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El Paso Sexual Abuse Lawyers

Sexual abuse is a horrifying, life-changing event that can lead to trauma that can take a lifetime to heal. What’s worse, many sexual abuse and assault cases are never reported, so survivors may not receive justice.

Nix Patterson’s El Paso sexual abuse lawyers deeply sympathize with every sexual abuse survivor.  We believe you deserve justice, and the perpetrator and other responsible parties should be held liable. If your case is proven, you could obtain compensation for your physical injuries, emotional and mental trauma, lost earnings, and more.

Our El Paso sexual abuse lawyers are ready to step in and fight for your rights.

What Is Sexual Abuse?

Sexual abuse is defined as inappropriate and undesired sexual contact with another person. A child is unable to consent to sexual contact, so any sexual contact or innuendo with a child from an adult is sexual abuse. The term “sexual abuse” is typically used to describe an adult illegally engaged in sexual activity with minors, but it also can refer to inappropriate sexual contact with an adult who doesn’t consent.

Generally speaking, there are two types of sexual abuse:

Contact Abuse

Contact abuse occurs when the abuser makes physical contact with the person or minor or forces the person or minor to make contact with another party. Contact abuse includes sexual touching of the body, using an object or body part to penetrate the body, forcing the minor or person to engage in sexual activities, or making the minor or person undress and touch another person.

Non-Contact Abuse

Non-contact abuse happens when the minor or person is sexually abused without being touched. This can happen online or in person and includes showing pornography, being flashed or exposed, exposing the child to sexual acts, or making them masturbate.

If you are a survivor of sexual abuse as a child or adult, it is never your fault. If you prove the abuse, you could receive compensation in a personal injury lawsuit. An El Paso personal injury lawyer can review your case to determine your legal options.

How Common Is Sexual Abuse in El Paso?

Sexual abuse is common in the United States and affects millions of people. Research by the CDC shows that the number of sexual abuse survivors is consistently underestimated because many cases are unreported. Sexual abuse survivors might be afraid, embarrassed, or ashamed to report the perpetrator to the authorities. The wrongdoer could be a close family member, and reporting the abuse could cause family problems. However, the sexual abuse survivor should never be ashamed or afraid to report the abuse to the authorities.

Some alarming sexual abuse statistics from around the country include:

  • 50% of women and 33% of men state that they were sexually abused or assaulted at some point in their lives. Many were abused as children by relatives and never reported it. About 25% of women and 5% of men say they were survivors of attempted rape.
  • 75% of female rape survivors say the assault happened before age 25.
  • At least 80% of male rape survivors say they were forced to penetrate another party before age 25. Forty percent were made to penetrate another person when they were a child.
  • About 15% of Texas high school students report they were sexually abused during their childhood.

Common Sexual Abuse Injuries

Sexual abuse can cause many physical and psychological injuries. At first, the sexual abuse survivor could have genital trauma, bruises, sexually transmitted diseases, or even become pregnant. Many sexual abuse survivors suffer massive psychological damage that affects them for years into adulthood. Children, young people, and adults can suffer the following types of problems from sexual abuse:

  • Depression and anxiety
  • PTSD
  • Eating disorders
  • Trouble coping with stress at home and work
  • Self-harm
  • Suicidal thoughts and suicide
  • Nightmares and flashbacks
  • Feelings of guilt, isolation, and shame
  • Alcohol and drug problems
  • Relationship problems with spouse or children

In short, the psychological injuries stemming from sexual abuse can be significant and lifelong. These mental injuries can affect your ability to have a normal family and work life. That’s why, if you were sexually abused as a child or adult, you should consider filing a personal injury claim to make the at-fault parties pay for what happened to you. You may be able to sue the perpetrator and any organization or entity whose negligence created the environment where the abuse occurred.

Sexual Abuse Laws in Texas

Texas law allows for a sexual abuse perpetrator to be charged with a crime and face a personal injury lawsuit at the same time. The Texas state prosecutor files the sexual abuse charge, while the survivor and their attorney files the personal injury lawsuit.

Filing a personal injury lawsuit in Texas against your abuser could allow you to obtain compensation for your economic and non-economic damages. Under Texas law, the purpose of a personal injury claim is to obtain financial damages, not put the defendant in jail. Note that the civil case only requires a preponderance of the evidence for the case to be proven. On the other hand, the criminal case requires proof beyond a reasonable doubt – a much higher standard.

If you sue the alleged perpetrator, you could receive compensation for your physical and emotional losses. If the state files criminal charges, the case could go to court. However, if your abuser is convicted of sexual abuse or assault and sent to prison, you may not receive compensation. Your El Paso sexual abuse lawyers at Nix Patterson can review your case and outline your best legal options.

Can Someone Other Than My Abuser Be Held Liable for My Damages?

Yes, potentially. Sexual abuse cases usually focus on the defendant. However, there may be enabling individuals or organizations that also could be found liable.

Other negligent parties are often the organization or organizational leadership that allowed the abuse to occur. The entity or its leader doesn’t have to have been aware of the sexual abuse; you only need to prove that they violated their duty of care to you and that the abuse occurred.

Suppose a staff member sexually abused your relative living in an El Paso nursing home. You could file a personal injury lawsuit against the person. However, the nursing home could be negligent for not adequately screening and training employees or monitoring them during shifts. So, the nursing home would have to pay, as well.

Your El Paso sexual abuse attorneys will review the case and understand if someone other than the defendant can also be held potentially liable. If another party violated their duty of care, they could be required to pay your losses.

What Is My El Paso Sexual Abuse Case Worth?

Sexual abuse is awful. But it can be challenging to prove, especially if the assault happened years ago. Physical evidence may be long gone, and medical evidence is obtained in a few cases. Without convincing physical evidence, it’s more difficult to prove the sexual abuse.

But if you can prove your sexual abuse case in court, you could receive compensation for your damages.

Every sexual abuse case is unique, but these claims can have a high case value, depending on the evidence and who can be held liable. The sexual abuse claim value could rise if an organization can be found liable for what happened. For instance, the case value could be higher if any of these parties can be found partially at fault for the abuse:

  • Parents
  • Legal guardians
  • Clergy
  • Daycares
  • School districts
  • Religious organizations
  • Schools

A recent example is  Roman Catholic Dioceses and Archdioceses across the US facing allegations of sexual abuse against minors in past decades. Many religious organizations have had to pay hundreds of millions in damages for abuse that occurred by clergy who worked in their churches.

Another example is the female Olympic athletes who were sexually abused as teenagers by doctor Larry Nassar. Many have sued USA Gymnastics, which employed Nassar, for enabling the sexual abuse that occurred. A recent $1 billion civil lawsuit against the FBI was filed by dozens of former athletes, alleging that the organization failed to take the matter seriously, which allowed Nassar’s abuse to continue.

What Types of Compensation are Available to Survivors of Sexual Abuse?

Sexual abuse can cause terrible, life-long trauma that is difficult to overcome. A sexual abuse survivor may need intensive mental and emotional therapy to become productive adults. Also, some survivors contract sexually transmitted diseases, such as HIV, that have long-term negative effects on their health.

Potential compensation in a sexual abuse case may include:

  • Physical pain and suffering
  • Emotional pain and suffering
  • Medical bills for the past and future
  • Psychotherapy expenses
  • Prescription costs
  • Lost income
  • Loss of enjoyment of life

The funds obtained in a sexual abuse personal injury lawsuit could be critical for you to get the care and support you need to live life to the fullest. For instance, childhood sexual abuse could affect your ability to work and support your family. Your settlement may help you support your family and get the therapy you need to improve your career and financial prospects. Additionally, holding the abuser accountable gives many survivors a cathartic feeling of closure and justice.

What Is the Statute of Limitations for Sexual Abuse Cases in Texas?

Texas law says that the statute of limitations for filing a sexual abuse or assault case varies:

  • Up to 30 years for a child’s sexual abuse personal injury claim.
  • Up to five years from the date of the alleged abuse as an adult. If you’re an adult and the abuse happened less than five years ago, you can file a claim.

If you were a minor when the abuse happened, you have 30 years to file a claim. State law also says that the clock on the 30 years begins from your 18th birthday.

Contact Nix Patterson’s El Paso Sexual Abuse Lawyers Today

If you were sexually abused or assaulted as a child or adult, the person and other responsible parties need to be held accountable for your losses. You can rely on our compassionate El Paso sexual abuse lawyers to fight for the compensation you deserve.

Contact us today for a free legal consultation about your El Paso sexual abuse case. Nix Patterson does not charge legal fees unless we obtain compensation for you.


Nix Patterson only works on a contingency fee basis. Our clients pay us nothing unless we win. Schedule a free consultation today. Call 512.328.5333 or complete the form below. 

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