Sexual abuse is a crime that anyone can be victim to, regardless of age, gender, or race. It is often a crime that the victim can do little to prevent, and leaves a devastating impact. This is why we find it so important to amplify the voices of survivors by helping them hold their abusers accountable as well as the systems that allowed their abuse to occur. If someone is abused by the institution they have put their trust into, or if someone’s loved one is abused as a result of negligence from the institution, generous damages are owed.
What Constitutes Abuse in New Jersey
New Jersey law is strict about what is considered sexual abuse. Sexual abuse is unwanted sexual contact, and penalties increase with the forcefulness of the contact, the age and mental capacity of the victim, and the role the abuser has in the victim’s life. For instance, criminal sexual contact in the fourth degree is the lowest level of sexual abuse in New Jersey and has such definitions as “the actor uses physical force or coercion, but the victim does not sustain severe personal injury;” and “the victim is at least 13 but less than 16 years old and the actor is at least 4 years older than the victim.”
On the other end of the spectrum, aggravated assault in the first degree is the most serious form of sexual abuse. It’s definitions are wide ranging, covering excessive use of force and victims who are known to be mentally incapacitated by the abuser.
The punishment for those convicted of these crimes in criminal court range from 18 months in prison to over 25 years in prison. The law recognizes the severity of sexual abuse, and so too should institutions.
Why We Target Institutions
As a personal injury firm, we don’t pursue criminal convictions. Instead, we work to get our clients the compensation they deserve and promote the systemic change we all need. Every day, we all put our trust in institutions, whether it’s our jobs, our transportation, our housing, or our education. We rely on them to do their most to keep us safe, and when they fail to do so we all suffer. This is why every survivor’s voice counts.
Institutions we take on:
Damages Available for Victims and Survivors of Sexual Abuse
Not all victims of abuse were directly assaulted, and not all of those who were directly assaulted are survivors. This is the sad reality of sexual abuse, and the reason why it’s so important to make sure abuse never goes unpunished.
Claimable damages for sexual abuse include:
Many instances of abuse require a medical examination and possible treatment. If this is the case, you can be compensated for any out of pocket expenses you accrued due to the assault.
Pain and Suffering
Abuse, even in it’s least aggressive forms, can be cripplingly traumatic. If you have required rehabilitation, mental health counselling, or have found life increasingly difficult due to the abuse, you can receive compensation for your pain and suffering.
Not every victim is a survivor. If you lost a loved one as a result of an act of sexual abuse, whether directly or due to mental or physical health problems resulting from the abuse, you are owed more than can ever be repaid. Wrongful death claims factor in the victim’s age, income, and liabilities to determine a fair compensation for their loss to their loved ones.
Sexual Abuse Lawyers at Your Defense
Seigel Law in New Jersey understands the importance of a strong defense and are here to fight for your rights. Our team will work to find the best option for your case, and won’t charge you a penny unless we recover damages for you. Contact our office in Ridgewood, NJ today to discuss options and to schedule your free consultation.