Columbia Sexual Abuse and Trauma Victim Lawyers
The statistics behind sexual abuse are shocking, and the physical and emotional scars it leaves behind are heartbreaking. The anti-sexual violence organization RAINN reports that a person in America is sexually assaulted every 68 seconds, including a child victim every nine minutes, one-third of whom are under the age of 12. That’s half a million victims every year. Sexual abuse affects people of all ages and from all walks of life. Most often sexual abuse happens at the hands of someone the victim knows, often someone in a position of trust, power or authority over the victim. In cases like these, institutions and establishments bear a portion of the blame for permitting the abuse to occur under their roof.
The Columbia sexual abuse and trauma victim lawyers at Simmons Law Firm work tirelessly to hold those responsible accountable for the damage done and obtain justice for victims. Through civil claims and lawsuits, we ensure that victims and families receive the medical care and mental health treatment they need – and the financial support they deserve – to help them with the lifetime of challenges they may endure because this inexcusable and preventable abuse was allowed to occur. Additionally, our legal work seeks to shine a light on negligence and abuse, all in an effort to force those in power to change their practices and make their spaces safer for others in the future. If you or a loved one has been victimized by sexual abuse in Columbia, South Carolina, call Simmons Law Firm today for immediate assistance.
Sexual Abuse and Trauma Can Happen to Anyone, Anywhere
Sexual abuse can and does happen to anyone, anywhere, but often the victims of sexual abuse are the most vulnerable members of society or those who feel powerless to do anything about it. This includes pre-school-age children in daycare, seniors in nursing homes or assisted living facilities. Impressionable youth in athletics, drama, scouting or other extracurricular activities often form strong bonds of trust with their teachers, counselors and coaches; when that trust is broken, victims feel confused about what happened and fearful to report the abuse. Even young adults who perform at the highest levels of ability, such as future Olympians, have been abused by the very coaches, trainers, and doctors hired by the nation’s top universities to see to their health and safety.
Simmons Law Firm helps sexual abuse victims seek damages and hold accountable not just their abusers but those who had a responsibility to provide a safe environment yet failed to do so. Our law practice represents victims of sexual abuse and trauma across a wide range of situations, including the following:
Sexual Abuse in Daycare Facilities
Child sexual abuse can cause serious physical injury at the time and is likely to inflict lasting or lifelong physical and emotional harm. According to the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), child protective services agencies received more than seven and a half million reports of child abuse and neglect in just one year. DHHS reports that in 2017, 2,237 daycare providers were found guilty of abusing and neglecting the children in their care, including sexual abuse perpetrated by child daycare providers in more than 20% of the cases.
Sexual Abuse in Rideshare Transportation
In 2019, Uber released information that documented 6,000 reports of sexual assault in 2017 and 2018. Lyft, a rideshare company with a smaller market share, finally released its information in late 2021, reflecting 4,000 instances of sexual assault between 2017 and 2019. Assault victims include both drivers and passengers. As the company spokespeople will tell you, even one incident of sexual assault is one too many, but thousands every year is as frightening as it is unacceptable. When a rideshare company’s negligence in screening, hiring and supervising drivers facilitates assaults, the company can and should be held liable for the harm done.
It’s a federal offense to knowingly use force, threats, fraud or coercion to cause a person to engage in a commercial sex act while knowing the person is less than 18 years of age or with reckless disregard as to whether the individual is under 18. Other federal statutes outlaw recruiting, transporting or obtaining people for forced labor or services, including by confiscating or destroying a person’s immigration documents. Human trafficking and sex trafficking happen everywhere, even in South Carolina, which saw a 50 percent jump in cases from 2020 to 2021 and, tragically, a steady increase in cases involving children. Owners of factories, massage parlors, strip clubs and other establishments that force people into labor or the sex trade can be held both criminally and civilly liable for their reprehensible actions.
Premises liability – the duty of property owners to maintain their premises in a reasonably safe condition – includes providing adequate security to prevent sexual assaults against people on the property. Owners of shopping malls, office buildings, parking garages, apartment complexes, hotels and motels, bars and nightclubs, can all be held liable for assaults committed due to negligent security. Inadequate security measures can include a lack of security personnel or cameras, broken locks on doors and windows, unsecured entrances, and absent or nonworking access gates, alarm codes, and other security measures. Simmons Law Firm takes on property owners of all shapes and sizes when their inadequate security leads to a robbery or assault, including sexual assaults that occur on their premises. Companies can also be held liable for sexual abuse committed by managers and supervisors and other co-workers when safety policies were either inadequate or negligently enforced.
Dedicated Columbia Lawyers Helping Victims of Sexual Abuse in South Carolina
Simmons Law Firm is dedicated to helping abuse victims get the care and compensation they need to recover from the abuse and trauma they have suffered to the fullest extent possible. Our team offers compassionate personal attention and effective results based on years of experience helping those who have suffered at the hands of others. If you or a loved one has been victimized by sexual abuse or trauma in Columbia or South Carolina statewide, call Simmons Law Firm at 800-779-4600 or toll-free at 888-715-8818, or contact us online for a no-cost, confidential consultation. If you feel you are in danger from your abuser or need to connect with local services, call 911 or the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 800-656-HOPE.