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Filing a Civil Lawsuit for Sexual Harassment

By Mart Gil Abareta

At present, there are lots of sexual harassment victims who never come forward and report this crime. Many states have special rules for lawsuits brought by adults who suffered sexual abuse as a child. Sometimes, state laws extend the time period during which an adult can bring such a lawsuit. This is popularly known as statute of limitations. It is often difficult to win such cases, as any evidence of the incident/s and damages has faded during the time the child is growing up.

Sexual abuse is a term used when an unlawful sexual contact or other kinds of sex-related impropriety happens between a child and an adult, or a young child and a much older child. When your child has been sexually abused, you can bring a civil lawsuit against the abuser and report the behavior as a crime. While a child is still a minor, the child’s parent or guardian must bring a lawsuit on the child’s behalf. After a child becomes an adult, the adult child may bring the lawsuit.

Some of the possible reasons for these cases include the grooming techniques an offender uses to make the victim feel as if he or she was an active participant in the abuse itself; the victim of sexual abuse may be very aware that people may doubt his/her disclosure, their character, their choices, and because of this perception, they may not disclose.

Investigators, juries, judges, prosecutors and everyone else must understand that rape victims, immediately following the assault, may not react with all of their normal faculties. When someone suffers a traumatic event, it may take a while for your head to clear and your heart rate to return to normal.

Child abuse laws in most states require the people who know the incident to report the abuse to authorities. Teachers, doctors and police are usually required by law to report evidence of child abuse. A person violating these laws and failing to report the sexual abuse of a child may also be liable to the child for the injuries suffered by the child.

Many victims of sexual abuse do fully recover. This is not to suggest that they ever forget about what occurred, because they do not. However, they can, with the help of family, friends, and professionals, go on with their lives and be happy again. And, it is very important that when a victim of sexual abuse comes forth and reports the crime to family, friends, law enforcement, and others, that he or she be listened to in the sincerest fashion possible.

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