Sexual abuse, or child molestation, is one of the more heinous crimes in our society. Child molestation robs children of their innocence. The emotional scars from sexual abuse often last a lifetime. The perpetrators of child abuse are manipulative sociopaths that have developed the ability to manipulate their victims into allowing the abuse and believing that the abuse is somehow the fault of the victim. Thus the victim must not only deal with the psychological damage from the abuse itself but also must overcome the mistaken belief that they caused the abuse. This burden often causes shame, guilt, depression, anxiety, panic attacks, sleep problems, sexual dysfunction, and self-destructive behaviors. The damage is aggravated by the fact that the victim usually knows and trusts the perpetrator. The perpetrator uses the victim's false sense of guilt and shame to keep the victim quiet and maintain control over the victim for the purpose of repeated abuse.
The most common sexual molestation scenario in East Texas is the abuse of a stepdaughter by a stepfather or the abuse of a daughter by her mother's live-in boyfriend. However, abuse occurs in many contexts and the perpetrators include teachers, priests, clergy, coaches, daycare workers, therapists, medical doctors, family members, and even the counselors that treat abuse victims. One of the greatest impediments to curtailing the damage caused by sexual abuse is getting the victims to come forward and report the abuse. The manipulative sociopaths that sexually abuse children are so good at convincing their victims that the abuse is the victim's fault that it is often years before the victim breaks the silence, if ever.
Sexual predators tend to be repeat offenders. Sadly, in all the years of representing victims of sexual abuse we have never represented a perpetrator's first victim. During the cases we have always learned of prior victims that have not been able to come forward. It is important that victims break their silence as soon as possible. Coming forward halts the abuse, may prevent the perpetrator from abusing additional victims, and starts the healing process.
While the criminal justice system will punish a child molester, the victims and their families must file a lawsuit in civil court in order to recover financial compensation for their damages. No amount of financial compensation can ever right this wrong or erase the damage caused by child molestation. However, money damages can help victims of sexual assault regain control of their lives by paying for counseling and removing other stressors from their lives.
Large verdicts and settlements call attention to the problem of child abuse and cause individuals and organizations to be more careful with the lives of our children. Large verdicts and settlements also encourage other victims to come forward, stop the cycle of abuse, and start the healing process.
Our firm and its Personal Injury Attorneys in Tyler, Texas have been pioneers in compensating victims of sexual abuse in East Texas. In 1990 Earl Drott coauthored two articles, Compensating the Sexual Molestation Victim Under the Texas Homeowner's Policy. Texas Trial Lawyers Forum; Vol. 24, No.2, 1990; and, Compensating the Sexually Abused Child: Homeowner's Policy Can Provide Funds for Treatment. American Trial Lawyers Association, July 1990 , regarding the proper handling of sexual abuse cases under Texas homeowner's policies.
Earl Drott also tried one of the early cases under the Texas homeowner's policies, obtaining a $3.5 million verdict in a Tyler court in 1992 on behalf of two sisters who were abused by their stepfather.
After more than thirty years and thousands of personal injury cases there is virtually nothing that we haven't seen and successfully handled. There is no substitute for experience. If you want the assistance of an experienced Board Certified Personal Injury Attorney in the Tyler / Longview / East Texas area contact us today.