Sexual abuse of children is a horrific crime, causing long-term damage which reverberates long into adulthood.
It is common for abuse survivors to experience symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder, struggle with depression and substance abuse, and experience problems with intimacy and relationships for decades after they were abused.
That is why sexual abuse carries such severe criminal penalties for perpetrators federally and in all 50 states.
Unfortunately, perpetrators of sexual abuse do not always get caught, often due to the fact that they threaten their victims or make them feel so ashamed and guilty that they do not come forward and tell an adult.
As a result, abuse survivors will often wait decades to tell someone about the abuse. By this time, it can be too late to criminally prosecute the perpetrator – either because the perpetrator has died, or because criminal statutes of limitation prevent prosecutors from filing charges.
However, even if it’s too late to hold the perpetrator accountable criminally, there may be civil remedies available.
Through the civil claims process, abuse survivors can find peace, healing, and just compensation while holding accountable those responsible for their abuse, thereby ensuring the protection of children in the future.
If you or someone you know has suffered sexual abuse as a child, please call Tamaki Law for a free, confidential consultation. We are here to listen.
Tamaki Law is based in the state of Washington, but we help survivors of sexual abuse and assault nationwide. We are currently investigating multiple cases in Washington, New Mexico, and New York.
Catholic Church Held Accountable for Priest's Sex Abuse of Children Tamaki Law helped secure the largest sexual abuse settlement with a religious order in history—$166.7 million—in a case against the Society of Jesus, Oregon Province.Read More
New Mexico Catholic Archdiocese Files for Bankruptcy With numerous sex abuse survivors coming forward, diocese are filing for bankruptcy—leaving victims a limited window of opportunity to file suit.Read More
New Law Expands Rights of Sexual Abuse Victims New York will soon be implementing new legislation that widens the statute of limitations on reporting sex abuse crimes.Read More
Decades of Sexual Abuse Allegations Surface Against Boy Scouts Organization The Boy Scouts Organization has been fighting against the rights of victims to seek justice and compensation for the group's mishandling of accusations.Read More
At Tamaki Law, we’ve worked with sexual abuse survivors for decades, providing unmatched legal advice and representation that has set recovery records across the Pacific Northwest. This means not only obtaining money damages for our clients but also requiring organizations like the Catholic Church to make changes to policies and procedures to make it safer for children in the future. Furthermore, our “non-monetary” demands of these institutions often include a requirement to make public a list of credibly accused perpetrators who abused children under the institution’s watch. Often, it is these non-monetary demands that help bring a sense of justice and closure to survivors in their healing journey.
Tamaki Law represented nearly half of the 86 victims abused by Catholic nuns and priests, and helped secure a $20 million recovery from the Diocese, which had filed for bankruptcy.
Tamaki Law entered into the largest recovery with a religious order in history: a $166 million settlement awarded to more than 500 victims.
In addition to achieving $20 million for survivors, this settlement included a written apology by the bishop, public acknowledgement of the accused clergy, and the creation of a sex abuse hotline.
Without their hard work, I would have been completely taken advantage of by the insurance company. – Kelcy
The types or institutions and organizations that have failed to protect children over the years include schools, churches, day cares, and government agencies like the Department of Social and Health Services, or Child Protective Services.
At Tamaki Law, we are committed to discovering our clients’ story so that we understand the full impact of what happened. If an investigation reveals that an institution negligently failed to protect our client, we help our clients through that claims process, ensuring that this institution is held fully accountable.
We have successfully held perpetrators and institutions accountable for sexual abuse and assault in the following context:
If you are considering legal action for sexual abuse that happened to you or a loved one, you might have some questions about the process. If you don’t see your questions here, please contact us for additional resources.
Each state has a different deadline (often called a “statute of limitation”) to file a claim for sexual abuse suffered as a child. Because the laws vary from state to state, call an attorney experienced in this type of law to discuss your legal options. In some cases, organizations will file for bankruptcy to protect themselves from financial responsibility for sexual abuse perpetrated on their watch. If this occurs, the deadline to file a claim can be shortened, making it urgent that you talk to an attorney to answer questions and determine your legal rights.
Sexual abuse is typically defined under state law as any sexual contact between an adult and a child, even if there was no physical contact that occurred. Sexual abuse can come in many forms: sexual grooming, unwanted sexual advances, showing the child sexual images, the adult asking the child to touch them, actually touching the child – either under or over the clothes, forcing or coercing the child to touch the adult, and forcible rape. All of these forms of sexual abuse can provide the basis for a sexual abuse claim against not only the perpetrator but any institution that allowed the abuse to take place as a result of negligence.
There are ways to protect your identity when bringing a claim for sexual abuse. Courts often allow survivors of sexual abuse to file their claim using a “pseudonym” (i.e., John Doe or Jane Doe). This allows abuse survivors to hold wrongdoers accountable without giving up their privacy. No matter what, Tamaki Law will never file a claim without our client’s permission, and we will advise our client at every stage of the case as to what to expect and what will be required of them throughout the process.
To learn more about sexual abuse and assault, check out Public Health’s Sexual Abuse Resources.
For survivors of sexual abuse by clergy, you may want to check out Bishop Accountability.
If you want to learn more about your options for legal action, please get in touch with us for a free consultation whenever you are ready.
Abuse survivors are often not able to share their story for years, even decades, after the abuse. When they are finally ready, it helps to have an advocate who listens, cares about their story, and has years of experience and success handling sexual abuse cases. When you call Tamaki Law, the conversation is always private and confidential. We are dedicated to helping our clients find peace, healing, and accountability through the civil justice system. If you or someone you know has suffered sexual abuse or assault, please call us for a free consultation.