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for Victims of Sexual Assault in Portland and Throughout Oregon
About Johnston Law Firm
Sexual assaults are extremely traumatic experiences that can permanently affect your life. Following an assault, you likely require medical treatment for your physical condition, as well as ongoing treatment for the emotional damage that can result from an attack. It only adds insult to injury if you have to pay for the treatment necessary after your attack and that you will suffer physically and emotionally because of the actions of the attacker.
Like other types of personal injury, you have the right to file a claim against your attacker for the harm they caused you by sexually assaulting you. At the Johnston Law Firm, we provide confidential consultations and compassionate representation for all victims of sexual assault or abuse, so please call us today to learn more about how we can help you. We are on your side and will stand up for you against your attacker.
The Substantial Harm Caused By Sexual Assault
Sexual assault can take many forms and can be committed by many different people. Victims are assaulted by complete strangers, friends or acquaintances, family members, coworkers, nursing home staff, taxi drivers, dating partners, or even by trusted medical professionals. Sexual assault usually happens when you least expect it and can involve offensive unwanted touching, sexual harassment, child molestation or incest, rape, attempted rape, aggravated rape and other offensive illegal sexual acts.
After a sexual assault, victims are often stunned and confused. In the time following an assault, a victim may incur expenses for emergency department visits, doctor’s visits, sessions with therapists, and more. In some cases, victims may find out they are pregnant or that they have contracted a sexually transmitted disease. In such situations, a victim will require extensive and possibly ongoing medical treatment for an extended period of time, plus the emotional and mental support of dealing with an unwanted pregnancy or living with an STD.
Often, the losses suffered by a sexual assault victim may include the following:
- Costs of past and future medical treatment;
- Loss of wages from missing work and potential loss of future earnings;
- Costs of psychological treatment;
- Mental and emotional anguish and distress;
- Pain and suffering;
- Loss of enjoyment or quality of life;
Victims deserve to be fully compensated by their attackers for all of their losses, both financial and intangible.
Criminal vs. Civil
Cases for Sexual Assault
Your immediate concern after a sexual assault may be to help law enforcement officers find your attacker and get them off the streets to protect the safety of others. Once your attacker is arrested, they will likely face charges in Portland criminal court. If convicted, they can be sentenced to years in prison, extensive fines, and more. However, this criminal case will be more to punish your attacker and will likely do little to compensate you for the losses you personally suffered.
In order to seek financial recovery for your losses and your pain and suffering, you will have to file a claim in Portland civil court. This will be a separate case from the criminal one, with different filings, a different judge, and different proceedings. While it can be difficult to go through the legal process all over again after a criminal case, know that our law firm will be with you every step of the why protecting your rights and reducing your stress and involvement as much as possible.
While a civil case is separate from a criminal conviction, that conviction can be used as evidence in your civil case. A conviction will significantly lessen the burden of evidence you have to present. If a conviction is proven, the only aspect you will likely have to prove is the extent of your losses and of the harm you suffered. The value of your case will depend on the specific circumstances of what happened, how it affected you, and how much treatment you have required.
Don’t miss out on these common personal injury mistakes.
Sex Abuse Attorney
Working for Justice Against Tough Opposition
We help victims in cases against single abusers and against members of large organizations or institutions. We have the experience and perspective to be familiar with the damages and injuries associated with sexual abuse. We help our clients find the support they need from medical and mental health professionals, and we build strong cases incorporating expert testimony in collaboration with such professionals.
Children and women are especially vulnerable to abuse. We understand that the victims of abuse are not only the abused themselves, but their families and other loved ones too. We uncover systemic issues and cover-ups of actions perpetuated by people of power, including:
- Public figures
- Camp counselors
- Boy Scout or Girl Scout leaders
- Private employers
- The Catholic Church
- Family members
- Politicians and other elected officials
- Professional athletes
It is advantageous to deal with abuse issues as soon as possible. It is easier to bring your abuser to justice and to seek the compensation you need now in order to recover. We can help you receive the counseling and mental health support you need. Our work can help you rebuild your life and put an end to abuse.
FAQs About Sexual Abuse
While sexual abuse is something that many people would prefer not to talk or even think about, the fact is that it is a crime that affects hundreds of thousands of men, women, and children throughout the United States each year. Victims of sexual abuse are often traumatized by their experience, and by not sharing what happened to them, they too often are denied from getting the help they need to recover. Children in particular are targeted by abusers, who think they can bully and frighten the child into not telling what is happening to them. In an effort to raise awareness and dispel myths about sexual abuse, we have assembled a list of some frequently asked questions, and consulted with experts in the field to get the answers you need about this important issue.
Yes, all parents should be concerned about the alarming rates of abuse of young boys and girls. Mary Bridge reports that one out of every three girls and one out of every eight boys will be sexually abused by the age of 18.
No. Shockingly, 80 to 90 of abusers are family members, friends, or someone familiar to your family.
No. Sexual abuse can occur over a period of years without anyone being aware of it.
No. While men are the primary abusers, there are women who are sexual offenders as well.
The majority of sex offenders will commit this crime as long as they are able. Sex offender treatment can temporarily stop them, but a former offender should never be allowed to be around children.
People who commit sex crimes often build up slowly to the actual act of abuse, starting with befriending both the parents as well as the child. Once they have earned the family’s trust, they will begin spending more and more time with the children, and may begin giving the child back rubs, hugging, and telling sexual jokes. They may move on to exposing the child to pornography, while gauging the child to ensure they can be intimidated into not telling.
You can teach your child to stand up for themselves, to resist any inappropriate behavior or touching, and by letting them know you will listen to them and that they should come to you if there is a problem, no matter who it is. Offenders look for quiet, non-assertive children who will be afraid to tell a grown up if they are abused. The best thing you can do to protect your child is to teach them to not be afraid to speak up for themselves.
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Mr. Johnston and his firm were incredibly thorough in getting us a fair settlement from our insurance company with little to no pressure. We really appreciated having someone who truly cared about us every step of the way. I would highly recommend the Johnston Law Firm to anyone in need of personal injury representation.
Move Forward with the Legal Help of Attorney Marc Johnston
If you are thinking of filing a legal claim after a sexual assault, you need the right attorney on your side. Not only should your lawyer understand how to successfully and efficiently pursue a civil claim for sexual assault, but they should also be sensitive to the harm you have suffered and are still suffering throughout every step of your case. At the Johnston Law Firm, sexual assault lawyer Marc Johnston prides himself on providing compassionate and personalized representation in every case, especially those involving difficult issues. If you would like to discuss how we can help you for free, please call (503) 546-3167 today.
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