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Finding Your Voice: Speaking Up About Sexual Abuse

You’ve taken the first step in speaking up about your sexual abuse. This critical action can be difficult and emotionally painful, but it is necessary for beginning the healing process.

Sharing your story with a trusted friend or family member allows you to open up in your own time and at your own pace.

  • Let them know you need their support and that they listen without judgment.
  • Be honest about what happened to you, giving as many details as you feel comfortable with.

Speaking the truth of your experience out loud can be profoundly liberating and help diminish feelings of shame, guilt or self-blame.

When you feel ready, consider also telling a counselor or calling a free helpline. These professionals are trained to listen empathetically and guide you to additional resources. They can also help build your confidence to report the abuse to authorities, if you choose to do so.

No matter when or how you choose to share your story, you never deserved to experience such a violation. The blame lies solely with your abuser. Speaking up is a courageous act that will help you break free from the silence that allows abuse to continue. You have a voice, and it deserves to be heard.

Though the path to healing from sexual abuse is long, the rewards of speaking your truth are tremendous. Stay strong in the knowledge that there are caring people and organizations to help you. Your story can give hope and strength to others, just as their stories may inspire you. Together, we can raise our voices to end the cycle of abuse. The time for silence is over.

Finding Your Voice: Speaking Up About Sexual Abuse

You’ve taken the first step in speaking up about your sexual abuse. This critical action can be difficult and emotionally painful, but it is necessary for beginning the healing process.

Sharing your story with a trusted friend or family member allows you to open up in your own time and at your own pace.

  • Let them know you need their support and that they listen without judgment.
  • Be honest about what happened to you, giving as many details as you feel comfortable with.

Speaking the truth of your experience out loud can be profoundly liberating and help diminish feelings of shame, guilt or self-blame.

When you feel ready, consider also telling a counselor or calling a free helpline. These professionals are trained to listen empathetically and guide you to additional resources. They can also help build your confidence to report the abuse to authorities, if you choose to do so.

No matter when or how you choose to share your story, you never deserved to experience such a violation. The blame lies solely with your abuser. Speaking up is a courageous act that will help you break free from the silence that allows abuse to continue. You have a voice, and it deserves to be heard.

How To Report Sexual Abuse

To hold perpetrators accountable and prevent future abuse, reporting the crime to the authorities is critical. While the prospect of cooperating with police investigators can be intimidating, providing a statement about what happened can make a real difference.

You should report the abuse as soon as possible to increase the chances of collecting evidence.

  • Be prepared to provide details about the incident(s) in a chronological order, including dates, times, locations.
  • Discuss the nature of your relationship to the abuser and describe their behavior and actions.
  • Answer all questions honestly and to the best of your ability.
  • Seek counseling or victim advocacy support if needed.

In some cases, a police report may lead to the abuser’s arrest and criminal charges. You may be asked to testify in court as a witness to the events that transpired. Your testimony, in combination with other evidence, can be crucial for achieving a conviction. Although testifying will likely be difficult, know that you are not alone – victim advocates and counselors can offer guidance and support throughout the legal process.

Cooperating with authorities and following through with the criminal justice process can be an empowering step towards healing and closure. While the system is not perfect, reporting the abuse and testifying helps raise awareness of the issue and works to prevent the perpetrator from harming others. You may also be eligible for victim compensation or restitution to help rebuild your life.

The path to healing from sexual abuse is a long one, but pursuing legal justice and preventing future victimization is an important first step. Have courage, there are people and resources to help you through this. By speaking up, you can make a difference.

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Our attorneys are here to help. Contact us today.

Seeking Justice: Understanding Your Options With Civil Lawsuits

Should you decide to pursue legal action against your abuser, there are a few options to consider with civil lawsuits. Civil suits aim to compensate the victim for damages from the abuse.

File a Personal Injury Lawsuit

If the abuse caused physical or psychological harm, you may have grounds for a personal injury claim. In a personal injury lawsuit, you can seek compensation for costs of medical care, therapy, and other expenses related to the abuse. You can also claim non-economic damages for pain and suffering. These cases typically have a statute of limitations, so consult with an attorney promptly.

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Sue for Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress

Where the abuse was extreme, outrageous, and caused severe emotional trauma, you may pursue a claim for intentional infliction of emotional distress. To win an IIED claim, you must show that the abuse was so extreme that it caused distress, and the abuser acted intentionally or recklessly. Damages can include compensation for therapy, medication costs, and pain and suffering.

  • Consult with a civil litigation attorney to discuss the details of your case and determine the best legal strategy. They can advise you on the merits of different claims and likelihood of success.
  • Gather evidence to support your case like medical records, therapy notes, journals detailing the abuse, and statements from witnesses.
  • Be prepared for a potentially lengthy and emotionally taxing legal process. Lawsuits can take years to resolve. Discuss coping strategies with your attorney and therapist.
  • Seek the advice of a civil litigation attorney for their professional opinion before filing a lawsuit. They can advise you on the merits of your case, likelihood of success, and potential compensation. Ultimately, justice comes in many forms and needs to be the right choice for your situation.

Seeking Justice: Understanding Your Options With Civil Lawsuits

Should you decide to pursue legal action against your abuser, there are a few options to consider with civil lawsuits. Civil suits aim to compensate the victim for damages from the abuse.

File a Personal Injury Lawsuit

If the abuse caused physical or psychological harm, you may have grounds for a personal injury claim. In a personal injury lawsuit, you can seek compensation for costs of medical care, therapy, and other expenses related to the abuse. You can also claim non-economic damages for pain and suffering. These cases typically have a statute of limitations, so consult with an attorney promptly.

.

Sue for Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress

Where the abuse was extreme, outrageous, and caused severe emotional trauma, you may pursue a claim for intentional infliction of emotional distress. To win an IIED claim, you must show that the abuse was so extreme that it caused distress, and the abuser acted intentionally or recklessly. Damages can include compensation for therapy, medication costs, and pain and suffering.

  • Consult with a civil litigation attorney to discuss the details of your case and determine the best legal strategy. They can advise you on the merits of different claims and likelihood of success.
  • Gather evidence to support your case like medical records, therapy notes, journals detailing the abuse, and statements from witnesses.
  • Be prepared for a potentially lengthy and emotionally taxing legal process. Lawsuits can take years to resolve. Discuss coping strategies with your attorney and therapist.
  • Seek the advice of a civil litigation attorney for their professional opinion before filing a lawsuit. They can advise you on the merits of your case, likelihood of success, and potential compensation. Ultimately, justice comes in many forms and needs to be the right choice for your situation.

Gaining Strength Through Therapy: How To Heal From Sexual Abuse

Therapy and counseling are critical steps towards healing from the wounds of sexual abuse and trauma. Speaking with a licensed trauma-informed therapist can help you work through emotions, process trauma, reframe unhealthy beliefs, and find coping strategies.

Find the Right Therapist

It is important to find a therapist you connect with and trust. Consider therapists specializing in trauma, PTSD, sexual abuse, or EMDR. Ask about their experience, credentials, treatment approaches, and availability. Meet with a few candidates and go with the one you feel most comfortable with.

Commit to the Process

Healing from trauma is difficult work that requires commitment and courage. Attend sessions regularly and be open to the process. Discuss your experiences, thoughts, and feelings honestly. While revisiting trauma can be painful, talking about it in a safe space is necessary to overcome it. Stay patient through challenges and trust that facing the pain will lead to healing.

Explore Treatment Options

There are many effective treatments for trauma and PTSD, including:

  • EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) uses eye movements to process traumatic memories and reduce their distressing effects.
  • CBT (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy) helps identify and change unhealthy thought and behavior patterns.
  • Exposure Therapy involves gradually exposing yourself to trauma-related memories and cues in a controlled setting. This helps desensitize you to the trauma.
  • Somatic Experiencing focuses on body awareness and releasing trauma stored in the body.
  • Art or Music Therapy provide creative outlets to explore emotions and heal from trauma.

With commitment to therapy, you can overcome the pain of the past and build a healthy, happy future. Be gentle with yourself through the process. Healing is a journey, not a destination.

Sexual Abuse Crisis Centers

Call Monsees & Mayer today at (816) 361-5555 with any questions regarding your claim. We are here to help. 

Gaining Strength Through Therapy: How To Heal From Sexual Abuse

Therapy and counseling are critical steps towards healing from the wounds of sexual abuse and trauma. Speaking with a licensed trauma-informed therapist can help you work through emotions, process trauma, reframe unhealthy beliefs, and find coping strategies.

Find the Right Therapist

It is important to find a therapist you connect with and trust. Consider therapists specializing in trauma, PTSD, sexual abuse, or EMDR. Ask about their experience, credentials, treatment approaches, and availability. Meet with a few candidates and go with the one you feel most comfortable with.

Commit to the Process

Healing from trauma is difficult work that requires commitment and courage. Attend sessions regularly and be open to the process. Discuss your experiences, thoughts, and feelings honestly. While revisiting trauma can be painful, talking about it in a safe space is necessary to overcome it. Stay patient through challenges and trust that facing the pain will lead to healing.

Explore Treatment Options

There are many effective treatments for trauma and PTSD, including:

  • EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) uses eye movements to process traumatic memories and reduce their distressing effects.
  • CBT (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy) helps identify and change unhealthy thought and behavior patterns.
  • Exposure Therapy involves gradually exposing yourself to trauma-related memories and cues in a controlled setting. This helps desensitize you to the trauma.
  • Somatic Experiencing focuses on body awareness and releasing trauma stored in the body.
  • Art or Music Therapy provide creative outlets to explore emotions and heal from trauma.

With commitment to therapy, you can overcome the pain of the past and build a healthy, happy future. Be gentle with yourself through the process. Healing is a journey, not a destination.

Sexual Abuse Crisis Centers

Call Monsees & Mayer today at (816) 361-5555 with any questions regarding your claim. We are here to help. 

Sexual Abuse Frequently Asked Questions

What legally constitutes as sexual abuse?

According to US laws, sexual abuse refers to any unwanted sexual activity forced upon an individual against their will. This includes a range of acts, such as inappropriate touching, vaginal/anal penetration, incest, exposing genitals to a minor, distributing sexually explicit content to a minor, and more.

What are the common signs of sexual abuse in children or adults?

  • Displaying knowledge or interest in sexual acts that is inappropriate for their age.
  • Expressing fear or anxiety about being left alone with a particular person.
  • Experiencing difficulty walking or sitting, or reporting genital pain.
  • Exhibiting sudden changes in behavior, such as becoming withdrawn, angry, or defiant.
  • Running away from home or showing reluctance to return home.

What should I do if I suspect sexual abuse?

If you suspect someone is a victim of sexual abuse, report your concerns to local law enforcement immediately. You should also contact local child/adult protective services. Some key steps to take include:

  1. Stay calm and find a safe place to speak with the victim in private. Express your concern for their safety and wellbeing.
  2. Listen without judgment and reassure the victim that the abuse is not their fault.
  3. Record details of what the victim shares with you, including dates and nature of incidents.
  4. Seek counseling or medical care for the victim as needed. A doctor can also properly collect any physical evidence of abuse.
  5. Report the abuse to the authorities, even if the victim asks you not to. Their safety should be the top priority.

Sexual abuse comes in many forms but is always unacceptable. By understanding the signs and knowing how to properly respond to disclosure, each of us has the power to help prevent sexual abuse and support victims in seeking justice and healing.

Contact Our Sexual Abuse Lawyers Today

Contacting our sexual abuse lawyers is a crucial step in beginning the healing journey for survivors of such trauma. These lawyers are experienced in handling sensitive cases and can provide legal guidance and support throughout the process. By seeking legal assistance, survivors can hold their abusers accountable and seek compensation for the harm that has been inflicted upon them. Working with our sexual abuse lawyers can empower survivors to reclaim their voice and take steps towards healing and recovery. Contact our office today.