What Is Sexual Abuse? 

In the simplest terms, sexual abuse is any form of unwanted and/or nonconsensual sexual contact by one person against or forced upon another. This includes all sexual activity with individuals under the legal age of consent, as well as those who cannot consent due to confusion, impairment, intoxication, or other factors.

Some examples of sexual abuse include:

  • Molestation 
  • Sexual assault 
  • Rape 
  • Statutory rape 
  • Groping
  • Unwanted touching, including kissing
  • Indecent exposure 
  • Grooming 
  • Child pornography 

Sexual abuse can also involve a person refusing another person access to birth control, condoms, or other methods to prevent sexually transmitted infections (STIs), as well as purposeful transmission of STIs. One of the most common examples of sexual abuse involves sexual misconduct by people in positions of power over others, such as teachers, coaches, and religious leaders. Tragically, the victims of such incidents are often minors, including children

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The Effects of Sexual Abuse 

The short- and long-term effects of sexual abuse are physical and emotionally devastating. Many survivors experience significant mental harm, which may even be debilitating. Many survivors also suffer physical injuries, including sexually transmitted infections (STIs) as a result of sexual assault and abuse. 

Some of the many lasting effects of sexual abuse include:

  • Shame 
  • Depression
  • Anxiety 
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • Poor self-esteem 
  • Self-injury 
  • Sexual dysfunction 
  • Borderline personality disorder 
  • Suicidal ideation 
  • Relationship problems 
  • Chronic pelvic pain
  • Sexually transmitted infections (STIs)
  • Bruising 
  • Bleeding 
  • Broken bones/fractures 
  • Dislocations 
  • Pregnancy 

These are just some of the effects of sexual abuse and assault that can significantly disrupt a survivor’s life. At Curtis & Co., we believe that abusers should be made accountable for the immense physical and mental pain and suffering they inflict on innocent people—and we have a long history of success in representing clients in complex and sensitive sexual abuse injury cases throughout New Mexico. 

Filing a Personal Injury Claim After Sexual Abuse or Assault 

Sexual abuse is both a crime and a civil cause of action. Under criminal law, all forms of sexual abuse and assault are illegal. This includes unwanted touching, groping, rape, forced sexual acts, and other nonconsensual sexual activity. 

The criminal justice system makes the sexual abuse perpetrator accountable to society as a whole. That is why criminal cases are titled “The State of New Mexico vs. The Criminal.” Only the civil justice system makes the sexual abuse perpetrator accountable to his or her victim. 

By filing a personal injury claim against your abuser, you can work to hold them responsible for the immense pain and suffering they have caused you. Unlike a criminal case, a civil case does not result in criminal penalties against the abuser; rather, it allows the victim to recover a monetary settlement or verdict meant to compensate them for certain economic and non-economic losses related to the attack. 

At Curtis & Co., we understand that no amount of financial recovery can ever truly compensate you for what happened. However, our Albuquerque sexual abuse injury lawyers have also seen firsthand how a successful settlement or verdict against an abuser can allow survivors to obtain the justice and financial resources they need to navigate the healing process. 

How Long Do You Have to File an Injury Lawsuit for Childhood Sexual Abuse? 

The statute of limitations for adults who were victims of childhood sexual abuse is different than other statutes of limitations. This is because, many times, the victim has to age and mature to a place where he or she can get out from under the power of the abuser to be able to actually bring an action against the perpetrator. The law recognizes that it is especially important for victims to hold these abusers accountable.

As hard as this work is to do, it is important to have experienced trial attorneys take on these challenges. Childhood sexual abuse stays hidden in the dark unless we shine a light on it and make sure the perpetrators are accountable to their victims, not just to society. This is our way of trying to assist people who need us to help them heal.

How Curtis & Co. Can Help 

Our Albuquerque sexual abuse injury lawyers are committed to holding sexual abuse predators and any institution that negligently puts the abuser in place to harm children accountable to those children, even if they are now grown adults who carry the scars and damage an abuser leaves behind. We are relentless in our pursuit of justice and accountability for victims of childhood sexual abuse. 

Treatment is expensive, and, often, the damage can run deep. Civil law is designed to take care of survivors and allow them a path to recovery. Our attorneys understand the sensitive nature of these claims and are here to provide professional, compassionate legal counsel tailored to your specific circumstances, concerns, and goals. We respect your privacy and want to serve as a trusted source of information, guidance, and advocacy throughout the legal process. 

We handle cases where the perpetrator is in jail and have handled cases where the DA refuses to prosecute. Not all perpetrators go to jail. All perpetrators, however, have to be accountable in the civil law to their victims. Our cases have brought about policy changes and education in schools and other programs to make them safer for our children. We frankly demand if people are going to be put in positions of trust over children, they must be thoroughly evaluated so that children remain safe. Institutions know what is required of them to do this. They must meet those standards because children are too important to risk.

The sexual abuse perpetrator deserves to lose everything he or she has to compensate for the damage that was caused. We make no apologies for demanding compensation. There are virtually no sexual abusers who only offend once. Our experts have taught us that there is a psychological boundary that is crossed when an offender sexually abuses a child that cannot be taken back. We do not know how to treat sexual abusers in such a way that they stop hurting children. We can take away the means they have to live comfortably while their victims suffer.

If you need us, we are used to talking to people who have been victims of sexual abuse. There is nothing taboo about this subject to us. If we can help you, we will. The law has certain requirements to bring a case; if something about the law or the facts of what happened mean we cannot help, we will tell you that too. 

Reach Out to Our Firm Today for Help with Your Sexual Abuse Case

Simply by considering legal action, you have already taken an important and courageous first step. We encourage you to schedule a free, confidential consultation with our Albuquerque sexual abuse injury lawyers as soon as possible to learn whether you may have grounds for a case. We are here to meet with you, discuss your concerns, and answer any questions you may have.

At Curtis & Co., we do not charge any upfront legal fees. Our attorneys only collect litigation-related expenses if/when they recover settlements or verdicts for their clients. This means that you do not have to pay any out-of-pocket costs when you work with our firm. 

We represent clients throughout New Mexico. Call (505) 871-3740 or contact us online today to learn more or to schedule a free consultation. Hablamos español. 

Curtis & Co. Curtis & Co.
You are passionate, persistent, and from everything that I saw today, a brilliant lawyer and orator.

What Sets Us Apart:

  • 25 Years of Experience
    Founding Attorney Lisa K. Curtis has pursued law since the young age of 6. This is all we've ever wanted to do, and we've done it well for decades.
  • Treating Clients Like Family
    We're a smaller firm so we can give our clients the focus and attention they deserve. You've been wronged, and we stop at nothing to make it right.
  • Compassionate, Capable Advocates
    We know how difficult it is not only to experience the injustice you did, but to be brave enough to move forward. We're here with you every single step of the way.
  • Committed to the Well-Being of New Mexico
    New Mexico is and always has been our home and chief priority. Our families go back centuries here, and we look to better this community with every move we make.

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