Our Houston Sexual Abuse Lawyer Helps Survivors Get The Justice They Deserve
From Workplaces To Schools To Churches, Sexual Abuse Can Occur Anywhere.
There's no greater breach of trust than when someone in a position of power and authority sexually abuses another person. These acts have devastating effects on survivors. The sexual abuse attorneys at the law firm of Terry Bryant are here to hold abusers accountable for their actions. We help survivors get the justice they deserve. Contact us today at (800) 444-5000.
SEXUAL ABUSE AT WORK – TAKING A PERSONAL AND FINANCIAL TOLL
People go to their workplaces to earn a living, not to be abused by higher-ups or other employees. However, sexual abuse can and does happen at work, and, in addition to the traumatic physical and emotional consequences, it can also greatly affect survivors' financial security. Employees who work in more isolated environments, those working for tips, undocumented workers, women employed in male-dominated jobs, and employees in workplaces with large power imbalances report the most incidents of sexual assault and harassment. People often fear losing their jobs if they report incidents of sexual abuse, especially when the abuser is a higher up. It's important that survivors of sexual harassment and assault at the workplace understand that they can seek compensation through a legal claim for the abuse they have suffered, including lost wages if applicable.
SEXUAL ABUSE AT SCHOOL – BREACHING STUDENTS' TRUST
Recent data from the National Center for Education Statistics shows that sexual assault is a growing problem in K-12 schools. Most often, students are harassed or assaulted by other students. Sometimes teachers and other school staff are the abusers of children and teenagers.
And in about 20 percent of cases, teachers and staff members themselves are the victims of sexual abuse. Schools should be places of learning, not of fear and abuse. When young people are abused, it is particularly distressing, but any survivor of abuse in a school setting has the right to protect themselves by bringing criminal charges or filing a civil suit against their abuser.
SEXUAL ABUSE IN CHURCHES - VIOLATING A SACRED BOND
One of the most sacred bonds in our lives is the relationship we have with our priest or pastor. We rely on the clergy to shepherd us through the trials and tribulations of life, both spiritual and secular. In doing so, we place complete faith in our ministers. Unfortunately, that total trust is sometimes abused by clergy who are sexual predators. The impact of sexual abuse by a member of the clergy has a devastating and lasting impact on the survivors of this betrayal.
All too often, churches have compounded the injury by covering up and denying the immoral and illegal conduct of their pastors and priests. However, recent comprehensive investigations by state and local authorities have brought this individual and institutional conduct out into the light. Survivors who come forward with their stories of abuse are no longer disbelieved out of hand. Criminal charges have been brought against pastors and priests, and civil lawsuits against the church organizations that enabled this horrific conduct have been successfully pursued.
THE HOUSTON SEXUAL ABUSE ATTORNEYS AT THE LAW FIRM OF TERRY BRYANT ARE HIGHLY EXPERIENCED AT HANDLING CASES OF ABUSE IN WORKPLACES, SCHOOLS, CHURCHES AND ELSEWHERE. IF YOU OR A FAMILY MEMBER HAS BEEN A SURVIVOR OF SEXUAL ABUSE BY AN EMPLOYER, TEACHER, CLERGY MEMBER OR OTHER INDIVIDUAL, CALL US TODAY AT (800) 444-5000 TO SET UP A FREE CONSULTATION TO DISCUSS YOUR CASE.
Holding Perpetrators Accountable
Sex Abuse Attorneys in Houston
It's been far too often the case that abusers have gotten away with sexual abuse with little to no consequences. We believe the time has come to hold all sexual abusers accountable for their actions. Whether the abuser is a clergy member, teacher, a fellow student, a co-worker, or anyone in a position of authority or trust, they should be held responsible for the harm they've caused to abuse survivors.
The injury attorneys at Terry Bryant Accident & Injury Law have in-depth experience in bringing justice on behalf of sexual abuse survivors, and we are passionate about doing so. We know how important these cases are for our clients and their families, and we also believe that bringing legal action against sexual abusers can make institutions safer for children, teens, and everyone who might be a potential target in the future.
If you want to speak to a legal team that will fight for you, contact the law firm of Terry Bryant at (800) 444-5000 to get started.
Our Houston Sexual Abuse Lawyers Know
Sexual Abuse is Widespread
Studies tell us that sexual abuse remains a serious problem in the United States. Estimates suggest that 25% of girls and one in six boys will be sexually abused before they turn 18. Sadly, only 12% of sexual abuse cases are reported to the authorities.
Because sexual abuse cases so frequently go unreported, the scope of the problem is difficult to imagine. These acts are often covered up by institutions that employ abusers. Ongoing investigations in Texas, other states in the U.S. and around the world are uncovering disturbing realities about the prevalence of abuse in churches. The occurrence of sexual abuse in Catholic churches has been widely reported, but there are also many instances of similar abuses in evangelical churches, as reported by the Washington Post.
Though sexual abuse might be particularly common in these settings, it’s important to remember that it can occur anywhere - in our churches, schools, neighborhoods and even our very own homes.
Our Sexual Abuse Lawyers Will Handle Your Case with Compassion
No survivor of abuse should be intimidated into silence or denied justice. It's only through their courage to speak out about these abuses that progress can be made, and children, teens, and other individuals can be spared such trauma in the future. Our sexual abuse lawyers deeply understand the challenges facing sexual abuse survivors, gained through their years of handling these cases. Survivors endure difficult physical and emotional struggles after being abused. It's time for abusers to face the consequences of their actions.
If you have been abused, we will work tirelessly on your behalf to make sure that you get justice. The Houston sexual abuse attorneys at Terry Bryant Accident & Injury Law are here to help. Reach out to us today at (800) 444-5000 to learn more about your legal options.
SEX ABUSE PENALTIES IN TEXAS
Clearly, institutions like churches, schools, and workplaces are not reliable self-policers of sexual abuse among their own ranks. Investigations have shown that clergy members, for example, are often simply re-assigned to another parish without regard for future victims. Texas law, however, isn't as forgiving of perpetrators of sexual abuse:
Sexual assault is usually a second-degree felony and is punishable by two to 20 years in state prison and fines of up to $10,000. Sexual assault includes committing a number of sexual activities, including penetration, without that person's consent. It is particularly serious if the person is someone under the age of sexual consent in Texas, which is someone under the age of 17.
Aggravated sexual assault is a first-degree felony. First degree felonies are punishable by from 5 to 99 years in state prison and a $10,000 fine. If the victim was under six years old, there may be a minimum prison sentence of 25 years. Sexual assault crimes are elevated to aggravated sexual assault charges based on a number of factors that include serious bodily injury, putting the victim in fear of their life, use of a deadly weapon, the victim's being under 14, elderly or disabled; and other circumstances.
The actions described above are considered crimes under Texas law. While perpetrators of these crimes can be prosecuted in criminal courts, thus bringing justice to victims, survivors can also pursue compensation through the civil court system in the form of a lawsuit. Survivors can pursue a civil lawsuit for damages at the same time the abuser is being prosecuted criminally.
FILING A SEXUAL ABUSE LAWSUIT AGAINST THE ABUSER OR INSTITUTION THAT CONTRIBUTED TO YOUR ABUSE CAN OFFER YOU AN OPPORTUNITY TO GET COMPENSATION FOR THE HARM YOU'VE SUFFERED. CRIMINAL CHARGES AND YOUR CIVIL LAWSUIT FOR DAMAGES CAN BE BROUGHT AT THE SAME TIME.
If you are a survivor of sexual abuse, the experienced lawyers at Terry Bryant Law are here to help you get justice. If you want to hold an abuser accountable for their actions, contact our Houston law firm today to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation with a sexual abuse lawyer. Call us at (800) 444-5000.
TIME LIMIT ON SEXUAL ABUSE LAWSUITS IN TEXAS
Texas acknowledges that sexual abuse claims involving children require special considerations. Thus, the statute of limitations for sexual abuse crimes against minors is 15 years. The statute of limitations for adults that have been victims of sexual abuse is five years from the time that the abuse occurred. If you are a survivor of sexual abuse, it's important to pursue a case against your abuser, even if it was years in the past. This may prevent them from harming others, while also getting you the justice you deserve. A compassionate sexual abuse attorney from Terry Bryant can help. Contact us today.
IN CONTRAST TO SEXUAL ABUSE CLAIMS, PERSONAL INJURY CLAIMS IN TEXAS ARE GENERALLY COVERED BY ONLY A TWO-YEAR STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS. THE EXTENDED PERIOD FOR SEXUAL ABUSE CLAIMS SHOWS HOW SERIOUSLY TEXAS TAKES THESE CLAIMS. WE TAKE THEM JUST AS SERIOUSLY.
At Terry Bryant Accident & Injury Law, we help clients across Texas get the justice they deserve. If you or a loved one has been subjected to sexual abuse, we encourage you to contact a sexual abuse attorney on our team today to schedule a free consultation.
The law firm of Terry Bryant wants to help. Contact us today to schedule a free, confidential, no-obligation consultation.
The harm suffered in sexual abuse cases is enormous. Survivors of abuse are more likely to experience post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, low self-esteem, substance abuse, and suicidal thoughts, among other effects. Because the consequences are so great, the damages sought in sexual abuse cases can also be quite substantial. Damages are financial compensation you may be able to receive from your abuser for all that you have suffered because of their actions. They include quantifiable damages for medical expenses you may have incurred or income you lost because of your abuse, as well as non-monetary losses that are not as easily quantifiable, such as emotional stress, loss of enjoyment of life, and other things.
Damages might include compensation for...
- Pain and suffering
- Medical expenses
- Loss of future or past income
- Punitive damages intended to punish the abusers or responsible institutions.
Sexual abuse is a broad term that includes many different inappropriate actions that carry a range of charges and penalties. Criminal charges in sexual abuse cases might range from harassment, to assault, to aggravated assault, depending upon the specific action and the age of the abuse survivor. Penalties include fines and possibly years of prison time.
Sexual abuse might refer to...
- Inappropriate contact, fondling, or touching of children
- Forced sexual acts
- Coerced sexual acts
- Rape or attempted rape
- Exposure of private parts (exhibitionism)
- Taking sexualized pictures of children
- Sexual harassment and threats.
Sexual abuse committed against adults can include any of the above or any other sexual acts performed without the consent of both parties. Texas law allows child victims 15 years after their abuses to take legal action through civil courts. If you’re considering your legal options, contact a skilled attorney from Terry Bryant Accident & Injury Law today for a free consultation.
The Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN) provides a list of warning signs that parents should look for if they suspect their child might be subjected to sexual abuse. The list includes physical, behavioral, and emotional signs of abuse, such as...
- Sexually transmitted infections
- Trauma or injury to genitals
- Fear of being left alone
- Sexual behavior uncharacteristic of the child’s age
- Resistance to changing clothes or bathing
- Fascination with sexual topics
- Reverting to childlike behaviors that the child had outgrown
- Anxiety, fear, or excessive worrying.
If you've been the victim of sexual abuse and need emotional support, the RAINN hotline is available 24/7 to take your call. When you need legal support to seek justice from your abuser, contact a Houston sexual abuse lawyer from Terry Bryant Law at (800) 444-5000 today.
Houston Sexual Abuse Attorneys
Third Party Liability and Institutional Abuse
The perpetrator of abuse is obviously responsible for their own actions. But accountability does not stop at the perpetrator. Any institution that turns a blind eye toward abuse or actively covers up the actions of abusers also bears responsibility for the harm suffered by sexual abuse survivors. If you are making a claim against your abuser, the third party that did nothing about the abuse even though it may have suspected or known about it, may also be held liable for damages.
These institutions can be held accountable alongside abusers through civil actions filed on behalf of abuse survivors. Liable third parties in abuse cases might include the schools, churches, employers, or other entities who did nothing to prevent or stop the abuse by a teacher, clergyperson, employee, or another individual.
Sexual Abuse Continues to Plague Survivors Well into Adulthood
While parents can be mindful of the warning signs children exhibit after sexual abuse, survivors that experienced abuse years ago can also suffer long-term consequences.
Sexual abuse isn't something that is easily forgotten once it ends. It has a long-term effect on survivors' lives that may manifest throughout the rest of their lives in the following ways:
While we can't make these serious effects go away, we can help you gain legal justice for what you have suffered. Contact a Houston sexual abuse attorney today.
The Houston sexual abuse attorneys at the law firm of Terry Bryant wants to help. Contact us today at (713) 973-8888 to schedule a free, confidential, no-obligation consultation.
What to do if You or Your Loved One Has Been Sexually Abused
Anytime sexual abuse is discovered or suspected, the authorities should be alerted immediately.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also provides a list of funded programs and initiatives for survivors that you can view here. Reporting abusers so they can be dealt with through our criminal justice system is critical, but justice does not stop there.
Survivors of abuse can take civil action through Texas courts to seek compensation and justice for the abuse they’ve been subjected to. The Houston sexual abuse attorneys at Terry Bryant Accident & Injury Law are here to help you.
We understand how overwhelming it can be to take a stand against someone that caused you such pain. We also know that you deserve justice. The law firm of Terry Bryant wants to help. Contact us today at (800) 444-5000 to schedule a free, confidential, no-obligation consultation.