Hawaii Frequently Asked Questions
Why should I consider taking legal action for something that happened to me many years ago?
Answer: Unfortunately, many abuse victims are not able to connect the emotional and psychological difficulties they experience in adulthood to the sexual abuse they suffered as a child. Making that connection is often the first step in a process of healing. In addition, many abuse victims cannot afford the medical and psychological help necessary to overcome the harm done to them as a child. And finally, an important part of the healing process is to have a court recognize the harm you suffered and publicly identify the person who caused the crime in order to protect other children from suffering future abuse.
I have been told that the Statute of Limitations prevents me from filing a lawsuit. What’s different now?
Answer: In many cases there have been barriers to filing a lawsuit many years later, but our law firm has often experienced situations in states where legal rulings can change things and bring opportunities to file an action in spite of statutes of limitation. In addition, circumstances such as the Congregation of Christian Brother’s Bankruptcy can also provide an opportunity to file a claim–even if in the past you have been told you could not.
If I file a claim can I remain anonymous?
Answer: Yes. In twenty five years of representing adults who were sexually abused as children the majority of our cases are filed as “John” or “Jane Doe.” The decision to use your name is completely up to you and will be respected by your lawyers, the court and the media.
If I decide to do this it will be hard for me. How will I be supported?
Answer: We have worked with survivors of child sexual abuse for over 30 years. From the moment you call you will be in the care of people who understand what you have been through and how difficult it is to take this step. In addition to our team’s experience handling these very difficult cases, our paralegals and legal assistants are highly trained and some have advanced degrees in psychology. At every step in the process we feel deeply and work tirelessly in response to the injustice our clients have suffered. We have a reputation for being the best at what we do, and that begins and ends with our ability to support, protect and guide survivors along their journey towards justice and healing.
When I think about the abuse I suffered as a child I’m not sure what to do. Is there someone I can talk to privately that would begin to help me sort things out?
Answer: Fortunately the road to healing is paved with a multitude of caring organizations and individuals in your community. However, if you live in Hawaii a good place to start is the The Sex Abuse Treatment Center (SATC).
The SATC is on the front lines helping victims with crisis intervention services, medical-legal examinations and counseling. They have a 24/7 hotline: 808 524-7273. Office: (808) 535-7600. http://satchawaii.com/
Neighbor Island sexual assault program hotlines:
- Big Island: 808-935-0677
- Maui County: (Toll Free) 866-443-5702
- Kauai: 808-245-4144
Finally, always remember that you are not alone, the abuse you experienced is not your fault, and together with many good people, healing is possible.