If you are a survivor of sexual abuse, you are not alone. Simply typing the words into a search engine and reaching this website are steps in the right direction. You are concerned about your rights and you may be feeling hurt, perhaps even angry.
While no one can give you back what you have lost, a Clearwater sexual abuse attorney can assist you with obtaining every legal remedy that is available to you, depending on the facts of your claim.
Your compassionate injury attorney will assist you with building a network of support. Your Clearwater attorney will answer your questions, and guide you through the complex legal landscape toward your ultimate goal of justice.
Sexual Abuse Statistics
Speaking to an attorney is the first step to realizing that goal of justice. Sexual abuse remains one of the most underreported assaults in the United States.
According to the Rape, Abuse, & Incest National Network, every 98 seconds, an American is sexually assaulted. The National Sexual Violence Resource Center has estimated that approximately one in five women and one in 71 men will be raped at some point in their lives.
Most victims fail to realize that they have a choice; some go their whole lives without ever telling another individual about their suffering. People can avoid that despair by making a formal legal claim against the abuser.
Taking Steps Toward Justice
Depending on how recent the abuse is, there may be steps that survivors can take to build a claim against their abuser. Recovery is a long journey. Here are some steps to help begin:
- Find a safe location away from the abuser (a short-term and long-term location)
- Save any item that might contain the DNA of the abuser or attacker
- Seek medical assistance by visiting the emergency room of the nearest hospital
- Consider reporting the claim to the police by calling 911
- Notify someone trustworthy
- Call a sexual abuse hotline for guidance
- Establish a protection plan for the future
- Do the things that help to provide a positive mental attitude
- Avoid contact with the abuser, if possible
- Avoid posting about the abuse on social media or in a public forum because public discussions (and sometimes private ones too) may be discovered by the attorney for the abuser and used against the victim during the course of litigation
- Know that the victim is not to blame
Victims in sexual abuse cases are particularly vulnerable. It is important that a victim seek zealous advocacy from a Clearwater sexual abuse attorney who is familiar with the law in this area. The lawyer can act as a buffer between other parties that may become involved in the litigation.
A victim can also speak to the lawyer about other possible necessities, such as a restraining order. The victim should beware of victim shaming and should contact an experienced sexual abuse attorney in Clearwater to avoid the hassle of dealing with people who are insensitive to their plight.
Contact a Clearwater Sexual Abuse Attorney
Even though a sexual abuse claim is especially harrowing, the plaintiff must not delay in filing a claim against the abuse. To add insult to injury, failure to properly file a claim within the prescribed time limit set forth by the Florida legislature will result in the victim unfortunately being barred from ever suing on that claim.
According to Florida’s statute of limitations §95.11, in Florida a victim of sexual abuse or incest must commence legal action within (1) seven years after age 18; (2) within four years after leaving the dependency of the abuser; or (3) within four years from the time of the discovery of both the injury and causal relationship between abuse and injury. These laws can be difficult to understand and interpret, so contact a Clearwater sexual abuse lawyer immediately to preserve your rights and obtain the justice you deserve today.