The compassionate team at Hartley Law Firm understands how essential it is for survivors of sexual abuse and their families to find justice. We represent clients whose lives were changed by sexual predators and seek to hold abusers accountable for their actions.
Sexual abuse is unlike any other area of law, and you need an experienced Flower Mound sexual abuse lawyer who can guide you through the process. We cannot promise that it will always be completely comfortable, but we do believe that it will be worth it to bring your abuser into the light and find some sense of peace. We know that some victims are embarrassed to share their experiences. Others are concerned they may not have a strong case. We are here to listen to your story without judgment and help you determine the best path forward. Contact us today to speak with a Texas sexual abuse lawyer.
Sexual Abuse in Texas
Unfortunately, as a victim, you are not alone. The statistics surrounding sexual abuse in Texas are startling. In coming forward with the help of a sexual abuse lawyer, you have the ability to bring sexual abuse into the light:
- In 2020, Texas had the highest number of forcible rape cases in the United States, with 13,509 reported rapes. It is essential to know that rape is only one form of sexual abuse, so if you have not been raped, it does not mean you have not been sexually abused.
- In 2017, the Texas Department of Public Safety reported 18,112 cases of sexual assault involving 18,750 victims. Of the victims whose gender was known, 12.1% were male, and 87.9% were female.
- The Texas Association Against Sexual Assault put together some statistics in 2012, and though the data is older, the numbers are worth mentioning:
- One in five women and one in twenty men in Texas have been sexually assaulted at some point in their lifetime.
- Over 80% of Texans who were sexually assaulted did not report to law enforcement.
- Only 19% of the sexual assaults were committed by complete strangers, leaving over 80% of sexual assaults committed by someone known to the victim.
- The Children’s Advocacy Centers of Texas reported that 686 children served by the organization in 2022 were victims of sex trafficking and that one in ten children will be sexually abused before their 18th birthday.
These statistics represent the significance of the overall problem but know that each victim matters, and you are much more than a number.
It Is Not Your Fault
One of the most common reasons that survivors decide not to seek counsel from a sexual abuse attorney is that they fear that they will be blamed for the abuse or will not be believed. Abusers are completely dependent on your silence and are banking on the fact that your fear will hold you back from filing a sexual abuse case.
Power and dominance are consistent factors in most sexual abuse claims, meaning that the abuser was someone with some sort of physical stature. They may have been a teacher, employer, church leader, caregiver, or even a family member. Regardless of your relationship with the abuser, sexual abuse is never ok. Nothing you have said, worn, or done gives permission for someone to commit sexual abuse against you. It is also important to note that minors are incapable of consenting to any sort of sexual activity.
Statute of Limitations for Sexual Abuse in Texas
There are a lot of factors that go into determining how long you have to file this type of claim in Texas. Your Flower Mound sexual abuse lawyer can help you determine your rights and filing deadlines. Depending on the circumstances of your sexual abuse lawsuit, you may have the right to bring a civil claim against the abuser. In some cases, a criminal case may also be appropriate. The civil statute of limitations for sexual abuse in adults is five years from the date of the offense. For criminal cases, the statute of limitations is ten years after the date of the offense. There are exceptions for criminal cases for rape or aggravated rape where no suspect has been identified.
The statute of limitations for children under 17 at the time of the offense for civil cases ranges from 10 to 20 years after the victim turns 18, and 20 years after for criminal cases. If for some reason, you think it has been too long since the abuse, please let us help you determine what exception may apply to your sexual abuse claim. Reach out to discuss your case with an experienced sex abuse attorney.
Choosing a Flower Mound Sexual Abuse Lawyer
At Hartley Law Firm, we understand how difficult it can be to take the first step and reach out for professional legal guidance, and we applaud you for your bravery. When you take a stand against sexual abuse, everyone wins. Our team is here to support you through every step by gathering evidence and determining the best legal strategy for your sexual abuse lawsuit. You are not in this alone. Contact us to schedule your free case consultation.