At Herman, Herman & Katz, we have been tirelessly fighting for personal injury victims in Louisiana and across the country for more than 80 years. And in many ways, sexual abuse is the most deeply personal injury someone will experience in their lifetime. Unfortunately, there is a stigma surrounding victims of sex abuse that often encourages them to stay quiet about the horrific things they have endured. They fear they won’t be believed or taken seriously, or they question whether what happened to them was actually abuse or just a misunderstanding during events that may be difficult to remember.
The reality is that someone experiences rape or attempted rape every five minutes in the United States. Rape is only one type of sexual abuse. Unfortunately, there are many ways a person can be sexually violated. And a crime that may take just minutes or seconds to commit can irrevocably destroy survivors’ physical, mental, and emotional health. Lifelong side effects from any type of sexual assault can include:
- Depression and anxiety
- Substance abuse and self-harm
- Inability to form healthy relationships
- Unwanted pregnancy and STDs
Louisiana has very harsh penalties for those convicted of sex crimes – but very few of these predators are even caught, much less successfully tried in court, because most victims are too afraid to report the crime. Just 31% of them do come forward – and only 2.5 percent of perpetrators end up in prison. This is unacceptable, and our compassionate team of sex abuse attorneys are committed to seeking the justice that survivors deserve.
Sex Abuse Practice Areas
Church Sexual Abuse
Institutional sexual abuse, the type committed in trusted organizations designed to keep their members safe, is perhaps most disturbing when it occurs inside a religious entity like a church. Unfortunately, Louisiana clergy abuse has been happening for years.
The Catholic Church has been rocked in recent decades by thousands of credible sex abuse claims against priests and other clergy members, who violated faithful congregants – especially children – in the very place they are taught to seek sanctuary.
The sex abuse lawyers at Herman, Herman & Katz have represented Louisiana clergy abuse victims in lawsuits against the Archdiocese of New Orleans. Our firm is currently responsible for 80% of filed cases. We understand that accusing the powerful Catholic Church is a terrifying thing to do, and we will guide you through every step of the process with compassion and the utmost discretion. Anything you share with us will remain confidential for as long as you wish.
Sex Abuse on College Campuses
Millions of students at U.S. schools and colleges put their trust in their teachers, advisors, professors, coaches and administrators. Unfortunately, some of them take advantage of that trust. And because these people are in positions of authority, they can keep student sex abuse victims quiet by threatening bad grades or expulsion from a sports team.
Women between 18-24 years old are the most susceptible to rape and sexual assault on their college campuses. That group is three times more likely to experience sexual abuse than non-student females, and male members of fraternities are three times more likely to commit rape than their non-Greek counterparts. Nearly 18% of the country’s entire female population has experienced rape or attempted rape – that’s approximately one out of every five women.
Child Sex Abuse
Committing rape or sexual assault is abhorrent enough; performing these acts on children seems unthinkable. But every nine minutes in the U.S., a child experiences some form of sex abuse – almost always by someone they know and trust. 25% of girls and 16% of boys will become victims before reaching adulthood. And up until recently, sex abuse victims in Louisiana were barred from seeking justice if they waited too long to come forward.
In June 2021, Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards signed a new bill into law that now allows sex abuse victims to come forward at any age. The legislation also created a three-year “lookback window” for victims who were abused as children to file against their attackers, regardless of when the abuse occurred. This window closes in 2024, which gives ample time for those unable to file previously to seek the justice they have long been denied.
Herman, Herman & Katz understands that you may feel extremely vulnerable speaking out about the abuse that you may have kept locked away inside for decades. Our attorneys will make sure you feel completely at ease with us before moving forward with a sex abuse case.
Sexual Abuse in Nursing Homes & Healthcare Facilities
Loved ones confined to hospitals, nursing homes and other healthcare settings are already at their most vulnerable, and sexual predators use this to their advantage. In nursing homes especially, these incidents are nearly impossible to accurately record – but according to the Administration for Community Living, more than 16,000 sex abuse complaints have been lodged over the past 20 years in long-term care facilities. Residents are often plagued with dementia and, of course, far too frail to defend themselves, making them easy targets inside a place their families have trusted to care for them.
Healthcare workers are also at risk; a 2018 series of reports discovered that 10 percent of all physicians, physician assistants, nurses and nurse practitioners had been sexually violated or harassed just within the previous three years.
Youth Organizations & Sports Sex Abuse
The Boy Scouts of America (BSA) has long been hailed as an organization for instilling core values and skills in young men, but decades of sexual abuse by scout leaders have recently come to light. Many scouts who were abused as children have now come forward as adults to tell their stories and accuse the BSA of covering up the abuse. More than 80,000 survivors are pursuing billions of dollars in damages, and the Boy Scouts filed for bankruptcy protection in 2020 to slow down the constant flow of litigation against them.
Student-athletes all over the country are also coming forward with reports of sex abuse by trusted coaches and team doctors. One example is the highly-publicized trial of former USA Women’s Gymnastics doctor and Michigan State University sports medicine doctor Larry Nasser, who is now serving multiple lifetime prison sentences for his sexual violations of more than 150 young women.
Workplace Sexual Harassment
Sex abuse in the workplace, classroom and other authority-subordinate settings has long been a common issue worldwide. Sexual harassment is defined as unwanted sexual comments, touching or requests for sexual favors. It is perpetrated by those in power over another, such as a teacher to a student or boss to an employee. The Civil Rights Act of 1964 made it illegal for employers to retaliate against staff who file formal complaints. However, many still find ways to force employees out of the company before supervisors can be held responsible.
Our Attorneys Can Help Louisiana Sex Abuse Survivors Seek Justice
When a sex abuse perpetrator is caught and found guilty, the criminal justice system can lock the person away, so no one else is hurt. However, this doesn’t affect others in powerful positions or institutions covering up or allowing sexual abuse to continue.
The lawyers at Herman, Herman & Katz won’t just fight relentlessly for sex abuse victims to receive the compensation they’re entitled to through civil lawsuits; we will use our experience to keep forcing systemic change at every level until the abuse cycle is broken and survivors can come forward without fear.
Our accomplished Louisiana sex abuse attorneys can stand as a barrier between you and your abuser and/or their organization. We can recommend trusted physicians for any physical harm, compile evidence such as text messages, emails, photos to present to the court and take care of all the paperwork and filing deadlines so you can focus on healing. You’ve done the hardest part by coming forward – let us take it from here.
We also handle other types of sexual abuse cases, including:
Whenever you’re ready, give us a call at 844-943-7626 or schedule a free consultation online. Everything you share with our attorneys will be kept in the strictest of confidence.