If you have ever been a victim of sexual abuse, then the chances are you have undergone serious trauma, pain, and emotions that can be mentally draining for a victim. In addition to this, you might be struggling to verbalize the event with anybody at all. Being unable to talk about the incident you have experienced can only further make you feel alone and isolated in this extremely difficult time you’re facing.
The Law Place is here to tell you that your case matters to us. We are here to stand at your side and support you so that you don’t have to go through this alone. All you have to do is take the first steps in reaching out to one of our lawyers here at our law firm. We promise to offer you honest, professional advice on whether we think there is potential for achieving a claim.
With over seventy-five years of experience in lawsuits, including sexual abuse or rape cases, our lawyers can offer you a free consultation at a time that suits your schedule best. This will allow us to discuss with you whether you could be entitled to any personal injury claims or compensation as a result of the sexual assault incident and allow us to gather all the information we need in order to begin building your case. Contact us now for free at (941) 444-4444.
What Is Sexual Abuse?
Under Florida law, sexual assault can take a number of different forms. It can be better described as unwanted or non-consensual sexual behavior towards one party from another. You can find the legal description of sexual abuse defined under Florida Statute 794.011, which can also be described as sexual battery.
Sexual assault or battery can be classed as vaginal, anal, or oral penetration with a foreign object or a sexual organ against another person without their consent. Sexual consent is defined as the agreement or permission that is given by another to engage in a sexual act. The age of legal consent in Florida is 18 years old, which is stated under Florida Statute 794.05. This statute clearly states that any person over the age of 24 who attempts to engage in sexual contact with a minor under the age of 18 has committed a second-degree felony.
You can also find it stated under Florida law that any person who engages in sexual activity with a minor under the age of 12 can receive capital punishment, which is the strictest punishment passable by law. Sexual interaction with a child is a crime that will not be tolerated and continues to be one of the most unacceptable, unlawful acts that a person can commit.
Other than minors, there are others who may not have given consent to a sexual act and are vulnerable to sexual violence. This might be because they are incapable of agreeing to engage in a sexual act or are incapable of articulating their wishes. An example of this would be a third party engaging in a sexual act with somebody who is:
- Mentally ill.
- Physically disabled or handicapped.
- Drugged or heavily intoxicated.
- Physically helpless (asleep, unconscious, or physically unable to give verbal consent).
- Intellectually disabled or unable to communicate.
Assaults of a sexual nature are very traumatic for victims. In addition to severe emotional trauma, in some situations, survivors are also left dealing with physical injuries or life-long illnesses.
Injuries that can result from such assaults include:
- Abrasions or lacerations.
- Sexually-transmitted infections.
- Unwanted pregnancies.
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
- Injuries from the force used to carry out the assault.
- Injuries from restraints used.
- Depression and/or anxiety.
All you have to do is pick up the phone and allow our law team to take care of all the complicated paperwork and legal processes that you are not expected to be familiar with. We are here to help guide you through your case.
What Are the Criminal Consequences for Sexual Abuse?
Sexual assault or battery, particularly towards a child, is one of the most horrific crimes a person can commit. Therefore, the public put huge amounts of pressure on the justice system to carry out punishments according to the crime committed. As a result, the punishments for this crime have become increasingly strict throughout America to meet the punishment standards.
Even if the crime of sexual assault, battery, or even rape were only attempted but not completely carried out, the attempt will still be taken just as seriously by the law and can consequently result in equally serious punishments.
Being charged with a felony in the second degree can result in fines of up to $10,000 and prison time for up to 15 years. However, sexual assault, which results in the death of a third party, can result in the defendant facing life imprisonment and fines of up to $15,000.
In cases of sexual assault or battery where a minor was involved, expectedly, the punishments passed by law are much more severe. If a person under the age of 18 carries out a sexual offense on a child who is under the age of 12, they are likely to face a sentence of up to 25 years in prison. However, if a person who is aged 18 or over commits a sexual assault on a child, they can expect to receive the death penalty.
In order for the law to keep the public safe, there is a sex offenders list that is open to the public. This means that is if somebody commits a sexual offense on another, they must be registered on the sex offenders list and inform their neighbors, colleagues, family, and friends that they are a sex offender. This can be extremely difficult for the offender to live with, and they will most likely never be desirable to an employer again.
What Damages Can You Seek in a Sexual Abuse Case?
If you were a victim of a sexual assault or a rape, then the chances are you have suffered extreme trauma or potential injury which has affected your ability to work, or left you with financial difficulty. If this is the case, then it is best if you seek legal representation which can help you receive compensation for your financial losses, it’s the least we can do. Some examples of types of compensation that our law team may be able to settle for you are:
- Medical expenses – If you were are a victim who has been sexually abused then you may have suffered injury from forced entry or have had to get yourself checked over at a hospital following the incident. If this is the case you have been with a long list of medical bills such as ambulance fees, x-ray bills, physical therapy, etc., which you should not have to pay for all alone. You have already been through enough to have to worry about financial difficulty on top of this. Our personal injury lawyers are here to help reimburse you for a fair settlement for any costs you have been left with.
- Emotional trauma – A common result for a victim who has experienced a sexual attack is suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD.)
- Lost wages – If you have suffered an assault then you might have spent time in hospital recovering from your injuries or time at home due to distress or PTSD. If this is the case then you have likely spent a substantial amount of time off work and therefore have missed out on your usual income as result. If this is the case then you may be struggling to make ends meet, pay rent, or afford child support at this time.
- Pain and suffering – After experiencing an assault you are likely to be experiencing physical pain as well as emotional trauma, and therefore can claim non-economic damages for your experiences.
- Loss of a loved one or wrongful death – If you or somebody you know has lost a loved one through a sexual assault then you deserve compensation for funeral costs, loss of consortium, or for any medical bills that have been left to you.
With a free consultation, you can help us to understand the case at hand in more detail. Our lawyers will work tirelessly day and night to gather all the fine comb details of your case, as even the tiniest details of the incident can be of huge advantage to your case and be the difference between you receiving compensation and justice or not at all.
Working closely with you, our attorneys are here to support you legally and emotionally through this time and ensure you receive all of the support and legal guidance that you need. We understand how complicated the law can be and you are not expected to understand all of the ins and outs of the law on your own. That is why our legal team is here to ensure that you are made completely aware of all of your legal rights before you make any decisions, and always have your best interests at heart.
Premises Liability Claims
A premises liability claim includes any type of personal injury or accident that has taken place on private premises, apartment complexes, or public property. If sexual assault or battery took place on the property of a third party, you could claim that there was a lack of adequate security on the property. In this case, you may be able to file a premises liability case and receive financial compensation for any injures or distress that you have suffered.
Sexual Abuse Statistics
According to the statistics of the Florida Council Against Sexual Violence (FCASV), over 1.2 million or 17% of women in Florida have been the victims of rape, whereas 3.1 million or 41.8% of women are victims of sexual abuse or battery. Furthermore, 79.6% of women in Florida who were a victim of rape were at least 25 years of age when the rape incident occurred, while 42.2% were under the age of 18.
Overall, shocking statistics show that 1 in 6 American women will be the victim of an attempted or completed rape during their lifetime. This means that, on average in America, a person is sexually assaulted once every 73 seconds. Additionally, 9 out of every ten rapes happen to women.
With such an alarming number of rape and sexual assault victims throughout the state, you are not alone. Our legal assistance team is here to offer you free consultation at a time that suits you best to discuss with you the sexual assault incident at hand and ensure you are given professional legal advice on the case.
Contact The Law Place Today
We understand how difficult it can be to discuss your experiences if you have been a victim of sexual assault, rape, or sexual battery. You might feel completely alone, ashamed, or suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder at this time. The Law Place is here to remind you that you don’t have to go through this difficult time on your own. There is support and help out there for you.
With over seventy-five years of combined experience in a range of criminal defense and personal injury cases, including sexual assault, our attorneys here at our law firm are highly capable of helping you to receive the justice you deserve. Our attorneys pride themselves on building up an excellent attorney-client relationship with all of our clients and look to build up high levels of trust with them.
Reach out to The Law Place today and schedule a free consultation. We are here to give you professional legal guidance on whether we think you could seek compensation. Contact us now at (941) 444-4444. Our phone lines are open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.