Caring and Compassionate Legal Representation for Survivors of Childhood Sexual Abuse
The Dallas child sexual abuse lawyersat Crowe Arnold & Majors LLP are here to help brave survivors who are ready to pursue justice. The #MeToo movement has lessened the stigma and taboo of speaking up about sexual abuse, as America has come to grips with how widespread a problem it really is. One in 10 children will be sexually abused by an adult before age 18. Changing attitudes have made it easier for adult survivors to come forward.
The effects of child sexual abuse can last a lifetime. Many victims experience ongoing mental and emotional effects years after the abuse. A lawsuit can hold those at fault accountable for the unthinkable acts while providing compensation to allow the victims to receive treatment that can help them on their journey to recovery.
Our empathetic attorneys are here to listen to your experience and determine whether you have the right to file a lawsuit. It costs nothing upfront or out-of-pocket to pursue civil redress.
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State of Limitations for a Texas Child Sexual Abuse Lawsuit
Statutes of limitations are strict deadlines – if a victim does not file a lawsuit before the applicable statute expires, they lose the right to pursue a claim.
In Texas, the laws have changed relatively recently to afford greater protection to minors who have been abused. If you were sexually abused prior to September 1, 2019, you have until age 33 to file a civil lawsuit. In 2019, Texas increased the statute of limitations to seek financial reparations; if you were sexually abused after September 1, 2019, you now have until age 48 to file a civil lawsuit.
State laws are constantly changing, however. Child abuse victims are currently petitioning the Texas government for a lookback window that would allow survivors of any age to come forward when the time is right for them – similar to what New York and California have done. There is no time limit on pursuing criminal charges through local law enforcement and the District Attorney’s office. To know for certain if you are beyond the statute of limitations or to find out if your case falls under an exception, contact a compassionate Dallas personal injury lawyer with experience in sexual abuse cases for a free consultation.
Why Call a Dallas Child Sexual Abuse Lawyer in Dallas?
Breaking the barrier of silence and opening up about molestation isn’t easy – which is why an estimated 80 percent of sexual abuse cases go unreported. It’s crucial that you understand what happened was not your fault, and you do not need to deal with this alone.
Adults who prey upon children need to be held accountable not only for the profound harm they have caused but also for the financial cost to the victim.
Sexual abuse costs the average survivor approximately $210,012 in healthcare, social services, and other costs. Further impacts may include substance abuse treatment, mental health counseling, educational expenses, teen pregnancies, and the treatment of obesity-related disorders like type 2 diabetes and heart disease.
Coming to terms with what happened to you can be an empowering pathway to healing, while providing you with the money you need for the fresh start you deserve. The molestation lawyers in Dallas at Crowe, Arnold, and Majors have the experience and knowledge to seek maximum compensation for your past, present, and future suffering.
- We listen to you and believe you.
- We conduct a thorough investigation to build a rock-solid case.
- We help you connect with local treatment centers and survivor services.
- We subpoena documents and hold institutions accountable for allowing the abuse of children.
Church Sexual Abuse by Clergy
Cases involving abuse by a religious leader feature several complexities. When clergy members abuse their position as spiritual leaders, they can leave a wake of mistrust by their victims and the public at large. Unfortunately, religious organizations have essentially revictimized victims by covering up the abuse. Thankfully, the tide is turning and child sexual abuse victims of the clergy are being taken seriously.
In 2019, Catholic dioceses in Texas released a list of all “credible reports” of child sexual abuse committed by clergy. The allegations included the names of 286 priests, with a history of abuse dating back to 1941. More than 30 priests accused of child molestation were from Dallas dioceses. The state’s release represented the largest collection of names since the Pennsylvania grand jury report released in July 2018. The names were released in an effort to face “the grave crisis in the Church” and offer up “prayers, outreach, and support” for victims who are urged to come forward.
Sexual Abuse in Boy Scouts of America
Boy Scouts of America has sought to prepare young men for life, but reports of rampant abuse in chapters across the country reveal that it has also been a magnet for child molesters. Worse still, there is evidence that the Boy Scouts of America organization knew about widespread youth organization sexual abuse of minors but failed to act – even covering up the wrongdoing. Abusers were free to continue harming children within the organization or in similar organizations.
The Boy Scout “perversion files” list includes more than 7,800 scout leaders’ names and abuses dating back more than seven decades; at least 21 confirmed abusers were from chapters in Dallas. Though the organization has filed for bankruptcy, it can still be held accountable for failure to conduct background checks, supervise, and report known abusers to the proper authorities.
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Sexual Abuse of Minors in School and Sports
The sexual abuse of a minor in school is almost unfathomable, as society places educational facilities in such high regard, but at least 12 Dallas teachers have been investigated for sexual misconduct in recent years – the most of any Texas school district. Youth sports also place students in a vulnerable position. Students may spend several hours or more each week in the care of coaches and other personnel, usually without any parental supervision.
Reports suggest the number of students molested by teachers has increased year-over-year for the past decade. School districts and youth sports organizations can ultimately be held responsible for failures to protect students.
Sexual Abuse in Daycare
Every day, parents place their youngest and most vulnerable children in daycare facilities, which makes sexual abuse of a child in a daycare setting even more heartbreaking. Abuse may take place in an opportunistic moment, but daycare settings also provide the opportunity for grooming by predators to gain the trust and compliance of victims.
Daycare sexual abuse has been an enormous problem at Texas facilities. More than 450 children were sexually abused, and 88 others died of abuse and neglect in Texas daycares from 2007-2017, according to an Austin American-Statesman investigation. Though the state has reduced surveillance of illegal daycare centers in recent years, nearly half of the children who died were in this type of facility. Overall, regulators issued 3,200 citations for abuse and neglect, though most facilities got off with a $112 penalty at most for failing to conduct adequate background checks, and were allowed to continue operating despite scores of violations. Staffing levels at state daycares are among the worst in the nation.
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Statutory Rape in Texas
Texas defines statutory rape as an adult aged 18 or older who engages in sex with those under 17 years of age. A minor does not possess the legal right to give informed consent, even if the acts were allegedly “consensual.” The law is broken down into three categories: aggravated sexual assault (penetration of victims under age 14); sexual assault (penetration of victims age 14-17); and indecency with a child (sexual touching and conduct with victims under age 17). Texas does have a so-called “Romeo and Juliet” law, which protects young adults from prosecution when there is less than a three-year age gap, the other party is at least 14, and the act was deemed consensual.
Statutory rape offenses are crimes. The offender may face jail time and fines, and be required to register as a sex offender. Many victims of statutory rape find that a lawsuit provides a faster means of justice and that they have more say in the process. A lawsuit is separate and apart from any criminal prosecution that the perpetrator may face.
No amount of compensation can undo the emotional pain that sexual assault can cause a child. What an award of damages can do is provide the victim and their family with the means to afford tools for recovery. It can include payment for both economic and non-economic losses, such as:
- Medical bills
- Counseling and other mental health services
- Lost income
- Emotional suffering, including anxiety, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, and sleep disorders
In cases in which the defendant acted particularly egregiously, the court may also award the victim punitive damages to punish the defendant.
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A Dallas sexual abuse victim lawyer is a special type of personal injury attorney who has the training to deal sensitively with victims. Our attorneys have a firm grasp of various complex laws that may pertain to your case. We have the resources to offer contingency-based representation and the confidence to go up against well-insured institutions that aid and abet known child predators.
Contact our law offices in northern Texas today to connect with a sensitive, caring team who is committed to seeking justice for survivors, while holding abusers and enablers accountable. Call to schedule a free, completely confidential consultation with our Dallas personal injury lawyers.