Sexual assault and sexual abuse have life-long consequences for survivors. By pursuing a case with the help of an experienced and compassionate sexual assault lawyer, you may find closure, help others, and hold predators and their enablers accountable for the harm they’ve caused.
Table of Contents
What Is Sexual Assault/Abuse?
What Is Institutional Sexual Abuse?
What Are the Long-Term Effects of Sexual Assault?
What Could a Sexual Assault Lawsuit Settlement Include?
How Can I Contact a Sexual Assault Attorney Today?
Testimonials for Zaner Harden Law
Sexual Assault FAQs
According to statistics from the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN), an American is sexually assaulted ever 68 seconds. Every 9 minutes, that victim is a child, but only 25 of every 1,000 perpetrators of sexual assault will serve prison time.
Types of sexual violence, assault, and abuse include:
These general categories of sexual abuse don’t always look the same from the outside, but do cause the same surviving issues with trust, self-confidence, and future sexual health. Each of these forms of abuse can also be worsened by institutional misconduct.
Institutionally-assisted sexual abuse occurs in spaces like workplaces, churches, militaries, hospitals, prisons, asylums, and rehab facilities—anywhere there is a power imbalance or your livelihood is on the line.
Many people are aware of the large-scale facilitation of abuse that has occurred in the Catholic Church and The Boy Scouts of America. They are two examples of institutional failure to protect children, just as the Fox News sexual harassment scandals and the coverups of sexual violence in the U.S. military are examples of institutions actively victimizing adults.
Senate Bill 88 (SB88) in Colorado is a game-changer for empowering survivors of child sexual abuse, and makes great leaps in holding institutions accountable. Generally in Colorado, individuals would have six years after they turn 18 to file a lawsuit against their abuser, but only two years to sue an institution.
SB88 states that a surviving victim may sue both the perpetrator of the abuse and any youth-related organization if they knew (or should have known) about a risk of sexual misconduct. The act waives sovereign immunity for public employees or public entities that operate a youth program, including schools and other educational activities.
The language of SB88 allows surviving victims of sexual misconduct that happened between January 1, 1960 and January 1, 2022 to undertake a lawsuit before January 1, 2025. For those who are abused on or after January 1, 2022, there is no limitation on the time to bring a claim for sexual misconduct.
Colorado is ushering in a brighter future for children to grow up and take control of their histories, their bodies, and their lives.
If you feel you have been sexually violated in any way, you have the right to speak up, and Zaner Harden Law is a safe place to be heard. Reach out to us at (720) 613-9706—we’re here to listen and to help.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than 1 in 3 women and nearly 1 in 4 men experience physical sexual violence in their lifetime. Between one-fourth and one-third of rape victims across genders experienced sexual assault for the first time before the age of 17.
The long-term harm caused by sexual abuse and assault includes:
Survivors of childhood sexual abuse have are left facing years of after-effects, especially as they develop sexual maturity and begin forming intimate relationships. Sexual violence costs survivors an over $200,000 in a lifetime of lost productivity, criminal justice activities, and medical expenses. For those assaulted as children, the amount gets higher as the years progress.
In addition to counseling and social support, hiring a sexual abuse lawyer can help compensate survivors for their losses and future care.
Download a copy of the “The Life-Long Impact of Sexual Abuse” here.
A settlement or successful verdict in a sexual assault or abuse case could entail funds for:
These are the possible settlement and damages award outcomes of civil court claims, which are separate from criminal cases, in which the burden of proof is higher. You have a right to pursue your own case against those who harmed you or your loved one, regardless of whether criminal charges are filed. In fact, even a spouse can sue those responsible in civil court, all in an effort to compensate for any resulting rifts in their relationship, anger issues, or pain and suffering caused in their marriage or family.
Likewise, those who can be held liable for sexual assault or abuse include the perpetrator(s), those who played any part in facilitating the abuse, or those who negligently failed to protect you. For example, if a sexual assault happened in a hotel room, where security was inept or the locks were broken, the hotel itself may be found partially responsible.
Lawyers for sexual assault victims are highly aware of the discomfort involved in talking about such incidents. No matter what you’re feeling—anger, embarrassment, disgust, shame, or despair—all of your feelings are legitimate, and will be respected by the lawyers and staff at Zaner Harden.
If you need to be heard, believed, and helped, we’re here for you. Zaner Harden Law, in partnership with the outstanding professionals at James, Vernon & Weeks, are ready to listen to your circumstances and discuss your legal options. Your choice to place a call today could be your first step towards justice, closure, and peace. Your courageous action could also help save the innocence and possibly the lives of others.
If you or someone you love has been a victim of sexual abuse or sexual assault, call Zaner Harden Law for a free and confidential consultation at (720) 613-9706, or complete our online case evaluation form and we’ll reach out to you.
Consenting to sexual activity means saying, or nonverbally communicating, “yes!” Consent should be given enthusiastically, freely, and affirmatively. Any unsureness, hesitation, or resistance is not consent. Anything less than “yes” means “no.”
Consent cannot be assumed, obtained through force or coercion, or be granted under the mind-altering influence of drugs or alcohol. Similarly, when it comes to anyone under the age of 13, consent cannot be given at all. No one under 18 can give consent to caretakers (like parents, teachers, or babysitters), and individuals between 14-15 can only legally consent to sex with non-caretakers within 4 years of their age.
Actions that exceed the boundaries of consent like “stealthing” (secretly removing a condom during sex) violate consent, and may be prosecuted or taken to civil court. Consent can be revoked at any time.
Coercion and manipulation include acts like pressuring someone for sex, badgering them, extorting them, lying to them to obtain sex, or threatening them if they don’t “consent.”
None of these tactics actually elicit true consent. Anyone who treats you or a loved one this way is committing a form of sexual violence.
Those who can sue over sexual abuse or assault include:
If you have questions about your rights or standing to pursue a sexual assault lawsuit, call Zaner Harden Law, LLP today at (720) 613-9706 to discuss your options.
Many states have filing deadlines (known as “statutes of limitation”) for civil sexual assault cases. The majority of states limit your window for legal action between 1-3 years. Some states allow extended time periods after the age of 18 for survivors of child sexual abuse, but others do not. Some states like Colorado (where Zaner Harden is headquartered) have lifted all timeline restrictions for child sexual abuse survivors going forward.
Wherever you are located in the United States, it’s important to consult with an attorney as soon as possible so you don’t miss your opportunity for justice. Contact Zaner Harden Law, LLP at (720) 613-9706 to secure representation right away.
“I experienced such compassion, support, and excellent coordination at Zaner Harden. I knew they believed in me from the beginning and fought relentlessly for me. All of them listened, were always there if I had questions or was overwhelmed with the situation and helped sustain me. My family and I will always be grateful to them!”
“Marc Harden and his team truly cared about me and my well being through the entire claim. They communicated with me as the process moved forward so I was always in the know. I would recommend them to any friend or family member if they find themselves in need of an attorney.”