Sex Abuse


  • Very few perpetrators of sexual abuse are held criminally responsible, but a civil claim can provide justice and compensation for victims.

  • Sexual abuse can happen anywhere, including schools, religious institutions, the workplace, nursing homes, youth organizations, and more.

  • The statute of limitations for child sexual abuse in Louisiana was removed in 2021, and a lookback window was enacted for victims previously unable to file a claim to do so.

Louisiana Sex Abuse Attorneys Committed to Fighting for Survivors of Abuse

Why Hire HHK Sexual Abuse Attorneys

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 rarely happens and doesn’t affect others in powerful positions or institutions covering up or allowing sexual abuse to continue. 

At Herman Herman Katz, our lawyers do more than just fight relentlessly for sex abuse victims to receive the compensation they’re entitled to through civil lawsuits; we continue to 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 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. 

Frequency and Effects of Sexual Abuse

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. 

But the reality is that someone experiences rape or attempted rape every five minutes in the United States, and that’s just one type of sexual abuse. Unfortunately, there are many ways a person can be sexually violated. A crime that may take just minutes or seconds to commit can irrevocably destroy survivors’ physical, mental, and emotional health.

Short- and long-term side effects from any type of sexual assault can include:

  • PTSD
  • Depression and anxiety
  • Substance abuse and self-harm
  • Inability to form healthy relationships
  • Self-hatred
  • Unwanted pregnancy and STDs

With the help of a personal injury lawyer, survivors may seek compensation for the widespread and often lifelong effects of sexual abuse.

Sexual Abuse in Louisiana

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 is committed to seeking the justice that survivors deserve. A civil sexual abuse lawsuit can hold perpetrators accountable in ways a criminal case often fails to do. 

The statute of limitations for child sexual abuse survivors to file a civil lawsuit in Louisiana was removed in 2021, and a special lookback window was enacted at the same time. However, adult victims are still limited by a short timeframe, so it’s important to consult with an attorney sooner than later.

Sex Abuse Practice Areas

Church Sexual Abuse

Priest in cassock praying on dark background, closeupInstitutional 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 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. The statistics are staggering; 25% of girls and 16% of boys will become victims before reaching adulthood. And up until recently, child 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 on June 14, 2024, giving much-needed 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 childhood sexual 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 your claim.

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. 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. 

Nursing home abuse is 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. 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. 

These are just a couple of well-known scandals involving sexual abuse in sports and youth organizations in the U.S. Lawsuits of this kind have demonstrated how common it is for predators to take advantage of their position and authority over children and young adults who trust them. 

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. If you were the victim of workplace sexual abuse, contact our firm to discuss your options.

Why File a Sexual Abuse Lawsuit

Wooden judge gavel, close-up viewWhile money can’t take away what happened, a civil sexual abuse lawsuit can provide victims with compensation for the widespread effects of the trauma they’ve suffered. It also holds those who committed sexual abuse responsible – and if applicable, the organization that did nothing to stop it.

When 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.

Frequently Asked Questions

Should I File a Sex Abuse Lawsuit?2023-05-23T18:49:56+00:00

Filing a civil lawsuit can’t take away the trauma of abuse, but it can help survivors of sexual abuse to secure compensation for medical or therapy bills, emotional distress, pain and suffering, and more. A lawsuit can help survivors to recover damages for their mistreatment, punishes the abuser, and holds any institutions accountable for failing to stop the abusers.


What Damages Can I Get through a Sexual Abuse Claim?2023-05-23T18:49:24+00:00

When determining compensation in a sexual abuse claim, there are many considerations. These include physical and emotional pain and suffering, lost income and earning capacity, decreased quality and enjoyment of life, medical bills, and other factors.

Do I Need to Report Sexual Abuse to the Police in Order to File a Civil Lawsuit?2023-05-23T18:48:50+00:00

No. A civil lawsuit can be filed regardless of whether you choose to file a police report against a perpetrator of sexual abuse.

Can I Sue an Organization for Sexual Abuse?2023-05-23T18:48:10+00:00

In many cases, yes. For example, organizations that hide or cover up sexual abuse, fail to investigate claims, or manipulate or coerce victims can be held accountable for their actions or inaction. Such is the case with the widespread sexual abuse claims against the Roman Catholic Church and Boy Scouts of America.

How Long Do I Have to File a Sex Abuse Civil Lawsuit?2023-05-23T18:47:34+00:00

The Louisiana sex abuse lookback window law that was passed in 2021 created a three-year window to allow any victim of any age to sue over their sexual abuse. The “lookback window” deadline is June 14, 2024.

How Much Is a Sexual Abuse Lawsuit Worth?2023-05-23T18:47:01+00:00

Every sexual abuse case is different. There are many aspects that affect the level of damages, ranging from medical expenses to pain and suffering. Some are easy to determine, such as medical expenses like counseling and physical therapy when physical harm occurred. But damages like future lost wages or lost opportunity for advancement usually require experts to calculate. Other less tangible damages, including pain and suffering, are unique to the given facts and circumstances of your case. After we take your sexual abuse lawsuit, we’ll hire the necessary experts to calculate your damages and discuss with you how much your case is worth.

How Common is Child Sex Abuse?2023-10-03T20:14:33+00:00

Child sex abuse is a prevalent issue, with an estimated one in six boys and one in four girls experiencing sexual abuse before they turn 18. It’s a widespread problem, often involving perpetrators known to the child, including family members, teachers, clergy, and other trusted figures.

What Are the Signs of Child Sex Abuse?2023-10-03T20:16:35+00:00

Signs of child sex abuse can vary, but they may include a child not wanting to be alone with someone, sudden behavioral changes, nightmares, unexplained fears, withdrawal, unexplained physical pain, inappropriate knowledge of sexual matters for their age, and other changes in behavior that seem out of the ordinary.

How Can I Protect my Child from Sexual Abuse?2023-10-03T20:17:44+00:00

To protect your child from sexual abuse, it’s important to have open communication with them about boundaries, body safety, and appropriate touch. Teach them about private body parts and encourage them to talk to you about anything that makes them uncomfortable. Stay engaged in their lives, know their friends and caregivers, and be aware of their online activities.

Who Can File a Louisiana Child Sex Abuse Lawsuit?2023-10-03T20:19:30+00:00

Previously, Louisiana had a statute of limitations requiring victims of childhood sexual abuse to file civil lawsuits by age 28. However, the Louisiana Child Victims Act, which took effect on August 1, 2021, eliminated the statute of limitations for child sex abuse claims for three years. Victims can now come forward and file claims regardless of their age or how much time has passed since the abuse occurred during this three-year period.

What Is Clergy Abuse?2023-10-03T20:21:21+00:00

Clergy abuse refers to sexual, emotional, or physical abuse committed by religious leaders, such as priests, ministers, pastors, or other clergy members, against individuals, often within the context of a religious institution.

Why Do Survivors of Clergy Abuse Hesitate to Come Forward?2023-10-03T20:22:29+00:00

Clergy abuse survivors might hesitate to come forward due to feelings of shame, fear of retribution, uncertainty about the legal process, or concerns about damaging the reputation of their religious community.

What Legal Options Are Available for Clergy Abuse Victims?2023-10-03T20:24:26+00:00

Although few abusers are charged criminally, clergy abuse victims may have legal options to pursue justice and compensation through civil lawsuits against the abuser and the institution that employed them. Clergy abuse lawsuits aim to hold perpetrators and institutions accountable for their actions.

What Is the Statute of Limitations for Louisiana Clergy Abuse Cases?2023-10-03T20:25:23+00:00

Previously, Louisiana had a statute of limitations requiring victims of childhood sexual abuse to file civil lawsuits by age 28. However, the Louisiana Child Victims Act eliminated the statute of limitations for child sex abuse claims for a three-year period. Louisiana clergy abuse victims can now come forward and file claims regardless of age or time since the abuse occurred. You have until June 14, 2024, to bring a claim within the lookback window.

Why Is Recent News about Clergy Sex Abuse Important?2023-10-03T20:27:21+00:00

Recent revelations of Louisiana clergy abuse highlight religious institutions’ need for transparency, accountability, and reform. Such disclosures often increase clergy abuse awareness, legal action, and discussions about preventing future abuse.

What Is Considered Nursing Home Sex Abuse?2023-10-03T20:29:10+00:00

Nursing home sex abuse involves any non-consensual sexual activity, harassment, or exploitation of nursing home residents. Nursing home residents are typically older and more vulnerable to abuse due to physical and cognitive impairments. Nursing home abuse can be committed by staff members, fellow residents, or even visitors to the facility.

Who Is Most at Risk of Nursing Home Sex Abuse?2023-10-03T20:30:34+00:00

Women are more likely to be victims of sexual abuse in nursing homes because they comprise two-thirds (65.6%) of the population. Residents with dementia, memory impairment, and physical disabilities are also particularly susceptible, as abusers often exploit these challenges.

What Are Common Warning Signs of Nursing Home Sex Abuse?2023-10-03T20:31:26+00:00

It’s essential to understand the warning signs of sex abuse if you have a loved one in a nursing home or other healthcare facility. Identifying sexual abuse may involve physical evidence, such as unexplained STDs, genital bruises, bleeding, or damaged clothing. Psychological signs include depression, anxiety, withdrawal, fear of caregivers, agitation, and abrupt mood changes. Promptly reporting these signs to authorities is crucial for intervention.

Who Can File a Nursing Home Sex Abuse Lawsuit?2023-10-03T20:32:15+00:00

Seniors or their representatives can file nursing home abuse lawsuits. If you suspect a loved one has experienced sex abuse in a nursing home or other healthcare facility, contact an attorney who handles sex abuse cases to determine possible legal options.

Who Can Be Held Responsible for Nursing Home Sex Abuse?2023-10-03T20:33:23+00:00

Nursing homes and healthcare facilities can be liable for sex abuse if their negligence plays a role in the abuse. This could include understaffing, inadequate training, failure to monitor staff, medical neglect, and more.

What Should I Do if I Experienced Sexual Abuse on a Louisiana College Campus?2023-10-03T20:34:29+00:00

If you’ve experienced sexual abuse or assault on a Louisiana college campus, it’s essential to take the following steps:

  • Contact the police.
  • Seek medical attentionConsider visiting a hospital for a medical examination and evidence collection if the incident is recent.
  • Report to school authorities.
  • Find support through local and national sex abuse organizations.
  • Seek legal guidance.
What Legal Options Are Available for College Sexual Abuse?2023-10-03T20:35:47+00:00

College sex abuse victims have several legal options they can pursue, including criminal prosecution, civil lawsuits, and Title IX complaints.

How Do Louisiana Laws Affect College Sex Abuse?2023-10-03T20:36:49+00:00

In 2021, Louisiana introduced Senate Bill 230 to increase accountability in colleges and universities. The law mandates clear reporting policies, penalties for non-compliance, and education on sexual harassment, domestic violence, and stalking. It also requires an anonymous reporting system and educational initiatives for students.

What Can Colleges and Universities Do to Prevent and Address Sex Abuse on Louisiana Campuses?2023-10-03T20:37:49+00:00

Colleges and universities in Louisiana can take several proactive steps, which include developing and enforcing clear policies for reporting and addressing sexual abuse and misconduct. They can provide students with education and training on consent, boundaries, and respectful behavior. Campuses should offer comprehensive support services, including counseling and medical assistance for sex abuse survivors, and implement anonymous reporting systems to encourage survivors to come forward without fear of retaliation. They should take immediate action to investigate and address allegations, including cooperating with law enforcement when necessary.

What Is Considered Workplace Sexual Abuse?2023-10-03T20:39:18+00:00

Workplace sexual abuse encompasses any unwelcome sexual behavior, including harassment, assault, or misconduct, that occurs within a work environment, including verbal comments, physical contact, explicit emails or texts, or any actions of a sexual nature that create a hostile or intimidating atmosphere.

What Are the Key Differences between Sexual Harassment and Sexual Assault in the Workplace?2023-10-03T20:40:15+00:00

Sexual harassment encompasses various unwelcome sexual behaviors, such as advances, jokes, or indecent exposure, and can be addressed through civil litigation. In contrast, sexual assault involves physical contact without consent and is considered a criminal offense under Louisiana law, with penalties including fines and imprisonment.

What Should I Do If I Experience Workplace Sexual Abuse?2023-10-03T20:41:16+00:00

If you experience sexual abuse at work, it’s crucial to document the incidents, report them to your supervisor or HR department, and consult with an attorney experienced in workplace sex abuse cases. You may also contact local law enforcement if the abuse involves criminal conduct.

What Are My Legal Options for Workplace Sexual Abuse?2023-10-03T20:42:28+00:00

Victims of workplace sexual abuse have several legal options, including filing a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), pursuing a civil lawsuit against the perpetrator, and potentially the employer to seek compensation for damages, such as emotional distress and lost wages.

What Types of Compensation Can You Seek in Sexual Harassment Cases?2023-10-03T20:43:41+00:00

In sexual harassment cases, compensation, referred to as “damages,” varies based on factors like financial losses and the nature of the harassment. Damages often include:

  • Back Pay: Covers lost earnings, bonuses, benefits, and more due to harassment.
  • Front Pay: Compensates for future income losses caused by harassment.
  • Punitive Damages: These are awarded to penalize employers who fail to address harassment, especially when they are aware of it.
What Is Considered Child Sexual Abuse within Youth Organizations and Sports?2023-10-03T20:44:37+00:00

Child sexual abuse within youth organizations and sports refers to the inappropriate sexual behavior, exploitation, or assault inflicted on children by trusted adults, coaches, volunteers, or peers within these groups.

How Common Is Child Sexual Abuse in Youth Organizations and Sports?2023-10-03T20:45:53+00:00

Child sexual abuse is unfortunately prevalent within youth organizations and sports teams. Statistics show that a significant percentage of athletes have experienced sexual abuse, and numerous high-profile cases have shown how widespread this problem is.

What Are the Effects of Child Sexual Abuse on Survivors?2023-10-03T20:46:49+00:00

Childhood sexual abuse can have long-lasting and profound effects on survivors, including post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), anxiety, depression, substance abuse, difficulties trusting others, and self-harm.

How Do Youth Organizations Contribute to Child Sexual Abuse?2023-10-03T20:48:03+00:00

Youth organizations contribute to childhood sex abuse when they fail to adequately screen staff and volunteers, provide proper training, respond to abuse allegations promptly, or establish clear safety protocols. Such failures can enable predators to exploit their positions of trust.

What Legal Options Are Available to Survivors of Child Sexual Abuse in Youth Organizations?2023-10-03T20:49:05+00:00

Youth sex abuse survivors may pursue legal action against both the perpetrators and the organizations responsible for their safety. Legal options may include civil lawsuits seeking compensation for damages and criminal charges against abusers.

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