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After Sex Abuse: Suing the Abuser

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Sexual abuse is a grave violation of the law. States vary in how sex abuse is prosecuted,but most laws provide ample protection for victims of abuse who want to see their abusers punished.

Can Sex Abuse Survivors Sue Their Abuser?

Yes,they can. Sex abuse survivors are given a number of legal resources to go after abusers,and even third parties who allowed the abuse to happen. Any victim of sexual abuse can file criminal and civil charges to impose punitive as well as compensatory penalties against the perpetrator,especially if they have help from a lawyer for child molestation victims.

Criminal Charges of Sexual Abuse

Criminal charges can cover rape,sexual assault,and other sexual offenses. These charges can be filed by the victim of the abuse. Charges are limited by the statutes of limitations that can differ state by state. This means that the victim needs to report the abuse within a specific time frame after the occurrence or the discovery of the fact of abuse. The latter is common for charges of abuse brought to court by individuals who suffered abuse as children but only managed to file the case as adults.

Criminal charges carry penalties composed of prison time and fines. For example,Oregon laws impose a 20-year prison sentence and up to $375,000 in fines if the abuser had sex with a victim who is under 12 years old.

Civil Charges

Civil charges can be filed against the abuser to obtain compensation for the losses incurred as a result of the abuse. Civil charges typically come with pleas to award damages for therapy,lost work or earning capacity,emotional distress,pain,and suffering. Civil cases also allow the prosecution of third parties such as employers or superiors who had knowledge of the abuser’s conduct or tendency to abuse but failed to prevent the same. Civil charges are usually settled before they reach trial. The amount of damages awarded depends on the strength of the case,the nature of the abuse,the ability of the abuser to pay,among other factors.


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