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November 27, 2020

Child Sexual Abuse FAQ

Have you or your child been a victim of child sexual abuse? It’s a horrible situation to find yourself in, and you likely have a lot of questions.

At Greenstein & Milbauer, LLP, we want to address the most frequently asked child sexual abuse questions here for your convenience. When you’re ready, speak with a New York sex abuse attorney at our firm for free and get answers to the specific questions related to your individual case.

What is the New York state Child Victims Act?

On February 14, 2019, Governor Cuomo signed the Child Victims Act, which significantly extended the statute of limitations for sexual crimes committed against children.

How long do I have to file a suit in New York related to sex abuse?

Under the Child Victims Act, adult survivors can bring a claim against their abuser until the age of 55. The bill also includes a special one-year window for victims to file a claim, regardless of when the abuse happened.

This means that if you or someone you know (including your child) was a victim of sexual abuse and your claim was previously time barred, your sexual abuse claim can now be prosecuted in New York.

Can a victim sue in civil court even if the accused was found not guilty in a criminal case?

Yes. There are different standards in criminal and civil cases. In a criminal case, the standard is that the state must prove that the accused is guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. In a civil case, the standard is that the victim must prove that the accused is more likely than not liable.

The goal of a civil injury claim is to hold the accused accountable to the victim, and a successful claim can do just that.

Can I hold a church or institution liable if I was sexually abused?

In some cases, yes. Our experienced sexual abuse lawyers may be able to hold a church or another institution liable if you, or a loved one, was sexually abused there. These are some of the questions we ask in these cases:

  • Was the organization responsible for supervising the accused?
  • Did the organization know or should it have known that the accused was a danger to children?
  • Did the accused have a propensity for conduct that could lead to the sexual abuse of a child?
  • Was the organization negligent in its supervision of their staff or volunteer?
  • Did the employer or organization fail to follow proper practices when hiring the accused?
  • Did the employer or organization fail to investigate the conduct of a worker or volunteer?
  • Were warning signs missed or ignored?
  • Were complaints made?
  • Were complaints properly investigated?
  • Were complaints addressed?
  • Should the organization have fired the accused sooner?
  • Was the accused allowed to work around children when it was known, or should have been known, that the accused was a danger to children?
  • Was the employer or organization more concerned about their own reputation instead of the health, safety, and well-being of a child?

What if I report sex abuse and I’m told “we’re taking care of it”?

That is not an acceptable answer. Do not take anybody’s word that they are taking care of it! You are being asked to cover up a crime. In some cases, you are being asked to cover up a crime committed against you! It is wrong to cover up a crime in any context and for any individual or institution. Those who committed the unspeakable must be held accountable.

This is why it can be important to work with an experienced sexual abuse New York law firm like Greenstein & Milbauer, LLP. We can investigate your case and give you an opinion about whether an institution may be held accountable.

Will my name be made public in a sex abuse case?

At Greenstein & Milbauer, LLP, we understand that talking about something as traumatic as childhood sexual abuse is extremely difficult. Many victims hold their secret for too long.

Although most cases against sexual abusers are settled without litigation, if we do start a lawsuit, we will not use your name. We can use an alias, such as John or Jane Doe. The sexual abuse attorneys Greenstein & Milbauer, LLP are experienced and compassionate, and we’ve got your back.

How much is my case worth?

That’s a very common question at the beginning of a sex abuse case. It is also a very difficult question to answer at the outset of a case, because every case is different. It’s impossible to put a value on your case without knowing all the specific details of your situation.

Questions about how much you suffered, both physically and emotionally, still need to be answered, including how much you may suffer in the future. What we do know is that you may be entitled to three types of compensation.

  • Economic Damages – These are damages for financial losses, including medical and therapy expenses and lost wages.
  • Non-Economic Damages – These are damages for emotional claims, psychological trauma, and diminished family, work, and social relationships, among other losses.
  • Punitive Damages – These damages are meant to punish and deter an individual or organization from engaging in outrageous conduct and/or a reckless disregard for the lives of others. They are not awarded in all cases, but we’ll see if they apply to your New York claim.

Should I contact a sexual abuse lawyer in New York?

If you were sexually abused in New York, it may be in your best interests to speak with a sexual abuse lawyer for guidance with your case.

If you are uncertain whether you need an attorney, please feel free to call Greenstein & Milbauer, LLP. We will be glad to discuss the situation with you during a free consultation.

Reach Out to a Child Sex Abuse Lawyer for Help

Greenstein & Milbauer, LLP has as a history of fighting for victims. Our motto is “don’t be a victim twice.” If you were a victim of sexual abuse as a child, don’t be victimized again by working with the wrong legal team or letting the abuser get away with what they’ve done.

We care. We can help you obtain justice. The call is free, and the consultation is free; there is no upfront cost. You don’t pay us unless we are successful, so there’s nothing for you to lose.

Call 1-800-VICTIM2 (1-800-842-8462) or fill out the form below to schedule a free and confidential consultation about your potential New York sexual abuse claim with the personal injury attorneys at Greenstein & Milbauer, LLP.