Standing Up For Sexual Assault Survivors

In California, survivors of sexual assault or sexual abuse have the right to sue their perpetrator for damages. Survivors may also sue any other individuals or entities who negligently created or permitted circumstances to exist that led to sexual assault or abuse.

On January 1, 2020, a new law went into effect in California that increases the ability of adults who suffered sexual assault or sexual abuse as children to file a lawsuit against their perpetrators. The California legislature responded to the unique and devastating injuries caused by sexual trauma of children. The reality is that disclosure of abuse is often delayed due to feelings of shame, fear or self-blame.

Under the previous law, survivors frequently lost the right to sue and recover damages for the harm they suffered because they did not report it right away, or their assault did not meet a specific legal definition. These unfair outcomes have been improved by the recent change in law, restoring the rights of survivors to seek justice even if their sexual assault or abuse occurred years, or even decades, ago.

The defendant(s) does not need to be convicted of a crime first, or even charged with one. If the plaintiff has suffered damages as the result of a non-consensual act, they can file suit.

Common acts that lead to sexual assault lawsuits include, but are not limited to:

  • Rape
  • Sexual abuse of a child
  • Groping
  • Indecent exposure
  • Sexual assault by ride-share drivers
  • Sexual assault by a doctor
  • Any other non-consensual act of a sexual nature

Survivors may be entitled to recover damages for medical bills, psychological or psychiatric treatment, lost wages or earning capacity, pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, emotional distress or trauma, physical injuries, insomnia, anxiety, and/or depression.

If you or someone you know has been sexually abused or assaulted, whether as a child or an adult, we invite you to contact us for a free consultation. Call 626-817-6453 or send an email to talk to our compassionate attorneys today.