Sexual abuse is one of the most devastating things that can happen to a person, and trauma can last for a lifetime.
If you or a loved one was the victim of sexual abuse, speak to our Oklahoma City sexual abuse attorneys today. Nix Patterson is a compassionate legal advocate for victims of sexual abuse in Oklahoma. If your case is successful, you could receive justice and financial compensation for your mental, physical, and emotional damages.
Find out more about sexual abuse laws and related information below, then speak to one of our attorneys for a confidential case consultation. We’ll listen with empathy and understanding, then lay out the legal possibilities for your sexual abuse case.
Nationally, it’s believed that 17% of women and 3% of men have been victims of some type of sexual violence in their lifetimes, which could include sexual abuse as a minor. In Oklahoma, rates of rape and attempted rape among women has been approximately 40% higher than the U.S. average for the last 10 years.
Sexual abuse can lead to both physical and mental injuries, including anxiety, depression, and thoughts of suicide, and many may have difficulty being sexually intimate with partners later in life.
Sexual abuse and violence are also related to many adverse health outcomes, such as being more likely to abuse drugs and alcohol, smoke, and engage in high-risk sexual activity.
Sexual abuse also can affect your ability to perform in school and work. You may have difficulty maintaining your grades or job performance, so the abuse can have academic, professional, and financial consequences that last for life. That’s why it’s so important to hire an Oklahoma sexual abuse lawyer to help you seek the justice you deserve.
Oklahoma law does not allow a caretaker, parent, or any other person to sexually abuse or exploit a minor in their care. This felony can be punished by up to a year in jail or a fine of up to $5,000. If the child is under 12, the defendant could receive up to 25 years in prison.
The statute specifically mentions that sexual abuse is illegal, which is defined as malicious and willful touching or other sexual activity or act with a minor. Examples include but aren’t limited to, rape, incest, and indecent and lewd acts involving a child.
For the defendant to be charged, the child has to be under 16, and the defendant must be at least three years older. If the person is convicted of sexual abuse with a child under 16, they could get between three and 20 years in prison. If the minor is under 12, the adult can face up to 25 years in prison.
Keep in mind that a sexual abuse lawsuit is a civil claim. The lawsuit is entirely separate from any criminal case against the sexual abuser. The perpetrator doesn’t need to be convicted of a crime for you to receive compensation in a lawsuit. The defendant doesn’t need to be criminally charged for your claim to succeed.
Sexual abuse can occur anywhere, but it most often occurs in the person’s close social environment. This could be relatives, friends, family acquaintances, teachers, pastors, youth counselors, and almost anyone with whom the individual has regular contact.
It can be more difficult for someone to get help if the perpetrator is respected in the community, such as a pastor or teacher, which is why it’s important to listen to and believe all survivors.
Yes, there is possible liability for other parties in a sexual abuse case who were not directly involved, such as a school, employer, or church. For example, suppose you were assaulted in your workplace, and you told your manager about it. However, your manager ignored you and didn’t do anything about it. This response is unacceptable, and they also could be liable in a sexual abuse lawsuit.
A third party could be held responsible in a professional setting if they retaliated against you for bringing about sexual assault or abuse to light. Suppose the same manager demoted you to a lower-paying position because you’re causing problems in the workplace. They also could be named in a sexual abuse lawsuit.
If a third party allowed sexual abuse to occur or ignored it, your sexual abuse attorney will attempt to prove negligence in this way:
You could receive ample compensation for a sexual abuse case for medical expenses, pain and suffering, mental anguish, and lost income. You also could receive funds for long-term mental health counseling.
However, you should retain a sexual abuse attorney in Oklahoma City to review your case and provide an approximate case value. You also can get an idea of what your case is worth by reviewing Nix Patterson’s record of past personal injury settlements and verdicts.
If you were sexually abused or assaulted, the best chance to obtain damages is through a civil lawsuit. Depending on the case, a sexual abuse victim could receive compensatory or punitive damages if the claim is successful. Recovered funds could be used to cover costs for medical care, mental health counseling, lost earnings, and as compensation for emotional trauma.
If the perpetrator is being criminally prosecuted, you could have a better chance of success in your claim. You could be entitled to use evidence that the jury in the criminal case used to find the person guilty of a sex-related crime. But even if there is no criminal case, proving sexual abuse occurred only requires a preponderance of the evidence. This means the abuse is more likely to occur than not, which is an easier burden of proof than a criminal case.
Most personal injury lawsuits have to be filed within two years of the date of injury. However, in 2017, Oklahoma established a civil statute of limitations for sexual abuse victims at age 45 to protect younger victims of sexual assault. Regardless of when the incident happened, it is critical to speak to a Nix Patterson sexual abuse attorney well before the statute of limitations expires.
If you are a victim of sexual abuse or assault, our attorneys deeply sympathize with your situation. It is unacceptable for someone to abuse or assault another person in this manner. You could receive ample compensation in a personal injury claim against the perpetrator. Money doesn’t heal the emotional scars, but a successful claim may offer closure and the ability to move forward with your life.
Nix Patterson’s Oklahoma City sexual abuse attorneys stand ready to advocate for your rights to fair compensation. Contact us today for a complimentary case review.
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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