Addressing Injuries Of A Very Personal Kind
The terms “sexual harassment,” “sexual assault” and “sexual abuse” come up often in news regarding “Me Too” allegations against public figures and others in positions of power and prestige. Loose definitions of the three terms are as follows:
Sexual harassment often occurs in workplaces but can also happen at school, in public places and anywhere else that people interact, either in person or online. Sexual harassment can mean unrelenting “catcalls” and other unwanted sexual comments, jokes or insults. Sexual harassment is often strictly verbal.
Sexual assault may mean forced physical contact, with incidents ranging from unwanted erotic touching to full-scale rape. Aggressive behaviors like self-exposure may be considered a type of assault.
Sexual abuse covers a wide variety of ongoing behaviors, potentially including harassment, assault and grooming aimed at eventual assault. These actions are often facilitated through power imbalances between:
- Adults and children
- Clergy members and parishioners
- Teachers and students
- Coaches and student athletes
- Camp counselors and campers
- Doctors and patients
- Therapists and clients
- Nursing home care attendants and nursing home residents
Who May Be A Target And What To Do About It
Victims may be children of any age and gender, as well as adults of any age in vulnerable situations. Allegations of sexual abuse should be taken seriously, especially when they come from innocent young people or disabled adults who would ordinarily have no reason or impetus for making false claims.
If you have been subjected to sexual abuse — whether recently or long ago — you may have come to realize that you suffer from psychological trauma, possibly including post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), emotional damage and maybe even physical effects as a result. You should not hesitate to seek help, which may include:
- Reporting wrongdoing to an authority, such as a police department or a department chair of an organization
- Psychological therapy
- Medical evaluations
- Legal action against a perpetrator such as a teacher, coach or doctor
Many people who have experienced sexual abuse suppress the memories until something jars those thoughts to the surface. Self-blame and self-hatred are common internal responses. Telling someone of their experience often brings relief and hope to many victims. Furthermore, filing a damage claim or lawsuit may bring monetary relief. Financial resources can help pay for therapy, compensate for debilitating emotional distress and otherwise offer pathways to rebuilding a rewarding life despite the indignity and pain of sexual abuse.
The Buzbee Law Firm Offers Help And Hope
Our personal injury attorneys aim to bring about justice for people harmed by others’ wrongdoing, including victims of sexual abuse, such as children, student athletes and nursing home residents. Attorney Tony Buzbee and our experienced trial lawyers bring significant knowledge, resources and determination in the fight for delivering justice to vulnerable young people and adults who have been abused.