According to the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN), there are over 400,000 victims of some type of sexual abuse each year in the United States. Columbia, MO is no exception, with over 14,000 people seeking services related to sexual assault in 2019 according to the Missouri Rights of Victims of Sexual Assault Task Force Report.
If you or a loved one has been the victim of sexual abuse, you deserve justice. A dedicated Columbia sexual abuse lawyer could provide the guidance you need. The personal injury attorneys at the Law Offices of Chris Miller are ready to help you navigate an often tedious and confusing justice system.
Sexual abuse is any kind of non-consensual sexual contact. This can include penetration of any body part or object, fondling, molestation, and forcing someone to perform sexual acts against their will. Unfortunately, sexual abuse can happen to anyone, regardless of age, gender, race, or socioeconomic status. In Missouri, there are also varying degrees of sexual abuse, which are classified as first, second, or third-degree felonies.
While most people think of sexual abuse as happening to children by adults, this is not always the case. Adults can be sexually abused by other adults, and children can be sexually abused by other children. It is estimated that 1 in 4 girls and 1 in 6 boys will be sexually abused before they turn 18 years old. A skilled Columbia attorney can further explain how the state defines sexual abuse and how that can affect a given case.
If you or a loved one has been the victim of sexual abuse, it is important to know that you have legal rights. The first step is to seek medical attention and file a police report. After you have taken care of your immediate needs, you may want to consider filing a personal injury claim.
A personal injury claim can help you recover damages for your physical and emotional injuries, as well as any costs related to the abuse, such as medical bills and therapy. The Law Offices of Chris Miller can assist you in filing a personal injury claim and help you recover the compensation you deserve. It’s important to consider the statute of limitations when filing a personal injury claim related to sexual abuse. In Missouri, legal action must be taken within 3 years of the abuse occurring unless the crime involves a victim under 18 years of age, in which case legal action may be taken at any time. A Columbia sexual abuse attorney understands the timeframes and will help to ensure all necessary action is taken within them.
Unfortunately, crimes involving sexual abuse often go unreported due to victims feeling embarrassed, ashamed, or guilty, with victims often suffering long-term effects because of the abuse. These can include physical injuries, emotional trauma, anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). It can also severely impact the victim’s relationships – both personal and professional. RAINN reports that about 70% of all sexual assault victims experience moderate to severe distress in the aftermath of the attack, a higher percentage than for any other kind of violent crime, according to the Department of Justice.
If you have been the victim of sexual abuse in Columbia, it is important to know that you are not alone and that there are people who can help. These types of cases can be difficult to win, especially if there is little physical evidence besides the victim’s word. This is why it is so important to have an experienced legal professional on your side.
The Law Offices of Chris Miller can help you recover damages for your physical and emotional injuries. We can will help you gather evidence and build a strong case to prove that the sexual abuse occurred and that you were injured as a result. We will review any police reports and medical records, as well as speak to witnesses. Although it may feel difficult, it is important to contact a Columbia attorney as soon as possible to discuss your legal options if you have been a victim of sexual abuse.
If you or a loved one has been the victim of sexual abuse, the capable team of attorneys at the Law Offices of Chris Miller can help. We understand how overwhelming and stressful this time may be and are committed to helping you get your life back on track.
We will work with you to provide the representation and get the compensation you deserve so that you can focus on healing. Contact a Columbia sexual abuse lawyer today for a free consultation.