Sexual Abuse Solicitors Nationwide
We understand how difficult it is to talk about sexual or physical abuse if you have been a victim. Whatever type of abuse you have suffered, you have rights, and we can bring you through the process of having your voice heard, and your rights vindicated.
Sexual Abuse Law
Coleman Legal specialises in the area of sexual abuse law, acting on behalf of those who have been sexually abused and who seek monetary compensation for the pain and suffering inflicted upon them as a result of the abuse.
Monetary compensation is achieved through civil proceedings, and it is a different process to criminal proceedings which are handled by the Director of Public Prosecutions and An Garda Siochana.
How can Coleman Legal help?
This firm acts on behalf of victims who wish to take civil proceedings against the perpetrator of abuse with a view to obtaining compensation from a Court for personal injuries, loss, and damage suffered as a result of the wrongful assault, sexual assault, battery, and trespass as well as a breach of their constitutional right to bodily integrity.
We act on behalf of people who have been raped (vaginally, anally, orally, digitally), molested, sexually harassed (in the workplace or elsewhere), or forced to engage in and perform sexual acts against their will. We act on behalf of both adults and children who are victims and survivors of sexual abuse, as well as those who were sexually abused as children but are now adults seeking to vindicate their rights following abuse perpetrated upon them as a minor.
List of the types of sexual abuse cases dealt with by this firm
- Cases on behalf of clients who have been sexually assaulted by an individual not previously known to the victim;
- Cases on behalf of clients who have been sexually abused by an individual known to them and who hold a position of power or control over them;
- Cases on behalf of clients who have been sexually abused as minors on one or more occasions by family members, foster parents or those in loco parentis to them;
- Cases on behalf of clients who have been sexually assaulted at work;
- Cases on behalf of clients who have been sexually abused as a minor whilst at school or whilst partaking in youth groups or other such organisations;
- Cases on behalf of clients who have been sexually abused as minors by members of religious orders;
- Cases on behalf of clients who have been sexually abused whilst in residential care.
Civil process stages & statute of limitation
The person bringing a case against another for sexual assault is called the Plaintiff. The individual (or company, institution) against whom a case is brought is called the Defendant.
In a civil case for sexual assault, the Court must be satisfied that ‘on the balance of probabilities, the sexual abuse occurred.
The Statute of Limitations applicable to civil assault cases is six years from the date of the assault. This means that legal proceedings must be issued within six years of the assault, otherwise, the case is considered to be statute barred.
However, where an employee, school, association, or other institution is being sued due to the fact their negligence permitted the abuse, the time limit is two years from the date of the assault.
There are certain exceptions to this rule, such as for those victims who were abused whilst children, those suffering from a psychological injury that prevented reporting of the abuse, or where the injury caused by the abuse does not manifest itself for a period of time, or a person does not know that they have suffered a significant injury.
In such circumstances, proceedings must be issued within two years from the date when they were considered to be capable of bringing an action. This is a matter of psychiatric opinion.
Sexual abuse claim process in Ireland
Given that the remedy available in civil proceedings is monetary compensation, it is necessary to ascertain whether the perpetrator of the abuse has sufficient assets to enable recovery of this compensation should the Court find in favour of the plaintiff.
In cases of this nature, it is necessary to take up all relevant medical records and evidence of the abuse and the effects that same has had on the individual who has been sexually abused. It is also necessary to procure psychiatric evidence on any psychological or psychiatric injuries that the individual has suffered as a result of the abuse.
When the necessary evidence has been gathered, including any statements or documentation held by An Garda Siochana where applicable, a letter setting out the allegations and reliefs sought from the perpetrator and/or associated company – the institution is issued.
Where no meaningful response is received from the perpetrator and/or associated company institution, an application is submitted to the Injuries Board for the purposes of obtaining Authorisation to issue proceedings in Court.
Cases of sexual abuse are usually issued in the High Court and can be heard by a Judge and Jury or Judge sitting alone. From the time that proceedings are issued, it can often take more than three years before the case reaches Hearing before the Court at which time the plaintiff is required to give their evidence. The Court will also hear the evidence of the Defendant.
Some cases, depending on the circumstances, are settled outside of Court where the Defendant(s) agrees to pay compensation to the plaintiff without the necessity for the matter to be heard by a Judge. Where this occurs, the plaintiff is not required to give evidence in Court.
We at Coleman Legal fully understand that any form of abuse is extremely distressing, and we deal with each case on a personal, one-to-one basis with compassion, empathy and understanding
Important Time Frames
The Statute of Limitations provides a general time limit in which you must normally bring your claim for sexual abuse compensation to court in civil proceedings.
Generally, this limit is six years from the date of the assault in the case of adult sexual abuse compensation claims.
However, provisions were made in the Statute of Limitations a number of years ago to take account of a person who may not have been in a position to report an assault to the gardaí – or pursue any action in respect of the abuse they experienced – for an extended period of time.
These provisions were made in recognition that the nature of sexual abuse, and in particular the sexual abuse of a child, means that the victim is often unable to speak about the abuse for many years after an assault has taken place. Despite these provisions, courts still retain the discretion to dismiss a case on the grounds of an avoidable delay if the delay prejudices the rights of the perpetrator.
Compensation claims for sexual abuse to the Criminal Injuries Compensation Tribunal will only be extended beyond three months from the date of a conviction in exceptional circumstances if, for example, psychiatric evaluations were still ongoing to establish the extent of your emotional trauma and the impact that the sexual assault will have on you for the rest of your life.
There are several organisations in Ireland that provide support and assistance to survivors of sexual abuse. Some of the most notable include:
- Rape Crisis Network Ireland (RCNI) is a national organisation that provides support, information, and advocacy to survivors of sexual violence and abuse. They also work to raise awareness about sexual violence and to promote social change. Visit Site
- Dublin Rape Crisis Centre (DRCC) provides a range of services for survivors of rape, sexual assault, and childhood sexual abuse, including counseling, therapy, and support groups. They also provide a helpline service that is available to anyone who has been affected by sexual violence. Visit Site
- One in Four is an organisation that provides counseling and therapy services to adults who have been affected by childhood sexual abuse. They also run a helpline and have a website full of resources and information. Visit Site
- The ISPCC is the largest child protection charity in Ireland, providing support and help to children who have suffered abuse of any kind. Visit Site
- The HSE has a dedicated service, the Sexual Assault Treatment Unit, that provides a range of services, including medical treatment and forensic examination, to survivors of sexual abuse.
These are just a few examples of the organisations that exist in Ireland to support survivors of sexual abuse. It’s important to find the one that best suits your needs, as each organisation may have different services and focus.
It’s also worth noting that there are many other sources of support that you can turn to, including counseling and therapy services, self-help groups, and legal services. You may also seek support from your GP or other medical professionals.
Lastly, it’s important to understand that healing can be a long process, and each person will have their own pace and way of dealing with the trauma. You must be patient and compassionate with yourself and prioritize self-care throughout the process.
Choosing a Solicitor
If you are a survivor of sexual abuse, physical abuse, emotional abuse, or neglect, and you wish to explore your legal rights, our team has many years of experience dealing with victims of all forms of abuse, including institutional abuse, clerical abuse, childhood sexual abuse, abuse within the family or in any other situation where the abuse occurred.
Our sexual Assault solicitors Nationwide can help you through the entire legal process should you wish to proceed, and put you in touch with various organisations that are there to help. We understand that any form of abuse is extremely distressing for the victim and their family, and we deal with each case on a personal, one-to-one basis with compassion, empathy and understanding.,
If you have been the victim of sexual assault or sexual abuse, please get in touch with Diane Treanor either by email or freephone us at 1800 844 104 for a Free Case Evaluation.
Contacted us at:
Coleman Legal LLP
84 Talbot Street, Dublin 1
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