- What is the legal definition of sexual abuse?
- Does a victim of sexual abuse share responsibility with the abuser?
- Can victims of sexual abuse sue abusers?
- Who can you bring a civil lawsuit against?
- Is a criminal conviction required before there can be a civil lawsuit?
- Is there a time limit connected to suing an abuser?
- What is the process for bringing suit?
- Can a victim's identity be shielded from the public?
What is the legal definition of sexual abuse?
Sexual abuse includes any unwanted sexual conduct such as touching any parts of the body which a victim considers to be “private". It is considered to be sexual abuse to cause another person of any age to have unwanted contact with any of the “private” parts of the body whether or not there is actual penetration. It may also be sexual abuse to watch and/or photograph and/or videotape such acts of a person with or without the person’s knowledge unless the person has given actual consent.
Does a victim of sexual abuse share responsibility with the abuser?
Sexual abuse is never the fault of the person who is abused. While an abuser may try to make the victim feel as if he or she is responsible for the abuse, this is not ever true.
Can victims of sexual abuse sue abusers?
Yes. Connecticut law allows victims who are survivors of sexual abuse to bring claims in civil court against those responsible for the abuse in order to recover financial compensation. Victims can be awarded monetary damages for emotional and/or psychological damage.
Who can you bring a civil lawsuit against?
We are able to bring civil lawsuits on behalf of sexual abuse survivors against the person or people who actually committed the abuse or assisted in committing the abuse, as well as against any organizations responsible for supervising the activities of the abuser and/or the abused person. This category includes, but is not limited to, church groups, schools, youth groups, day care centers, before and after school programs and social organizations who are responsible for the supervision of children who have contact with the adults in the employ of the organization.
Is a criminal conviction required before there can be a civil lawsuit?
A civil lawsuit brought by a victim of sexual abuse is not dependent on or related to a criminal conviction of the abuser. They are separate proceedings and the lack of a criminal conviction for sexual abuse does not affect the ability of a victim to bring a civil action. Many times a victim of abuse is embarrassed and does not wish to come forward and tell others about the abuse. For this reason, many cases of sexual abuse are never brought in the criminal court. Further, when a case is brought in the civil court, the abused person has the option to bring the case in a way that his or her identity is concealed from the public.
Is there a time limit connected to suing an abuser?
In the state of Connecticut the statute of limitations, the time for bringing a sexual abuse case to civil court, does not expire until the victim is 48 years old if the abuse took place while the victim was a minor. You should contact us to discuss specific facts of your case.
What is the process for bringing suit?
In order to bring a civil suit against a perpetrator of sexual abuse in the state of Connecticut, the abuse has to have occurred in the state of Connecticut. Also, the abuser must reside in the state because a state marshal must deliver the legal papers to the abuser either in person or at the place where the abuser lives. After a copy of the papers is properly legally delivered, the case is filed in the Superior Court for the district where the victim lives.
Can a victim's identity be shielded from the public?
Yes. Connecticut law provides for victims of sexual abuse to file lawsuits in a fictitious name. There are specific laws that have been passed to protect the identity of victims. It is always the option of the victim. We regularly bring claims under fictitious names such as John Doe or Jane Roe, which allow victims to remain anonymous. As a result of that law, we have the ability to ensure that there is no public release of the victim’s identity.
For more information please contact us today at (860) 985-9424 for a FREE consultation. We represent clients on a contingency basis. That means you do not pay any attorney fees unless and until we win financial compensation on your behalf.