Sexual abuse is one of the most horrifying things that can happen to anyone. The psychological trauma can damage the survivor for life. Tragically, one out of six women in the United States report being sexually abused, but many feel helpless and never take action.
You aren’t alone, and you aren’t helpless. If you or a loved one is a survivor of sexual abuse, speak to our Tulsa sexual abuse lawyers today. You may be eligible for justice and financial compensation for your damages if your case is proven. Nix Patterson represents sexual crime survivors in civil lawsuits and is a passionate legal advocate for these individuals in Tulsa and across Oklahoma. We take immense pride in holding abusers accountable.
Learn more about Oklahoma sexual abuse laws and related information below. Next, speak to one of our Tulsa sexual abuse lawyers to find out how we can help. We have a strong record in assisting sexual abuse survivors. A recent case involved 14 women who were abused by an Oklahoma teacher’s assistant. Our attorneys obtained a judgment for $3.5 million against the school.
Our attorneys empathize with your situation and will carefully listen to your case. Then, we will present the possible legal options to secure justice for you.
Sexual abuse is any action that forces someone to do something sexually that they do not want to do. If the person is under the legal age of consent, any sexual contact may be considered sexual abuse. In Oklahoma, the age of consent for sexual activity is 16 years. Under that age, the child cannot give legal consent for any sexual contact.
It is estimated that approximately 60% of sexual abuse cases are perpetrated by a family member, family friend, neighbor, or babysitter. About 30% of those who sexually abuse minors are a relative, such as a father, cousin, or uncle. Sexual abusers also may be priests, pastors, youth counselors, or teachers.
Anyone who has endured sexual abuse can have many psychological and behavioral issues. These consequences can be especially traumatic for children who were sexually abused.
Sexual abuse of a child can alter how the person sees the world, the people around them, and how they behave. How they understand themselves and the world can be damaged, leading to fear, mistrust, and hostility towards others. Depending on the type and length of the sexual abuse, the psychological trauma could affect how they interact with others and themselves. Some survivor’s behavior and personality can markedly change after the abuse.
Some of the potential effects of sexual abuse on a child can be:
Adult survivors of sexual abuse may suffer sexual dysfunction or disturbances, anxiety, and depression. The longer the sexual abuse lasts, the more it can affect the young person’s identity.
Many sexual abuse survivors, young and old, may not realize it’s possible to sue someone for sexual abuse and assault. To file a civil lawsuit against someone for sexual abuse, you can frame the matter as an intentional tort or intentional wrongful act against you.
You also may be able to sue the person for assault and battery and purposeful infliction of emotional distress and injuries. The first step is to speak to one of our Tulsa sexual abuse lawyers for a confidential consultation. We will lay out your possible legal options depending on the circumstances. It can be challenging to come forward and allege sexual abuse or assault, but contacting an attorney promptly is essential to move your case forward.
If your case is successful, you could be eligible for various compensatory damages. Some of them could be:
It is possible to sue anyone you can prove who sexually abused or assaulted you. This terrible abuse of trust can make the abuse challenging to understand until years after the event. If you survived sexual assault committed by a parent, other relative, or neighbor, you could be entitled to file a civil lawsuit for financial compensation.
It may be easier to file the claim once the survivor has reached adulthood, but it’s still possible to sue before the person turns 18. This can be done with the help of another adult, such as an appointed legal guardian, if the alleged abuser is a parent.
A sad, increasing trend in recent years has been lawsuits filed against clergy who sexually abused children months or even years ago. Recent estimates suggest there could be thousands of minors and adults who were sexually abused by clergy. There have been many investigations in recent memory revealing shocking clergy sexual abuse in the Catholic Church and other religious entities. It’s clear that the sexual abuse of children was a severe problem for years, but much of it was unknown.
It also is clear that religious institutions were aware of the problem and did little to stop it. In some cases, church elders took action to hide the problem. Many survivors were both male and female and under 14, and the sexual abuse was recurring.
When clergy in Tulsa engage in sexual abuse against minor church members, it can have devastating effects that resonate for years. Until recent times, these sexual abuse survivors had no recourse for the immense damage done to them. However, greater public attention and awareness have caused legal changes that give some survivors the ability to sue their abusers.
If a clergy member in Oklahoma sexually abused you or a loved one, it may be possible to sue the person and also the church. Nix Patterson’s sexual abuse lawyers in Tulsa can help you file suit against the perpetrator and potentially the religious organization where it happened.
You generally have two years from the date of the sexual abuse to file a personal injury claim against your abuser; however, there are exceptions. After you’ve named the defendant in the sexual abuse case and filed the claim through your lawyer, the cast must be proven.
Many types of evidence could be used to prove sexual abuse or assault occurred. These include medical records, eyewitness testimony, video and photographic evidence, or the results of a criminal case against the defendant.
Any sexual activity that occurs to a child or adult that is against the individual’s will is illegal and actionable in civil court. Also, any sexual contact between an adult and a child under 18 is considered minor sexual abuse in Oklahoma. However, there are other laws in the state when sexual abuse happens to a younger child. This is known as sexual abuse of a child under 12. Child under 12 sexual abuse may include incest, rape, or asking or forcing the minor to perform an act that is sexual in nature.
Any criminal case against the alleged abuser is separate from the civil lawsuit you file. There does not have to be a criminal case against the perpetrator for you to sue successfully for damages. It also is possible for the perpetrator to be found not guilty in criminal court but liable in civil court.
Most personal injury lawsuits must be filed in Oklahoma within two years of the date of injury. However, Oklahoma passed a law in 2017 establishing a civil statute of limitations for sexual abuse survivors at age 45. This extended statute of limitations is intended to provide younger survivors of sexual abuse more time to file claims.
If the sexual abuse happened at work, you may be able to sue the defendant for sexual harassment. You must file a complaint with the Equal Opportunity Commission (EEOC) within a year of the alleged abuse or harassment. The agency will investigate the claim and determine if it will file suit. If the EEOC does not file suit, it will send you a Right to Sue letter that you can use to file a claim through your attorney.
No matter when the alleged abuse happened, it’s vital to speak to a Tulsa sexual abuse lawyer at Nix Patterson before the time limit expires.
If you’re a survivor of sexual assault, our lawyers sympathize with the horror you’ve experienced. If you decide to sue and your claim succeeds, you could receive compensation from the perpetrator that will help you move on with your life.
While money doesn’t heal psychological wounds, many sexual abuse survivors say that holding the person accountable for their abuse gives them a sense of justice being served. Nix Patterson’s Tulsa sexual abuse lawyers are ready to advocate for your right to that justice. 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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