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Sexual abuse could happen to anyone and is truly one of the most devastating types of abuse for a victim to endure. It is a horrific crime that typically inflicts lasting emotional and physical harm to the victim. It’s important for victims to understand that regardless of what, why, or how it happens— abuse is never the victim’s fault.

What is Sexual Abuse?

This particular kind of abuse can occur in many different forms. These offenses are usually identified as any sexual encounters without the consent of all individuals involved. Sexual abuse is not limited to unwanted physical contact alone. Violations of sexual abuse can include:

  • Indecent exposure

  • Sexual harassment

  • Inappropriate touching or molestation

  • Rape or attempted rape

  • Forcing someone to view or participate in pornography

  • Sexual exploitation of children

Sexual abuse is a type of personal injury. If you or a loved one have been (or currently are) a victim, you’ll want an experienced personal injury lawyer on your side who can help you stop the abuse and pursue your right to dignified recovery and safety. At the Law Office of Jeff Martin & Associates, we believe that victims of sexual abuse deserve justice, and the perpetrators of it should be stopped from being able to commit further harm.

Sexual abuse cases are often quite complex due to the sensitive nature of the details surrounding them. Victims may be hesitant to seek treatment or talk about their injuries out of fear or embarrassment. Especially with statistics showing that most sexual abuse happens by people we know. The abuser might be a friend, relative, co-worker or other casual acquaintance, or even a boss which can complicate the emotions underlying a victim’s recovery process.



The Effects of Sexual Abuse

Depending on the kind of sexual abuse experienced, there could be a range of injuries that a victim suffers as a result. Physical bodily injuries might range from bruises to STIs, while emotional harm could include anxiety, depression, or even PTSD. The emotional trauma often lasts well after any physical scars or signs of abuse have gone.

Medical bills can be costly for any injury, but sexual abuse victims often require more specialized and expensive medical attention. When the victim is suffering ongoing emotional distress, counseling or therapy might be the best option for the support they need to recover. The road to recovery for this type of abuse can have long-term financial implications for the victim’s family that they might not have prepared for. Consulting with legal counsel can help you determine whether you have grounds to file a civil case in order to hold the perpetrator financially responsible for such costs.

You Can Sue for Sexual Abuse

When a person misuses their position of power or authority to take advantage of someone in their care or charge, this is abuse. Sexual abuse can happen in a variety of everyday situations — situations in which we should be able to reasonably trust those around us, including:

  • Churches or other community organizations

  • Daycares and schools

  • Foster care facilities and homes

  • Gatherings with friends, relatives, or neighbors

  • Nursing homes and assisted living facilities

  • Places of employment

When sexual abuse is inflicted by someone who works for a school, church, nursing home, or place of employment that you find yourself involved with, the violation can be shocking. The business or organization where the abuse occurs could potentially be held liable for facilitating an environment that allowed for abuse to happen. With an aggressive attorney, you could sue the business entity along with the responsible party directly. It's what we refer to in law as agency theory.

Generally, the employee is covered by insurance of some sort or the business organization has enough income that a judgment can actually be paid. As far as we’re concerned, the responsible parties (both the abuser and the organization) are on the hook for the judgment you deserve and will fight for it as necessary.

Can I Sue a Friend, Relative, Or Neighbor?

If the abuser is not associated with a larger group, and is more familiar to you as family or a friend, you can still sue them for the harm or threats they impose upon you. Any judgment for compensation ordered by a judge would have to be paid by the abuser directly. This can lead to wage garnishment, intercepting tax returns, and foreclosure on assets to satisfy the judgment. Knowledgeable attorneys will be able to walk you through your legal options and fight for the justice you deserve.


We don't want you to worry about whether or not you can afford an attorney. At the Law Office of Jeff Martin & Associates, we don't get paid unless you do. With over 40 years of combined experience, we know how to balance the levels of attention and sensitivity that sexual abuse cases require. Call us for a free consultation.