Fort Lauderdale Sexual Assault Attorneys Representing Survivors
Representing those injured from sexual abuse or sexual assault throughout South Florida
Sexual abuse survivors must deal with the physical and the deep, emotional and psychological scars left after a traumatic experience. Sexual violence is a very personal offense and it can change a person’s self-concept and damage their self-esteem. Whether the abuse was a trusted person such as a teacher, a family member, a religious leader or a stranger, being sexually assaulted can destroy a person’s sense of safety and peace of mind.
At Yeboah Law Group, we are here to help victims of sexual abuse or sexual assault seek justice for the pain and trauma they have endured. We are here to hold those responsible for our clients’ injuries accountable for the damage they have done. If there is a third party who was responsible for the child or adult’s safety and their negligence permitted the act to occur, we hold them responsible as well. We offer a confidential, free initial consultation to discuss your case.
Are you being abused? Do you need help now?
If you are in a situation where you are being sexually abused and you want help, you can call Fort Lauderdale Police In an emergency, dial 911 now. If you want to speak to a police officer about a non-emergency situation, call Tel: (954) 764-4357 If you are not in the Florida area, you can dial 800-656-HOPE (4673) to reach the National Sexual Assault Hotline, which is a safe, confidential service which can connect you to a local sexual assault service provider in your area.
Understanding the statute of limitations for sexual abuse and sexual assault in Florida
A statute of limitations is the legal time limit that each state places on the time allotted to take legal action for sexual abuse or sexual assault in Florida. There are separate statutes of limitation for criminal cases and civil cases:
- For civil actions, legal action must be taken within 4 years after for abuse that occurred after age 18.
- For those who suffered sexual abuse when they were younger than 16, the statute of limitations has been removed.
- The statute of limitations for “institutional” childhood sex abuse cases can be more fluid than the standard 4 years from the time of the discovery of the injury, and the direct relationship between the harmful behavior and the injury.
Your experienced Fort Lauderdale sexual abuse attorney will review the facts of your case and help you determine the viability of your case.
Examples of sex abuse or sexual assault cases we handle
Sexual abuse and sexual assault cases come in many unexpected shapes and forms. Here are some examples of the types of cases we take with the intention to help survivors recover compensation either through a settlement or jury verdict:
- Sexual harassment
- Rape or attempted rape
- Marital rape
- Sexual assault with objects
- Unwanted fondling
- Forced sex with others
What is the difference between sexual abuse, sexual assault and sexual harassment?
A story published in the journal The Conversation defines these terms in the following way:
- Sexual abuse is a term most often used to describe adult behavior toward children, not adults. (It is abuse because children cannot give consent) In Florida, the age of consent is 18 years old. Sexual abuse can include several types of behavior including touching the victim in a sexual way, forcing the victim to touch the aggressor in a sexual way, look at body parts or watch sexual activity. The sexual abuse of a child is a crime.
- Rape, as defined by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is the, “penetration, no matter how slight, of the vagina or anus with any body part or object, or oral penetration by a sex organ of another person without the consent of the victim.” This is a gender-neutral federal definition of rape.
- Sexual assault describes a range of sexual criminal acts from unwanted touching, kissing, groping, or forcing the victim to touch the perpetrator in sexual ways. The term, “sexual assault” is often used interchangeably with rape, but while all rapes are sexual assault, not all sexual assault includes rape. Sexual violence is a broader term which encompasses a variety of criminal sexual conduct from using threats to coerce sex acts to sharing lewd images or exposing genitals.
- Sexual harassment is a broader term, which encompasses sexual coercion, legally referred to as, “quip pro quo harassment” which refers to implicit or explicit attempts to make work condition contingent upon sexual cooperation. It also includes unwanted sexual attention, unwanted touching, kissing and unrelenting pressure for dates or sexual behavior.
Civil remedies for sexual abuse survivors
While the criminal justice system is designed to inflict punishment on those found guilty of crimes, that punishment does not take into consideration the harm done to survivors of sexual abuse. There are cases where the alleged offender is acquitted of the crime in court. This can leave the victim feeling betrayed and without the sense that justice has been served.
Through pursuing a civil case against the perpetrator, the sexual assault survivor has another chance to obtain justice for the pain and the trauma they have suffered. The standard of proof for a criminal case is beyond a reasonable doubt, for a civil case it is based on a preponderance of the evidence, which means that the evidence must prove the defendant’s guilt is more likely than their innocence.
The civil justice system is not trying to determine whether the alleged offender is guilty or innocent, rather the goal is to determine if the alleged offender is liable for the injuries that the plaintiff has suffered as a result of the crime. If the alleged perpetrator is found liable, that usually means that they must pay the sexual abuse survivors monetary damages for their medical bills, lost income, pain and suffering and other losses.
Bringing a civil case can be arduous and time consuming. It makes sense to consult with a sexual assault attorney to determine if a settlement or a lawsuit makes the most sense. If a person who has been survived sexual violence has the courage to come forward and name their abuser and seek justice, it can feel satisfying to face their abuser and speak the truth about what happened to them.
How can a Fort Lauderdale sex abuse attorney help you?
Every year, thousands of people – including vulnerable children – suffer sexual assault every year. Unfortunately, most cases will go unreported. At Yeboah Law Group, we stand with those brave survivors who come forward to stand up to the perpetrators. We have the resources and experience to handle claims against:
- Schools, school districts and educators
- Youth organizations
- Religious figures and institutions
- Nursing homes, their staff or their residents
- Property owners for negligent security
- Uber or Lyft drivers
Whether the offender is found guilty in a criminal proceeding, or even if there was no criminal proceeding there is still the option to pursue compensation in civil court. If the sexual assault was a result of the negligence of school administrators, religious leadership or workplace security, they can also be held accountable in civil court even if you are unable to pursue criminal charges.
Contact a skilled Fort Lauderdale sexual assault lawyer today
At Yeboah Law Group, we understand the negative consequences that can occur for sexual abuse and sexual assault survivors. We are here to hold the abusers and the institutions that employ them and enable them accountable. We treat you with dignity and respect and we honor your healing process. You are welcome to call a compassionate Fort Lauderdale sexual abuse attorney at 1-800-TELL-SAM or complete our contact form to schedule a confidential, free consultation to discuss your legal rights and your options.
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