Sex Abuse Civil Lawsuits

Sex Abuse Civil Lawsuits

If you suffered injuries from sex abuse as a child or as an adult, do not hesitate to contact Mass Tort Alliance immediately. You might be entitled to financial compensation from the individual or institution liable for the traumatic experience you went through. You should not be responsible for your medical treatment, therapy appointments, or other costs resulting from the harm you suffered. Our legal team will be your advocate during this difficult time in your life and make sure you have the right lawyer to help you fight for justice.

Sex abuse often causes psychological damage and emotional scars that last long after the physical injuries heal. It can impact every part of your life and prevent you from having healthy relationships with others.

The sexual abuse of a child can be even more damaging and have an even greater impact. Kids have a hard time understanding situations like these. They can’t rationalize why it happened to them or understand how to handle the abuse. Many don’t speak up about their experiences for fear of retaliation from their abuser or that no one will believe them.

When you’re struggling with the effects of sex abuse, you need an experienced legal team by your side to help you through it. Mass Tort Alliance can determine which lawyer will be a good fit for you and your case so that you receive the support and guidance you need. Contact us right now for a free case evaluation.

Common Types of Sexual Abuse

Sexual abuse isn’t just the act of unwanted physical touching. It can come in many other forms. It also doesn’t always cause physical injuries, so other people often can’t tell when someone they know is being abused. Victims are often targeted by people they trust, such as spouses, friends, relatives, or healthcare professionals.

Sexual abuse is unwanted sexual acts made by threat, force, or taking advantage of someone without their consent. The most common types of sexual abuse include:

  • Fondling
  • Taking inappropriate photos
  • Sharing pornographic images or videos
  • Oral sex
  • Penetration
  • Molestation
  • Rape
  • Incest
  • Sodomy
  • Childhood sex abuse

Child sexual abuse is one of the most severe offenses someone can commit. It occurs when an adult engages in sexual activity with a minor child. According to state and federal laws, children cannot consent to any act of a sexual nature. That includes intercourse, fondling, receiving pornographic materials, and exhibitionism.

The Impact of Sexual Abuse on Children and Adults

Whether you were a minor or an adult when the sexual abuse occurred, you’re probably suffering serious long-term consequences. It’s hard for anyone to get over something like this, and getting over it quickly is unlikely. Many survivors feel intense shame about what they’ve been through and develop mental illness.

The most common long-term effects of sexual abuse are:

Shame and guilt

Survivors might blame themselves for the abuse they endured, especially if the perpetrator was someone close to them that they trusted. It’s hard for them to view their abuser negatively, so they place blame on themselves. Self-blaming can lead to self-destructiveness, such as inflicting physical pain and having suicidal thoughts.


A common issue people face following sexual abuse is depression. Some survivors will internalize their experience instead of discussing it with a friend, family member, or therapist. The intense burden they feel as a result of what they endured can lead to difficulty sleeping, overeating, suicidal thoughts, and withdrawal from daily life.


Some victims, especially those who suffered ongoing abuse, will dissociate themselves from the situation to cope. Common signs of dissociation are nightmares, flashbacks, confusion, and emotional numbness. Many people will repress the memories and have a hard time recalling what happened later on.

Eating disorders and body image issues

Survivors can feel dirty or ugly after sexual abuse. They begin feeling uncomfortable with their bodies and the way they look. Some will cope by overeating, while others struggle with anorexia or bulimia.

Sexual dysfunction

As adults, those who experienced sexual abuse at any point in their lives will have trouble with sexual activity. They might become disinterested in having sex or even fear it. Some people will emotionally distance themselves from a partner during sex acts. Others will avoid beginning or maintaining intimate relationships with other people.

Anxiety and stress

Panic attacks, phobias, chronic anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorder are typical after sexual abuse. Children are at high risk of these problems that can last well into adulthood.

Struggle with interpersonal relationships

Many survivors of sex abuse will find it challenging to establish close relationships with others. They don’t trust anyone and fear intimacy. They might also have issues setting healthy boundaries with family, friends, and partners.

Unfortunately, most adult and childhood sexual abuse survivors suffer in silence. They believe they are somehow responsible for what happened and fear judgment from others if they come forward with their story. Some people will internalize what they’ve been through for decades before they’re finally ready to face their abuser and hold them accountable.

How the Child Victims Act Helps Victims of Childhood Sexual Abuse

If you suffered abuse as a minor, you might not have a chance to file a lawsuit against your abuser once you’ve become an adult. Many states have a short statute of limitations, which is the timeframe for initiating legal action against another person for sex crimes. However, many states passed legislation eliminating or extending the statute of limitations and allowing survivors to file civil lawsuits despite the missed deadline.

For example, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo passed the Child Victims Act on February 14, 2019. The law provides a one-year lookback window on previously time-barred cases of childhood sexual abuse. It also allows residents to file civil lawsuits until they turn 55 years old and pursue criminal cases until they turn 28 years old.

Other states that passed similar laws proving a lookback window for civil lawsuits are:

  • California
  • New Jersey
  • Hawaii
  • Montana
  • Arizona
  • North Carolina
  • Vermont
  • District of Columbia

States that extended the civil statutes of limitations for sex abuse survivors, giving them more time to file are:

  • Tennessee
  • Rhode Island
  • Alabama
  • Michigan
  • Connecticut
  • Pennsylvania
  • Texas

You should call Mass Tort Alliance today if you were a victim of childhood sexual abuse and want the chance to file a civil lawsuit. If you’re in one of the states with laws granting more time to pursue civil cases or criminal charges, we might be able to help.

Settlements That Made the News

Notable sex abuse cases have been reported in the news throughout the country. Some of the most well-known reached significant settlements.

Catholic Dioceses

Over 8,600 survivors of childhood sexual abuse sued members of the Catholic clergy for sexual assault. The institution was aware of the misconduct but failed to notify law enforcement or relieve the perpetrators of their duties. The dioceses settled these claims for over $3.8 billion.

Jeffrey Epstein

Sixty-one victims of sexual abuse, sex trafficking of minors, and other offenses agreed to accept a settlement from a Victim Compensation Fund for over $100 million.

Harvey Weinstein

After four years of litigation, around forty women agreed to settle their cases of sexual assault for $17 million. The bankruptcy court is overseeing this lawsuit, and each plaintiff will receive his or her share from the sexual misconduct claims fund. The more serious allegations could result in compensation of up to $500,000 or more.

Boy Scouts of America

A thirty-eight-year-old man who claimed a volunteer scout leader sexually abused him when he was twelve years old settled his case with the organization. A jury awarded him $18.5 million for the losses he suffered as a result of the abuse. The evidence presented at trial showed the organization knew about the misconduct but allowed the volunteer continued access to the children.

Penn State University

A former assistant football coach sexually assaulted over 30 boys during a fifteen-year period. The university agreed to pay $100 million in settlements to the victims and a $60 million fine to the N.C.A.A.

Sexual Abuse Statistics

According to data collected by Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network:

  • 60,000 children were victims of indicated or substantiated sexual abuse
  • 433,648 Americans at least 12 years of age are raped or sexually assaulted every year between 2010 and 2014
  • Someone in the United States suffers sexual assault every 73 seconds
  • One in six women become the victim of completed or attempted rape in their lifetime
  • Most child victims are between 12 and 17 years old
  • Eight out of ten rapes are by a person the victim knows

Why Choose Mass Tort Alliance?

We have a dedicated and compassionate team that will address your concerns and discuss your legal options for holding your abuser accountable for their actions.

Personalized Services

We know that no two cases are the same. We tailor our services to each individual client.

Streamlined Intake

Our intake process is efficient. We gather all the necessary details so your lawyer can begin working on your case immediately.

24/7 Call Center

Our representatives are available 24/7 to speak with you, so we never miss your call.

Legal Guidance

We care about our clients. You will receive the guidance and support you need to get through this traumatic experience.

Contact Us

Mass Tort Alliance will treat you like a priority and ensure you receive the legal representation you deserve from an experienced and knowledgeable lawyer. To find out how we can help you with your sexual abuse case, contact us today.