Sexual Assault by Family Member
Anchorage Sexual Abuse Attorney
Being sexually abused is traumatic, regardless of who is the perpetrator. However, when that
sexual assault is by a family member, the long-lasting, permanent harm can be even worse. The
U.S. Department of Justice has reported that 73 percent of sexual assaults are perpetrated by a
non-stranger, with 7 percent committed by a victim’s relative. Many of those who are sexually
abused as children in their own homes do not have the ability to report what has happened to
them. Some victims repress their memories of a sexual assault in order to protect themselves.
Anchorage child sexual abuse attorney Sean Brown helps these victims find their voice. At the Brown Law Firm, LLC we are dedicated to making sure those who have been sexually assaulted by a family member recover their sense of power as well as receive compensation they need to help them heal. If you or a loved one has been sexual assaulted by a relative, you have legal rights and options. Please call our office today at 907-222-9900 to find out more about how we can help.
Family Member Sexual Assault
Unfortunately, sexual abuse suffered by children is committed by a family member of the victim
(which is sometimes referred to as incest). These family members are not always related by
blood, and can be anyone within the household, such as adoptive siblings, stepparents, or other
members of blended families. Perpetrators can also include relatives outside of the home, like
aunts and uncles or cousins. Sexual assault by a family member can also take a variety of forms,
Molestation or unwanted touching
Exposure of private parts
Masturbation in front of a child
Younger victims are more vulnerable to sexual abuse by a family member. Over half of the abuse
of children under 6 years old and almost 25 percent of sexual assaults of children between the
ages of 12 and 17 years old are committed by relatives. These young victims are often left
without help until they are older.
Legal Action for Victims Sexually Assaulted by Family Members
Those who have been victims of a family member sexual assault can file a civil action against
the parties responsible. These lawsuits not only provide financial support for victims, but also be
therapeutic as well as prevent harm to others in the future. Minors who are sexually assaulted can
file a claim at any time before they reach the age of majority, which is 18 years old in Alaska.
Once a victim is 18 years old, they have three years to file claims based on a childhood assault.
However, “delayed discovery” allows victims more time in certain situations. The three-year
statute of limitations in these cases does not begin until the victim “discovers or through use of
reasonable diligence should have discovered” their abuse. This tolled statute of limitations is
often vital for victims struggling to come to terms with what happened to them as young
Family Member Sexual Assault
children. In some situations, a “mandatory reporter” who has failed to report suspected abuse can
also be held accountable. Mandatory reporters include certain professionals, such as medical care
providers, daycare administrators, teachers, and other school administrators. Victims who have
been sexually assaulted by a relative can be awarded compensation for medical expenses,
including therapy and other mental health treatment, as well as pain and suffering damages.
Anchorage Sexual Assault Lawyer
If you are struggling to figure out your legal rights following a sexual assault by a family
member, Anchorage sexual abuse attorney Sean Brown can help you explore your options. The
The Brown Law Firm, LLC offers compassionate and comprehensive legal support for clients throughout Alaska, including Anchorage, Bethel, Fairbanks, Hooper Bay, Juneau, and Saint Mary’s. Although no legal action can right the wrong done to victims, it can assist in the recovery process. If you’ve suffered sexually abuse by a family member, please call our office at 907-222-9900 today to learn more about your rights.
The Brown Law Firm's office is located in Anchorage, Alaska. However, our firm serves clients throughout Alaska. If you would like to discuss a potential case, please do not hesitate to contact us, regardless of your location.
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