What Are the Different Types of Sexual Abuse?

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Victims of sexual abuse often feel hopeless regarding their options following their tragic ordeal. They worry about who they can talk to for help, especially if their abuser is a person in power or someone in a trusted position.

As a result, many victims of sexual abuse suffer in silence and are left to deal with their injuries, losses, and fear alone. However, if you are a sexual abuse survivor, you should not have to live in fear or worry that bad things will happen if you come forward and hold the person who abused you accountable.

In addition, it is also essential to understand that there are many different types of sexual abuse for which you can pursue legal action. In this post, we will go over some of these different types of sexual abuse, the legal remedies you may have if you have been a victim of abuse, and how an experienced sexual abuse attorney can help you fight for the justice you deserve. Reach out to a sexual abuse lawyer.

What Is Sexual Abuse?

What Are the Different Types of Sexual Abuse?Sexual abuse refers to any sexual or sexually motivated behavior that is done to a person without their consent. While
many people associate sexual abuse with unwanted sexual touch, in truth, many intrusive behaviors fall into this category, which is not limited to physical contact alone. Instead, sexual abuse can include sexual harassment to sexual penetration with or without violence, indecent exposure, forcing another individual to view or participate in pornography, and more

Different Types of Sexual Abuse

As mentioned, sexual abuse can take on various forms and sometimes may not even include physical touching. However, this type of abuse can generally be broken up into the following types:

Verbal Sexual Abuse

Verbal sexual abuse refers to spoken or written words that evoke, express, or imply sexual content. This abuse can be found in social settings, at home, and at work, and it is often passed as crude humor.

Some of the more common examples of verbal sexual abuse include:

  • Sexual jokes
  • Graphic sexual descriptions
  • Teasing about physical characteristics
  • Name-calling
  • Statements about physical development
  • Solicitation
  • Sexting
  • Stalking with phone calls
  • Unwanted romantic advances
  • Sexual insults

Visual Sexual Abuse

Visual sexual abuse is categorized as any nonconsensual or unwanted sexual advances or harassment of a visual nature. Or in other words, this abuse forces another person to witness or look at something sexual without their consent.

Some examples of visual sexual abuse include:

  • Flashing
  • Exhibitionism
  • Nudity
  • Unwanted exposure to sexually explicit images
  • Sexting
  • Performing sexual acts while individuals are present that are non-consenting

Covert Sexual Abuse

Covert sexual abuse is a type of sexual abuse that happens without the victim’s knowledge. It often involves being followed, photographed, and observed, as well as sexual cyber-harassment and social media stalking. The perpetrator does this stalking to get sexual satisfaction from the victim without their knowledge.

Physical Sexual Abuse

Physical sexual abuse refers to any unwanted or nonconsensual sexual contact. Examples of physical-sexual abuse include unwanted touching, kissing, enemas, intercourse, oral sex, sodomy, licking, and physical restraint.

Ritualistic Sexual Abuse

Ritualistic sexual abuse is a type of sexual abuse that is blended with some form of spirituality and rituals and often has overtones of religious, satanic, or magical intent. In some instances, perpetrators of ritualistic sexual abuse attempt to justify their abusive actions as an act of worship or penance.

This abuse can include:

  • Genital mutilation
  • Chants during abuse
  • Incest rituals
  • Child marriages

Institutional Sexual Abuse

Institutional sexual abuse or assault usually occurs when an individual in power abuses their power to assault or molest a victim sexually. This abuse often includes relationships involving coaches and athletes, a priest and a child, a teacher and a student, a doctor and a patient, or a counselor and a camper. Unfortunately, when this type of abuse happens, most victims often feel powerless, with nobody to turn to for help. They often fear retaliation or other harm for reporting sexual abuse.

In addition, institutional sexual abuse also occurs when  assisted living or nursing home employees sexually abuse their patients or those in their care. This is especially problematic because these patients often have reduced mental or physical capacities that can make it challenging to comprehend what is going on or report the abuse.

The Effects of Sexual Abuse

Unfortunately, the damage of sexual abuse can be devastating, impacting a victim physically, emotionally, and financially. Many victims may have a hard time keeping relationships and trusting people.

They may develop problems with their:

  • Sexual relationships
  • Job performance or schoolwork
  • Behavior, causing them to become more withdrawn and removed from social interactions
  • Self-esteem and suffering from severe anxiety or depression

If you were a victim of sexual abuse, reach out to a knowledgeable sexual abuse attorney today. These lawyers can provide you with the legal support you need during this challenging time. They can figure out your legal options and help you hold the responsible parties liable while pursuing the financial damages you deserve.

Where Do These Types of Sexual Abuse Happen?

Unfortunately, sexual abuse can happen anywhere. Some places are more associated with this type of abuse than others, such as alcohol-fueled parties on college campuses. Yet, sexual abuse can occur in any context. It is especially likely in locations where individuals have authority over others and can try to leverage it for sexual reasons, or in places where a person is an advisor, leader, or mentor and tries to take advantage of their position.

Civil Claims Following Sexual Abuse

If you were the victim of sexual abuse, you might have legal options you can pursue to obtain compensation for the losses and harm you experienced. While the government may charge such abusers for their crimes and send them to prison, sexual abuse victims can also pursue monetary recovery by filing a civil legal case against the responsible parties.

Liability for Institutional Sexual Abuse

Although liability for institutional sexual abuse is a complex area of law, in general, to prove liability in a sexual abuse case against another party, you must demonstrate:

  • The institution owed a duty to protect the victim
  • The institution breached its duty by performing some action or inaction
  • The institution’s breach allowed the sexual abuse to occur
  • You suffered damages from the sexual abuse

To determine whether you can pursue legal action for your institutional sexual abuse or other types of sexual abuse, consider contacting an experienced sexual abuse lawyer at Gruel Mills as soon as possible. Our legal professionals can review what happened, determine if you have a viable claim, and help you fight for the justice and compensation you deserve.

Time Limitations to File a Sexual Abuse Legal Claim

To pursue a sexual abuse lawsuit, it is important to realize that time is limited. According to the statute of limitations, which is a law that dictates the time limit people have to file a lawsuit following an alleged offense, victims of sexual abuse have limited time to file a lawsuit after the abuse. In Michigan, this time limit is 10 years after the abuse. If the victim was a minor at the time, this 10 years does not start to run until they turn 18 years old. There are other exceptions and tolling provisions that may apply as well.

To determine exactly how much time you have to file your case, contact an experienced sexual abuse lawyer as soon as possible. Once the statute of limitations expires, you will not be able to pursue legal action to secure the recovery you are entitled to. Yet, with a sexual abuse lawyer on your side, these attorneys can help you determine when you need to file your lawsuit and make sure your legal filings and motions are submitted to the court before this deadline expires.

The Compensation You Can Pursue After Being Sexual Abused

Pursuing a sexual abuse lawsuit can help you recover compensation for the trauma and harm you sustained. When it comes to these lawsuits, holding only the abuser responsible for the sexual abuse may not get you the results you want since, often, these individuals may not have the financial capability to compensate you for everything you are rightfully owed.

That is why in instances where sexual abuse occurred in part because of the negligence of an institution, the institution must be named in the civil suit to help ensure that you obtain the maximum damages you are entitled to. These damages are usually divided into two categories, economic and non-economic.

Economic Damages in a Sexual Abuse Case

Economic damages typically refer to the quantifiable expenses that have resulted from the sexual abuse.

These damages usually include:

  • Hospital expenses
  • Medical care costs
  • Doctor visits
  • Emergency services, including ambulance services
  • Prescription medications
  • Specialist visits
  • Therapy
  • Lost wages
  • Reduced earning capacity
  • Other financial losses

To make sure you can secure all the economic damages you need, keep all the receipts, treatment plans, and expenses incurred because of the harm you suffered from the sexual abuse.

Non-Economic Damages in a Sexual Abuse Case

In addition to the tangible losses following sexual abuse, victims also experience significant emotional hardships. As a result, a court can award payment for non-economic damages. These damages refer to the more subjective losses that an individual experiences following sexual abuse, such as:

  • Pain and suffering
  • Loss of enjoyment of life
  • Loss of consortium
  • Chronic pain
  • Physical disfigurement
  • Physical and emotional scars

If you want to determine what damages you can pursue, consider contacting an experienced sexual abuse lawyer at Gruel Mills as soon as possible. We can walk you through these different damages, determine which ones apply to your case, and help you pursue maximum financial recovery to help you rebuild your life after dealing with this devastating abuse.

Contact a Sexual Abuse Attorney Today and Fight for Maximum Financial Recovery

Scott R. Melton - Lawyer for Construction Accidents near Grand Rapids area
Scott R. Melton, Sexual Abuse Lawyer in Grand Rapids.

If someone has sexually abused you or your child, what happened is not your fault. You are a survivor and deserve justice for everything you endured. Thankfully, when you hire an experienced sexual abuse attorney to take on your legal case, you will not have to fight for justice alone.

The lawyers at Gruel Mills can stand by your side through this challenging journey and:

  • Determine the legal course of action you can take.
  • Investigate the incident thoroughly and gather the evidence needed to help substantiate your claim.
  • Provide updated communication so you are not left in the dark about what is happening.
  • Pursue holding all the parties responsible for your abuse accountable for the damages you sustained.
  • Handle all the settlement negotiations and fight for the just offer you need.
  • Take your case to court if the other party is unwilling to get you the money you need and fight for maximum damages.

If you or a family member has suffered from sexual abuse, contact an experienced sexual abuse attorney at Gruel Mills today for a free case evaluation. Find out how these lawyers can help you figure out the best steps for you going forward.