Child Sexual Abuse Lawyers in Washington
If you have been impacted by sexual abuse, whether it happened in the past or recently, the experienced attorneys at Washington Law Center can help.
We Care About Your Case
Our legal team feels strongly that people who have been harmed physically and emotionally from sexual abuse should be given all the assistance they need to have a happy, healthy life moving forward.
Whether it’s happened in the foster care system (including boy’s homes), daycare, school, or at church—Incidences of childhood sexual abuse are far too common. If it happened to you, you’re not alone.
Where Is Child Sexual Abuse Most Likely To Occur?
Unfortunately, many of the places where we hope to feel the most safe are the places where sexual abuse is most prevalent. The following are some of the most common.
I Want To File A Sexual Abuse Claim, Now What?
Video Transcript: I Want to File a Sexual Abuse Claim, Now What?
ATTORNEY SARA SHEIKH: We want to commend you on taking this step. You may have been living with this for years, or even decades, and we know that coming forward is not easy.
ATTORNEY ASHTON DENNIS: You may not have disclosed your abuse to your family or your friends, and that’s okay. You may be afraid of your abuser or the institution that failed to protect you, and that’s okay. You may not remember every detail, and that’s okay.
ATTORNEY SARA SHEIKH: You may have questions on how the process works, and that’s okay. You may have never told a soul about your abuse as a child, and that’s okay.
ATTORNEY ASHTON DENNIS: The first step is reaching out. We can have a phone consultation, if that’s most comfortable for you. We can meet in person. We most certainly have the ability to meet you in a virtual setting.
ATTORNEY SARA SHEIKH: Do not expect your first call with Washington Law Center to be an interrogation. We want to meet you, and provide you with a space to tell your story. We will listen and discuss your options. We are here for you and we’re ready to help.
Free Confidential Abuse Case Evaluation
Recent Results for Victims of Sexual Abuse
$4,500,000 – Sexual Abuse by School Teacher (2022)
Settlement with Marysville School District for $3,500,000 along with a written apology for sexual abuse to three students by a longtime teacher and cheerleading adviser in mid-1980s.
$1,600,000 – Youth Abused in Foster Care (2018)
D.Y. v. DSHS resulted in a $1,600,000 settlement for a man that was repeatedly abused as a child in multiple foster care settings where he and his siblings were placed.
$1,500,000 – Prolonged Child Abuse in Foster Care (2017)
In K.F. v. DSHS involving a child and his/her adoptive parents, $1,500,000 was recovered due to negligent placement in foster care that led to horrific prolonged abuse of the child.
$900,000 – Adult Sexually Abused as Child in Foster Care (2020)
Settlement for a man who was sexually abused as child by his foster care mother.
$125,000 – Woman Abused by Family Friend (2021)
Settlement for a woman sexually abused by her family friend as a youth.
No Fee Until You Win
Sexual Abuse Lawyers FAQs
What is the Statute of Limitations for Sexual Abuse Claims in Washington?
In the state of Washington, the statute of limitations to report a claim of sexual abuse has been revised to allow for the victim of these actions time to recognize what happened to them and how it affected their lives.
It’s never too late to come forward and seek guidance from a trusted legal professional. You are not alone. Our attorneys have represented individuals just like you who were also wondering if they had a case because the sexual abuse happened so long ago. Don’t wait another day, contact the experienced sexual abuse lawyers at Washington Law Center.
Video Transcript: Why Seek Relief Now?
ATTORNEY SARA SHEIKH: As a victim, you have rights. You deserve to be heard. The law’s permissive when it comes to the amount of time you have to file your claim, but time is still important. We encourage victims to pursue their claims so abusers are held accountable. It will allow you to take the power back from your abuser. It will allow you to hold those accountable who failed to protect you.
Calling now will allow us to start collecting the relevant information. Calling now will help prevent your abusers from hiding assets. Calling now will help ensure that insurance policies are not exhausted and available to you. We are here for you. We will listen, and we will fight for you.
What Types of Sexual Abuse are Most Common?
Sexual abuse in Washington is classified as any unwanted or undesired sexual activity brought on by the use of verbal or physical threats or force. Children are almost 3 times more likely than adults to be the victim of sexual abuse or rape. The sad reality is that many of these crimes go unreported.
Examples of sexual abuse or exploitation of a child:
- Children or adults who were abused by a member of the Catholic clergy, a priest, or other members of a religious organization.
- Any sort of sexual abuse involving a student and teacher, including a person with similar authority over a student (counselor, teacher’s assistant, etc)
- Children who were abused in a foster home setting, while under protective services or any similar environment where they were left under the care of adults
- Abuse can occur while a child is attending summer camps, daycare or while they were a member of Boy Scouts, youth sports leagues, or other similar activities
- Anyone who been abused while under the supervision of medical professionals including physical therapists
Video Transcript: Types of Sexual Abuse Claims We’ve Pursued
ATTORNEY ASHTON DENNIS: Washington Law Center is a pioneer in childhood sexual abuse litigation. We’ve presented claims on behalf of minors, not only for the abusive conduct, but also failure to monitor particular individuals in a school, church, sporting event, or any other event setting, failure to train employees and their oversight of children, failure to report known or suspected abuse, and sexual discrimination claims.
We believe that each victim of childhood sexual abuse deserves to be heard. You deserve to have your story told. We know that, from experience, in just about every circumstance where a child is sexually abused, there was a failure of oversight. If you have been abused, we encourage you to call and have a free consultation with one of our skilled attorneys.
What Should I do If I AM or WAS the Victim of Childhood Sexual Abuse?
Washington Law Center is committed to helping the victims of sexual abuse and sexual assault. Please refer to the following organizations below for more information and advice for survivors of sexual abuse or sexual assault and their loved ones. If you have questions regarding legal matters related to sexual abuse or sexual assualt, please contact the attorneys of Washington Law Center.
RAINN: Rape, Abuse, Incest National Network
National Sexual Violence Resource Center (NSVRC)
Washington Coalition of Sexual Assault Programs
VIDEO TRANSCRIPT: Was I Sexually Abused?
ATTORNEY SARA SHEIKH: Nearly any form of inappropriate of sexual conduct perpetuated against a minor can provide for a cause of action in Washington. The legislature allows minors to sue for many forms of childhood sexual abuse including molestation, sexual misconduct which could include sexual touching or rubbing, indecent liberties, voyeurism, and, of course, any form of rape. We believe victims deserve justice for all forms of childhood sexual abuse.
There is no one-size-fits-all type of abuse. Many victims are just groomed and then convinced to participate in sexual misconduct. These victims tend to believe they’re not victims at all. Nothing could be further from the truth. Our attorneys want to hear your story and will provide you safe space to talk. We want to know what has happened, no matter how long ago. We want to pursue justice for you.
What Are the Signs or Long Term Effects of Sexual Abuse?
Signs of sexual abuse do not follow a specific pattern. While some may respond immediately to the traumatic experiences, others may take months and in some cases, years to react. Additionally, some may recover very quickly while others have lasting effects they will battle all their life. The impact of sexual abuse varies from person to person. It can occur on several different levels including physical, mental, and emotional.
Victims of sexual abuse or assault may display some of the following signs:
- Fear, particularly in response to situations that remind them of the abuse
- An overall sense of anxiety, as if they will never feel safe again
- Problems concentrating and focusing on tasks
- Negative self-image
- Disruptions and conflicts in close relationships
- Loss of interest in sex
For teens who have been the victims of sexual abuse, some of the signs differ. Common signs of sexual abuse in teens include:
- Self-harm (i.e. cutting)
- Drug and alcohol abuse
- Sexual promiscuity
- Suicide thoughts or attempts
- Inadequate personal hygiene
- Fear of intimacy
- Compulsive eating or dieting
How Does Washington State Define Sexual Misconduct with a Minor?
Pursuant to Chapter 9A.44 RCW, Sexual Misconduct with a Minor in the First Degree involves any form of sexual intercourse (penetration), and in the Second Degree involves any form of sexual contact with an individual older than 16, but less than 18, unless the intercourse or contact is committed upon a person less than 21 by a person who holds a supervisory position over the victim, including by a teacher, foster parent, etc.
Learn more (link to blog) https://www.washingtonlawcenter.com/sexual-misconduct-minor/
How Long Does The Sexual Abuse Claim Process Take?
Video Transcript: How Long Do Sexual Abuse Claims Take?
ATTORNEY ASHTON DENNIS: Like anything doing with the law, there’s no specific time in which a claim will fully resolve.
However we typically see cases take one, of two, paths:
First, there can be a pre-litigation settlement. This is where we investigate a claim and present it to the at-fault party before filing a lawsuit. This usually leads to an amicable and efficient resolution that both parties can agree to. This is typically a confidential process. No party is required to take this route, but we have represented a number of victims through this process. There is no hard and fast rule, but for the right cases, this process can be done in a matter of months.
The second path is a formal lawsuit. Once filed, a trial date is set at approximately one year. [With a] lawsuit the victim will have access to discovery. This is a fancy word for court-sanctioned evidence gathering. We prepare from day one for trial and we’ll see the matter through if fair and reasonable compensation is unoffered.
Ultimately on this path, a jury will decide who is at fault and whether to award damages. No matter which path you take, know that we will discuss all options and help you choose which may be best for you and your family .
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