It's an awful feeling when someone you love turns you into a victim. You feel like you've lost control over your own life and often shame becomes your daily companion. Many victims never speak up, suffering in silence for fear of retribution or the humiliation of the world knowing about their abuse. Even the ones who do fight back may think that criminal proceedings are their own recourse. If their abuser is let off the hook in a criminal court, that's it.
Thankfully, victims have another option: civil court. Tort law allows people who are injured by another party to sue, even if that party is another family member. This includes victims of assault, battery, psychological abuse and even emotional distress in the form of threats, stalking and destroying the victim's property. The abused person can receive compensation for things like:
- Medical expenses incurred from the injuries.
- Lost wages from not being able to work, either physically or emotionally.
- Pain and suffering inflicted on the victim.
Not only can the victim recover financially, he or she can often use the lawsuit as a way to recover dignity, find a sense of closure and get a fresh start in life away from the abuser. The civil process can be long and expensive, but often the abuser will be made to pay for fees. At O'Brian & Associates, we can sit down with victims and stand by their side throughout the process. Our domestic violence page has more information to get you started.