Sexual Abuse

Sexual abuse is a delicate, difficult, and traumatic topic to discuss. Sadly, occurrences of sexual assault, harassment, and violence are not uncommon in today’s society. Anyone – regardless of gender, age, and sexual orientation – can fall victim to these horrible offenses. A perpetrator of sexual abuse can be a stranger, a friend, an acquaintance, a co-worker, a superior, or even a family member or partner.   

It’s also important to remember that sexual abuse can be both a civl wrong (tort) for which the victim can seek monetary damages and a criminal offense.   A civil tort case is filed by the victim and seeks financial and sometimes equitable damages, such as a restraining order. Criminal charges are prosecuted by the government, not individuals, and result in criminal penalties such as fines or prison time.  The two types of cases are completely separate and, except for the possible use of evidence from one to the other, are unrelated.  Plaintiffs can not recover damages in a criminal action.  

In Pennsylvania, sexual assault is sexual intercourse or “deviate” sexual intercourse with another person without that person’s consent.  PA also has a crime of indecent assault which is similar to sexual assault. It involves indecent contact with the victim, including the victim’s contact with the defendant’s bodily fluids for the purpose of arousing sexual desire without the the victim’s consent, forcibly, or when the victim under some incapacity  such as unconsciousness, mental incapacity, intoxication,  or youth. 

Sexual abuse of children in Pennsylvia involved an sexual act for the purpose of sexual stimulation or gratification, whether photographed, videoed, depicted on a computer, or filming of any such production involving a child under the age of 18 or disseminating such materials.  Further, an individual may be charged with unlawful conduct with a minor for engaging in defined sexual offenses, prostitution, or open lewdenesswith a child under 18. Finally, a person may be charged with sexual exploitation of children if he obtains the sexual services of a child under 18 for another for the purposes of sexual exploitation. 

Generally, while crimes are charged by the state and no financial damages for the victim can be awarded in such cases, the same sets of facts can be used for filing civil actions for the assaults that constitute the criminal offenses.  PA not only allows the victim to seek damages for the assault, but also for the intentional or negligent infliction of emotional distress on the victim.   The victim may also be able to recover punitive damages  where the defendant acted maliciously, wantonly, willfully, or oppressively, or showed reckless indifference to the victim’s interests.  Punitive damages are often awarded in sex abuse cases, based on the very nature of the acts, but because of the nature of the defendant’s recovery is often minimal. 

There are many complicated and painful issues that arise when you or a loved one is the victim of sexual abuse or assault. Although the damage and trauma may take a long time to heal, there is still a way to mend some of the damage done. This is where our experienced personal injury and sexual abuse lawyers in Pennsylvania (PA) come in.

A sex abuse lawyer is dedicated to help victims of sexual assault move forward with their lives. There are many different types of cases that a sexual assault attorney may take on, and it often comes down to guiding clients through the aftermath of an assault or harassment incident and working toward securing justice for them.

What is Sexual Assault?

Sexual abuse is defined in general as the sexual exploitation or mistreatment of another person in a manner that is unwanted, intrusive, violent, and harmful. Sexual abuse includes (but is not limited to):

  • Sexual assault
  • Sexual harassment
  • Rape
  • Date rape
  • Molestation
  • Child pornography
  • Forced sexual acts
  • Inappropriate touching
  • Unwanted sexual advances
  • Non-consensual sexual acts

The effects of a sexual assault are damaging on many levels. There can be long-lasting emotional and psychological trauma that can result in PTSD, depression, self-harm, self-isolation, suicidal ideation, anxiety, and an inability to develop trustful relationships. In cases of rape, there is always a risk of sexually transmitted infections and other physical manifestations of violence including bruising, broken bones, and skin damage. All of these are even worse when the victim is a child. Most likely, they will be dealing with trauma well into adulthood, which is why having a lawyer for sexually abused for both adults and children is important.

If you are the victim of any of these instances of sexual abuse or know someone who is struggling to come forward, it is crucial to take action before the situation worsens.  Seek help from a reputable sexual assault lawyer experienced in handling these difficult cases to stop any further damage and prevent more harm.

Sexual Abuse in the Workplace

Cases of sexual abuse and harassment are very commonplace in all types of workplaces. Sexual harassment includes unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors in return for reward or preferential treatment, sharing of personal sexual material such as nude photographs or personal conversations, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature in the workplace.

Workplace sexual abuse occurs when:

  • Submission to such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of an individual’s employment.
  • Submission to or rejection of such conduct by an individual is used as the basis for employment decisions affecting such individual (i.e. promotions, terminations).
  • Such conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual’s work performance or creating an intimidating, hostile or offensive working environment.

If you have been the victim of workplace sexual harassment, call our Pennsylvania sexual harassment lawyers to find justice. We are dedicated to obtaining results for clients in sexual harassment claims, including cases involving unwanted touching, offensive photos, and more. You may be entitled to compensation so take the necessary steps today. Don’t hesitate because your case may be time sensitive and your rights can expire quickly if left unspoken for.

How a Sexual Abuse Attorney Can Help

Sexual abuse has long-lasting, damaging effects physically, emotionally, and psychologically. An experienced sexual abuse lawyer will provide you with comprehensive services including helping you find medical and psychological care and, if appropriate, filing both criminal and civil cases against your assailant

Our team of lawyers will fight for victims who have suffered mental and physical injuries as a result of an assault, molestation, harassment, or rape case. We will work with our clients to confront their attackers head on with confidence – no matter how the incident took place. Contact our team of experienced, compassionate, and dedicated personal injury and sexual abuse lawyers in Pennsylvania and get on the right path to recovery and compensation.

We are here for you to be able to share your story with someone who will listen without judgment. If you are looking for a lawyer that is dedicated to ensuring that your voice is heard, contact us today to take immediate action seeking justice and finding relief.

How Victims of Sexual Violence Can Get Justice in Pennsylvania (PA)

Our team of attorneys have spent years working on sexual assault cases and have seen it all – from inappropriate comments in the workplace to allegations of rape or molestation. You are not alone. We know what stands between our clients’ claims and their desired outcome, so we know how to build a strong case for you. .

(866) 691-5299