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Can I File a Sexual Abuse Claim Without Telling My Family?

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Posted By DAM Firm | June 28 2019 | Sexual Abuse

Survivors of sexual crimes have different needs for privacy. Some survivors want the counsel and support of their families, while others may not want their families informed or involved. At DiMarco Araujo Montevideo in Santa Ana, we provide compassionate, experienced representation and work with our clients to protect their privacy. Contact us today if you are a survivor of sexual abuse or assault and are interested in filing a personal injury claim.

Are You Entitled to Privacy as a Survivor of Sexual Abuse or Assault?

If you are a survivor of sexual assault or abuse, you have some rights to privacy. If you are eligible to file a claim with the Independent Compensation Program, your information will be used and disclosed only for purposes of the program and destroyed one year after the program is concluded, except as prohibited by law.

This program is for people who were abused as minors by a priest in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles or in the Dioceses of Orange, San Diego, San Bernardino, Fresno, or Sacramento. If you file a civil lawsuit for damages against the perpetrator of a sex crime, the court may allow you to use “John Doe,” “Jane Doe,” or another pseudonym in your claim to protect your identity and privacy.

How Common Is Sexual Abuse or Assault?

If you have experienced sexual assault or abuse, you are not alone. As reported by RAINN:

  • Child protective services agencies found strong evidence to indicate or substantiated that 57,329 children in the U.S. were survivors of sexual abuse in a single recent year.
  • 66% of all survivors under the age of 18 are ages 12 to 17.
  • One in nine girls and one in 53 boys under the age of 18 experience sexual abuse or assault perpetrated by an adult.
  • Among child sexual abuse cases reported to law enforcement, 93% of the perpetrators are known by the survivor.

How To Tell Your Family You Are a Survivor of Sexual Assault or Abuse

If you are a sex crime survivor and choose to share with your family, the following guidelines can help:

  • Tell your family right away: The longer you wait, the more difficult it will be to collect evidence. In the case of rape, your family can take you to the hospital immediately to be checked out by a doctor and have a rape kit done. It is important to go to the hospital and speak to the police as soon as possible, because the longer you wait, the less likely it is that the perpetrator will be held accountable.
  • Tell them anyway if it has been days, weeks, months, or years since the incident occurred: You are a survivor, not a victim. Telling your family lets them in and allows them to help you.
  • Go over the story in your mind: Write down what you experienced as best you can, even if you can only recall minor details and fragments of the incident. No detail is unimportant, and the more you can remember, the better.
  • Tell your family altogether if possible: This eliminates the need to tell the traumatic story more than once.
  • If you don’t feel that you can tell your family, tell someone. Keeping sexual assault to yourself and trying to deal with it on your own can have lasting psychological effects.

Get In Touch with Our Firm

At DiMarco Araujo Montevideo in Santa Ana, we are known for the results we obtain and the high level of service we provide to our clients. Call our attorneys as soon as possible if you are a survivor of sexual abuse or assault and are interested in filing a personal injury claim.

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