Philadelphia Sexual Abuse Attorney
If You Have Been Taken Advantage of by Someone in Your Life, Our Team Wants to Help
While the survivors of sexual violence have recently felt more empowered to speak up about what happened to them, what we have seen is only the tip of the iceberg. There are many people and organizations that have faced no consequences despite harming many. A lack of conclusive evidence may stand between these abusers and a criminal conviction. However, there is a way for victims to get justice.
Those who have sexually abused others, as well as those whose silence has enabled these predators, should be held accountable for their part in this terrible occurrence. Have you been abused or trafficked? If so, our attorneys may be able to help you create a strategy for addressing involved parties with a lawsuit. We want to pursue justice on your behalf and help others who may be in the same situation you were.
You deserve the chance to tell your story. Reach out to The Villari Firm, PLLC if you are ready to come forward. We’re available at (215) 372-8889 for free and confidential consultations.
Responsibility in Institutional Abuse
Many victims of abuse have been violated by someone who was a trusted authority. When leaders take advantage of those they are supposed to care for, they are betraying everyone’s trust. Often, other leaders in the organization receive reports of the abuse and brush them aside. When organizations close in to protect themselves, this is known as institutional abuse.
Though most people are aware of 1 or 2 big sex abuse scandals linked to prominent groups, this type of mistreatment is widespread. Abusers may be a part of:
- Religious groups or ministries
- Schools or childcare organizations
- Foster homes
- Medical organizations (especially residential care/treatment homes)
- Clubs or camps
Any predator in such a situation must be held responsible for what they did to you. You may also have a claim against the organization as a whole. Anyone who is entrusted with the care of others, especially children, should be thoroughly vetted before they are allowed in such a position of authority. If you reported your abuse to authorities within the organization and did not receive help, you deserve justice from those who could have saved you from this nightmare.
Suing for Sex Trafficking
The Polaris Project estimates the rate of human trafficking jumped 25% between 2017 and 2018. Yet, aside from a few organizations that constantly work to end sex trafficking, the problem is largely pushed under the rug. For those who have escaped this brutal situation, you may be able to file a lawsuit, regardless of whether criminal charges are brought in your case.
This is true even if you do not know how to find the person who trafficked you. Often, third parties are involved in sex trafficking and can, therefore, be held accountable. For example, hotel chains are a common venue for sex work. Night clubs, resorts, and casinos fall into the same boat. Online marketplaces might also be liable if they host advertisements for the illegal sex trade.
If there is credible reason to believe someone at one (or more) of these establishments was aware it was being used for sex trafficking, we can help you investigate whether the company can be held liable. While the owners and managers of hotels and the like may not be directly involved in trafficking, many of them are aware on some level of what is happening. The honest ones choose to tell the police. The others turn a blind eye because it makes them money. Their negligence makes them complicit in your suffering, and they should be held accountable for it
The Statute of Limitations for Sex Crimes
In response to a growing number of people coming forward with stories of long-ago abuse, many states have changed their statutes of limitations, so victims have more time to bring a claim. Trauma is often a barrier that prevents victims from filing a case within the required time period for legal action. These statue extensions make it more likely justice will be done.
How Long Do I Have to Sue for Sexual Abuse in Pennsylvania?
Pennsylvania law currently allows adults 2 years to file a lawsuit for sexual assault. Those who were abused as minors must file before age 30. However, our legislature is currently reviewing bills that could expand the statute of limitations for children and adults. Our team is closely following this effort and support the cause of bringing more abusers to justice.
If I Live in New Jersey, How Long Do I Have to Sue for Sexual Abuse?
New Jersey has recently extended its statutes of limitations for the victims of sexual abuse:
- Those who were abused as children have until the age of 55 or 7 years after becoming aware of the abuse, whichever is longer.
- Adults have 7 years from their discovery of the abuse to file a suit.
- Any sexual abuse victims previously blocked by the statute of limitations can bring a claim before Dec. 1, 2021.
The law has also removed immunity from certain institutions, allowing victims of nonprofits or public organizations to sue, for the first time.
A Compassionate Team on Your Side
The trauma and injury caused by sex abuse may linger, even after you have escaped the person or people who took advantage of you. Bringing a case in civil court is a way to receive retribution. Though we hope to see abusers face criminal justice as well, filing a civil suit allows you to confront those who hurt you and hold them accountable.
We understand how hard it can be to open up about your sexual abuse, and we are on your side. We will never push you to do something you are not comfortable with. In a free and confidential consultation, our team will listen to your story and let you know what your legal options are. When you are ready to pursue your case, we are here to support you.