Virginia’s Trusted Child Sexual Abuse Lawyers

Our Experienced Sexual Abuse Lawyers Offer the Compassionate Representation You Deserve


Key Takeaways

  • Sexual assault refers to any sexual behavior committed toward a minor by an adult
  • Sexual abuse can cause traumatic psychological consequences that last into adulthood
  • The statute of limitations is complex but in general is 2 years after the cause of action for adults and can be up to 20 years after the cause of action for minors; consulting with an attorney is the safest option to know for sure
  • Survivors can seek compensation for emotional damages, loss of earnings, pain, suffering, and punitive damages
  • If you suspect child abuse, you can report it to the Virginia Child Abuse Hotline at 1-800-552-7096

The traumatic effects of child sexual abuse are long-lasting. Years and even decades after the abuse, survivors continue to pay the emotional costs of someone else’s despicable actions. According to the Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network (RAINN), survivors are four times more likely to develop symptoms of drug abuse and PTSD as an adult1.

At Breit Biniazan, we understand that no amount of money justifies sexual abuse or sexual assault. However, when survivors work with our sexual abuse attorneys, they can seek the justice needed to move forward. 

If you or a loved one are a survivor of sexual abuse, contact Breit Biniazan at 855-212-8200. Our lawyers in Richmond and Virginia Beach can provide a free and confidential case evaluation.

Contents

What To Do if You Suspect Child Sexual Abuse

If you suspect a child is being harmed, you have the power to make a difference. To report abuse, call the Virginia Child Abuse Hotline at 1-800-552-7096. If a child is in immediate danger, call 911.

What Is Considered Sexual Abuse?

Also referred to as molestation, sexual abuse describes any sexual behavior committed toward a minor by an adult or older adolescent. Oftentimes, abuse occurs when someone in a position of authority—like a teacher or family member—takes advantage of a child’s trust. 

Sexual abuse can happen once or many times. It doesn’t always involve physical contact, such as in instances of voyeurism or when an adult exposes a child to pornographic content. 

Other forms of sexual abuse include:

  • Exposing oneself to a minor
  • Fondling and other acts of unwanted physical contact
  • Psychological pressure to engage in sexual activity
  • Rape, including actual or attempted vaginal, oral, or anal penetration by an object or body part 
  • Forcing a child to masturbate
  • Masturbating in the presence of a child
  • Sexual interaction with a child through digital communication (e.g. phone, text, internet messaging)

Effects of Sexual Abuse

Surviving sexual abuse in childhood can have traumatic psychological consequences. Many survivors struggle to foster healthy sexual and romantic relationships, while others turn to drugs to self-medicate mental illnesses like depression. 

According to research conducted by RAINN, sexual abuse survivors are at an increased risk for experiencing:

  • Anxiety disorders
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • Eating disorders
  • Personality disorders
  • Behavioral problems
  • Sexual problems
  • Insomnia 
  • Substance abuse

Sexual Abuse Statute of Limitations 

In Virginia, most personal injury claims must be filed no later than two years after the incident. But the statute of limitations for sexual abuse cases is more complicated. 

Virginia law § 8.01-243, for instance, dictates that a minor has 20 years after the cause of action accrues to file a civil claim. According to Virginia law § 8.01-249(6), the cause of action accrues when the minor turns 18 or when the fact of injury is first communicated to the survivor by a medical professional. Other factors affect the statute of limitations as well.

Since these legal details can be hard to understand, the Virginia sexual abuse attorneys at Breit Biniazan encourage all survivors to seek legal counsel. A lawyer can assess the viability of your case, reviewing key details to determine if you’re entitled to recover damages.

Recovering Compensation for Child Sexual Abuse Survivors in Virginia

At Breit Biniazan, we believe no instance of child sexual abuse should go unpunished. That’s why our lawyers will meticulously review every detail of your case, partnering with mental health professionals like psychiatrists and psychologists to help jurors understand the trauma you endured. 

Using expert testimony, we’ll prove that you should be compensated for:

  • Emotional and physical damage
  • Loss of work, earning capacity, or other opportunities
  • Pain and suffering
  • Punitive damages, meant to punish the responsible party

The Virginia sexual abuse attorneys at Breit Biniazan can help you accurately evaluate the economic and non-economic damages associated with your case. We’ll then work tirelessly to ensure you receive the justice and compensation you are so rightfully owed.  

Breit Biniazan has filed a multi-count civil lawsuit against Cumberland Children’s Hospital in New Kent, Virginia on behalf of 20 plaintiffs for accusations of sexual abuse, physical abuse and battery of patients between 2008 and 2020.

Types of Child Sexual Abuse Perpetrators 

Perpetrators of child sexual abuse come from all socioeconomic, educational, gender, age, and cultural lines, making it difficult to establish a typical abuser profile. Statistical data does show a pattern, however.  

Based on quantitative information, a sexual abuser typically is:

  • Familiar: According to RAINN, 93% of sexually abused children know their abuser2. That means perpetrators are often neighbors, close friends, and family members. 
  • Male: Almost 90% of sexual abuse perpetrators are male3
  • Driven by control: Sexual desire is a motivator for some perpetrators; however, most are motivated by a need for dominance and power.  
  • Respected: Since children trust adults in positions of authority, many perpetrators abuse others by exploiting their role. Abusers may be teachers, religious leaders, camp counselors, and doctors, for example. 

Though most sexual abuse lawsuits are filed against individuals, institutions such as schools, churches, child-care centers, and camps can be prosecuted in child sexual abuse cases. When these institutions exhibit negligence—failing to follow up after complaints or even protecting the perpetrator—the law deems them responsible for compensating survivors.   

No matter your case, the Virginia sexual abuse attorneys at Breit Biniazan will work tirelessly to prove negligence. Since our lawyers are experienced in child sexual abuse litigation, they can provide the balance of sensitivity and tenacity needed to successfully recover damages.

Criminal vs. Civil Child Sexual Abuse Cases in Virginia

As a sexual abuse survivor, you have two options for seeking retribution:

  • Criminal case: In a criminal case, sexual abuse claims are brought to court by a state prosecutor. If the case goes to trial, the sexual abuse survivor will serve as a witness for the prosecution. If the perpetrator is found guilty, they could be charged with fines, incarceration, mandatory counseling, probation, and other criminal sanctions.
  • Civil case: In a civil case, the plaintiff sues the responsible party for financial compensation. Depending on the case, a client may be able to recover economic and non-economic damages that resulted from the abuse. 

An experienced child sexual abuse lawyer in Virginia can help you assess your options and select the most appropriate avenue for legal recourse. It’s important to note that while a perpetrator may face jail time following a criminal investigation, a sexual abuse survivor can only recover damages through a civil lawsuit.

Building a Child Sexual Abuse Case in Virginia 

When you’re ready for justice, the sexual abuse attorneys at Breit Biniazan are here to help. We’ll begin with a free, confidential case evaluation, reviewing the facts and circumstances of your case to determine its viability. 

We’ll then gather all potential evidence. This encompasses physical evidence collected by the police as well as testimony provided by those who witnessed the abuse, by those who were also abused by the perpetrator, or by professionals like psychologists and doctors who can comment on the lasting effects of your abuse. If a third party like a camp or nonprofit is being prosecuted, the evidence must also prove the institution’s negligence. 

After your Virginia sexual abuse attorney collects the evidence, they’ll review the perpetrator’s assets. Assets may include bank accounts, homes, boats, stocks and bonds, and other valuable goods. Your legal team will also consider the financial assets of the negligible third party. Many churches and schools now have sexual abuse insurance policies that protect the institution as well as survivors.

At Breit Biniazan, your sexual abuse lawyer will work tirelessly to recover damages and secure the justice you are owed. Oftentimes, our attorneys can settle these cases at the negotiating table. But if we must go to court, we’ll provide compassionate support every step of the way.

Choosing an Experienced Sexual Abuse Law Firm in Virginia 

Seeking justice for sexual abuse can be a harrowing process. After all, survivors must revisit childhood trauma and, in some cases, testify before their perpetrator. At Breit Biniazan, we understand the emotional toll of a sexual abuse lawsuit and are here to provide relentless representation when you need it most. 

Unlike other sexual abuse law firms in Virginia, we limit caseloads so that our attorneys can provide the individualized, one-on-one attention you deserve. We’ll put in long hours, recruiting mental health experts and investigators to build a compelling case. Then, we’ll hold the perpetrator responsible for their grievous actions and demand a fair settlement that’ll help you move forward.

Resources for Survivors of Sexual Abuse 

Survivors of child sexual abuse can face lasting psychological effects that make day-to-day life difficult. Fortunately, you don’t have to face this battle alone. Many different community organizations are here to help:

Child Sexual Abuse Attorney FAQs

Do I have to testify?

If a criminal case goes to trial, the sexual abuse survivor will serve as a witness for the prosecution. Since testifying can retraumatize survivors, especially children, the State of Virginia has put protections in place. In certain cases, for instance, children can testify by closed-circuit television. Preliminary hearings may also be closed to the public. 

What are the chances that the case will settle out of court?

In many sexual abuse cases, defendants fear the publicity of a trial and will therefore try to settle outside of court.

Under what circumstances can I recover damages from an insurance policy?

Many institutions like schools and churches have abuse or molestation coverage. These insurance policies ensure sexual abuse survivors receive compensation.

As a sexual abuse survivor or the parent of a survivor, what are my rights?

All sexual abuse survivors have the right to make a statement during a criminal case. This statement allows them to share their experience with jurors.  

Other rights in Virginia include:
 
>The right to play a meaningful role in the justice system as the case progresses
>The right to be treated respectfully and with dignity
>The right to fair, impartial treatment
>The right to be protected from the offender

How much does a sexual abuse lawyer in Virginia cost?

Moving forward in the wake of sexual abuse is stressful enough without considering legal expenses. That’s why at Breit Biniazan we don’t charge a single cent until our lawyers win your case.

Sources

1. https://www.rainn.org/statistics/victims-sexual-violence

2. https://www.rainn.org/statistics/children-and-teens3. https://www.dividedstatesofwomen.com/2017/11/2/16597768/sexual-assault-men-himthough

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