What to Do to Finally Get Justice as a Survivor of a Childhood Abuse

Posted February 13, 2023 by in Lifestyle

Getting justice as a survivor of childhood abuse is not easy, but it can bring you important closure and peace of mind. If you’ve experienced abuse, you may feel isolated and vulnerable without a sense of control or understanding of how to seek help. Fortunately, many resources are available to support individuals who have endured this trauma, including legal avenues for seeking justice. This guide will provide an overview of what to do as a survivor of childhood abuse to take action and get the closure and peace you need. 

Civil Claims

As a survivor of childhood abuse, you may be considering filing a civil claim to seek justice for the harm inflicted upon you. Child abuse and neglect can have devastating consequences on victims’ psychological and physical health; seeking legal recourse can help survivors obtain reparations for their suffering and send a powerful message that such behavior will not be tolerated. 

The Child Victims Act (CVA) is a federal law that establishes new procedures by which sexual abuse victims may bring suit against their perpetrators. In addition to extending the statute of limitations within which survivors file their claims, the Child Victims Act also enables adult victims who experienced childhood abuse or neglect to sue tortfeasors such as those employed by institutions like churches.

Seeking justice through the courts is not easy, but with the Child Victims Act, survivors now have more options. A sexual abuse attorney in Houston can help you bring a case against your abuser and any institutions that may be found liable. A sexual abuse lawyer can help you understand the legal process, including what damages can be sought in a civil action and how to best document your case for court proceedings. In addition, the revision of the CVA statute of limitations has been applied in states such as Texas, New York, Pennsylvania, and California, which further empowers survivors to seek justice. 

Criminal Charges

Criminal charges refer to a formal accusation that an individual has committed a crime, as outlined by laws in the jurisdiction where the incident occurred. This is done by a state or public prosecutor, who must prove beyond reasonable doubt that the defendant was indeed guilty of committing a crime. Criminal charges can range from misdemeanors (less serious offenses) to felonies (more severe crimes). Depending on the severity of the offense and any aggravating factors, a defendant can face jail time or even a prison sentence. 

Filing criminal charges is one way of finally getting justice as a survivor of childhood abuse. By filing criminal charges, you are ensuring that the person responsible for your suffering is held accountable and potentially prevented from causing further harm. It can also help you find closure to an experience that may have left you traumatized and violated for years. Most importantly, it serves as your legal right to pursue justice in a court of law — which many survivors feel powerless without.  

To file criminal charges against someone who has caused you harm, there are certain steps that need to be taken. Firstly, it is important to contact law enforcement, such as the police or district attorney’s office, and inform them of the incident. They will then investigate the matter and guide the legal steps that need to be taken. Alternatively, you may contact an experienced attorney to help you navigate the process. 

Child Protective Service Investigations

In some situations, it may be necessary to involve Child Protective Services (CPS) to take legal action against an abuser. If you suspect a child is being abused or neglected, you can contact your local CPS office and request an investigation. The investigation will determine if there is evidence of abuse or neglect and what steps must be taken to protect the child. 

Seeking Restitution

For some survivors, seeking restitution or reparations is an important part of their recovery process. This can come in the form of requesting counseling, other medical services, and financial compensation for lost wages due to missed work due to trauma-related illness or injury. Survivors may also seek damages from responsible parties on behalf of a minor child who has experienced abuse. Depending on the circumstances, this could include reimbursement for legal fees incurred during the process. 

Getting justice as a survivor of childhood abuse is never easy but it can bring much-needed peace and closure for those who have experienced such trauma. Understanding what legal recourse is available is an important first step in this process, including filing civil claims, criminal charges, and seeking restitution. In addition to legal action, support groups, and therapy can provide a safe space for you to process your experience. No matter the path you choose, remember that you are not alone in this journey and there are many resources available to help you on your way.