Are You or a Loved One a Survivor of Sexual Misconduct in California?
California law protects survivors of sexual abuse, to help them cope with, and try to heal, from the trauma they have suffered. These memories can be buried for years until an event triggers their return.
A survivor of sexual abuse has up to ten years in which to file a claim, or within 3 years of the reasonable discovery of injuries stemming from that claim. In January 2020, California law was amended to provide adult survivors of childhood sexual abuse the ability to file a claim by the age of 40, or within five years of the discovery of the abuse, whichever is earlier. Additionally, for those claims previously blocked by the statute of limitations, the amendment provided a three-year opportunity to revive them.
For workplace claims of sexual harassment, the time period in which to file a claim has been extended to three years from the time of the last incident. Unless the claim is resolved informally, a victim of workplace sexual harassment generally must file a claim with the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing to acquire a right to sue letter and file a lawsuit in civil court.
Civil Suits Over Sexual Abuse
Civil laws protect workers from unwelcomed sexual advances in the workplace, or even off-site if connected to your employment. Other laws protect individuals from unwanted sexual advances and touching, no matter where they may take place: at home, at work, at school, on public transportation, in a restaurant or bar, or even walking down the street.
If you believe that you are a survivor of sexual abuse or sexual harassment, as either an adult or as a child in California, call us today to arrange for a confidential, free consultation with the Law Office of Scott R. Herndon. We will evaluate your claim and advise you as to your options in a compassionate, courteous, and timely manner.
Recently, with the advent of social media, a sexual crime involving adults and children is sexual bullying. This is harassment of a child based on the child’s sexual orientation, gender, body parts, or appearance. Most, although certainly not all, sexual bullying, can occur online, where information can be spread and its impact compounded quickly. Sexual bullying of an adult is categorized as sexual harassment.
Sexual bullying of children takes a variety of forms:
- Distributing sexually explicit photos or videos without a person’s consent
- Making cruel and sexually explicit comments on a child’s social media account
- Spreading rumors about a child’s sexual orientation, gender, or sexual experiences
- Making sexual jokes about a child
- Blackmailing a child into committing sexual acts, or claiming that bullying will end if sexual favors are granted
- Unwanted sexting, sending explicit photos or texts
- Pretending to be someone else online for sexual favors, known as catfishing
- Releasing a child’s personal information for sexual purposes, known as doxing
Making a Complaint of Sexual Abuse, Assault, or Harassment
In addition to the possibility of filing a criminal complaint with the local district attorney, California law permits civil suits for damages caused by sexual abuse, assault, or harassment. A successful plaintiff can recover medical expenses; lost wages or lost future earnings; pain and suffering which includes mental and emotional trauma; and collateral damages. Whereas criminal prosecution results in punishing the perpetrator, civil suits permit for recovery of damages to compensate survivors for their pain and suffering and therapy.
The Law Office of Scott R. Herndon is dedicated to protecting the dignity of survivors of sexual misconduct.
The best way to fully protect your rights is to consult with a knowledgeable and skilled attorney. Scott R. Herndon is a plaintiff’s lawyer. He has years of experience as a practicing attorney as writer and former teacher at Stanford University. Our office takes pride in being compassionate advocates who understand how to analyze your claims. We will review your circumstances in a free consultation and realistically evaluate your claim. Whether we help negotiate a settlement, file a claim to preserve your right to sue for sexual harassment in the workplace, or bring a suit for damages resulting from sexual misconduct, you will be fully apprised of all of your options so that you can decide how you want to proceed. Because our clients matter.