Los Angeles Sexual Abuse and Assault Attorneys
Knowledgeable representation for sexual abuse victims across Southern California
Sexual assault and abuse are particularly heinous offenses that leave victims feeling traumatized and helpless. Victims of sexual assault and sexual abuse are not only severely impacted in the short term, but commonly suffer psychological and emotional effects for years after the fact. At the law firm of Taylor & Ring, we have substantial experience representing victims through civil litigation. Contact us for more information.
From the beginning, I knew I was in compassionate hands with Taylor and Ring. I was represented by Mr. Ring, and as a sexual abuse survivor, I felt that he went above and beyond a typical trial lawyer's obligations. Mr. Ring demonstrated such kindness and professionalism throughout my litigation experience that a process which can often feel worse than the abuse felt humane and empowering. I am forever grateful to have had Taylor and Ring's representation during a time when I felt completely alone. They are the best of the best!
- What is sexual assault?
- What to do if you are a victim of sexual assault
- Pursuing damages for a sexual assault claim
- What is the statute of limitations on a sexual assault claim in California?
- Can I make a claim if my child has been sexually abused?
- Additional services for victims of sexual assault and harassment
- Choosing the right law firm for your needs
What is sexual assault?
Sexual assault is a broad term. As such, the state of California does not have only one sexual assault designation: it can include rape, threats, sodomy, seduction, and much, much more. In the most general of terms, sexual assault is any act of unwanted sexual contact without a person’s consent, including any threats or coercion.
What is rape?
Rape is defined as an act of sexual intercourse – with a spouse, intimate partner, acquaintance, or stranger – without consent:
- Because you were threatened
- Because you were forced against your will
- Because you were physically unable to grant consent, from being asleep, unconscious, unaware, or disabled
- Because you were mentally unable to give consent due to a disability
- Because you were under the age of 17
- Because you were under the age of 18, and the perpetrator was aged 18 or older
Did You Know?
Rape accounted for 8% of all violent crimes in California in 2021
-- Public Policy Institute of California
What is the difference between sexually harassed and sexually assaulted?
While sexual harassment broadly refers to verbal and physical sexual attention that is unwanted by the victim, sexual assault is actual contact or behavior of a sexual nature without the victim’s consent. Either one of these acts makes the subject of the attention or contact feel violated. Another difference is that sexual assault is charged as a crime where sexual harassment is typically handled as a civil matter. By filing a civil lawsuit you have more flexibility in shaping the type of outcome your case will have, which could include a financial settlement or award.
What is sexual misconduct?
Sexual misconduct is yet another term used to describe a wide array of sexually offensive behaviors that can include harassment or even date rape. Other acts that fall under the purview of this category include:
- Domestic and intimate partner violence
- Dating violence
- Sexual exploitation
What to do if you are a victim of sexual assault
First and foremost, get yourself to safety if you have been sexually assaulted. Once you are out of danger, some important steps to take are:
- Seek medical help. Ensure your health is safeguarded and document the attack. Many medical centers have nursing staff trained in sexual trauma and evidence collection. You may not be in the best frame of mind to make a decision as to whether you want to press charges immediately after being sexually assaulted but once the evidence is gone, it makes it more difficult to pursue a case against your attacker when you do have that moment of clarity and want justice.
- Report the attack. Finding your voice in a crisis can be tough to do when you feel violated. You did nothing wrong, yet you experience many emotions, including feeling as if you’re to blame because you took a different route home, or you’re embarrassed because you shared a kiss with your aggressor. You may not be at the point of filing a police report but you need to speak with someone about what happened to you, even if it’s anonymously to the National Sexual Assault Hotline. Know that signing an NDA does mean you cannot report an act of sexual assault; non-disclosure agreements do not apply to criminal actions.
- Save evidence. Even if you don’t immediately report your assault or seek medical attention, preserving the items of clothing you wore during the attack and anything else that could contain valuable evidence should be saved until you choose to make an official report.
- Find an attorney. When you’re ready, contact Taylor & Ring to help you try to hold your attacker responsible. While helpful, you are not required to file a police report to pursue a civil lawsuit for sexual assault. Our attorneys are experienced with handling cases where victims come into the process feeling hopeless only to learn that they may be able to succeed in a claim.
There’s only a few firms in California that handle sexual abuse cases. With the really unique cases, you’ve got to be very careful how you handle them, because these victims, they require a lot of support during the litigation. If you’re the type of firm that you talk to your client once every few months, you’re doing them a disservice. It’s so personal to them, it’s so anxiety-ridden, and it’s not a car accident. It’s horrific stuff. With those cases there’s a lot more client interaction throughout the entire case, because that’s super important.
Dave Ring, “Giving Voice to the Silenced: Anatomy of a Sexual Abuse Practice at Taylor & Ring"
Pursuing damages for a sexual assault claim
There are two different justice systems in this country: criminal and civil. In the criminal justice system, the prosecutor decides whether or not to charge a person (the defendant) with a sex crime. If the defendant is found guilty, he or she may be incarcerated and fined. The civil justice system is what allows survivors to bring claims for monetary damages against the defendant. While a guilty plea or verdict can bolster your claim, it is not necessary in order for you to file a claim. In fact, even if your attacker is found not guilty in criminal court, he or she may still be held liable for your injuries, and ordered to compensate you for:
- Your medical expenses
- Your lost wages or loss of future earning potential
- Your pain and suffering
- Your loss of companionship with your partner
Taylor & Ring helped to secure a combined $102.5 million award for two women who were sexually assaulted while attending Dartmouth Middle School, and has obtained multiple 7- and 8-figure awards for other survivors.
What is the statute of limitations on a sexual assault claim in California?
We understand that choosing to tell your story is a deeply personal decision. We also understand that for some people, coming forward can feel like a violation in and of itself. Even if you are not ready to initiate a lawsuit, it is important to preserve your rights before the statute of limitations expires. Under California law, there is no statute of limitations for criminal charges. However, failing to meet statutory time limitations can keep you from pursuing the compensation you deserve in a civil claim.
As of January 2020, if you are a survivor of childhood sexual abuse, you must file a claim by the time you are 40 years old, or within 5 years of the discovery of the abuse. Under this updated law, there is now a three year window for the revival of claims which have been barred because the statute of limitations expired.
Can I make a claim if my child has been sexually abused?
As parents, we do whatever we can to protect our kids. Finding out that our children have been hurt can make you feel helpless and angry. Finding out that your child was molested or assaulted can make you feel like you’re suffocating. We understand. Taylor & Ring has handled some of the most high-profile cases involving the sexual abuse and assault of children in the state. We understand your primal urge for justice for your child, balanced with your parental desire to protect your child’s privacy. We cannot undo the hurt or pain your child has suffered, but we can and will fight to ensure that he or she has the best possible future. Please contact us to learn about filing a claim against:
- The school district, including LAUSD
- Individual teachers, staff members, administrators, or volunteers
- The perpetrator of the abuse
- Child Protective Services or foster parents
- Youth organizations
- Religious organizations or individuals
- Sports organizations or coaches
- Other students or children
- Mandated reporters who failed to protect your child
- Members of the entertainment industry
Additional services for victims of sexual assault and harassment
Our Los Angeles sexual assault attorneys handle a wide array of claims involving abuse, harassment, and bullying. Please contact us to learn more about our work:
- Sexual harassment and employment
- Sexual abuse in nursing homes
- Sexual assault in TV, film, and music
- Sex trafficking
- Quid Pro Quo
Choosing the right law firm for your needs
The lawyers of Taylor & Ring have handled numerous high-profile and precedent-setting cases throughout California. Our victories include a wide spectrum of verdicts and settlements for sexual assault victims. Beyond exposing the perpetrators, our Los Angeles sexual abuse law firm focuses on holding property owners, employers, and security companies accountable for failing to protect victims. We seek restitution for physical injuries, emotional trauma, and psychological effects, all of which may have a tangible financial impact. We find every way possible to get you the justice and compensation you deserve.
Let an experienced Los Angeles sexual assault law firm handle the details of your case
You can trust the attorneys of Taylor & Ring to provide you and your loved one with civil justice representation that is honest, reliable, and aggressive. Call us today at 310-776-6390 or complete our contact form to schedule a confidential and free initial consultation. We value each of our clients and continuously strive to provide them with high-quality representation. Se habla español.
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