Have you been wondering about a sexual abuse lawyer when you face sexual abuse in a relationship?
This article constitutes all that you need to know about sexual abuse, sexual abuse in a relationship and how to hire sexual abuse lawyer near you
What is sexual abuse?
It is often difficult for a victim of sexual abuse in a relationship to face the situation alone without any help.
It is, therefore, necessary to be advised, assisted and accompanied in civil and criminal proceedings by a sexual abuse lawyer to defend your rights as a victim and to obtain a criminal conviction of the perpetrator as well as compensation for the damage suffered.
The victim must be able to count on a sexual abuse lawyer who is competent in criminal matters and victims’ law, and who is also familiar with personal injury compensation, to obtain full compensation for the damages suffered.
The victim must not remain isolated because the psychological trauma is so important that support and help must be immediate.
We advise you to file a complaint immediately with the constitution of a civil party so that the police can collect as much evidence and material and scientific evidence as possible.
The procedure will most often start with hearings at the police or gendarmerie, and investigations by the investigation services.
This, followed by the referral of the case to an Examining Magistrate by the Public Prosecutor to investigate the crime, and in the case of sufficient charges, the referral of the perpetrators to the Assize Court.
The lawyer must be present at all stages of the procedure to support the victims of rape and must convey to the jurors the importance of the trauma and the disruption of life. We can’t dive into this article without knowing or having an idea of what the law says about sexual abuse.
What the law says about the punishment of sexual abuse
Article 222-23 of the Code of Criminal Procedure states that “Any act of sexual penetration, of any kind, committed on the person of another by violence, constraint, threat or surprise is sexual abuse”.
Sexual abuse is punishable by 15 years of criminal imprisonment, but this sentence can be increased to 20 years if:
· There is a special relationship between the perpetrator and the victim: an ascendant, spouse, or has authority over the victim;
· The victim is particularly vulnerable: infirm, sick, pregnant, minor under 15 years old;
· The act is accompanied by the threat of a weapon, or has resulted in permanent mutilation or disability;
· The perpetrator committed the act as a group under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
Sexual abuse is punishable by 30 years of criminal imprisonment if the act resulted in the death of the victim.
It is punishable by life imprisonment if the act was preceded, accompanied or followed by torture or acts of barbarism.
During the trial, the victim has the right to request being accompanied by the sexual abuse lawyer with the courtroom be closed, i.e. that no one is allowed to enter the courtroom during the trial, except law enforcement officials, the jury and court officers.
Done with the point of view of the law regarding sexual abuse, let’s talk about the various ways to get help and why not some healing process.
What does a sexual abuse lawyer do?
A sexual abuse lawyer is a lawyer who focuses his or her practice on sexual abuse cases, legislation or activism.
Sexual abuse lawyers can be male or female and can represent both plaintiffs and defendants in court.
In addition to handling court cases, a sexual abuse attorney may help work with companies and organizations to create and improve abuse policies or try to improve regional, national, and global protections against harassment.
Sexual abuse can be a deeply traumatic experience, damaging the lives of victims as well as the ongoing level of trust and openness in a workplace, organization or school.
A sexual abuse lawyer is often a lawyer who cares passionately about preventing abuse or preventing unwarranted accusations from ruining an innocent person’s reputation or career.
In addition to law school and undergraduate education, a sexual abuse lawyer may have additional training in related fields, such as psychology, diversity training, and sexual harassment or rape victim management.
Some sexual abuse lawyers prefer to focus their careers on legal cases. In their day-to-day work, this type of lawyer may meet with clients, research case history and legal precedents, hold depositions, speak to expert witnesses, and manage court administrative matters.
Some lawyers prefer to work in private practice or a law firm, while others may volunteer or devote most of their efforts to working with legal aid clinics that provide lawyers or legal assistance to clients who cannot afford a private lawyer.
When on a case, a sexual abuse lawyer will try to gather as much evidence as possible to build a case for their client, as well as provide the client with advice and information on the way forward.
A sexual abuse lawyer can also serve as a consultant to a company struggling with abuse issues or wishing to improve an outdated abuse policy.
With a keen sense of the law, a lawyer can be of great assistance to an organization in developing a policy that is clear, effective, makes sense and complies with all legal guidelines.
In some cases, lawyers can also consult with employees’ harassment documents, providing information about the applicable laws and explaining their meaning.
Although many areas have clear sexual abuse laws, they are neither universal nor universally effective.
A sexual abuse lawyer with an interest in public policy can attempt to enter the political arena by petitioning for changes to current legislation to make it more effective and fairer.
In areas where sexual abuse protections are minimal or non-existent, lawyers may be well-positioned to influence change through legal action, as well as by working to structure and draft new legislation.
You are certainly asking yourself how does a sexual abuse lawyer may recognise his victims and best understand a sexual abuse victim. Let’s then look at the signs that you may have been sexually abused.
9 signs that you may have been sexually abused
Accepting a trauma, recent or old, allows for liberation of the self and a feeling of well-being in everyday life.
However, in the case of sexual abuse, the majority of victims do not remember the abuse due to denial to face reality, to protect themselves and to succeed in living with their mental capacities intact.
Though, sexual abuse and molestation can leave such deep scars that you can’t just forget about it and get over it.
Several studies show that sexually abused children face a lifetime of unhappy relationships, poor self-care and an increased risk of developing various chronic physical and mental illnesses.
These are the 9 signs that show someone has been sexually abused in the past:
1) Confused memory
A large proportion of adult victims of child sexual abuse remember the abuse later in life.
So, if you often wonder where your childhood memories went and don’t remember a coherent sequence of events, it indicates that your mind is repressing traumatic memories in your unconscious.
These memories will reappear after a triggering event such as an article or movie about violence or a complete change of environment.
2) Vigilance and unexplainable fear
When you are on the lookout for potential abusers, fearful of being noticed, touched, or sexually propositioned, this may indicate bits and pieces of the sexual abuse memory.
3) Disliking and/or overreacting to certain stimuli
This sign includes being averse to certain smells, sounds, situations, and places for no apparent reason.
This is caused by “body memory” as this kind of trauma has a biochemical impact on the body.
4) Intense feelings of shame, guilt and grief
Although this may be due to depression, if you have felt these feelings since childhood, like a heaviness that prevents you from living peacefully, it may suggest that your emotional baggage is the result of abuse.
5) Severe trust issues and intense fear of intimacy
When a child is sexually abused, he or she suffers a betrayal by the abuser, especially if it is a friend or family member.
The grief is then not only related to the fact of having been abused but also to the loss of a relationship.
6) Feeling unreal or “floating” through life
This subtle symptom is the feeling of being disconnected from one’s body and identity.
And often, this is what adults who have experienced childhood trauma feel. They feel more like observers than actors of their life.
7) Over-sexed or completely asexual childhood
Excessive sexual behaviour or being completely asexual as a child or teenager can illustrate a disorder with one’s sexuality.
In addition, adult survivors may also have sexual dysfunction that impacts their relationships, including hazy memories of certain positions.
8) Inadequate personal boundaries
Behavioural issues such as an inability to define physical, emotional and mental boundaries are evidence that your inner traumatized child lacks the tools to know what he or she wants or does not want.
9) Overreaction to others’ stories of abuse
People who have not been sexually abused as children will react strongly to scenes, movies, stories and news stories about rape, assault, abuse.
Those who have been victims will feel more deeply affected to the point of feeling the victim’s pain because it is a reminder of what the unconscious can hold.
So, if you have any doubts about the possibility of childhood sexual abuse, you can consult a health professional who will help you, through sexual abuse therapy, to explore your unconscious or contact a sexual abuse lawyer.
Sexual abuse has many consequences on the victim when they grow and gets into marital life.
How does sexual abuse affect the victims in a relationship?
Consequences or sexual abuse symptoms are more or less severe depending on the case, can occur in all areas of the life of a victim who has become an adult, particularly in his or her emotional and sexual life.
The sexual abuse symptom on the victims is an interesting angle of approach because it is often for questions relating to this subject that adult patients consult sexual abuse therapists.
To provide therapy for sexual abuse, with a more detailed understanding of the difficulties experienced by former victims in their marital life, here is a (non-exhaustive) list of what the patients themselves report as consequences of sexual abuse:
· Difficulty trusting the other person, trusting themselves and their feelings.
· Distrust of the spouse, especially if he or she is of the same sex as the abuser.
· Ambivalent feelings of love and hate, desire and disgust
· Intense fear of being betrayed again, manipulated by the other person.
· Difficulty in discerning what is real or projected, true or false. A perpetual questioning of the legitimacy of one’s feelings makes it difficult to position oneself in front of the other.
· Difficulty in setting one’s limits and respecting those of the other, with a risk of transgressing both the other’s and one’s limits.
· Evolution of a “caring” couple
· Reproduction of an abusive scenario in the couple relationship
· Fear of the other person and the impossibility of establishing an effective relationship
· Confusion of the abuser-abused roles in the relationship
· Porous and poorly defined psychic barriers, often lead to a feeling of psychic invasion that is disturbing in intimate relationships.
· Risks of psychic or physical violence on both sides, due to the non-respect of oneself and the other.
· Difficulty in identifying one’s own needs and responding to them.
· Emotional immaturity and hypersensitivity, often disabling or a source of conflict.
· Risk of looking for a “repairing” parent in the other person, which can lead to intense states of rage and frustration when their expectations are not met by their spouse.
· Difficulties with sexuality and access to intimacy. Sexual problems come in many forms: hypersexuality or lack of libido, lack of pleasure, pain, risky sexual behaviours, etc. Whether exacerbated or inhibited, sexuality will always be perceived as abnormal and a source of intense guilt.
· Difficulty in finding the right distance from the other person.
· Great emotional dependence amplifies the phenomena of non-respect of limits.
· Confusion between one’s desire and the desire of the other sometimes leads to the feeling of being “abused” by the other.
· Mind-body split, inability to experience bodily sensations and to feel desire or pleasure.
· Risk of replaying an abusive scenario in the couple, especially in cases of incest where the first love object (the parent) has betrayed. Attempt to regain control over the feeling of total powerlessness in which the child was immersed at the time of the abuse by “replaying” the abusive dynamic in the couple.
· High sensitivity to manipulation and risk of revictimization.
· Insecure attachment and fragile narcissistic foundations.
· Risk of getting stuck in power games where the emotional control of the other is targeted.
In understanding the impact of sexual abuse on victims the need for a sexual abuse therapist becomes rising since certain questions arise: how does a person who was sexually abused behave in a couple?
We all tend to replay a known situation, even if it is destructive because it will always be less frightening.
We all need to move forward with a framework, clear, landmarks. If these have been distorted, perverted, twisted, it is however very likely that we will repeat them because they represent our only point of reference. Now let’s go through sexual abuse in a relationship.
Sexual abuse in a relationship
The most basic form of sexual abuse is sexual intercourse following an insincere promise.
Any sexual relationship in which one party does not consent is sexual abuse without any discussion.
Sexual abuse in a relationship is any unwanted sex in a relationship even if the victim enjoys the sex of one or the other if he or she is pressured to do so.
Sexual abuse in a relationship is said to have never been prosecuted in the United States.
Although it may be shocking, sexual abuse also occurs within a relationship.
In this case, there is no physical force or aggression, but deception and manipulation.
This is what this research conducted by some universities.
The goal is for the other person to do things that allow the aggressor to get excited. For example, through coercion, you can ask him to send you a picture on your cell phone.
In addition, the person who sexually abuses another person may use touching and rubbing to make the victim nervous. In short, he or she is stalking the victim.
What is the relationship between sexual abuse and the partner? For example, forcing your partner to perform oral sex when she does not want to is called sexual abuse in a relationship.
On the other hand, there is a practice called “stealthing” which, as this study from Monash University in Melbourne (Australia) explains, consists of removing the condom during consensual sex without the other person knowing. This practice is considered sexual abuse in a relationship.
What should we do about sexual abuse in a relationship?
Sexual abuse in a relationship, harassment, sexist abuse, sexual violence… Sexist and sexual violence can take different forms.
Globally, sexual abuse in a relationship refers to all sexual acts committed with violence, constraint, threat or surprise by a sexual partner.
No one has the right to force you to do something you don’t want to do. If you find yourself in this situation, here is how you can react.
Getting out of a dangerous situation
First of all, you should know that it is common not to be able to react once you are been sexually abused in a relationship.
When you are abused in your relationship, you are in a state of shock, it is normal not to react since.
This is what is called psychological shock (taken in charge by a sexual abuse therapist), which can be “produced by terror, extreme violence, a strong threat or by a person’s total lack of understanding of a situation.
If you manage to react and there are people nearby, try to call for help with all your strength to alert the maximum number of people.
If you have access to your phone, you can contact the 17, or 114 by SMS for deaf or hard of hearing people.
You can also call the fire department, as well as the emergency services.
Get to safety and talk about it
Next, get to safety by going to a friend’s or family member’s house. You can also go to a hospital or a social centre where you can easily talk about sexual abuse in a relationship.
It is not always easy to talk about any type of sexual abuse situation, it requires you to verbalize what happened to you, to share the trauma you experienced.
Even today, victims of sexual abuse are still afraid of not being believed, they feel ashamed and guilty.
However, if you want to, talking about the sexual abuse in your relationship experience can help you.
You can turn to those around you or call anonymous and free.
You can also contact an association that helps victims of violence throughout the country.
File a complaint
If you wish, you can file a complaint at a police station or a gendarmerie for sexual abuse in a relationship and be represented by sexual abuse lawyer.
As covered above, you have all the steps on how to heal, what the sexual abuse lawyer can do you together with the opinion of the law regarding sexual abuse.
As stipulated by the law, you cannot be refused a complaint. If you wish, you can be accompanied by a relative or a member of a victim support association or a trusted relative.
If possible, do not wash and keep your clothes in a paper bag, which can be used to identify the aggressor and constitute evidence.
You can also consult a doctor so that he or she can certify the facts.
How to help victims of sexual abuse?
Much of society has difficulty understanding victims of sexual abuse since the victim is often blamed.
An attempt at recovery is used to try to challenge the explanation of what happened.
The reality is that being a victim of sexual abuse in a relationship has consequences that go beyond the moment the abuse occurs.
It is therefore important to know what psychological aspects may be affected so that victims of sexual assault can recover their well-being as soon as possible.
To help the victim we should consider the factors influencing the recovery and how to go through the delivery possess;
Factors influencing the recovery of sexual assault victims
First of all, it is important to work on an aspect that greatly influences psychological distress: the self-blame of sexual abuse victims.
It is frequent, following the trauma suffered, that negative evaluations are made of oneself.
This can lead to post-traumatic stress disorder, depression and a general lack of adjustment.
If we think about the cases of sexual abuse that is seen in the media, it is usual that, from an external point of view, the victim of this type of crime raises questions.
It is not hard to imagine that the questions they are subjected to (such as “did she say no?” or “did she try to put up physical resistance?”) often contribute to the perpetuation of these beliefs of guilt in the victim.
How to work through with victims of sexual assault?
Also, it is important to work on all the beliefs that victims of sexual assault have about themselves and their guilt in what they have suffered, through cognitive restructuring.
Therefore, it is necessary to change the ideas that sometimes appear that we deserve what happened to us.
It is not hard to imagine, given recent events, that this is something that should also be worked on at the social level.
Unfortunately, these are thoughts that are rooted in many communities in terms of coping strategies, victims may implement strategies that focus on the problem.
They tend to adapt to other types of situations. But those that focus on emotions are better in such cases. Because these are events that are not controllable by the person.
It is also important to make clear something about social support and how victims of sexual assault perceive it.
When a loved one is going through a traumatic situation, sometimes we want to help but we don’t know how. So we will be there for them, but not in the way they need.
It is important to point out that we get to where we can, and that perhaps the best way to help is to let the sexual abuse therapist (psychologists and psychiatrists) do their work, whether they are trying to help the person.
This does not mean, however, that we should not support the victim, but rather that we should ask ourselves if we are doing it the right way.
How to file a complaint about sexual abuse?
Currently, there are mechanisms in place to stop an attempted assault before it happens.
On the other hand, in proven cases, it is still essential to report the acts and file a complaint.
What services are available to victims? Who to contact? How to file a complaint about sexual abuse?
There are several ways to file a complaint about sexual abuse. In this case, you can either
Where to file a complaint about sexual abuse?
The victim must go to the nearest police station or gendarmerie, any day of the week and at any time, with his or her identification.
The file will be transferred to the territorially competent service if necessary. Under no circumstances can the authorities refuse to take the complaint.
It is possible to be accompanied by a relative if that reassures.
What are the statutes of limitations?
Since February 2017, victims of sexual abuse can file a complaint up to 20 years from the date of the facts.
For minors, the statute of limitations is extended to 20 years after reaching the age of majority (i.e., up to 38 years).
For sexual abuse other than rape, the adult victim can file a complaint up to 6 years after the fact.
How a complaint is filed
The victim is heard by a police officer who transcribes the statements to reconstruct the facts.
The police officer will ask questions, sometimes intrusive, about the way the victim was dressed and sometimes even her underwear. This is not to suggest that the clothing was inappropriate, but to ensure that the statements are consistent with those of the assailant, if he is caught. If the case goes to court, opposing counsel may raise the flaws.
What happens after a complaint is filed?
The statement is forwarded to the public prosecutor. The public prosecutor decides how to characterize the alleged offence, whether to open an investigation, whether to let the offender go free or in custody (depending on the seriousness of the offence committed).
Victims are not specially protected while waiting for a possible trial.
On the other hand, in the case of sexual abuse in a relationship, protection devices exist, such as the high danger telephone.
Now let’s talk about the frequently asked questions on sexual abuse.
Frequently Asked Questions on sexual abuse
Sexual abuse as earlier said is any sexual activity without consent, which may or may not include touching.
Sexual abuse is when an adult involves a young person in sexual activity or uses sexual acts to show power or authority can also involve sexual abuse in a relationship. It often involves physical contact, but this is not always the case.
No one deserves to be sexually abused be it by a partner or any other person in any case it’s criminal and can lead to troubling emotions.
It is never the victim’s fault. No one has the right to make another person do anything against their will.
1. What kinds of touching are considered sexual abuse?
Unwanted touching of the breasts, vagina, penis, anus or other areas is sexual abuse.
It is also sexual abuse when someone forces another person to have sex (called rape) or sexually touch them.
The abuse may come from someone who is trusted, older, or who has authority or power in the other person’s life.
2. Is it sexual abuse if there is no touching?
Yes, it is abused if someone forces you to look at a naked person in a photo or video, even if there is no contact.
It is also abused if you are forced to watch someone sexually touch themselves since it can lead traumatise you and hence the need for a sexual abuse therapist to get heal.
If you have been sexually abused in a relationship, you need to know that it is not your fault even if it is done by your partner.
And whether it happened recently or in the past, you can always get help from a sexual abuse therapist.
3. Common symptoms of victims of sexual abuse?
Being sexually abused can be a frightening and disturbing experience that can lead you to therapy for sexual abuse.
The abuser often manipulates the victim into feeling alone and powerless.
The sexual abuse symptoms may feel:
· Sadness or feeling depressed;
· difficulty concentrating, especially in class
· sleep problems (nightmares)
· the urge to self-harm
· the need to use drugs and alcohol to escape.
These are common reactions, but if you feel anything else, that’s okay too. There is no right or wrong way for a sexual abuse symptom.
4. Things sexual abusers may say?
Sexual abusers always find ways to justify their behaviour and make the victim weaken the victims.
They do this to take the blame off themselves and onto the victim. They may say things like:
“That’s our secret.”
“I can’t control myself.”
“You wanted it.”
“If you tell anyone, it’s going to be bad.”
“No one will believe you.
Remember, these are lies that an abuser uses to manipulate his or her victim.
5. How do I get Help?
There is help available to victims of sexual abuse, confessing to someone is the first step to getting help.
You can always talk to an adult other than a sexual abuse lawyer you trust, whether it’s a parent, guardian, coach, principal, guidance counsellor or other trusted adult.
A Kids Help Phone counsellor can help you figure out who to talk to and how to start a conversation about it.
The next thing you can do is to go for therapy for sexual abuse to be taken care of by professionals.
You can finally decide to make a complaint against your abuser and hire the service of sexual abuse lawyer for that.
6. How do I tell someone I’m being sexually abused?
It can be scary to tell someone that you are being sexually abused in your relationship for example.
Nevertheless, there are some tips you can use in case you have decided to do so.
Here’s how you can start the conversation with a safe adult:
· Start by saying, “We need to talk,” or “I’d like to talk to you about something.”
· Choose a quiet place, take a deep breath, and say, “What happened to me, but it’s hard to talk about.”
· When you feel ready, explain, “I was sexually abused. I need help.”
· If you know what the person can do for you, follow up with, “I would like you to…”
The person you confide in will probably take the next steps. It may not be easy to talk about your situation, but by doing so, you are helping yourself tremendously.
7. What happens next?
It takes courage to talk about sexual abuse in a relationship and any other type of sexual abuse.
No matter how the responsible adult you confide in reacts, remember that it’s not your fault and you have no control over how others react to your experience.
This person should help you, but if not, it is important to confide in another trusted adult or even seek the service of a sexual abuse lawyer.
8. How to cope?
You may not believe that you will ever be free of this sexual abuse, but some things can help you find peace apart from therapy for sexual abuse.
Healing takes time so be patient and live one day at a time.
You can always:
Write in a journal: writing down your thoughts can help you understand how you feel today and how you want to feel tomorrow.
· Go for a walk: Find a safe place to walk during the day. If possible, do it with a friend.
· Draw or paint: letting your creativity and emotions flow on paper can be good for you.
· Spend time with your friends: Having fun with friends will remind you that people care about you, more than you think.
· Be kind to yourself: remember that what happened to you was not your fault. Healing can take a long time, and it is normal to have days of sadness or anger.
This is just one of the easiest ways to deal with this traumatic situation, aside from the help you will receive from sexual abuse lawyers and sexual abuse therapists, you have to be very strong because the highest part of the healing process must be done by you.
Let’s conclude by saying that, a sexual abuse lawyer will eventually represent you during the complaints procedure.
Take some time and use the advice of a sexual abuse therapist, put it into practice and do what you enjoy most.
You must not let this situation get the better of you, you must be stronger than your abuser.
Many people have come out of sexual abuse situations with their heads held high and why not you. Take it easy and enjoy life with the people you trust the most.
Some people are sexually abused as children but are unable to express themselves.
They do exhibit certain behaviours that can be detected by specialists such as sexual abuse therapists in these settings.
Sexual abuse in a relationship is not the only type of sexual abuse, we have cases of childhood sexual abuse and we are going to detail how to recognize a victim of childhood sexual abuse.