Teddy bear sitting on a windowsill facing the outside in a darkened room

Childhood sexual abuse shattered your life. When a victim is finally able to speak up about what happened, many find their family does not believe their accusations. Others discover that the family goes silent, never wanting the subject brought up again.

Knowing your family does not believe you underwent this traumatic experience is a heavy burden to bear. However, carrying the psychological and emotional pain from sexual abuse is an even heavier burden.

A Dallas sexual assault victim lawyer at Crowe Arnold & Majors, LLP treats you with the dignity you deserve and works hard so that sexual abusers are held liable for your injuries. You deserve justice, and we are here to pursue it for you.

If Family Members Do Not Believe You

The overwhelming majority of child molesters are family members, close friends, neighbors, or people with standing in the community. The latter includes teachers, coaches, Scout leaders, religious instructors, or doctors. For some family members, it is simply inconceivable that this person would do such a horrible thing. When the molester is a relative, the entire fabric of the family is affected.

Family dynamics may also come into play if the knowledge of the molestation threatens financial stability. For example, if you relay that your stepfather sexually abused you in your childhood, and he is the main or only provider, the family’s economic stability could come crashing down. It is devastating to know that family members may decide not to believe you based on their own financial security, but it is not uncommon.   

Perhaps your family wants to protect themselves from the social consequences of the crime. If they admit this happened, they may become social pariahs, losing old friends and their support network.

There are also circumstances in which a family member confronts the accused person, who then denies the molestation. A he said/she said situation then arises. Unfortunately, some family members may believe the perpetrator over the victim.

Many people simply do not understand the nature of sexual abusers. They think they would have noticed something, or wonder why you did not tell them at the time. They do not realize that sexual abusers groom their victims and know how to manipulate them into keeping quiet. They are unaware of the emotional and physical cries for help a sexually abused child may display. This might include a drop in school performance, acting out, or frequent complaints of stomach aches and similar ailments. They cannot imagine these are signs of sexual abuse.

How Coming Forward Can Help

Family reaction is a frequent reason that some childhood sexual abuse survivors do not pursue a personal injury lawsuit against the perpetrator, but sufficient evidence can change family members’ minds.

A Dallas personal injury attorney will investigate the case thoroughly. The evidence found may corroborate your story. Once your family learns what actually happened, they may realize you were telling the truth. Healing can begin.

Filing a Personal Injury Lawsuit

While you might prefer family support before filing a personal injury lawsuit against your abuser and the entities that may have facilitated such abuse, the bottom line is that filing such a lawsuit is your decision alone.

Entities that may have facilitated child sexual abuse include school districts, religious institutions, sports leagues, camps, and similar organizations.

As of 9/1/19,  the statute of limitations for a civil lawsuit over child sexual abuse in Texas is 30 years from the date the victim turns 18. Before that date, the statute of limitations was just 15 years.

Contact a Dallas Sexual Assault Injury Lawyer

If you were a victim of childhood sexual abuse but your family does not believe you, you need the services of a compassionate personal injury lawyer at Crowe Arnold & Majors, LLP. Complete our online form or call us 24/7 to schedule a free and confidential consultation.

We can also recommend childhood sexual assault survivors groups or therapists specializing in treating such victims. Even if your family does not believe you, there are ways to move forward in your recovery.

Because we work on a contingency basis, you pay no fee unless you receive compensation.