing your feelings can make your situation worse, exacerbate your trauma, and isolate you more. There are so many people who want to help you and be there for you. It is important to connect with trustworthy people who will stand beside you and support you during your healing. That person can be anyone who you feel safe to confide in and who you know will help lead you down a positive path of growth and healing.

If you are looking for a confidential, live online chat forum that provides 24/7 sexual assault services, call RAINN Hotline: (800) 656-4673, or visit their website. The operators are trained and ready to listen to you, connect you with resources, and provide you with information about how to report the crime.

5. Process your traumatic experience with mental health experts

It is easy to refuse to confront the atrocious and unfair sexual abuse or sexual assault you endured. Avoiding the pain will not make it go away. You need to confront it in order to properly heal from it. You should never feel alone or as though your problems don’t matter. Your story and your healing matters.

Learning healthy coping habits is extremely important to your healing and recovery. Healthy habits begin by you creating a routine that allows to flush out your most intimate thoughts. Maybe that means journaling, walking or meditating, exercising, or anything else that gives you the opportunity to process your trauma.

You may be reluctant to pursue therapy because it may seem exhausting to have to share and repeat what happened, but more often than not, survivors benefit and need therapy. After a traumatic and invasive sexual incident such as sexual abuse or sexual assault, a survivor can experience a vast array of mental and emotional disorders. Furthermore, survivors begin to ruminate on the event and cripple their mind with doubts, denial, shame, guilt, and so on. Survivors also try to justify what happened to them, and wrongly convince themselves that they are to blame.

To understand and cope with the emotional torture and trauma, you should consider therapy. A clinical therapist trained to address sexual trauma may make all the difference in your recovery. A therapist will provide you with a safe space to speak about your sexual abuse or sexual assault, confront the trauma, and help decrease the negative emotional consequences from your sexual assault or sexual abuse.

6. Consider your legal options

Apart from being sexually assaulted or sexually abused, the scariest thing can be reporting your abuser. Often times, many survivors fail to report their abuse because they are fearful that no one will believe them or are afraid of the consequences for reporting their assaulter, especially if their assaulter was someone they know.

Additionally, survivors decide against filing a report to avoid reliving the traumatic event, providing details, speaking with law enforcement or police officials, needing to testify in court and confronting their abuser.

However, pursuing legal action against your abuser helps you reclaim your power against your abuser. Your abuser has tried to take your voice and power away by assaulting you. However, the law returns the power back to you by providing you with options. You can file a police report and have your abuser criminally prosecuted for their reprehensible conduct. You can also seek justice in civil court by pursuing a civil case against your abuser to seek compensation for your harm.

Whatever method of justice is most empowering to you is the best course of action to take against your abuser. Nabati Law is a California Plaintiff’s firm helping victims of sexual assault and sexual abuse pursue civil claims against those responsible for their abuse and harm. If you have been a victim of sexual abuse or sexual assault, we are here to provide you with a free confidential case evaluation and stand beside you during your most courageous decision to stand tall against your abuser.

7. Resume control over your life

After you have experienced sexual assault or sexual abuse, resuming your daily activities and life can be exhausting and daunting. It may take you some time to feel like yourself again. But, do not let your sexual abuse or assault define you. A California Sexual Abuse or Sexual Assault attorney can help you get the compensation you deserve and need to properly cope with your trauma and regain control over your life. You deserve to resume activities you enjoyed before your assault or abuse and to fulfill your goals.

Additional services Nabati Law offers for victims of sexual assault, harassment and misconduct

Nabati Law is equipped to handle a wide range of claims involving abuse, harassment, misconduct and bullying.

For example, Nabati Law handles sexual misconduct cases involving instances of unwanted sexual activity like sexual harassment in the workplace, or instances where a victim is coerced to engage in a sexual situation out of fear of being fired, or instances where a victim is forced or coerced to submit to the sexual advances of a person in authority out of fear of being punished for example by being given a failing grade.