The Hardest Step – When a Survivor of Sexual Abuse Comes Forward
There are a hundred reasons why people don’t claim for sexual abuse. Some are solid reasons, some are rooted in myths.
It happened a life time ago.
I don’t remember exactly all the details.
No one will believe me.
It will just pull me down again.
The police refused to lay charges.
There is no way I could go to trial.
For example, the police have a much tougher “beyond a reasonable doubt” test in order to lay a criminal charge. But just because they choose not to charge does not for a moment mean that you don’t have the right to sue for compensation anyway.
As for not being believed, it is true that it will be very difficult to prove some kinds of cases. For example, we are not allowed by the courts to claim compensation for “recovered memories” that emerged during counseling. But if you have always recalled the substance of the abuse, even if many details are vague, and if you are a credible witness, more often than not your case will succeed.
For some, a lawsuit is a chance to confront the abuser or the institution that permitted the abuse to happen. For others, it is too painful and, no matter what level of counseling we offer in the process, for them it is often better not to proceed.
But help us help you get the facts you need on the law and on what is and is not doable. If you are a survivor of sexual abuse, contact a lawyer to see how we can help you. We are in your corner.