When someone is in need of physical, mental, or behavioral help from an inpatient facility or treatment center, it is unimaginable to think that they might be abused by those entrusted with their care. Yet hundreds of former patients and their families are stepping forward to stop the cycle of sexual assault and sex abuse by holding accountable abusive caretakers and the corporations that employ them.
We formed the OnderLaw Sexual Abuse Team to advocate for the rights of those who have faced these once-unspeakable crimes. Sexual assault by people in positions of trust are pervasive. By offering survivors an opportunity to speak out confidentially, we are helping survivors take back their lives by breaking the silence against abusers.
To speak to someone from our trauma-informed team, call the OnderLaw Sexual Abuse Team at 314-227-7702
Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Central Time.
This is a special hotline with trained legal professional provided just for sexual abuse survivors.
Can I Report Sexual Abuse Anonymously?
In civil court, which aims to hold abusers and their employers financially accountable for their actions, you have the option to file your court case as “Jane Doe” or “John Doe.” Your name will not appear on court records or in public unless you want it to be public. It is important to note that your attorney is legally required to keep your name and other personal information on file. However, your information is never made public or made accessible to your abuser, your family members, or anyone else.
Our OnderLaw team of sexual abuse lawyers and legal professionals understands that these issues require trust. We will never insist that you provide information that you are not willing to provide, although certain details are needed to move forward with your claim.
I Don’t Want My Spouse to Know About My Case. Can I Still File?
For many people, their history of sexual abuse or sex assault is a deep, dark secret they’ve tucked away from even those who love them. We understand. If you would like mail, emails, or any other form of contact to be private, we can accommodate your requests. This can include using envelopes without a law firm logo, emails with non-descript subject lines, and other ways to help you maintain your privacy.
How Much Time Do I Have to Report Sexual Assault by a Caregiver?
Unfortunately, time is often limited to file a sexual abuse claim in civil or criminal court. However, many states are now recognizing the fact that survivors often aren’t able to deal with or come forward with their stories until years after the abuse or assault occurred. Some states have imposed temporary waivers on the statutes of limitations for sexual abuse survivors, providing windows of opportunity for reporting these crimes and filing civil claims against those responsible. Unfortunately, not all states are on board.
Our team is standing by survivors around the country and can help you determine if you can file a claim. Every case is determined on its individual merits, including where the abuse occurred. We are here to help bring justice to every survivor possible.
We are ready to stand with you. Call the OnderLaw Sexual Abuse Team at 314-227-7702. Our specially trained legal team is available Monday through Friday, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Central Time.
How Do I Know if It’s Sexual Abuse?
Regardless of what happened exactly, sexual abuse is traumatic. Abusers are master manipulators. They often groom their victims for days, months, or even years to believe that what they’re doing is justified or right. People who have been assaulted or abused often have a difficult time overcoming these stories and reconciling the abuse in their minds, sometimes for years.
We understand trauma, so we won’t go into examples here. However, our trained legal professionals can assist you with any questions you may have about what may or may not qualify as a sex abuse claim against a priest or other religious leader, a gynecologist or other physician, a medical care provider, or anyone else who used a position of trust to harm you.
Often, behavior and physical indicators after abuse can be solid indicators that something very wrong occurred. If you have been assaulted or abused, you may recognize these in yourself. These can include:
Behavioral Changes: Sudden shifts in behavior, such as withdrawal or depression, aggressive or agitated behavior, or fear or anxiety, especially around certain staff members. Young people may exhibit self-harming behaviors, reverting to childlike behaviors, or attempt to run away or escape inpatient facility.
Physical Indicators: Look for unexplained physical signs, including injuries, bruising, or bleeding in genital or anal areas, sexual infections or diseases, evidence of torn or stained clothing, or sudden bedwetting.
Emotional and Psychological Symptoms: Pay attention to emotional changes like nightmares or flashbacks, increased anxiety or depression, isolation from peers and family, self-destructive thoughts or behaviors, disrupted sleeping and eating patterns, or loss of interest in social activities.
Who Is Responsible for Sexual Abuse?
In situations where a caregiver or person in a position of trust assaults or abuses someone, not only is that person responsible, but often the institution or corporation that employed them is also legally liable. As we have learned in incidents of sexual abuse with clergy, educators, coaches, or medical care providers, sexual abuse often does not occur in a bubble. Frequently there were reports that were ignored or other signs that were intentionally or negligently ignored by managers or other higher-ups. These institutions can also be named in civil lawsuits and be held financially accountable.
What Happens if I File a Civil Lawsuit for Sexual Abuse?
First and foremost, we want to emphasize that you can file a civil claim anonymously. We do not need to use your name in public records.
When you call our OnderLaw Sexual Abuse Team, your call and any information you provide will be completely confidential. Our consultations are also free and require no obligation on your part. We will discuss your situation and provide you with the information you need to make an informed decision about going forward with a claim. Depending on your circumstances, we can tell you what may be required and what to expect.
Taking a Stand: No More Abuse
The goal of a civil claim is to hold those accountable financially responsible for the damage they have done. Successful claims usually do result in monetary awards. In other words, you may receive some money. However, for us, it is not just about the money. Those who take a stand are telling anyone who considers abusing another person that it will not be tolerated. Together, we’re saying a resounding and effective “No!” to anyone who commits or enables sexual abuse.
If you have been sexually abused by a caretaker or person of trust, join us. Together, we are making a difference. Call the OnderLaw Sexual Abuse Team at 314-227-7702 Monday through Friday, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Central Time.