Memphis Sexual Assault Attorneys Representing Survivors
Strong advocacy for West Tennessee children and those sexually abused
Sexual assault and sexual abuse are horrible offenses. The physical scars may heal with time, but the emotional scars often last a lifetime. They change a person’s life in an instant so that the trust and hope that life brings are replaced with anxiety and fear.
At Bailey & Greer, PLLC, we understand how devastating sexual assault and abuse cases can be. Our Memphis sexual abuse lawyers are here to help you take back control of your story and your future. If you or your child has been hurt, we stand ready to help you move forward. Contact us today to schedule a confidential consultation with a member of our team.
Types of sexual assault and sexual abuse
Sexual assault generally involves some element of physical force, violence, or threats. It is unwanted sexual contact. Survivor Alliance offers these succinct definitions:
- Rape. Rape includes forced penetration between strangers, date rape, acquaintance rape, gang rape, and marital rape.
- Incest. This is sexual relations between relatives.
- Sexual coercion. Sexual coercion is when someone makes you feel obligated to say yes to a sexual activity by using guilt, pressure, drugs/alcohol, or force. This can manifest in a number of ways, including persistent attempts to have sex with someone after they’ve already refused.
- Drug-facilitated sexual assault. Sexual assault can occur if one person’s ability to consent is compromised through the use of alcohol or drugs include date-rape drugs such as ketamine and gamma-hydroxybutyrate. Muscle relaxers, ecstasy, and tranquilizers are often added to drinks that are served to the victim to compromise someone’s ability to knowingly consent to sexual contact.
- Groping. This is unwanted touching of a person’s private body parts such as their breasts, genitals, thighs, or buttocks.
Sexual assault can also include stalking and violence to an intimate partner.
Sexual abuse of vulnerable populations
Sexual abuse of children, the elderly, and the disabled is almost always about power. Abuse can include exposure, engaging in sexually explicit stories, viewing a victim’s private parts, penetration, intentional touching of certain body parts, and other illegal behavior. These groups generally (and sometimes legally) cannot consent to sexual contact.
The decision to come forward and tell your story is a deeply personal one. There are times, however, when the victim cannot speak truth to power. Children, the elderly, and the disabled are among the most vulnerable groups – and are the least likely to come forward. Sometimes they feel shame or guilt; other times, they lack the ability to articulate what has happened to them.
If you suspect your loved one has been sexually assaulted, here are some of the signs to look out for:
- Sexually transmitted diseases
- Unexplained bleeding
- Unusual sexual behavior for the child’s age
- Bedwetting for older children
- Unwillingness to shower or bathe
- Other unusual behavior
Filing a claim against your abuser in Tennessee
The person who commits the sexual assault should be charged with a criminal offense. Convictions of criminal offenses usually result in prison time, fines, and penalties.
But survivors may also file a claim for damages in civil court. Liability for sexual assault means payment of monetary damages for the victim’s pain and suffering, lost income, medical expenses, and other personal damages.
Often, the criminal case proceeds first. Experienced Memphis sexual assault attorneys work with law enforcement since the victim will likely be a witness in the criminal case. A criminal conviction can help a civil claim, but it is entirely possible to be found not guilty in criminal court and still be held liable for damages in civil court.
In short, if you have been sexually assaulted or abused, you have options for recovery even if no charges are made in criminal court.
The time limits for filing a sexual assault civil claim against the perpetrator
The time limits for filing claims are changing as communities and states are understanding just how emotionally crushing these cases are. This is particularly true when it comes to childhood survivors, as people may take a long time to process their trauma.
In Tennessee, civil claims for sexual assault must be filed within one year from the date of the assault. If the victim was a minor at the time of the abuse, he or she has three years from the date the abuse was discovered, or from his or her 18th birthday.
Liability of organizations and business if a child or senior is assaulted or abused
Organizations and companies can be held liable if a child, senior, or adult is entrusted into their care during the time of the abuse, and for their failure to protect the people in their care. A nursing home or school which hires a sexual predator – even if that predator does not commit an act of abuse – can also be held liable for their negligent hiring practices.
At Bailey & Greer, we work with counselors, psychologists, and emotional health professionals to help victims cope with these crimes. We work with family doctors and specialists who are trained to help victims deal with physical attacks to their bodies. We demand that those responsible for these crushing traumas pay for what will likely be a lifetime of pain and suffering, all reasonable medical expenses, your lost wages, and maybe even punitive damages as well. We work with law enforcement and with the courts so that any criminal charges are coordinated with your civil claims.
Compassionate Memphis sexual assault attorneys fighting for survivors
At Bailey & Greer, PLLC, we fight for justice for survivors by holding the offenders and their enablers accountable for the pain and suffering they cause. That means sending a strong message to these wrongdoers and similar wrongdoers that sexual abuse and assault will never be tolerated. If you, your child, or your loved one has been the victim of sexual abuse, please call 901-475-7434 or fill out our contact form. We maintain safe and secure offices in Memphis and Jackson but can come to you if you are unable to travel.