the Monsees and Mayer team together

Welcome to our Sexual Abuse Case Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) page. First and foremost, we want victims, survivors and loved ones to know that we believe you.

At Monsees & Mayer, we understand the immense emotional and legal challenges that individuals and families face when navigating these situations. Our goal is to shed light on the complexities surrounding these cases, offering answers, guidance, and information about your rights.

We have created this page to provide support and clarity for those seeking information during a difficult time.

If have specific questions or need personalized guidance, please don’t hesitate to contact our empathetic and compassionate team. We hear you. We see you. We believe you.

Sexual Abuse Frequently Asked Questions

FAQs from Victims and Survivors

What steps should I take if I or a loved one has been sexually abused?

Following a sexual abuse incident, it’s crucial to prioritize your safety and well-being. Reach out to law enforcement to report the incident immediately. Preserve any evidence if possible and seek medical attention. Subsequently, consult with a skilled personal injury attorney who specializes in sexual abuse cases. They can guide you through legal procedures, help gather evidence, and advocate for your rights. Remember, you are not alone, and our team is here to help guide you.

What are my rights after a sexual assault incident?

As a victim/survivor of sexual assault, you have the right to safety, medical care and the option to report your abuse. In a civil claim, you have the right file a personal injury lawsuit against the perpetrator. You can seek compensation for physical, emotional and/or mental trauma you experienced. This can include medical bills, lost wages, pain, suffering, etc. Victims and survivors also have the right to ask for privacy and confidentiality throughout the legal process if you choose.

LEARN MORE ABOUT LEGAL REMEDIES FOR SEXUAL ABUSE VICTIMS

How can hiring an attorney help?

Hiring an attorney, specifically personal injury, is instrumental for victims of sexual abuse as they navigate the complex legal aftermath. We possess the expertise and sensitivity needed to handle such cases with care and precision. We help guide victims/survivors through the legal process ensuring they feel protected and advocated for. Our team gathers crucial evidence, collaborate with experts and negotiate with insurers or other parties on behalf of the victim. By providing unwavering support, we can help seek justice and compensation for the physical, mental and emotional damages. With our assistance, victims/survivors can focus on healing, knowing you have a dedicated attorney to fight for you.

LEARN MORE ON HOW HIRING A PERSONAL INJURY ATTORNEY CAN HELP

What will happen if I file a claim?

Filing a claim is a significant step towards seeking justice and healing. Once you file a claim, we will conduct a thorough investigation, gather evidence and build a strong case. Our goal is to ensure your rights are protected and your voice is heard. We negotiate with the involved parties, aiming for the victim to receive fair compensation for the trauma you’ve endured. If fair compensation cannot be met, we will fight viciously for you in court. We want victims/survivors we represent to get the opportunity to reclaim their life and get justice. Your well-being and justice are our top priorities, and we are committed to getting the right outcome for you.

LEARN MORE ABOUT FILING A CLAIM AGAINST YOUR ABUSER

How long can you wait to report sexual assault?

In Missouri and Kansas, the statutes of limitations for both civil and criminal sexual assault cases vary. It’s crucial to consult with our experienced legal team promptly to understand your specific situation.  For general information, please see our Statute of Limitations page here:

Time Limits to Sue for Sexual Abuse

What can I expect during the legal process of a sexual abuse case?

In a sexual abuse lawsuit, your active participation and openness are essential. Initially, it’s crucial to share your experiences honestly with your legal team, providing all relevant details. Expect to collaborate closely, responding promptly to inquiries and attending meetings. Your commitment to the legal process, attending court hearings, and following legal advice can significantly impact the case’s outcome. Your courage and cooperation are fundamental in seeking justice and holding the perpetrators accountable. We are here to support you every step of the way, guiding you through the process with care and expertise.

LEARN MORE ABOUT WHAT TO EXPECT DURING THE LEGAL PROCESS 

What is the process for reporting sexual abuse to law enforcement?

Reporting abuse to law enforcement is a critical step in seeking justice. Monsees & Mayer understands how difficult and emotionally challenging this may be for survivors. If you have any additional questions or concerns, we are here to support you.

To start, you can report the abuse to your local law enforcement agency, such as the police department or sheriff’s office. In non-emergency situations, their non-emergency phone number may be posted online or in a local phone directory. You may also visit the police station in person to make the report. Many police departments have officers dedicated to handling sensitive cases, such as sexual abuse. When you contact law enforcement, you may request to speak with one of these specially trained officers.

As part of the reporting process, you will be asked to provide a detailed statement about the abuse. Include what happened, when it occurred, where it happened, and who was involved. When giving your statement, it is important to be honest and as specific as possible. You may be encouraged to seek a medical examination to document any injuries if you have not already. A law enforcement investigator will likely interview you at some point. Be prepared to provide another detailed account of what happened and try to remain as consistent as possible. After all of this, law enforcement may refer you to support services such as counseling, legal assistance, and victim advocacy organizations. These services can provide support and help you navigate the next steps.

Can I file a civil claim if my abuser was not criminally charged (was acquitted, no police report filed, etc)?

Yes, you can file a civil claim even if your abuser was not criminally charged. As well as if criminal charges were not pursued. Civil claims and criminal charges are separate legal actions with different standards of proof. In a civil claim related to sexual abuse, the focus is on seeking compensation for the harm you have suffered. Consult with an attorney to assess your legal options and determine the best course of action based on your unique circumstances.

How do I choose the right attorney to handle my sexual abuse case?

Sexual abuse cases are often emotionally challenging, so having the right legal support can make a significant difference.

Look for an attorney that specializes in sexual abuse cases and has experience handling them. Sexual abuse cases involve complex legal, emotional, and sensitive issues. Research attorneys by looking at their online reviews, legal directories, and bar associations. Schedule consultations with several attorneys for an opportunity to ask questions and assess how comfortable you feel with them.

In conclusion, trust your instincts. You should feel confident that the attorney is genuinely committed to advocating for your rights and best interests. Remember that you do not have to rush your decision. Take your time to find an attorney that is qualified and someone you feel comfortable working with.

LEARN MORE ABOUT FINDING THE RIGHT ATTORNEY

FAQs from Parents, Guardians and Loved Ones

What can I do as a parent of a child who has been sexually abused?

Parents are often left feeling helpless after learning about their child’s abuse, which only adds to the heartbreak. As a parent of a child who has been sexually abused, your role of protector never goes away.

Parents usually take on the role of making sure the proper authorities are notified and that they have a detailed description of the abuse that occurred. It is important to make sure the authorities know the who/what/where/when/how and oftentimes the child who has been abused is unable to recount everything in their traumatized state.

It is also important for parents to realize that they may not be able to help their child all on their own. Consulting with counselors and therapists who are trauma-informed will assist the parents and the child who has been sexually abused.

Often times, we are able to facilitate a direct referral to one of the several victim advocacy groups we work with. This expedited process saves victims time and can reduce the anxiety and stress that inevitably comes with detailing a horrific event to strangers for the first time.

LEARN MORE ABOUT GETTING HELP FOR CHILD SEXUAL ABUSE

What to do if I suspect abuse?

If you suspect your child is a victim of sexual abuse, it’s crucial to prioritize their safety and well-being. First and foremost, ensure their immediate safety by removing them from the situation and contacting the appropriate authorities, such as the police or child protective services. Seek medical attention for your child and preserve any evidence if applicable. Emotional support is vital, so listen to your child, believe in them, and assure them that it’s not their fault. Reach out to a therapist or counselor experienced in trauma. Finally, consult with a reputable attorney who specializes in sexual abuse cases to explore legal options and ensure your child’s rights are protected.

LEARN MORE ABOUT WHAT TO DO IF YOU SUSPECT ABUSE

What resources are available to support survivors or sexual abuse and their families?

Being a victim of sexual abuse can be one of the most difficult things a survivor and their family can endure. There are many resources that can help them cope with the physical, emotional, and legal challenges they may face. These resources can provide assistance, information, and a network of professionals who are trained to help survivors and their loved ones.

  • The National Sexual Assault Hotline offers free, confidential support, and information. (1-800-656-HOPE / 1-800-656-4673)
  • Victim advocates can provide emotional support to the survivors. They may also accompany survivors to court or medical appointments.
  • Local support organizations offer in-person counseling, support groups, and other resources.
  • Many therapists and counselors specialize in trauma and sexual abuse. They can help survivors address the emotional and psychological impact of the abuse.
  • Organizations like Darkness to Light and Prevent Child Abuse America provide educational resources and tools to help prevent child sexual abuse and support survivors.
  • Various governmental and nonprofit organizations work to prevent and address sexual abuse, offering resources and support.
  • Websites and online resources can offer information and resources. They can also provide you with the opportunity to connect with others who have experienced sexual abuse.
  • Law enforcement agencies can aid in reporting the abuse.
  • Legal services can guide and support you through the legal process and seeking compensation.

Do not hesitate to reach out to multiple organizations and professionals to build a network of support for you and your family. We have also compiled a list of sexual abuse crisis centers here.

General Sexual Abuse Case FAQs

Why does sexual abuse go unreported?

Although our team encourages victims and survivors to get justice, there are many deeply personal reasons why they don’t.

Sexual abuse often goes unreported due to the overwhelming fear, shame and emotional trauma survivors experience. Victims may worry about societal judgement, potential retaliation or people not believing them. This can lead them to feel the need to stay silent.

Also, the legal process can feel daunting and potentially re-traumatizing for victims. It can be difficult for victims and survivors to feel comfortable explaining the traumatic experience.

LEARN MORE ABOUT WHY SEXUAL ABUSE GOES UNREPORTED

Can I hire an attorney to criminally charge the perpetrator?

Prosecutors have the exclusive power to criminally charge someone who has allegedly committed a crime on behalf of the City, County, or State. Prosecutors work with the authorities to determine whether there is adequate evidence to charge someone with a crime. It is then, and only then, when someone who has been accused of a crime will be arrested and charged.

Private civil attorneys, like us, are usually not involved in the decision-making part of a criminal prosecution. However, we believe it is critical to establish a good relationship with prosecutors and to share information about the victim’s case.

The endgame of criminal prosecution can generally range from imposition of fines to community service, probation, and, of course, jail time. On the other hand, the endgame of a civil claim is money, which serves to hold the perpetrator, or other responsible individuals or businesses, accountable and to compensate the victim for the harms and losses they suffered.

While the goals of the criminal and civil justice system are different, we understand that maintaining an open line of communication with prosecutors is vital to securing justice for victims.

LEARN WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN CIVIL AND CRIMINAL CASES

Can I pursue a civil claim against the perpetrator even though there are criminal charges?

This is a question that not always has an easy answer. However, generally yes, there are civil claims that can be pursued against the perpetrator even though they are being criminally charged for the same thing. In fact, even if a perpetrator is not criminally charged, or perhaps he/she was charged with those charges were later dismissed, a victim still may pursue justice through the civil courts.

With that said, it’s important to understand as explained above, that in a civil case, the aggrieved party can only seek monetary damages from those who are responsible. The most efficient way to guarantee one’s recovery for sexual assault is through insurance coverage, which can be extremely complex. It is for these reasons why this question is a difficult one to answer.

LEARN MORE ABOUT CIVIL SEXUAL ABUSE CLAIMS

What types of compensation can be pursued in a sexual abuse case?

In a sexual abuse case, the survivor may seek various types of compensation. An attorney can evaluate your case and determine what types of compensation you may pursue. Some possible damages include:

Economic damages are monetary losses incurred as a result of the abuse. The survivor can be awarded compensation for things such as medical evaluations, therapy for emotional distress, treatment for injuries, lost wages, and medications. Compensation can also be incurred for future medical care needed due to the abuse.

Non-economic damages are non-monetary losses causing emotional and psychological trauma. Victims may experience pain and suffering, post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety, or depression. Compensation may be rewarded for decreased quality or enjoyment of life, as well as loss of consortium.

Punitive damages are damages that can sometimes be pursued, aiming to punish the wrongdoer and deter others from engaging in similar misconduct.

LEARN MORE ABOUT COMPENSATION FOR VICTIMS OF ABUSE

Are there organizations or institutions that can be held liable in a sexual abuse case?

In many instances, suing an abuser’s place of business, or their employer, is the only road to justice and recovery. While there are a number of hurdles to overcome in holding a perpetrator’s place of business accountable for the criminal acts of its employee, an employer’s actions or failure to act are occasionally covered by their insurance.

Additional obstacles exist when the employee is a healthcare professional working at a hospital or a teacher at a school.

We pride ourselves in finding answers to the difficult questions. A hallmark of our firm is taking on the challenge so that our clients don’t have to. If you have a question or would like to discuss your case with us, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us.

LEARN WHEN ORGANIZATIONS ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR ABUSE

How can I hold institutions or organizations accountable for failing to prevent or respond to sexual abuse?

Holding institutions or organizations who failed to prevent or respond to sexual abuse accountable is essential to help ensure justice, prevent future abuse, and protect survivors. It can be a complex and challenging process, but an experienced sexual abuse attorney can help assess your legal options. You may be able to file a civil lawsuit against the organization and obtain financial compensation for the survivor.

Your lawyer can help you gather evidence that shows the organization’s failure to prevent or respond to the abuse. Report the abuse to law enforcement agencies who may open an investigation. Some survivors and their advocates choose to speak out about the abuse and institutional failures. This can pressure institutions to take action and be more proactive in preventing and responding to abuse. You can also work with legislators and advocacy organizations to push for changes in laws and regulations holding institutions accountable.

What are the time limits to file my civil claim?

In Missouri and Kansas, the time limits for filing a civil claim related to sexual abuse depend on the nature of the claim and when the abuse occurred.

In general, the Missouri civil statute of limitations for claims of negligence is 5 years from the date of the abuse.  The civil statute of limitations for claims of child sexual abuse (victim is less than 18 years of age) is when the victim reaches the age of 31 for claims against the perpetrator, and age 26 for negligence claims against third party defendants. Certain exceptions apply so it is very important to speak with a qualified lawyer to understand the statute of limitations for your case.

In general, the Kansas civil statute of limitations for claims of negligence is 2 years from the date of the abuse. As of July 1, 2023, the civil statute of limitations for claims of child sexual abuse (victim is less than 18 years of age) allows individuals to file a lawsuit until they are 31 years old, or 3 years after a criminal conviction for a crime related to the alleged abuse. Likewise, certain exceptions apply so it is very important to speak with a qualified lawyer to understand the statute of limitations for your case.

Sexual Abuse Lawyers: We Are Here to Help

Our team is dedicated to helping victims, survivors and loved ones seeking justice and compensation for sexual abuse. Your wellbeing is our top priority, and we are here to provide legal guidance and advocacy you deserve. Learn more about how we can help you through your legal process and healing.

Victim/Survivor Resources

the Monsees and Mayer team together

Welcome to our Sexual Abuse Case Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) page. First and foremost, we want victims, survivors and loved ones to know that we believe you.

At Monsees & Mayer, we understand the immense emotional and legal challenges that individuals and families face when navigating these situations. Our goal is to shed light on the complexities surrounding these cases, offering answers, guidance, and information about your rights.

We have created this page to provide support and clarity for those seeking information during a difficult time.

If have specific questions or need personalized guidance, please don’t hesitate to contact our empathetic and compassionate team. We hear you. We see you. We believe you.

Sexual Abuse Lawyers:
We Are Here to Help

Our team is dedicated to helping victims, survivors and loved ones seeking justice and compensation for sexual abuse. Your wellbeing is our top priority, and we are here to provide legal guidance and advocacy you deserve. Learn more about how we can help you through your legal process and healing.

Sexual Abuse Frequently Asked Questions

FAQs from Victims and Survivors

What steps should I take if I or a loved one has been sexually abused?

Following a sexual abuse incident, it’s crucial to prioritize your safety and well-being. Reach out to law enforcement to report the incident immediately. Preserve any evidence if possible and seek medical attention. Subsequently, consult with a skilled personal injury attorney who specializes in sexual abuse cases. They can guide you through legal procedures, help gather evidence, and advocate for your rights. Remember, you are not alone, and our team is here to help guide you.

What are my rights after a sexual assault incident?

As a victim/survivor of sexual assault, you have the right to safety, medical care and the option to report your abuse. In a civil claim, you have the right file a personal injury lawsuit against the perpetrator. You can seek compensation for physical, emotional and/or mental trauma you experienced. This can include medical bills, lost wages, pain, suffering, etc. Victims and survivors also have the right to ask for privacy and confidentiality throughout the legal process if you choose.

LEARN MORE ABOUT LEGAL REMEDIES FOR SEXUAL ABUSE VICTIMS

How can hiring an attorney help?

Hiring an attorney, specifically personal injury, is instrumental for victims of sexual abuse as they navigate the complex legal aftermath. We possess the expertise and sensitivity needed to handle such cases with care and precision. We help guide victims/survivors through the legal process ensuring they feel protected and advocated for. Our team gathers crucial evidence, collaborate with experts and negotiate with insurers or other parties on behalf of the victim. By providing unwavering support, we can help seek justice and compensation for the physical, mental and emotional damages. With our assistance, victims/survivors can focus on healing, knowing you have a dedicated attorney to fight for you.

LEARN MORE ON HOW HIRING A PERSONAL INJURY ATTORNEY CAN HELP

What will happen if I file a claim?

Filing a claim is a significant step towards seeking justice and healing. Once you file a claim, we will conduct a thorough investigation, gather evidence and build a strong case. Our goal is to ensure your rights are protected and your voice is heard. We negotiate with the involved parties, aiming for the victim to receive fair compensation for the trauma you’ve endured. If fair compensation cannot be met, we will fight viciously for you in court. We want victims/survivors we represent to get the opportunity to reclaim their life and get justice. Your well-being and justice are our top priorities, and we are committed to getting the right outcome for you.

LEARN MORE ABOUT FILING A CLAIM AGAINST YOUR ABUSER

How long can you wait to report sexual assault?

In Missouri and Kansas, the statutes of limitations for both civil and criminal sexual assault cases vary. It’s crucial to consult with our experienced legal team promptly to understand your specific situation.  For general information, please see our Statute of Limitations page here:

Time Limits to Sue for Sexual Abuse

What can I expect during the legal process of a sexual abuse case?

In a sexual abuse lawsuit, your active participation and openness are essential. Initially, it’s crucial to share your experiences honestly with your legal team, providing all relevant details. Expect to collaborate closely, responding promptly to inquiries and attending meetings. Your commitment to the legal process, attending court hearings, and following legal advice can significantly impact the case’s outcome. Your courage and cooperation are fundamental in seeking justice and holding the perpetrators accountable. We are here to support you every step of the way, guiding you through the process with care and expertise.

LEARN MORE ABOUT WHAT TO EXPECT DURING THE LEGAL PROCESS 

What is the process for reporting sexual abuse to law enforcement?

Reporting abuse to law enforcement is a critical step in seeking justice. Monsees & Mayer understands how difficult and emotionally challenging this may be for survivors. If you have any additional questions or concerns, we are here to support you.

To start, you can report the abuse to your local law enforcement agency, such as the police department or sheriff’s office. In non-emergency situations, their non-emergency phone number may be posted online or in a local phone directory. You may also visit the police station in person to make the report. Many police departments have officers dedicated to handling sensitive cases, such as sexual abuse. When you contact law enforcement, you may request to speak with one of these specially trained officers.

As part of the reporting process, you will be asked to provide a detailed statement about the abuse. Include what happened, when it occurred, where it happened, and who was involved. When giving your statement, it is important to be honest and as specific as possible. You may be encouraged to seek a medical examination to document any injuries if you have not already. A law enforcement investigator will likely interview you at some point. Be prepared to provide another detailed account of what happened and try to remain as consistent as possible. After all of this, law enforcement may refer you to support services such as counseling, legal assistance, and victim advocacy organizations. These services can provide support and help you navigate the next steps.

Can I file a civil claim if my abuser was not criminally charged (was acquitted, no police report filed, etc)?

Yes, you can file a civil claim even if your abuser was not criminally charged. As well as if criminal charges were not pursued. Civil claims and criminal charges are separate legal actions with different standards of proof. In a civil claim related to sexual abuse, the focus is on seeking compensation for the harm you have suffered. Consult with an attorney to assess your legal options and determine the best course of action based on your unique circumstances.

How do I choose the right attorney to handle my sexual abuse case?

Sexual abuse cases are often emotionally challenging, so having the right legal support can make a significant difference.

Look for an attorney that specializes in sexual abuse cases and has experience handling them. Sexual abuse cases involve complex legal, emotional, and sensitive issues. Research attorneys by looking at their online reviews, legal directories, and bar associations. Schedule consultations with several attorneys for an opportunity to ask questions and assess how comfortable you feel with them.

In conclusion, trust your instincts. You should feel confident that the attorney is genuinely committed to advocating for your rights and best interests. Remember that you do not have to rush your decision. Take your time to find an attorney that is qualified and someone you feel comfortable working with.

LEARN MORE ABOUT FINDING THE RIGHT ATTORNEY

FAQs from Parents, Guardians and Loved Ones

What can I do as a parent of a child who has been sexually abused?

Parents are often left feeling helpless after learning about their child’s abuse, which only adds to the heartbreak. As a parent of a child who has been sexually abused, your role of protector never goes away.

Parents usually take on the role of making sure the proper authorities are notified and that they have a detailed description of the abuse that occurred. It is important to make sure the authorities know the who/what/where/when/how and oftentimes the child who has been abused is unable to recount everything in their traumatized state.

It is also important for parents to realize that they may not be able to help their child all on their own. Consulting with counselors and therapists who are trauma-informed will assist the parents and the child who has been sexually abused.

Often times, we are able to facilitate a direct referral to one of the several victim advocacy groups we work with. This expedited process saves victims time and can reduce the anxiety and stress that inevitably comes with detailing a horrific event to strangers for the first time.

LEARN MORE ABOUT GETTING HELP FOR CHILD SEXUAL ABUSE

What to do if I suspect abuse?

If you suspect your child is a victim of sexual abuse, it’s crucial to prioritize their safety and well-being. First and foremost, ensure their immediate safety by removing them from the situation and contacting the appropriate authorities, such as the police or child protective services. Seek medical attention for your child and preserve any evidence if applicable. Emotional support is vital, so listen to your child, believe in them, and assure them that it’s not their fault. Reach out to a therapist or counselor experienced in trauma. Finally, consult with a reputable attorney who specializes in sexual abuse cases to explore legal options and ensure your child’s rights are protected.

LEARN MORE ABOUT WHAT TO DO IF YOU SUSPECT ABUSE

What resources are available to support survivors or sexual abuse and their families?

Being a victim of sexual abuse can be one of the most difficult things a survivor and their family can endure. There are many resources that can help them cope with the physical, emotional, and legal challenges they may face. These resources can provide assistance, information, and a network of professionals who are trained to help survivors and their loved ones.

  • The National Sexual Assault Hotline offers free, confidential support, and information. (1-800-656-HOPE / 1-800-656-4673)
  • Victim advocates can provide emotional support to the survivors. They may also accompany survivors to court or medical appointments.
  • Local support organizations offer in-person counseling, support groups, and other resources.
  • Many therapists and counselors specialize in trauma and sexual abuse. They can help survivors address the emotional and psychological impact of the abuse.
  • Organizations like Darkness to Light and Prevent Child Abuse America provide educational resources and tools to help prevent child sexual abuse and support survivors.
  • Various governmental and nonprofit organizations work to prevent and address sexual abuse, offering resources and support.
  • Websites and online resources can offer information and resources. They can also provide you with the opportunity to connect with others who have experienced sexual abuse.
  • Law enforcement agencies can aid in reporting the abuse.
  • Legal services can guide and support you through the legal process and seeking compensation.

Do not hesitate to reach out to multiple organizations and professionals to build a network of support for you and your family. We have also compiled a list of sexual abuse crisis centers here.

General Sexual Abuse Case FAQs

Why does sexual abuse go unreported?

Although our team encourages victims and survivors to get justice, there are many deeply personal reasons why they don’t.

Sexual abuse often goes unreported due to the overwhelming fear, shame and emotional trauma survivors experience. Victims may worry about societal judgement, potential retaliation or people not believing them. This can lead them to feel the need to stay silent.

Also, the legal process can feel daunting and potentially re-traumatizing for victims. It can be difficult for victims and survivors to feel comfortable explaining the traumatic experience.

LEARN MORE ABOUT WHY SEXUAL ABUSE GOES UNREPORTED

Can I hire an attorney to criminally charge the perpetrator?

Prosecutors have the exclusive power to criminally charge someone who has allegedly committed a crime on behalf of the City, County, or State. Prosecutors work with the authorities to determine whether there is adequate evidence to charge someone with a crime. It is then, and only then, when someone who has been accused of a crime will be arrested and charged.

Private civil attorneys, like us, are usually not involved in the decision-making part of a criminal prosecution. However, we believe it is critical to establish a good relationship with prosecutors and to share information about the victim’s case.

The endgame of criminal prosecution can generally range from imposition of fines to community service, probation, and, of course, jail time. On the other hand, the endgame of a civil claim is money, which serves to hold the perpetrator, or other responsible individuals or businesses, accountable and to compensate the victim for the harms and losses they suffered.

While the goals of the criminal and civil justice system are different, we understand that maintaining an open line of communication with prosecutors is vital to securing justice for victims.

LEARN WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN CIVIL AND CRIMINAL CASES

Can I pursue a civil claim against the perpetrator even though there are criminal charges?

This is a question that not always has an easy answer. However, generally yes, there are civil claims that can be pursued against the perpetrator even though they are being criminally charged for the same thing. In fact, even if a perpetrator is not criminally charged, or perhaps he/she was charged with those charges were later dismissed, a victim still may pursue justice through the civil courts.

With that said, it’s important to understand as explained above, that in a civil case, the aggrieved party can only seek monetary damages from those who are responsible. The most efficient way to guarantee one’s recovery for sexual assault is through insurance coverage, which can be extremely complex. It is for these reasons why this question is a difficult one to answer.

LEARN MORE ABOUT CIVIL SEXUAL ABUSE CLAIMS

What types of compensation can be pursued in a sexual abuse case?

In a sexual abuse case, the survivor may seek various types of compensation. An attorney can evaluate your case and determine what types of compensation you may pursue. Some possible damages include:

Economic damages are monetary losses incurred as a result of the abuse. The survivor can be awarded compensation for things such as medical evaluations, therapy for emotional distress, treatment for injuries, lost wages, and medications. Compensation can also be incurred for future medical care needed due to the abuse.

Non-economic damages are non-monetary losses causing emotional and psychological trauma. Victims may experience pain and suffering, post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety, or depression. Compensation may be rewarded for decreased quality or enjoyment of life, as well as loss of consortium.

Punitive damages are damages that can sometimes be pursued, aiming to punish the wrongdoer and deter others from engaging in similar misconduct.

LEARN MORE ABOUT COMPENSATION FOR VICTIMS OF ABUSE

Are there organizations or institutions that can be held liable in a sexual abuse case?

In many instances, suing an abuser’s place of business, or their employer, is the only road to justice and recovery. While there are a number of hurdles to overcome in holding a perpetrator’s place of business accountable for the criminal acts of its employee, an employer’s actions or failure to act are occasionally covered by their insurance.

Additional obstacles exist when the employee is a healthcare professional working at a hospital or a teacher at a school.

We pride ourselves in finding answers to the difficult questions. A hallmark of our firm is taking on the challenge so that our clients don’t have to. If you have a question or would like to discuss your case with us, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us.

LEARN WHEN ORGANIZATIONS ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR ABUSE

How can I hold institutions or organizations accountable for failing to prevent or respond to sexual abuse?

Holding institutions or organizations who failed to prevent or respond to sexual abuse accountable is essential to help ensure justice, prevent future abuse, and protect survivors. It can be a complex and challenging process, but an experienced sexual abuse attorney can help assess your legal options. You may be able to file a civil lawsuit against the organization and obtain financial compensation for the survivor.

Your lawyer can help you gather evidence that shows the organization’s failure to prevent or respond to the abuse. Report the abuse to law enforcement agencies who may open an investigation. Some survivors and their advocates choose to speak out about the abuse and institutional failures. This can pressure institutions to take action and be more proactive in preventing and responding to abuse. You can also work with legislators and advocacy organizations to push for changes in laws and regulations holding institutions accountable.

What are the time limits to file my civil claim?

In Missouri and Kansas, the time limits for filing a civil claim related to sexual abuse depend on the nature of the claim and when the abuse occurred.

In general, the Missouri civil statute of limitations for claims of negligence is 5 years from the date of the abuse.  The civil statute of limitations for claims of child sexual abuse (victim is less than 18 years of age) is when the victim reaches the age of 31 for claims against the perpetrator, and age 26 for negligence claims against third party defendants. Certain exceptions apply so it is very important to speak with a qualified lawyer to understand the statute of limitations for your case.

In general, the Kansas civil statute of limitations for claims of negligence is 2 years from the date of the abuse. As of July 1, 2023, the civil statute of limitations for claims of child sexual abuse (victim is less than 18 years of age) allows individuals to file a lawsuit until they are 31 years old, or 3 years after a criminal conviction for a crime related to the alleged abuse. Likewise, certain exceptions apply so it is very important to speak with a qualified lawyer to understand the statute of limitations for your case.

Client Testimonials

What Our Clients Say About Us

Client Testimonials

What Our Clients Say
About Us

"This team was absolutely amazing. David and Glad handled everything with my case with caution and kindness. I honestly couldn’t have asked for a better team to be working on my case and make me feel better about it. If you are looking for an attorney that will work harder for you than you could have asked for, I would absolutely recommend them. I looked into about 15 attorneys until I stumbled across David and I couldn’t have made a better decision going with him! 100/10"

Isabella S.

No one should fight for their rightful recovery and justice alone.

Contact us today to discuss your case.

Contact Us - Sexual Abuse Page
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No one should fight for their rightful recovery and justice alone.

Contact us today to discuss your case.

Contact Us - Sexual Abuse Page
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