Sexual Abuse

We're here to support your through your case

Sexual abuse is not only criminal, but it’s also a life altering form of personal injury. Making the decision to take legal action against your perpetrator takes courage and will-power. Whether the abuse occurred when a person is an adult or as a child, the ramifications, and emotional trauma suffered can impose significant damages to someone’s life, including:

  • Depression
  • Flashbacks
  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
  • Self-harm
  • Sexually Transmitted Infections
  • Substance Abuse
  • Dissociation
  • Panic Attacks
  • Eating Disorders
  • Pregnancy
  • Suicide

We will listen to you and help you navigate your sexual abuse case

This decision to make a sexual abuse claim is not easy, but with proper legal representation, it can be less daunting. We want to help you seek justice against your perpetrator and welcome you to reach out to Vanessa Pena with any questions. Your well-being and confidentiality is our top priority in helping you recover damages and successfully bringing those that harmed you to justice.

Taking Action Against an Abuser

Although the abuser should face criminal prosecution for their actions, a survivor of sexual abuse can subsequently pursue a civil suit against the abuser.

1. Filing a Civil Suit

If you think you have been a victim of child sexual abuse, do not wait to contact an attorney. If the abuse occurred in California, there is a newly amended statute of limitations that allows adult survivors of child sexual abuse to sue- no matter the age- any time before January 2023.

Beginning January 2023, a survivor may file his or her lawsuit before they reach the age of 40, or within 5 years of discovering the psychological injury sustained was sexual abuse.

2. Know what is considered sexual abuse

  • Sexual battery: the act of intentionally harming another person through sexually offensive contact with one’s body.
  • Sexual harassment: a broad term that includes unwelcome, pervasive or severe sexual advances, solicitations, sexual requests, demands for the victim’s sexual compliance, and other conduct. For more information on legal issues involving sexual misconduct in the workplace, please visit our page, “Workplace Sexual Harassment and Assault.”  Sexual battery can be a form of sexual harassment.
  • Domestic violence: a person injures another person with whom he or she is in a relationship.
  • Sexual misconduct might also involve intentionally distributing a private and intimate photograph, film, video, or recording – one that exposes an intimate body part of another person or shows the other person engaging in a sexual act – without that person’s consent.

3. Understand the damages can be recovered from a sexual abuse case

Victims of child sexual abuse may seek compensatory damages, which might include:

  • Medical bills
  • Physical and psychological therapies
  • Lost past and future wages from time away from work
  • Lost earning capacity because of the physical and emotional harm
  • Pain and suffering

Notice to parents or victims

If you have been a victim of sexual abuse or you are a parent of a child that has been sexually abused, the most important thing is to ensure your or your child’s safety. Contact the proper authorities immediately.