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I was sexually abused as a child, should I sue my abuser?

Professor Daniel PollackWhen considering a civil lawsuit for sexual abuse, it is important for a victim or for the victim’s parents (if the victim is still a minor) to consider beforehand if the lawsuit will have have a net beneficial therapeutic effect or a traumatizing effect.

In a recent commentary in the New York Law Journal, Daniel Pollack a professor at Yeshiva University’s School of Social Work in New York City and  a Commissioner of Game Over, a commission to protect youth athletes, and Daniel F. Monahan, a board-certified trial attorney in Pennsylvania write about the unexpected emotional consequences that a sexual abuse lawsuit can have on the victim.

A traumatizing experience for the victim and the family

Sexual Abuse is a traumatizing experience not only for the survivor but also for his or her entire family  and pursuing litigation is a long and arduous process that can be mentally challenging.  Choosing an experienced and compassionate sexual abuse attorney who is ready to assist the survivors is of the utmost importance for the survivors and their families.  Before starting a lawsuit, an attorney must make sure to know:

  • if his or her client has any type of addiction and therapy might be needed
  • if the client might need psychiatric or psychological counseling
  • does the client have insurance covering these types of treatments?
  • Are there any financial assistance programs for the survivor such as charitable organizations if needed?

When a lawsuit is considered for a victim of sexual abuse who is a minor, a mentally challenged individual or even an adult, the attorney must consider with the victim and his or her family all the obstacles that will arise from pursuing a lawsuit and make sure that the victim does not inadvertently get victimized twice.

Read the commentary in the New York Law Journal