What Are My Goals for Pursuing Legal Action?
The civil justice system puts sexual abuse victims in the “driver’s seat.” You may have the opportunity to make and enforce real change that protects children. Pursuing justice may also positively impact your family and your future. Additionally, it may help your healing process, make you feel more empowered or help you feel like your voice is being heard. The goals for survivors taking legal action vary greatly from one survivor to the next. Each survivor has their own, unique experience and their own reasons for taking legal action.
How Do I Find My ‘Why’ For Pursuing Legal Action? Financial? Justice? Protecting Children?
We often tell clients to think about and write down their “why” in coming forward in taking legal action.
Your “why” might be:
- Expose the abuse and manipulation of a perpetrator, and potentially help prevent other kids from being abused.
- Expose the cover-up by a church, school, or other institution.
- Help other survivors feel less alone.
- Hold a church or other institution accountable, and possibly help to reform them.
- Tell your story in a manner backed up by credible, serious action.
- Help your community come to terms with past denial or victim-blaming.
- Help the community become more embracing of survivors and vigilant about watching out for predators and signs that children are being abused.
- Obtain justice for the wrong done to you and others.
- Reclaim your voice and power that you may have felt you lost as a child.
- Attain monetary compensation to create a more stable present and a more prosperous future.
Your “why” will be your guiding principle through the process and is incredibly important to us.
Need help finding your “why” for pursuing legal or other actions?
Our experienced attorneys and survivor advocates have decades of experience helping survivors achieve a wide array of goals, whether focused on justice, personal healing, societal transformation, or financial compensation.
Can I Donate All of the Money After My Sexual Abuse Case is Settled?
What you do with your money at the conclusion of your case is up to you. The needs, wants and financial situations of every survivor are different.
Many survivors have:
- Donated the money to nonprofits that help survivors.
- Used the money to support themselves while they work as volunteers.
- Set up education funds for their children or grandchildren.
- Used the money to pay off debt.
- Used the money to get medical and therapeutic care.
- Used the money to help address addiction.
Our experienced attorneys and survivor advocates have decades of experience helping survivors achieve a wide array of goals, whether focused on, justice, personal healing, societal transformation or financial compensation.
Has Anyone Ever Regretted Taking Legal Action for Being Sexually Abused?
In our experience, we have not met a survivor who has regretted taking legal action, however, that does not mean that there are not people who have regretted doing so. That also does not mean that the process is easy. The process can be difficult at times, and if you take legal action, you may need to face uncomfortable memories from your past.
But this is a journey that you are not taking alone. You will have a strong legal support team who will be on this journey with you, making sure that you are in a strong and healthy place in your healing.
Because the civil process is survivor-driven, you are in a position of power and control.
If, Halfway Through the Legal Process, I Decide I Can’t Take it Anymore, Can I Quit?
You can usually stop the legal process, at no cost to you. However, it may depend on where your case is at and if your lawsuit has already been filed. We recommend reaching out to a law firm and speaking with an attorney to learn more about the specifics of potentially getting out of a lawsuit that is already in progress.
Pursuing a lawsuit is about your healing. If you find that the lawsuit is causing you struggles and pain, we want you to do what is best for your mental and physical well-being. We do suggest most of our survivors work with a therapist through the litigation process, so that they make decisions that benefit their healing.