Los Angeles & Orange County Adult Survivors of Abuse Lawyer

When you are ready to seek justice for the childhood abuse you suffered, Libra Law is ready to support you.

Even if it’s been years or decades since the last incident of abuse, you may still have legal pathways to get compensated. The law recognizes that it’s extremely difficult for childhood abuse survivors to talk about their harrowing experience. Survivors often take a long time to grasp what happened to them, or to manage the ensuing feelings of shame and fear.

If you’re now considering legal action as an adult survivor of childhood abuse, contact us at Libra Law. We provide skilled and sensitive legal representation to California abuse victims seeking civil justice. With years of experience, our attorneys have obtained maximum compensation for our clients and earned the trust of numerous survivors in Southern California.

Please don’t hesitate to speak with us. Your consultation is free and confidential. Call Libra Law Firm today at (888) 565-3214.

California’s Extended Time Limits for Childhood Sex Abuse Lawsuits

California Assembly Bill 218 expanded the statute of limitations (time limits) for childhood abuse survivors to pursue a case. As of January 1, 2020, child sexual abuse survivors now have until their 40th birthday to file a civil lawsuit. In cases where their memories were repressed, the time limit is five years from the date they discovered that their psychological injury is due to childhood sex abuse.

This is a vital update for Californians who are now just finding the courage to speak up about the child molestation they suffered. Before this legislation, California child sexual abuse survivors could file suit only until they turned 26. This was not a fair amount of time, given that it commonly takes many years for a childhood molestation survivor to speak up.

One study found that on average, it took 17.2 years for childhood sexual abuse survivors to disclose their experience. A separate analysis, which examined 1,050 survivors of church-related child sex abuse, found that they were 52 years old on average by the time they reported the molestation.

With California’s new law, you now have an expanded opportunity to take legal action. Reach out to us at Libra Law Firm when you’re ready to consult with an Adult Survivors of Abuse Attorney – California.

Why It Takes Time to Speak Up About Childhood Abuse

You don’t have to worry about how long it has taken you to say something. This is not uncommon among childhood sexual abuse survivors. When the abuse is still fresh, victims are often silenced by many factors, such as:

  • Threats from the abuser
  • Brainwashing by the abuser (often occurs when the abuser is a family member or a trusted person) 
  • Feelings of embarrassment, shame, or guilt
  • Being shocked or stunned into silence
  • Not wanting to relive the abuse
  • Lack of support from family (such as when a parent doesn’t believe the victim’s disclosure or sweeps the incident under the rug).

No matter what it was that stopped you from speaking up, Libra Law Firm supports you as you consider your legal options today. We have a personal mission to hold child abusers accountable. We are on your side.

When you consult with our experienced childhood abuse lawyers, you’ll get excellent guidance on the best legal remedies available to you. And when you work with us on your civil claim, we will pour our experience and resources into building you a strong case.

Adult Symptoms of Childhood Sexual Abuse

It’s unfortunately common for survivors to suffer the effects of childhood molestation in adulthood. Some adult manifestations of child sex abuse are:

  • Emotional effects – Examples are depression, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). These are commonly accompanied by feelings of humiliation, fear, self-blame, and distorted self-perception. Sadly, many survivors consciously or subconsciously feel that they ‘deserved’ or ‘invited’ the abuse. Such feelings can then translate to self-destructive behavior or self-sabotaging adult relationships.
  • Physical effects – Rooted in the emotional impact of the abuse, survivors may neglect their health, turn to substance abuse, or develop eating disorders. Studies show that adults who were abused as children are more likely to smoke, abuse alcohol or drugs, be physically inactive, or be severely obese.
  • Interpersonal effects – In interpersonal relationships, survivors may be less protective of themselves and more accepting of being victimized by others. Some studies also suggest survivors of sexual abuse are more likely to engage in sexually risky behavior later on.

If these symptoms have appeared in your adult life, it can be immensely helpful to speak with a counselor or mental health practitioner. A trusted professional can help untangle the inner workings of trauma, empowering you to gradually break free from it.

These adulthood manifestations can also factor into your childhood abuse claim. Many such claims result in million-dollar settlements due to the extensive and multifaceted harm that survivors endure.

At Libra Law Firm, we work tirelessly to ensure that all forms of harm are accounted for in your case. With a sensitive and sympathetic approach, we look at all areas in your life affected by childhood abuse, and we fight aggressively to obtain the compensation you deserve.

Throughout the process, you’ll get family-like treatment from our attorneys and office staff. We want you to experience the least pain possible as you pursue justice in civil court.

Filing a Civil Suit Separate from a Criminal Case

A civil lawsuit on childhood sex abuse is different from a criminal case. While sexual abuse and sexual assault are indeed crimes, the criminal case for these will be pursued by the state. If the perpetrator is convicted of the crime, consequences will focus on punishment, such as imprisonment.

A civil case, on the other hand, is filed by the victim seeking compensation for the losses and suffering they experienced. A successful civil lawsuit on childhood abuse results in a monetary award that can help the claimant move forward with their life.

Compensation in a childhood abuse case may cover:

  • Pain and suffering
  • Mental anguish, psychological injury, or emotional distress
  • Diminished enjoyment of life
  • Medical costs related to the abuse
  • Mental health costs
  • Lost earnings related to the abuse
  • And more.

While no amount of money can undo the traumatic experience of child abuse, financial compensation can help fulfill important aspects of recovery. It can, for example, allow the survivor to get high-quality therapy for their mental health.

Note that you can file a civil lawsuit regardless of what happens with the criminal proceedings. Even if the criminal case is dismissed, or the abuser is found Not Guilty, it’s still possible to pursue your civil case toward favorable results. Talk to us at Libra Law Firm to see what legal options are available to you.

Libra Law Stands Up to Abusers and Their Defenders

Sexual abusers of children can come from all walks of life, but many are or have been in positions of power. All too often, they’re also protected by their companies and organizations. Our tenacious attorneys at Libra Law are not afraid to bring these individuals and groups to justice.

The California Child Victims Act holds liable those entities that failed to prevent child sexual assault despite having reason to be aware of it. In addition, this Act allows claimants to receive “treble damages” or three times their original award if the perpetrator tried to cover up the abuse.

We at Libra Law Firm have the experience and resources to stand up to sexual offenders against children, whether they are:

  • Teachers
  • Coaches
  • Clergy members
  • Foster parents
  • Doctors
  • Therapists
  • Camp counselors
  • Youth group leaders
  • Superiors at work
  • Colleagues or fellow students
  • Daycare employees
  • Family members or relatives
  • Others.

We understand that it can be daunting to speak up against your childhood abuser, especially if their institution helped hide the abuse. Know that the law aims to protect survivors like you. With a competent attorney on your side, you can navigate this legal area and you don’t have to worry about fighting alone.

Contact Our Adult Survivors of Abuse Lawyer – California

Libra Law Firm has earned a reputation of being a reliable ally of abuse survivors in Orange County. Talk to us in a free and confidential consultation about your potential childhood abuse lawsuit. Call (888) 565-3214 today.

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