Andreozzi + Foote Pennsylvania Sexual Abuse Lawyers
Pennsylvania Sexual Abuse Lawyers Holding Organizations Accountable for Their Actions
Our Pennsylvania Sexual Abuse Lawyers are trauma-informed. Sexual abuse is a traumatic experience that can often leave victims feeling helpless. Whether it involves grooming, invasion of privacy, harassment, or unwanted physical touching, sexual abuse can have lasting impacts. Fortunately, you can seek justice from those responsible for sexual abuse, and they can be held accountable for physical and emotional injuries.
At Andreozzi + Foote, our attorneys have great experience handling sexual abuse cases with compassion and professionalism. We understand how difficult it is for survivors to come forward, so we strive to make our clients feel comfortable throughout each step of their case while providing knowledgeable legal advice tailored to their situation. Our team is dedicated to helping survivors gain closure and obtain justice.
Our firm is passionate about upholding your rights and tirelessly advocating. We pledge to achieve this goal using all available resources so you won’t have to face this fight alone.
What Is Sexual Abuse in Pennsylvania?
Sexual abuse is a term used to describe any form of unwanted sexual contact. It includes rape and other forms of sexual assault or exploitation, such as molestation, verbal harassment, stalking, and more. Sexual abuse can occur between two people of any gender or age. In some cases, the perpetrator maybe someone in a position of power over the victim, such as an employer or teacher, making it more difficult for victims to seek help.
What Are Common Signs Of Sexual Abuse?
No two experiences of sexual abuse are the same, but some common signs may indicate a person has been a victim of sexual abuse. It is essential to be aware of these signs as they can allow victims to come forward and seek help.
Physical Signs: Physical signs of sexual abuse include bruising or bleeding from the genitals, pain when urinating or defecating, unexplained soreness in genital areas, and sexually transmitted infections (STIs). Other physical indicators could include changes in eating habits, difficulty sleeping, sudden weight gain or loss, and self-harm behaviors such as cutting.
Psychological Signs: Psychological signs of trauma may differ depending on age and development level; however, some common symptoms include depression, anxiety, fearfulness, flashbacks or nightmares, avoidance of people or places associated with the abuse, and regressed behaviors.
Parents should be aware that signs of sexual abuse may not always be immediately apparent and could manifest unexpectedly. It is vital to dialogue with your children about their bodies and feelings to discuss concerns. If your child has been a victim of sexual abuse, there is support from qualified professionals.
The Impact of Sexual Abuse
The effects of sexual abuse range from depression and anxiety to post-traumatic stress disorder and even suicidal ideation or attempts in extreme cases. Victims may also suffer from physical injuries such as bruising or broken bones due to forced physical contact or contracting sexually transmitted illnesses due to non-consensual sexual activities. Victims may experience guilt or shame due to the abuse perpetrated against them, which can manifest in many ways, like difficulty trusting others or forming intimate relationships. Survivors of sexual abuse deserve healing and the chance of justice and closure.
How Sexual Abuse Victims Can Seek Justice
The criminal justice system is designed to hold the perpetrator of sexual abuse in Pennsylvania accountable. That system determines whether a crime was committed and how the perpetrator should be punished. However, there is often a business, organization, or institution such as a church, school, residential care facility, youth organization, or health care provider that could have prevented the abuse from happening. When these organizations fail to protect victims, they can be held accountable and forced to pay compensation for the injuries the victim has suffered.
When Organizations Can Be Sued for Sexual Abuse
We frequently bring lawsuits or claims against the organization that employed the perpetrator at the time of the abuse. However, an organization in Pennsylvania is not automatically responsible when its employee commits a sexual offense. Therefore, victims generally cannot sue the perpetrator’s employer simply because of their relationship with the perpetrator. Rather, a perpetrator’s employer can be responsible for sexual abuse when they fail to protect the victim. This often happens when organizations fail to screen their employees properly or don’t adopt necessary safety policies and procedures. For example, the perpetrator was previously accused, and the employer either failed to discover the misconduct or ignored it.
We also pursue civil cases against organizations that owned or controlled the property where the sexual abuse occurred. These cases do not require the perpetrator to work for the organization and could involve a peer or an unknown third party. While the organization may not be responsible for the sexual abuse just because they owned property where it happened, they may be responsible if they had a relationship with the victim. Suppose they knew of the risk of abuse and failed to take reasonable steps to prevent the abuse from happening. For example, a youth camp knew that another camper had engaged in prior sexual misconduct but failed to supervise him properly, and he acted out again.
When Perpetrators Can Be Sued For Sexual Abuse
Unfortunately, perpetrators of sexual abuse generally do not have the assets to pay a judgment, so we are usually unable to pursue a civil case against the perpetrator. Even if they have assets, they frequently own them jointly or are not subject to a civil judgment. Victims are generally better served seeking restitution through the criminal case in these cases.
How Can An Experienced Sexual Abuse Lawyer Help?
A Pennsylvania sexual abuse lawyer experienced in representing sexual abuse victims can help you determine what kind of case you have, how best to pursue your claims, and any other legal options available. We can also advise you on the statute of limitations for each type of claim and help ensure that the evidence needed to prove your case is preserved. Additionally, an experienced lawyer from our law firm can provide emotional support during a difficult time.
Finding the right attorney to represent you is essential. When selecting a lawyer, it’s crucial to find someone with experience with cases involving sexual abuse and who understands the nuances and complexities involved with these types of lawsuits. Call us today to learn more about your legal options moving forward.