Sexual abuse is one of the most devastating and traumatic events a person can experience. Dealing with the aftermath of sexual abuse can often be just as difficult as the assault itself. Many victims report feelings of self-harm, depression, anxiety and even experience symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder.
However, there are a few ways that survivors of sexual abuse can pick up the pieces of their lives and move forward. Ongoing mental health counseling can be a great asset to many survivors, and the pursuit of a civil lawsuit can often be an empowering experience. Continue reading to learn more about these ways to help victims of sex abuse.
Mental Health Counseling Can Make a Difference
The effects of sexual abuse are quite a challenge to overcome. Apart from the aforementioned reported effects, survivors of sexual abuse can also experience eating disorders, withdraw socially, have thoughts of suicide, flashbacks, insomnia, dissociation, develop substance abuse issues, have nightmares and even be plagued by sexually transmitted infections.
The vast majority of people simply aren’t prepared to help someone who has been a victim of sexual abuse. Mental health counselors have the education and experience necessary to help survivors work through all of the complex emotions they are surely feeling. The best thing you can do is help the person you care for get the treatment they need and make sure they know that they aren’t alone during this difficult time.
Pursuing a Civil Lawsuit
Many survivors of sexual assault or abuse take on their abusers in court. Civil court is much different from criminal court, however.
In a criminal trial, the prosecution brings criminal charges against the abuser. If convicted, the abuser can face fines, imprisonment, be required to register as a sex offender, and a number of other penalties. In civil court, you as the survivor are bringing a claim against your abuser to compensate you for the damage they’ve caused.
Some of the losses that your attorney may consider in your claim include relocation costs, the loss of enjoyment of life, medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and the loss of companionship and love to name a few. It will be up to your attorney to ensure that no loss goes unaccounted for when bringing a civil claim against your abuser.
Consult with an Experienced Sex Abuse Lawyer
When you’re ready to bring a civil lawsuit against the perpetrator of the abuse you endured, you need the help of attorneys who handle sex abuse claims. Your lawyer should be compassionate, understanding and make sure that you feel comfortable expressing what you’ve been through.
Take advantage of the free consultation they offer so that you have an opportunity to feel out your potential attorney before you commit to working with them. Bringing your abuser to justice can be one of the best ways to reclaim control over your life.