How to Help Sex Abuse Survivors

September 9, 2022

Unfortunately, sex abuse happens and when it does, you may be unsure of how to help or support the survivor. Those who have experienced sexual abuse go through a series of emotions and reactions. No two survivors are the same. 

Whether looking to be a supportive friend or preparing yourself to be an advocate for others, there are steps you can take. Remember, sexual abuse is a difficult, traumatic experience, and they need kindness and compassion first. Here are some steps you can take to help them recover. 

Contact an Authority

One of the best resources that many can use for those who have been sexually abused is the National Sexual Assault Hotline. This hotline provides 24/7 access to counseling through their online chat hotline or over the telephone. 

In addition to the counseling offered, they have a wealth of resources and reading materials. There are trained professionals who can provide more insight and recommendations for what the individual should do next. These can help sex abuse survivors recover mentally and emotionally before pursuing a lawsuit. 

Helping Someone in a Crisis 

It is important that you stay calm and believe the person speaking to you about what happened. There are some steps you can take to truly help someone in need after an incident like sexual abuse has occurred: 

  • Let Them Know It’s Not Their Fault – Don’t place the blame on them and don’t think about things you should have done differently. 
  • Ask Them About Their Needs –  If you’re unsure of what to do for them, this is one of the best ways to go about finding out what you can give them. Their needs will change as they work through the crisis on their own.
  • Reach Out for Help – Don’t be afraid to get outside help if you need to. You may want to help them find a therapist, seek counseling for drug or alcohol abuse, or a medical professional if they’re self-harming. There are many professionals willing and able to help after sexual abuse.
  • Don’t Exclude Aid – Whether they are trained professionals or just other friends, these individuals can make a difference. You don’t want to take this all on by yourself. It takes a team. 

These are just a few of the options you have for support when a friend or family member has suffered through sexual abuse. Beyond support, you also have the chance to help them seek out legal aid when they’re suffering. 

Filing a Civil Suit and Sexual Abuse Claim

Sexual abuse is broad in terms of what is included in this term. It can include everything from rape and sexual violence to sexual assault, incest, and even the sexual exploitation of children. It can be from a relationship or even from someone the person never knew before. 

No matter what you’ve gone through, you can still bring a claim against anyone who abused you. Even if the abuse happened to someone you love, you may have a chance to seek restitution for what happened on their behalf. 

Filing a sexual abuse claim may be against not just the abuser, but those who were there during the abuse or failed to stop the abuse. You may need a lawyer to help you determine who’s liable for your lawsuit

Let’s say your child was sexually abused at school and the teacher failed to follow the law for reporting the incident in Illinois after suspicious activity. If this happens, the teacher and other staff could have claims brought against them for violating their duty of care. 

Damages Included in a Civil Suit 

The overall goal for these sexual abuse civil suits is to receive compensation for the claim. You will want to share how this sexual assault has impacted your or the life of a loved one. Some of the damages that can be compensated in these cases include, but are not limited to:

  • Medical expenses 
  • Pain and suffering 
  • Depression and anxiety 
  • Expenses for relocation 
  • Financial support and lost wages 
  • Counseling and other mental health treatments 
  • Court and attorney fees 

Seek Out a Sex Abuse Lawyer 

If you or a loved one has suffered through sexual abuse, you may have grounds for a lawsuit. While a lawsuit can’t help a survivor wipe away those memories, it can help you get the support needed to recover from a traumatic experience. 

Remember, you’re not alone in this and you have options. Speak with our team here at Lane Brown, LLC by calling 312-332-1400 or by completing the following online contact form. We are here to provide the support and legal help you need. We can answer any questions you may have and listen to your specific situation. 

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