Attorney describes the power of civil litigation in helping survivors of sexual abuse find vindication and closure, while preventing similar abuse from happening to others.
In Connecticut, you typically have until age 48 to claim damage as a result of being sexually abused as a child. Sexual abuse survivors often come to us hoping to pursue a criminal action and unfortunately learn that the statute of limitation has already passed.
In that case, their only legal option is to make a civil claim for monetary compensation, which may seem like it won’t have as much impact as a criminal case. But it does accomplish several important things.
It’s empowering for the survivors to be able to stand up and make these claims, and a settlement is validation of their claims and of what they went through. I think it’s very important as they go through their lives to know that they didn’t remain silent, that they were able to standup and do something about it, and that they did get compensation for it.
I only can hope that it has a stifling effect with respect to institutions, such as religious institution, schools, camps or universities. These abusers will know that maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow, but at some point in time, they’re going to be held accountable for what they’re doing, and equally important that the institution realize is that it’s not enough just to have policies to protect children, they better enforce those policies and be vigilant about enforcing those polices.
If you know someone who was sexually abused, I’ll sit down and discuss their legal options and what they can expect if they decide to pursue a case. Please contact me to learn more about how I can help.