Help for Sexual Abuse Survivors in Connecticut

Under current Connecticut law, any person who claims damages as a result of being sexually abused, sexually assaulted, or sexually abused as a child has until 30 years past the age of majority (until age 48 typically) in which to file a claim in court.

Our attorneys help sexual abuse survivors and their families move forward.

Tremont & Sheldon is committed to representing all survivors of childhood sexual abuse perpetrated by family members, clergy, friends, relatives, doctors, teachers, Boy Scouts leaders, bus drivers, coaches, and anyone else in a position of authority. We are experienced at handling cases of clergy sexual abuse, teacher sexual abuse, doctor sexual abuse, and other types of sexual molestation of children by adults. We have successfully pursued civil cases for victims of these heinous criminal acts with both compassion and discretion. We are always amazed by the survivor’s courage and strength. It is our privilege to represent and aid them in their journey to recovery



Changing Legislation for Sexual Abuse Survivors

Tremont & Sheldon has been instrumental in changing legislation to allow victims to come forward years after an incident. Many times the incidents are hidden or tucked away in the survivor’s mind or the survivor is still so afraid and intimidated by the perpetrator that the thought of coming forward is almost insurmountable. Sometimes these memories are not triggered until the survivors have children of their own and they are confronted with allowing their children to go on a Boy Scouts trip, become a church helper, or go to an out-of-state swim meet. The current Connecticut law allows any person who claims damages as a result of being sexually abused, sexually assaulted, or sexually abused as a child until 30 years past the age of majority (until age 48 typically) in which to file a claim in court.

Sexual Abuse in Connecticut and Across the US

An estimated 39 million survivors of childhood sexual abuse exist in the United States today. 14% of Connecticut residents experienced childhood sexual assault. Nearly one in five girls (18%) and one in fourteen boys (7%) had been a victims of child sexual abuse (as reported by Connecticut Sexual Assault Crisis Services, Inc. – CONNSACS). Children are most vulnerable to child sexual abuse or assault between the ages of 7 and 13.

Sexual Abuse claims include situations where an adult sexually assaults a child or shows a child pornography or takes inappropriate photographs of a child. It often involves inappropriate and sexual contact such as fondling, kissing, and digital penetration. The perpetrators of these acts are often people who are well known to the victim such as a clergy member, teacher, friend of the family, or even a family member.

We're Here to Help CT Sexual Abuse Survivors

Please contact the sexual abuse victim attorneys at Tremont & Sheldon to confidentially and sensitively evaluate your case.

For more information regarding the Reardon Case and Church Abuse Cases click the appropriate button:

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Related Links


Online Resources - Victim Support Groups for Child Sexual Abuse

  • Adult Survivors of Child Abuse – Individual and group support program for adult survivors of physical, sexual, and/or emotional child abuse or neglect.
  • Connecticut Sexual Assault Crisis Services, Inc. – CONNSACS is a statewide coalition of individual sexual assault crisis programs, which work to end sexual violence through victim assistance, community education, and public policy advocacy.
  • Wounded Healer – TWHJ is the oldest point of presence on the Web for psychotherapists and others who have experienced the devastation of trauma including child abuse.
  • The Suspected Child Abuse and Neglect Program – The mission of the SCAN Program is to provide comprehensive medical and psychosocial care in a culturally sensitive manner to children who have experienced acute sexual abuse, physical abuse and neglect.
  • Yale New Haven Hospital Child Sexual Abuse Program – The Yale Child Abuse Program provides evaluation and treatment of all types of child maltreatment.

Common Questions About Sexual Abuse

  • I do not want my identity revealed. Is there a way that I can file a claim and remain anonymous?
  • You can ask permission from the Court to file your case under a pseudonym (e.g., Jane Doe or John Doe). It is up to the judge to grant or deny your request.

     

  • If there is a criminal case presently pending against the perpetrator, can I still file a civil suit?
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    Yes. The two cases can proceed at the same time, but there may be reasons to wait, if possible, until the criminal case has concluded.

     

  • The perpetrator is now dead. Can I still file a claim?
  • Yes. A claim can be filed against the estate of the perpetrator. However, there are very strict and short time restrictions for doing so.

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  • What is the difference between criminal and civil cases? Is there a different burden of proof?
  • Many people know that the burden of proof (or evidence needed to prove the case) in a criminal case is beyond a reasonable doubt. Criminal cases require a very high standard because being found guilty of a crime is at stake as well as the potential to go to jail. In a civil case, no one is accused of a crime and cannot be found guilty. Instead, the question in a civil case is whether a person was negligent and responsible for damages to another. The burden of proof in a civil case, for example a motor vehicle accident, is lower (easier to prove) than in a criminal case. The standard is “more likely than not” the person was at fault or proof of just over 50% to win the case.

     

  • What is the statute of limitations with regard to filing a sexual abuse claim?
  • Under current Connecticut law, any person who claims damages as a result of being sexually abused, sexually assaulted, or sexually exploited as a child has until 30 years past the age of majority (typically until age 48) in which to file a claim in court. However, if you claim damages as a result of being sexually assaulted as an adult, then you have a much shorter time period in which to file a lawsuit. Typically you have three years from the date of the assault to file against the perpetrator for his or her intentional acts and two years from the date of the assault to file against any other person or entity (e.g., perpetrator's employer) who may have been negligent in allowing the perpetrator to have contact with you.

  • Who are mandated reporters of suspected child abuse?
  • Under Connecticut law, the following people are mandated reporters of suspected child abuse: doctors, nurses, medical examiners, dentists, dental hygienists, psychologists, coaches, school teachers, school principals, school guidance counselors, school paraprofessionals, social workers, police officers, juvenile or adult probation and /or parole officers, members of the clergy, pharmacists, physical therapists, optometrists, chiropractors, podiatrists, mental health professionals, physician’s assistants, certified EMT providers, certified drug and alcohol counselors, licensed marital and family therapists, sexual assault and/or battered women’s counselors, paid child care providers in public or private facilities, child day care centers, licensed group and /or family day care centers, employees of the Department of Children and Families or the Department of Public Health if responsible for licensing day care centers homes or youth camps or the Office of Child Advocate and the Child Advocate.

    Any person so identified who in the course of his or her employment or profession has reasonable cause to believe or suspect that a child has been abused or neglected or has been inflicted with nonaccidental injuries or is at imminent risk of serious harm must report or cause a report to be made in accordance with state law. Violation of the law will result in a monetary fine and required participation in an educational and training program. See Connecticut General Statutes Sections 17-101(b); 17a-101a.

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Bridgeport, CT 06604

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203-335-5145

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