Sep 22, 2020
The #MeToo movement and several major institutional sex abuse cases have inspired survivors to summon the courage required to step forward after experiencing horrific trauma. In 2020, employers, schools, law enforcement, and victim advocates are recognizing the prevalence of sexual abuse and finally listening to survivors (though there is, of course, much improvement yet to be made). The state of California is also offering an avenue to child sexual abuse survivors who were harmed decades ago through landmark legislation known as AB 218. This new bill allows survivors an opportunity to pursue compensation and justice regardless of when the abuse occurred. But even with the progress that has been made in recent years related to sexual abuse reporting, much work remains.
Why do so many people not report sexual abuse? The National Sexual Violence Resource Center (NSVRC) indicates that people rarely lie about being sexually abused, sexually assaulted, or raped. However, many survivors decide to not report abuse to law enforcement. Some reasons for not reporting abuse are fear-based, and some are more personal. Some survivors simply do not believe there will be any benefit to reporting abuse. Furthermore, some may not understand their options and that they are entitled to pursue a civil claim seeking financial damages.
If you contact the Glendale, CA, sexual abuse lawyers at Dordulian Law Group about a sex crime case, we will listen to you, we will believe you, and we will fight to secure you justice. We are dedicated advocates for sexual abuse survivors and have successfully handled countless civil cases. We will do everything in our power to gather documentation, evidence, and witnesses to successfully represent you and help you win your claim.
It is impossible to accurately gauge the percentage of sexual abuse that is not reported. The NSVRC says an estimated 63% of sexual assaults go unreported. Some other sources cite lower numbers. An older source from the U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics estimates that 15.8 to 35% of all sexual assaults are not reported to the police.
The relationship between the victim and their accuser often determines the likelihood of reporting. According to the U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics, abuse or assault is:
Some survivors feel frozen after experiencing abuse and are terrified to contact the police. For other survivors, the decision to not report is initially just a matter of delaying or procrastinating, as many require time to process their feelings following an assault. As time passes, however, they can grow increasingly reluctant to ever address the incident. Eventually, some decide to move on and never report the abuse. Below are some of the reasons why people delay coming forward or never disclose after sexual abuse, sexual assault, or sexual violence:
Under AB 218, from January 1, 2020, until December 31, 2022, Californians have a three-year lookback window to file a civil claim for sexual abuse. During that three-year limited lookback window period, the statute of limitations is removed. Anyone with a previously expired claim may now come forward and file a civil lawsuit, no matter how many years ago the abuse occurred. This law has been highly praised by victim advocacy groups like the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP). DLG’s Founder, Samuel Dordulian, has said that AB 218 is like a “time machine,” providing an opportunity for survivors of childhood sexual abuse to obtain justice. For more information about AB 218, subscribe to DLG’s YouTube Channel.
Our Sexual Assault Justice Experts are here to help survivors secure justice. Contact our top-rated attorneys online or by phone for a free consultation today.
Institutional sex crimes entail abuse, assault, or violence in an institutional setting with some level of involvement or supervision by a third party. Unlike intimate partner violence or parent/step-parent violence, the perpetrator may be an employee, agent, contractor, or even a volunteer of an institution. The abuse may occur in a school, camp, church, nursing home, foster home, rehab center, medical facility, or government agency. In many institutional abuse cases, the perpetrator and victim knew each other, and a level of familiarity or trust existed prior to the abuse occurring. The perpetrator may even “groom” the victim and their family members, working to make them feel special, developing a bond, and gaining the family’s trust to allow them to spend time alone with the victim.
At Dordulian Law Group, we understand it takes tremendous courage to come forward after sexual abuse, whether the act happened yesterday or 30 years ago. Survivors may be uncertain about coming forward after an extended period of time because they may not remember all the details. At DLG, we understand the challenges of working on long-delayed cases, and we are proud to work with one of the best investigators in the nation, former LAPD sex crimes unit leader, Detective Moses Castillo. We also offer privacy, discretion, and confidentiality for all, as our entire process is designed with our clients’ experience in mind. We know it can be extremely difficult to discuss details of traumatic events, and talking to a lawyer can sometimes seem frightening. Our clients benefit from four tiers of advocacy and support, known among our clients as our Sexual Assault Justice Experts (SAJE) Team:
We have recovered over $100 million for our clients and have helped more than 1,000 victims. Compensation for our clients provides a modicum of healing and a better future. However, our success is not just about recovering financial damages. We make strong statements to organizations, corporations, and agencies by holding them accountable. This leads to better policies, procedures, and experiences for future generations. See our case results and client testimonials to read about our clients’ experiences.
We handle all cases on a contingency fee basis, which means we are only paid after a verdict or settlement is reached. There are never any upfront fees, and we are only paid if we recover money for you. A contingency fee arrangement allows survivors to hire an experienced and dedicated DLG attorney with no risk and no financial burden out of pocket.
Our expert team of attorneys can help sexual abuse victims secure financial damages. Contact our top-rated lawyers online or by phone for a free consultation today.
People who decide not to report abuse often do so for a combination of reasons, whether misperceptions about available options and legal recourse, doubt in the legal system, or fear of repercussions from perpetrators. When survivors eventually do come forward and report abuse, the DLG SAJE Team has historically witnessed that finding the courage to take that first step is a decision proving to be profoundly beneficial on a number of levels. Moreover, survivors often report that the reasons for delaying or waiting were, in hindsight, actually not nearly as significant as they once assumed.
What is most important is that survivors come forward when they are ready, on their own terms. As sexual assault attorneys, we are prepared to help you, whenever that day may eventually come. Once you call DLG, you will never again be alone throughout the legal process and beyond. When we take on a sexual abuse case for a survivor client, we view that individual as a member of our extended family, and our support and continued availability continues forever, even after you’ve won your case. We are here seven days a week to take your call and answer any questions about your California sexual abuse case. To speak with a Los Angeles sexual abuse lawyer at DLG about your situation, call us at 800-880-7777 or fill out our case evaluation form.
Our law firm in Glendale, CA advocates for victims of sexual assault, injury, employment disputes, and personal injury concerns.