The sexual abuse of a child can cause serious emotional, psychological, and physical injuries. Survivors of childhood sexual abuse may experience enduring problems stemming from the abuse that can extend well into adulthood. These problems include trouble with interpersonal relationships, feelings of guilt, and low self-esteem. The discovery that a child has been sexually abused is a shocking one that can leave the victim, family, and even community reeling. In the aftermath of such a discovery, it can be hard to know how best to proceed.
Sexual abuse of children is a crime; however, a criminal case is not the only option for victims and families seeking justice. Virginia has recently strengthened its laws in favor of civil plaintiffs in child sexual abuse cases. The time that a victim has to file a suit against the perpetrator has been extended. In some cases the victim may have decades after the abuse occurs to file a claim. In some situations, the victim can also file claims against other parties who were either aware of the abuse or were negligent in ways that allowed the abuse to occur. This type of lawsuit typically arises against schools, churches, childcare centers, or other similar institutions. Depending on the circumstances, claims may be filed against particular individuals associated with these institutions as well.
The attorneys at Geoff McDonald & Associates are particularly sensitive when pursuing childhood sexual abuse claims, and we take special steps to prevent additional harm by minimizing the involvement of the child as much as possible. We routinely cooperate with close family members, police, prosecutors, law enforcement officials, and other individuals who are able to provide necessary evidence and information to pursue a civil complaint against perpetrators of abuse.
If you, one of your children, or another loved one have been a victim of childhood sexual abuse, call our offices at (804) 888-8888 for a free and highly confidential consultation about your options and rights. You will not owe any legal fees unless we recover money for you.