According to the American Psychological Association, sexual abuse is defined as unwanted sexual activity, with perpetrators using force, making threats, or taking advantage of victims not able to give consent. Sexual abuse can occur in different relationships, including spousal and child. Sexual abuse is not the same as sexual harassment, which is the unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical harassment of a sexual nature.
Sexual abuse victims have to deal with the trauma of the attack as well as lasting effects where professional help may be necessary. The issue of sexual abuse has been front and center in the past decade. Many institutions have been rocked by charges of sexual abuse, like churches, schools, and Fortune 500 companies just to name a few. Most notably, the Catholic Church has been under the spotlight because of the many sex abuse scandals it has been subjected too, but religious institutions from other faiths have also been subjected to their own similar scandals.
While there are many groups and advocates that fight on behalf of sex abuse victims and their families, obtaining justice and compensation for the victims in court calls for a different kind of advocate. In sex abuse related litigation, it can take a very long time before the case goes to trial. In cases where an extended period of time has passed before a lawsuit was filed, depositions and motions can take years before a trial date is set. If a settlement has been reached, compensation may be delayed for the plaintiff and their attorney for their award and fee, respectively.Major Sexual Abuse SettlementsPenn State – Former Assistant Coach Jerry Sandusky, who worked under legendary college football coach Joe Paterno, was found guilty of 45 charges of child sex abuse at Penn State during his coaching tenure and after when retired. As many as 32 victims came forward, including Sandusky’s own adopted son with allegations of sexual abuse. Once news broke of the allegations and the story became a media firestorm, Penn State quickly settled with some of Sandusky’s victims for almost $60 million.Catholic Church – The church has been rocked by sexual abuse charges across the world. Many of the church officials have been dragged into the scandal, which has affected the church and its image so greatly. USA TODAY published an article in 2013 estimating the Catholic Church has spent over $2.5 billion on the sexual abuse scandal in the United States.Post-Settlement Funding for Attorneys and Plaintiffs with Sexual Abuse SettlementsSexual abuse legal proceedings are extremely stressful, expensive, and timely. The entire process can take a toll mentally, physically, and emotionally on the victim. If a settlement is reached, payment may still be delayed. While you are waiting for compensation, RD Legal is able to offer funding on that settlement to both plaintiffs (awards) and their attorneys (fees). Call 1-800-565-5177 to speak with a Fee Acceleration expert, or fill out the brief application on this page to begin the process to get funding.