Sexual Abuse Lawyers Serving Coral Springs
The National Sexual Violence Resource Center (NSVRC) reports that about one-third of American women and one-sixth of men will be victims of sexual assault in their lifetimes. This includes child sex abuse or rape by family, coaches, educators, clergy, and other authority figures. The NSVRC reports that about one in six boys and one in four girls are victims of child sex abuse in the United States.
Sexual abuse can have devastating effects on the victims. About 81% of women who have been sexually assaulted suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
Getting back on your feet after sexual assault is challenging, but you don't have to go through it alone. Our sex abuse attorneys at Frankl Kominsky Injury Lawyers serving Coral Springs are committed to providing a safe space for victims of sexual assault.
If you or a loved one are the victims of sexual abuse in Florida, local and federal laws protect your rights. Sexual assault victims in Florida have the right to file criminal and civil charges.
Call (561) 800-8000 to contact the sexual abuse lawyers at Frankl Kominsky serving Coral Springs and schedule a free and confidential consultation to discuss your legal options.What Is Sexual Abuse in Florida?
According to Florida law, sexual abuse or assault legally means sexual battery. Florida courts consider rape and other forms of sexual assault as sexual battery.
Sexual abuse or battery is when one person engages in sexual activity with another without their consent or when that consent is revoked. The Florida sexual assault statute also defines sexual battery as oral, vaginal, or anal penetration with a sexual organ or foreign object without having consent.
The following acts constitute sexual abuse in Florida:
- Unwanted touching
- Sexual assault
- Sexual harassment
- Statutory rape
Romantic relationships or marriages aren't a defense for sexual abuse. Abusers often make victims feel they consented and were guilty of the assault.
When someone violates your rights, they should be held accountable for their actions through a civil suit for damages.Understanding Consent
Florida laws define consent as the intelligent, deliberate, and voluntary agreement to participate in sexual acts. Sexual acts without battery are defined as having sex with someone without their consent.
Failure of the victim to offer physical resistance against the sexual assault isn't legally regarded as consent. Taking no action is not the same as giving permission.
The legal age of consent in Florida is 18. Any sexual contact between a person aged 24 or older and a teenager aged 16 or 17 is considered a second-degree felony of sexual battery under Florida Code 794.05.
A person 17 or younger cannot legally consent to someone 24 or older. Engaging in sexual acts with a child under 12 by an adult is a serious offense punishable by death or life in prison. Child sexual abuse is a heinous crime that warrants severe punishment.
Besides minors and children, other classes of people who can't legally consent to engage in sexual activity include people who are:
- Mentally ill
- Intellectually disabled
- Physically handicapped
- Heavily intoxicated
- Physically helpless
People with these conditions are especially vulnerable to sexual violence because of their incapacity for mental or physical resistance. Therefore, they can't give legal consent.
Although men can be victims of unwanted sexual abuse, women, children, and the cognitively or physically disabled are at a much higher risk.Where Does Sexual Abuse Happen?
Sexual abuse can happen in any setting. Various cases over recent years prove the pervasiveness of sexual assault with shocking allegations against the Boy Scouts of America, churches, and many universities or institutions.
Many abusers in authoritative positions use these positions to lure their victims.
A company or institution may be held partially liable for sexual assaults that occur on company property. Such locations include:
- Educational institutions
- Sporting organizations
- Charity organizations
- Apartment complexes or business premises with poor security
- Daycare facilities
- Nursing homes
Our team has experienced sexual assault attorneys who can advise you on whether or not third parties share blame for the abuse. You may be able to sue people who protected your abuser in court. Please get in touch with Frankl Kominsky Injury Lawyers to speak to an attorney.Negligent Security
Sexual assault may be performed by people with frequent contact with the victim, such as coworkers, coaches, childcare personnel, or service providers. They may be random acts of violence committed in a public place like a shopping mall, hotel, or nightclub.
Public place owners are responsible for offering sufficient security for visitors. However, in many cases of sex abuse, another individual or organization is often at fault for failing to take adequate steps, such as:
- Failing to investigate employee backgrounds
- Failure to keep a known abuser from interacting with children and other victims
- Failure to offer adequate security measures
You can initiate a civil claim against the property's owner for negligence if a sexual assault occurs on the premises because the location lacks the necessary security measures.The Impacts of Sexual Assault
Sexual abuse has far-reaching consequences affecting victims, loved ones, and communities.Effects on Victims
Sexual abuse can still have lasting effects on a survivor's life, irrespective of how long ago an assault happened. Different people have unique reactions to sexual assault. Feelings of guilt, humiliation, dread, numbness, shock, and solitude are common responses.
Physical effects of sexual abuse include personal injuries, pregnancy worries, and the possibility of contracting a sexually transmitted infection. Sexual violence has a wide range of economic impacts, from medical bills to lost wages due to absences from work.
Post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety, despair, and isolation are only some of the long-term psychological effects survivors may suffer if their trauma is not treated.Long-Term Impacts of Sexual Abuse
Sexual abuse violates the victim's trust and personal dignity. It may take some time to process what has happened and how to move forward with recovery from the harrowing ordeal.
The brain reacts to trauma in different ways. Recognizing the effects of abuse and learning signs that you are suffering may help determine when to seek professional help.Anxiety
Anxiety happens as a response to perceived danger. Feeling unsafe around particular people or in specific environments is natural after experiencing sexual abuse. Anxiety has physical and psychological symptoms.
Some of the signs of anxiety may include:
- Obsessive thoughts
- Feeling nervous
- Digestive tract problems
Experiencing mild anxiety is normal during stressful situations. However, when anxiety gets in the way of regular life, it may be time to do something about it.
If you're suffering from anxiety, your healthcare physician may refer you to services that can help. Treatment options may include medication and individual and group therapy. Self-care activities like yoga, meditation, or journaling may also help.Depression
Depression affects millions of Americans. Sexual abuse survivors often report feeling guilty, hopeless, and extremely sad. It is essential to remember that you are not to blame for the abuse.
Abusers are manipulative and often shift blame or make you question your role in the abuse. But it is crucial to maintain your mental health
Below are some common signs of depression:
- Reduced interest in activities that you used to enjoy
- Change in sleeping cycles
- Change in eating patterns
- Mood changes
- Concentration problems
About 10% of the population will get PTSD at some point. The prevalence of PTSD among women is significantly higher than in men. People who have experienced severe trauma often develop post-traumatic stress disorder.
This condition often presents the same symptoms as anxiety and sadness. Those who have PTSD have a hard time forgetting about their ordeal. They can be plagued by recurring nightmares or anxious thoughts about recalling the incident, often triggered by various factors.
Luckily, PTSD is treatable through evidence-based therapies like counseling and medications. If you think you have post-traumatic stress disorder after sexual abuse, contact your healthcare provider immediately.Effects of Sexual Abuse on Loved Ones
Sexual assault can affect people around the survivor, including their:
- Family members
Loved ones may experience a wide range of reactions and emotions, such as dread, remorse, self-blame, and anger, as they try to understand what happened.Impacts of Sexual Abuse on Communities and Society
When sexual assault happens in a community, people may react with shock, horror, anger, or denial. This can occur in any setting, including schools, neighborhoods, businesses, colleges, and cultural or religious groups.
Any form of violence erodes people's ability to feel safe in their communities. The associated costs of sexual violence, like medical care, increase the financial burden on communities.
There is no way to measure the unrealized potential of a society plagued by sexual assault. Because of fear and oppression, it fosters, sexual violence undermines the foundations of safety and trust that people seek to feel in their communities.What Are Your Legal Rights After Sexual Abuse in Coral Springs, FL?
Victims of sexual assault in Florida have the right to file criminal and civil lawsuits. It is crucial to remember that a not-guilty result in a criminal trial does not prevent you from pursuing civil charges. You might be allowed to pursue a civil case even if there was never enough evidence for a criminal charge.
A civil case allows you to recover financial damages after sexual assault. While no amount of money can take away the pain of sexual abuse, it can help pay for therapy that can help you overcome your trauma.
Damages awarded in Florida sexual abuse cases may include:Medical Bills
Sexual assault usually causes varying degrees of emotional and physical pain. Individual or group therapy may help sexual assault survivors recover from the ordeal.
Victims of sexual assault often experience symptoms of anxiety, sadness, and post-traumatic stress disorder. Compensation from a personal injury claim can be used to pay for medical care, counseling, prescription drugs, and even testing fees.Pain and Suffering
The emotional toll of a sexual assault can be devastating. The effects of an assault can last a lifetime. Damages for "pain and suffering" are meant to help you recover from the trauma of an assault by paying for things like mental anguish, bodily discomfort, and loss of enjoyment of life.Lost Wages
Financial losses might occur after experiencing a sexual assault. Each person reacts uniquely to the trauma of sexual abuse. This could make it difficult for some people to get back into the workforce temporarily or permanently.
This is especially true if the assault or event happened at the workplace. Filing a personal injury case can help you recover lost wages.Punitive Damages
Florida courts may award punitive damages in certain situations. Punitive damages penalize the party at fault for extreme negligence or recklessness. Sexual assault is a severe problem, but it's even more disturbing when an institution knows about it but does nothing to stop it.
In sexual abuse cases, punitive damages may be awarded when the institution responsible for the victim's safety and security defends the accused perpetrator. If you want to know more about the damages in these cases, feel free to talk to one of our lawyers.The Statute of Limitations in Florida
The statute of limitation for filing criminal or personal injury lawsuits varies by state. Civil cases have a different statute of limitations than criminal charges. The time restriction for filing criminal charges in Florida varies from case to case.
There is no statute of limitations for filing an abuse claim if the victim was younger than 16 when it happened or if they died because of the abuse. For other sexual assault cases, the time frame may be as little as four years from the date of the ordeal.
The time limit for filing a civil claim depends on various factors. So you should contact a sexual abuse lawyer soonest possible after the incident.
- It is never too late to make a civil claim on behalf of a victim who is under the age of 16.
- The clock does not start ticking on the statute of limitations until the victim turns 18.
- For most other cases, survivors have four years from the date of the incident to launch a civil complaint.
Don't hesitate to contact us to discuss the details of your prospective claim and to allow us to ascertain the applicable statutes of limitation.How Coral Springs Sexual Abuse Lawyers Can Help
Florida sex abuse cases are complex and involve various elements. Therefore, sexual assault victims in Florida should contact seasoned attorneys for legal counsel. Your attorney will help:Hold Abusers and Enablers Accountable
Floridians that suffer from sexual abuse pursue justice for a wide range of reasons. Some wish to confront their abusers in person. Survivors are often ready to move on from the past, while others can't.
Many victims aim to protect vulnerable people from being exploited. Frankl Kominsky Injury Lawyers helps clients looking for justice for whatever reason.
Our attorneys strive to listen to sexual assault victims so that they can fully understand their experiences and aspirations. They will help you develop legally sound methods that will allow you to accomplish your objectives.Bringing Civil Action for Monetary Damages
Florida's civil justice system aims to compensate for the wrongs that victims suffer through damages. We understand that money can't solve every problem. But sexual assault survivors often need financial help to confront their abusers and continue their lives.
Monetary damages in Florida sex abuse cases can help to cover costs such as:
- Past and future mental health counseling
- Pain and suffering
- Medical costs
Sexual assault cases in Florida are never the same. Frankl Kominsky Injury Lawyers work closely with each client to establish the full scope of the injury caused by the abuse and pursue maximum compensation for their suffering.Seek Legal Representation
Sexual abuse is unacceptable. Local and federal laws protect Florida residents from sexual assault. Besides criminal charges, survivors can file civil claims against sex abusers. You can use the monetary compensation to get the care you need to heal from the abuse and move on with your life.
If you or a loved one is the victim of sexual abuse, Frankl Kominsky Injury Lawyers' team of experienced personal injury attorneys serving Coral Springs will work with you to determine the best course of action. We recognize the emotional investment in this process and the courage it takes to pursue legal action.
We're here to support you while you work through your emotions at whatever pace works best for you. Our legal staff will never force you into a decision you are not ready for. What matters most is trusting and feeling safe with the team around you.
Your right to privacy is important to us. So, we will ensure that the specifics of your case will remain confidential. Contact us at (561) 800-8000 or check out our website to set up a free, no-obligation consultation.