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Durham Sexual Abuse Attorneys

If you or someone close to you has survived sexual abuse, we want you to know that support is available. At Riddle & Brantley, our Durham sexual abuse lawyers are dedicated to providing empathetic legal representation to survivors of sexual abuse.

Our firm defends the rights of those wronged throughout North Carolina, including those who have suffered from sexual abuse. We approach every case with the utmost sensitivity and are wholly committed to achieving justice and compensation for our clients.

Why Choose Riddle & Brantley as Your Durham Sexual Abuse Lawyers?

Since 1985, Riddle & Brantley has supported survivors in North Carolina, offering:

  • A Convenient Location: Our Durham office at 100 East Parrish Street, Suite 200, near Durham City Hall, facilitates face-to-face meetings and support throughout your legal journey.
  • A Team of Experienced Legal Professionals: With 11 devoted attorneys and a comprehensive support team, including investigators, paralegals, case managers, and support staff, our firm brings over 220 years of collective legal experience to bear on your behalf.
  • A Track Record of Success: Our firm has secured over $720 million in total compensation for our clients since 2000, demonstrating our unwavering commitment to securing the best possible outcomes for those we represent. (See disclaimer below.)
  • A Client-Centered Approach: We operate on a contingency fee basis, meaning you owe no attorney fees unless we win your case. Our belief that “Justice Counts for ALL” ensures that every client receives personalized and exhaustive legal representation.
  • Comprehensive Support: From your initial consultation through to courtroom advocacy, our team handles every aspect of your case, enabling you to concentrate on recovery while we fight for your cause for justice.

What Compensation Is Available for Survivors of Sexual Abuse in Durham?

Survivors of sexual abuse in Durham may be eligible for several forms of compensation, including:

Medical Expenses

When survivors of sexual abuse seek justice, one of the primary forms of compensation sought is for medical expenses. This includes a wide range of costs associated with both the immediate and long-term effects of abuse.

Immediate medical care might include emergency treatments, forensic examinations, and initial counseling sessions, which are necessary for the survivor’s physical and psychological well-being.

Long-term care is equally important, covering ongoing therapy, psychiatric treatment, and any other medical interventions necessary to aid in the survivor’s recovery process.

The goal of compensating for medical expenses is to alleviate the financial burden on survivors, ensuring they can access the necessary care without worrying about the cost.

This form of compensation acknowledges the extensive and often prolonged nature of healing from sexual abuse, emphasizing the importance of comprehensive support for both physical injuries and psychological traumas.

Pain and Suffering

Pain and suffering compensation addresses the profound emotional distress and psychological trauma that survivors of sexual abuse endure. This category of compensation is particularly significant because it recognizes the intangible, non-economic impacts of abuse—impacts that are deeply personal and vary significantly among people.

Survivors may experience a wide range of emotional and psychological effects, including anxiety, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and diminished quality of life. These conditions can disrupt daily functioning, relationships, and overall well-being.

Compensation for pain and suffering aims to provide a measure of relief for these invisible yet profound wounds, offering survivors a form of acknowledgment and validation for the suffering they have endured. It serves as a step towards healing, giving survivors a sense of justice and recognition of their experiences.

Lost Wages

The impact of sexual abuse often extends into a survivor’s professional life, resulting in lost wages due to time taken off work for recovery, medical appointments, and legal proceedings.

For some, the effects of abuse may also lead to a diminished capacity to earn in the future, whether through an inability to maintain the same level of work or a necessity to change careers.

Compensation for lost wages aims to recover the income that survivors have missed out on, providing a financial buffer that allows them to focus on their recovery without the added stress of financial instability.

In cases where a survivor’s ability to earn is compromised over the long term, compensation can also include an estimate of lost earning capacity, ensuring that survivors are not financially disadvantaged by the consequences of the abuse.

Punitive Damages

Punitive damages stand apart from compensatory damages like medical expenses, pain and suffering, and lost wages. These damages do not compensate the survivor for their losses but rather to punish the perpetrator (and sometimes negligent institutions) for particularly egregious misconduct.

Punitive damages serve as a deterrent, sending a clear message by punishing those actions with severe financial penalties.

While not awarded in every case, when they are, punitive damages underscore the legal system’s commitment to holding wrongdoers accountable, emphasizing the seriousness of the abuse and the need for societal condemnation of such acts.

Through punitive damages, the legal process aims to prevent future instances of abuse by making it financially burdensome for perpetrators and institutions to engage in or overlook wrongful conduct.

Where Can Sexual Abuse Occur In Durham?

Sexual abuse can happen in various settings, exploiting power imbalances or creating opportunities for misconduct. Our team at Riddle & Brantley is proficient in managing cases from diverse contexts, including but not limited to:

Durham Public Schools and Universities

We are committed to ensuring a safe, educational environment for all students in Durham, including those at Duke University and North Carolina Central University. Our firm addresses cases of abuse within these and other educational institutions, advocating for the rights and safety of students.

Medical Centers and Clinics in Durham

Holding healthcare professionals accountable is required when abuse occurs in medical settings. We represent survivors of abuse in facilities such as Duke University Hospital and Durham VA Health Care System, ensuring that those who seek medical treatment are met with care, not harm.

Religious Organizations in Durham

Churches and religious communities are places of trust and fellowship. When abuse occurs within these settings, such as at prominent Durham churches or religious institutions, we seek justice for survivors, holding perpetrators and organizations accountable.

Public Spaces and Recreational Facilities in Durham

Durham’s parks, recreational centers, and community spaces, such as Eno River State Park and the American Tobacco District, should be safe for everyone. Our firm advocates for individuals who have experienced abuse in these public settings, working towards a safer community for all residents.

Residential Settings in Durham

Abuse that occurs within homes or involves family members and acquaintances in Durham neighborhoods requires sensitive and discreet legal support. Whether in the historic districts or newer residential areas, we provide compassionate assistance to survivors during the legal process.

At Riddle & Brantley, we understand the impact of sexual abuse on survivors and the importance of addressing abuse across all these settings in Durham, NC. Our goal is to secure justice and compensation for survivors while promoting safety and awareness throughout the community.

If you or someone you know has survived sexual abuse in Durham or anywhere in North Carolina, our experienced legal team is here to offer guidance and support.

Fighting for Justice Against Perpetrators and Negligent Institutions

At Riddle & Brantley, our commitment to survivors of sexual abuse extends beyond the courtroom. We use a comprehensive approach to ensure that justice is served, not only by holding perpetrators accountable but also by addressing the roles of negligent institutions. This multifaceted strategy involves several key components:

Identifying Responsible Parties

Responsible parties in cases of sexual abuse can include the direct perpetrators of the abuse as well as institutions that may have enabled the abuse through negligence or failure to act. Identifying these parties is required for building a strong case.

This can involve:

  • Direct Perpetrators: Individuals who committed the acts of abuse.
  • Negligent Institutions: Organizations that failed in their duty to protect victims, which could include schools, religious organizations, businesses, and healthcare facilities. Their failure might stem from inadequate background checks, ignoring previous complaints, or not providing a safe environment.

Gathering Evidence

A strong case against perpetrators and negligent institutions relies on a solid foundation of evidence.

This evidence can take many forms, including:

  • Documentation of Abuse: This might include text messages, emails, photographs, and any other forms of communication that can provide direct evidence of abuse.
  • Medical Records: Documenting injuries and treatments related to the abuse, these records are crucial for establishing the physical and psychological impact on the survivor.
  • Witness Testimony: Statements from individuals who might have witnessed the abuse or its effects or who can testify to the environment that allowed the abuse to occur.
  • Institutional Records: These may reveal prior complaints or incidents showcasing a pattern of negligence or misconduct by an organization.

Securing Expert Testimony

Expert testimony is valuable in sexual abuse cases, offering authoritative insights into different aspects of the case:

  • Medical Experts: Can provide evidence on the nature and extent of physical or psychological injuries sustained by the survivor.
  • Psychological Experts: May testify about the long-term emotional and mental health impact of the abuse on the survivor.
  • Legal and Safety Experts: Could offer insights into how an institution’s negligence contributed to creating an environment where abuse could occur.

Advocating for Systemic Changes

Achieving justice often involves pushing for changes within institutions to prevent future incidents of abuse.

This advocacy can take several forms:

  • Implementing Stricter Safety Protocols: Ensuring that organizations adopt comprehensive measures to protect against abuse.
  • Enhanced Screening and Training: Advocating for thorough background checks and training for staff and volunteers to recognize and prevent abuse.
  • Policy Reform: Working towards changes in laws and regulations that govern institutional responsibilities and accountability.

Through these efforts, we seek not only to secure justice and compensation for survivors but also to contribute to broader societal change. By holding perpetrators and negligent institutions accountable, challenging inadequate policies, and advocating for stronger protective measures, we aim to reduce the incidence of sexual abuse and support the healing and recovery of survivors.

Our dedication to these cases reflects our commitment to upholding the rights and dignity of those affected by sexual abuse, ensuring they receive the justice and support they deserve.

What to Do if You Survived Sexual Abuse in Durham

Surviving sexual abuse is an incredibly challenging experience, but taking certain steps can help protect your rights and support your recovery. Here’s a guide on what to do if you find yourself in this situation.

Seek Immediate Support

The first and most important step is to ensure your safety. If you are in immediate danger, do not hesitate to call 911 or seek help from local authorities. Once safe, reach out to trusted family members, friends, or support groups who can provide emotional support and assistance.

Connect With Professional Services

Consider seeking help from professional services that specialize in assisting survivors of sexual abuse. This could include counseling services, crisis hotlines, or medical professionals who can address both the physical and emotional aftermath of abuse.

Document Your Experience

Maintaining a detailed record of the abuse and its effects on your life is crucial. This can include dates, times, locations, and the names of any individuals involved. Documenting your experience can be painful, but it builds a strong case should you decide to pursue legal action.

Keep records of all medical treatments, counseling sessions, and any other interventions you have undergone as a result of the abuse. These documents can serve as important evidence in your case, illustrating the extent of your injuries and the impact on your mental health.

Consult Our Legal Professionals

When you feel ready, reaching out to a sexual abuse lawyer can provide you with a confidential space to discuss your case and understand your legal options. Our legal professionals can guide you through the potential paths to seeking justice and compensation.

Taking these steps can be an important part of your healing journey and the process of seeking justice. If you or someone you know has survived sexual abuse in Durham, Riddle & Brantley is committed to offering the compassionate and skilled legal representation you deserve.

Contact a Durham Sexual Abuse Attorney at Riddle & Brantley

You are not alone during this difficult time. Reach out to our experienced personal  injury attorney in Durham at (919) 728-1770 for a free, confidential consultation. Let our experience, commitment, and compassionate approach support you on your path to healing and justice.

Riddle & Brantley Accident Injury Lawyers

100 E. Parrish St.
Suite 200
Durham, NC 27701
Phone: (919) 728-1770

By Appointment Only.

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Hours of Operation*

Monday – 7:00 AM – 11:00 PM
Tuesday – 7:00 AM – 11:00 PM
Wednesday – 7:00 AM – 11:00 PM
Thursday – 7:00 AM – 11:00 PM
Friday – 7:00 AM – 11:00 PM
Saturday – 8:00 AM – 11:00 PM
Sunday – 8:00 AM – 11:00 PM