You are not alone. It’s not your fault. You are not alone. It’s not your fault. Please hear these words and believe them. There are good people ready to help protect you and get justice for what you, or your family member has experienced. Yes, there are resources for sexual abuse survivors that you can take advantage of today to help put you on the path to healing. You are not alone. It’s not your fault.
If you, or someone you care about has been sexually assaulted or abused, you’re understandably in a lot of pain right now. Sexual abuse is one of the most devastating things a person can experience, and it can be the source of a lot of pain and trauma that requires the help of a professional to work through. There’s absolutely no shame in that, and there’s nothing wrong with asking for help moving through this incident so that you can experience better days ahead.
The resources for sexual assault survivors that are available from both private and public organizations can run the gamut from therapy and counseling, to legal services, to platforms for empowerment. Before we get into more detail, here are some of the most important resources you should have access to:
Whether it was you who experienced sexual trauma or a loved one, the most important immediate priority is ensuring that you have adequate psychological and emotional support in the immediate aftermath of your experience. It’s so crucial that you understand there are people available right now to listen to your story, believe your words, hear your pain, and help you keep moving forward.
Once you feel adequately supported and have a plan in place to deal with the internal ramifications of what you’ve experienced, the next step is, when you’re ready, to begin assessing your options in terms of taking action.
Many sexual abuse survivors feel unwarranted shame or guilt when presented with the prospect of seeking justice from their assaulter. This understandable hesitation can come from a variety of psychological places: not wanting to relive painful experiences; fear of retribution; lack of desire to “rock the boat” or cause trouble; or simply not wanting to be ‘seen’ in this capacity.
Although each person’s journey toward healing from sexual assault is different, unique, and totally valid, there are some considerations worth making that can refute some of the above common hesitations.
When choosing to take action and seek justice for what you’re experienced, it can be helpful to take stock of the many reasons why this can be a cathartic and helpful step toward healing.
No amount of punishment imposed on your assaulter will ever atone for the crime they have committed. However, by speaking up and pursuing legal action against the perpetrator, you can help prevent them from doing something similar to you or anyone else, ever again. You can use the mechanisms of the legal system, which are designed for this exact purpose, to ensure that the full weight of the law is brought to bear on your attacker; that they are punished according to the avenues for reprisal laid out by our country’s justice system. Don’t think of this as ‘revenge’; rather, it’s some measure of justice — however incomplete — that can help restore a sense of peace to your life.
When you pursue criminal and civil action against your attacker, don’t think of making this about them – it’s actually about you. Many of our clients have found a profound sense of inner peace and closure following the successful conclusion of a sexual assault or sexual abuse case. Knowing that the justice system has wrought its judgment and worked as it should can provide at least a small piece of comfort as you continue to heal. Additionally, civil action can result in financial compensation for you that can give you a boost into the next phase of your life. Again, it’s not a panacea for what you’ve endured, but it certainly can help kick-start the next chapter of your recovery.
Many of our clients are surprised to learn that criminal and civil action against their attacker often occur one right after the other – or even simultaneously in some cases.
When you pursue criminal charges against your assaulter, you’re asking the state to investigate their crimes and impose a punitive measure of jail time (or worse) when found guilty. Depending on the circumstances of your unique case, the state may choose to take action whether you initiate the criminal complaint or not.
On the other hand, civil lawsuits are directly initiated by you, and result in a financial award at the successful conclusion of your case. Civil cases are totally separate from criminal cases, though an existing criminal case can strengthen the chances of a successful result for your civil case.
At Dordulian Law Group, we’re ready to fiercely represent you in a civil lawsuit against your attacker. We’ll fight to achieve a monetary judgment on your behalf that gives you a head start into the next chapter of your life, and provides you with a way to bounce back more quickly while getting back on your feet psychologically, physically, emotionally, and even in terms of your career. At Dordulian Law Group, we’ve seen firsthand how a monetary settlement after a sexual abuse case can empower victims to reclaim their narrative and return to normalcy at their own pace instead of being forced to jump right back into the workforce to be able to pay bills.
If you or someone you know has been the victim of sexual assault or sexual abuse, the discreet, non-judgmental, and compassionate attorneys at Dordulian Law Group are standing by — right now — to hear your story and begin advocating on your behalf. Calling us and exploring your options in no way obligates you to begin legal proceedings: we’re happy just to advise you on your rights and options following your assault. Lead attorney Sam Dordulian spent years as the Deputy District Attorney in Los Angeles prosecuting rapists, attackers, and criminals — and now he’s ready to bring his experience, knowledge, and passion to the table as he represents you. If you’re ready to speak up, we’re ready to listen.
Our law firm in Glendale, CA advocates for victims of sexual assault, injury, employment disputes, and workers compensation concerns.