Princeton Sexual Abuse Lawyers
Representing Victims in Civil Sexual Abuse Claims in West Virginia
It is possible to pursue legal action related to a sexual abuse case outside of the criminal justice system, in civil court. Victims of sexual abuse can file a claim against perpetrators and liable third parties to recover compensation for damages such as medical bills, and non-economic costs like pain and suffering. Contact Katz Kantor Stonestreet & Buckner, PLLC and speak with our sexual abuse attorneys in Princeton if you are interested in filing a civil claim.
What is Considered Sexual Abuse?
Sexual abuse claims can center on a variety of cases, as the term “sexual abuse” constitutes a range of situations. Any nonconsensual sexual advance could be considered as sexual assault, and potentially viable as a civil claim. This includes cases involving manipulation, coercion, and emotional abuse, as well as cases of physical force.
Sexual abuse claims can be filed concerning instances of unwanted sexual advances. A claim may focus on cases such as:
- Intimate partner violence
How are Civil Sexual Abuse Claims Different from Criminal Cases?
Sexual abuse claims that are filed in civil court allow victims to achieve a form of justice that may not be available through criminal proceedings, in the form of compensation. Whereas criminal cases intend to punish sexual abuse offenders for violating a law, the purpose of a civil claim is to reimburse a victim for economic and non-economic damages.
Who is Liable for Damages in Civil Sexual Abuse Claims?
In civil cases, parties other than the offender could be liable for sexual abuse. A business, residence, or other entity could be held responsible if oversight in their security measures (such as inadequate lighting or insufficient locks) contributed to a sexual abuse case. In cases involving someone with a history of abusive behavior, an entity could be liable for hiring a person known to be dangerous. An apartment complex or other living space could be held liable for sexual abuse damages if they fail to perform adequate background checks or rent a residence to a known sex offender.
An institution may also be liable in a sexual abuse case if their process of investigating a sexual assault on their premises (or failure to do so) contributed to further damages. This may include situations in which sexual abuse is able to continue because an organization does not interfere in a known case.
Institutions such as the following could be held liable for sexual abuse that occurs on their premises:
- Apartment complexes
- Nursing homes
Sexual Abuse in West Virginia Statistics
According to data from the West Virginia Foundation for Rape Information and Services (FRIS), 82% of sexual assaults in the state are committed by a person the victim knows, primarily acquaintances. Seventy percent of sexual abuse cases in West Virginia occurred in a residence. A majority of 64.8% of victims were under the age of 18 at the time abuse occurred.
Nationally, 63% of sexual assaults are committed by acquaintances of the victim. Teens between the ages of 16 and 19 are “4 times more likely to be victims of rape than the general population.”
Contact Us for a Free Consultation
At Katz Kantor Stonestreet & Buckner, PLLC, our legal team is dedicated to helping the victims of sexual abuse recover justice. We can evaluate your case to identify all liable parties and hold them accountable for their negligence.
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