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Texas Sexual Abuse Lawyers

Sexual abuse is a painful reality that far too many in Texas face. In 2017 alone, the total number of sexual assault incidents reported in Texas was 18,112, revealing the disturbing prevalence of this issue right in our backyard.

The wounds from such abuse run deep, often deeper than the physical ones. Imagine carrying the weight of unspoken trauma every day—feelings of isolation that seem to stretch endlessly, the sharp pangs of shame, or the heavy cloak of guilt. It’s not just about the assault but about the lingering emotional scars that can disrupt lives and dreams.

At Nix Patterson, we see you. We’re here not just to represent you but to stand with you as fierce advocates who understand the gravity of what you’re going through. When the shadows of abuse feel overwhelming, and the path ahead seems too daunting to face alone, remember Nix Patterson is here.

With our deep commitment to justice and ethical grit, we make the impossible achievable. Let us be your beacon of hope, guiding you toward recovery and restitution. Together, we’ll transform your fight for justice into a journey of empowerment as a steadfast legal advocate by your side every step of the way.

Legally Speaking, What Is Considered Sexual Abuse?

Under Texas law, sexual abuse is defined as any non-consensual sexual act or behavior that occurs without explicit agreement between the involved parties. This definition emphasizes the critical importance of consent in all sexual interactions, highlighting that any sexual activity must involve the clear and voluntary agreement of everyone involved.

Moreover, the law also addresses situations where there is an abuse of power. This means that in scenarios where one person holds a significant amount of power over another — such as in employer-employee relationships or between a teacher and student — any sexual advances or acts are scrutinized under the suspicion of potential abuse of that power. This aspect of the law is designed to protect individuals from being coerced into sexual activities by someone who might exploit their authority or trust for sexual purposes.

What’s more, Texas law also considers the context and circumstances surrounding an incident when determining cases of sexual abuse. This includes evaluating the mental capacity and age of the individuals involved and recognizing that minors and individuals who cannot legally give consent due to mental incapacitation are particularly vulnerable to sexual abuse. The law is designed to offer additional protections to these groups so that any sexual acts involving them are scrutinized under stricter legal standards to prevent exploitation and harm.

What Should You Do if You’ve Been Sexually Abused?

If you suspect you’ve been sexually abused, the first and foremost priority is securing your safety. Remove yourself from the immediate danger and find a safe environment. It’s crucial not to confront your abuser directly, either publicly or privately, as this can lead to further harm. Instead, confide in someone you trust or seek help from professional organizations dedicated to supporting survivors of sexual abuse.

Once safe, seek medical attention, not only for your immediate health needs but also to document your injuries and the incident. This medical documentation is crucial for any legal action you might take. If the abuse happened in a workplace, and you distrust the response of workplace authorities, consider reporting to external authorities or seeking guidance from legal or advocacy groups.

Despite the hesitance many feel, reporting the incident can be a crucial step. The Department of Justice reports that only about 310 out of every 1,000 sexual assaults are reported to the police, often due to fear of retaliation or disbelief in effective assistance. However, when cases are pursued, a significant majority result in sentencing, with 98.8% of convicted offenders going to prison.

Seeking legal help is crucial for understanding how to address the abuse both criminally and civilly. Pursuing a criminal case can lead to the prosecution and sentencing of the offender, offering a sense of justice and possibly deterring future abuses. However, criminal cases often focus primarily on the punishment of the offender rather than compensation for the survivor, which might not fully address the needs of someone who has suffered from sexual abuse.

On the civil side, a lawsuit pursued as a personal injury case can complement a criminal case by focusing on restitution for the survivor. With the assistance of a personal injury lawyer, you can seek damages for the harm caused. This includes covering medical expenses and therapy costs and providing compensation for pain and suffering. Pursuing a personal injury case can provide the financial support necessary for recovery and help address the long-term effects of abuse, offering a form of closure and personal justice that a criminal case alone may not provide.

Taking these steps not only protects you but can also potentially safeguard others in your community by pursuing justice.

What Should You Do if a Minor Under Your Care Has Been Sexually Abused?

Alarmingly, more children are affected by sexual abuse than by childhood cancer, which impacts 1 in 285 children before their 20th birthday. Furthermore, three out of five children who experience sexual abuse never tell anyone about it. This significant underreporting, coupled with the fact that most incidents are never brought to the attention of authorities, underscores the critical need for vigilant protection and support for minors.

Sexual abuse endured by a minor is a particularly vulnerable situation, not least because it often occurs in settings where the child should feel safe — such as home, school, or community environments. Perpetrators are frequently people the child knows and trusts, which can complicate the case and make it challenging for the child to come forward.

When addressing such a sensitive issue, it’s essential to first ensure the minor is in a safe environment away from potential harm. Open and supportive communication is crucial — let the child know they are believed and their feelings are valid. It’s important not to pressure them for details. Instead, provide the comfort and support they need and let trained professionals handle investigations.

In seeking legal counsel for a minor who has been sexually abused, the role of a personal injury lawyer is not just helpful — it’s crucial. A Texas personal injury lawyer can meticulously gather and present evidence that substantiates the abuse, navigating the legal system so that the minor’s voice is heard and their rights are protected. They can demonstrate how the abuse has impacted the minor’s emotional and physical wellbeing, quantifying this in terms that are recognized by the law for compensation.

This legal expertise is vital for constructing a compelling case that addresses both the immediate and long-term needs of the minor. By securing a skilled sexual abuse lawyer, families can significantly enhance their capacity to achieve a successful outcome in civil court so that the minor receives the necessary resources for recovery and future security.

Who Is Liable in a Texas Sexual Assault Case?

In Texas, determining liability in a sexual assault case involves multiple parties depending on the context in which the assault occurred. The individual perpetrator is primarily liable for committing the assault. However, liability can extend beyond the individual, especially in cases where an organization or entity failed to prevent the assault or did not have adequate safety measures in place.

For instance, employers can be held liable if the assault occurred in a workplace setting, and it can be shown that the employer neglected to implement sufficient security protocols or failed to address previous complaints of a similar nature. This is grounded in the legal principle of negligent security, which posits that establishments have a duty to provide a safe environment.

Additionally, educational institutions and landlords can also face liability under similar theories if the assault happened on their property or within their jurisdiction and it was due to their failure to ensure safety.

Lastly, in some cases, third-party companies involved in hiring or staffing might be held accountable if they did not perform adequate background checks on employees who later committed sexual assault.

Understanding the broad scope of liability is crucial for survivors seeking justice. A seasoned personal injury attorney is equipped to identify all potentially liable parties and can argue effectively for their client’s rights so that all aspects of the case are thoroughly explored. Their expertise allows them to build a strong case by correlating the negligence of the organization with the harm suffered by the survivor, thereby increasing the chances of a favorable outcome and adequate compensation for the survivor’s trauma and recovery.

What Kinds of Damages Can be Recovered from a Sexual Abuse Claim?

Survivors of sexual abuse face profound impacts that go beyond physical injuries, penetrating deep into their psychological and emotional wellbeing. These effects can manifest immediately and linger long-term, altering their perception of safety and trust. Psychological repercussions often include disorders such as PTSD, anxiety, and depression, which can disrupt everyday functioning and diminish quality of life.

The emotional injuries are equally significant, often leading to difficulties in maintaining personal relationships and social withdrawal. Survivors might also experience a severe impact on their professional lives, potentially leading to job loss or a decreased ability to perform workplace duties effectively.

Survivors of sexual abuse can experience a wide array of specific injuries and losses, which are detailed as follows:

  • Physical Injuries. Includes bruises, cuts, fractures, or any injury resulting from physical assault. Conditions like STDs or other long-term health complications related to the abuse also fall into this category.
  • Psychological Impact. Long-lasting effects such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression, anxiety, and other mental health disorders that require ongoing treatment.
  • Emotional Suffering. Deep emotional scars, including feelings of shame, fear, and isolation that can disrupt daily functioning and personal relationships.
  • Economic Losses. This encompasses lost wages if the survivor is unable to work in the short term or long term, as well as diminished earning capacity due to psychological or physical injuries sustained from the abuse.

A personal injury lawyer with extensive experience in sexual abuse cases can play a pivotal role in navigating the complexities of such claims. They leverage their legal acumen to address all aspects of the case — medical, psychological, and economic. This approach is crucial not only in securing the appropriate compensation for all categories of damages but also in providing a structured path for the survivor’s recovery and justice. Their ability to articulate and quantify the impact of abuse in legal terms facilitates a legal pathway so that the survivor’s rights are vigorously defended in the courtroom.

How Long Do You Have to File a Sex Crime Charge in Texas?

In Texas, the statute of limitations for filing a sex crime charge depends on the specific nature of the offense and the age of the survivor at the time of the crime. For many sexual offenses, particularly those involving minors, Texas law offers an extended period during which charges can be filed, recognizing that survivors may not come forward immediately due to the trauma associated with sexual abuse.

For instance, there is no statute of limitations for sexual assault or aggravated sexual assault if the survivor was a minor at the time of the offense. This allows survivors to file charges at any point in their lifetime, recognizing the profound and lasting impact of abuse and the potential delays in reporting such crimes. For adult survivors of sexual assault, charges generally need to be filed within 10 years of the offense. This extension aims to provide survivors with the necessary time to address their emotional and psychological recovery before initiating legal action.

The implementation of these laws is intended to support survivors, but the reality is that many are unaware of these timelines and may miss the opportunity to file charges. This lack of awareness can inadvertently shield perpetrators from facing justice. A personal injury attorney specializing in sexual abuse cases is critical in such circumstances. They can provide detailed guidance on these statutes so that survivors understand their rights and the time frames within which they must act.

How Can the Texas Sexual Abuse Lawyers at Nix Patterson Help?

At Nix Patterson, our commitment to justice in sexual abuse cases is deeply rooted in our ethical integrity and relentless drive to support our clients. Our team steps into battles that others might shy away from, armed with the determination and experience needed to turn complex challenges into precedent-setting victories. This not only amplifies the voices of those who might otherwise remain unheard but also sets new benchmarks for accountability.

Hiring a personal injury lawyer from Nix Patterson means partnering with a team that doesn’t back down from a fight. We’re uniquely positioned to handle tough cases, achieving what often seems impossible through innovative legal strategies and a deep commitment to our clients’ rights. Our proactive approach provides each client with top-tier legal representation and a dedicated ally in their corner.

We manage all litigation expenses, removing financial worries and allowing you to focus on recovery. This includes expert witness fees, legal filings, and any other necessary costs. We handle the financial aspects so you can concentrate on healing without the added stress of financial strain.

Are you ready to fight back? Call us at 512-328-5333 or visit our website to schedule your free online consultation. It’s time to take a stand and fight for the justice you deserve. Let’s make your voice heard loud and clear.


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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