Teenage Sexual Assault

How to Recover After Teenage Sexual Assault

Teenage sexual assault can cause enormous harm during some of the most vulnerable and formative years of a person’s life. Learn about legal options to take back your power as a survivor, and how to help a teenager recover from the trauma they’ve experienced.

If you are the parent of a teenager has experienced sexual assault, you want to do everything in your power to support and protect your child. If you yourself are an adult survivor of teenage sexual abuse, you are still caring for that young person’s future every day. Along with the following general resources and guides for support and self-care, a sexual assault lawsuit could help you seek justice and secure funds for better healing.

Jessica Pride and our team of compassionate and experienced personal injury lawyers are proven in helping survivors of teenage sexual assault. Our goal is to provide you with the support, guidance, and legal representation you need to obtain a suitable settlement and hold the perpetrator(s) accountable for their actions. 

We understand the trauma that sexual abuse can cause in adolescents, and how intimidating the law and court system can seem from the outside. We are here to help you navigate the legal process with sensitivity and empathy. Contact our San Diego offices online or by calling (619) 516-8166 to schedule a free, confidential consultation. Your teenager deserves the best possible outcome to protect their bright future, and we are committed to fighting for their rights every step of the way. 

The Long-Term Harm of Teenager Sexual Assault

Survivors of sexual abuse at any age may experience long-lasting effects from that trauma. That being said, child and teenage sexual assault survivors have unique issues due to experiencing these violations before they’ve formed their own independent adult sexuality. 

Some of the harm caused by teenager sexual assault include:

  • Medical issues with physical injuries, unwanted pregnancies, or sexually transmitted diseases
  • Psychological conditions like PTSD, depression, anxiety, and damaged self-esteem which could lead to eating disorders or self-harm
  • Professional delays in their schooling or career building if they are unable to graduate high school, complete college, or adapt to a full-time job due to trauma
  • Interpersonal difficulties with family, peers, and future romantic relationships
  • Life-threatening dangers from drug abuse, alcohol misuse, or suicide ideation or attempts

These aspects may contribute to the risk of re-victimization of child survivors when they are adults. Studies suggest that sexual assault in childhood or adolescence increases the likelihood

of sexual re-victimization in adulthood between 2 and 13.7 times. Child and teenage survivors of sexual assault also have twice the risk of intimate partner violence as adults, possibly due to a decreased sense of danger caused by the sexual coercion or force experienced during their formative years. 

All of these harms and elevated risk factors are damages that could potentially be addressed by a lawsuit. See the FAQs below for more information on potential compensation.

How To Help A Teenager Who Has Been Sexually Assaulted

It’s hard to know what to do when your teenager is sexually assaulted. Here are some recommended guidelines to help you help them:

  1. Ensure the teen is physically safe: Removing a young person from any immediate danger is the first step in helping them. This may involve contacting the police if they need to be removed from a home where a resident or family member is their abuser.
  2. Create an emotionally supportive environment: Simple questions like “How are you feeling?” or “Are you okay?” can give the teenager space to talk through their emotions, feel heard, and alert you to any potential thoughts of suicide that may need extra intervention.
  3. Stay firm in affirmations: In addition to listening to a teenager express their own thoughts, you can also reassure them that what happened is not their fault. Even if they feel they were unclear in communicating consent, even if drugs or alcohol were involved, even if they were somewhere they shouldn’t have been at the time — make it clear that no child or teen is to blame for the sexual harm that was done to them.
  4. Create a plan of action with the teen: For anything that needs to be done in reporting the assault, attending medical appointments, going to therapy, or filing a lawsuit, it’s important that the teenager be given as much decision-making power as possible for dealing with this ordeal on their own terms.
  5. Seek professional counseling: This is advice for the teenage survivor to have a private, therapeutic outlet, and for yourself as someone trying to help them. Any anguish or guilt or sorrow you feel is also distressing, and those feelings are best processed with another adult who has trauma-informed training.

Always remember that there is no shame in needing help. Surviving a traumatic experience can be a complex process, but it is always worth the effort to reach out. Everything you do to provide support while protecting your own well-being at the same time could be life-saving.

The attorneys and staff at our law firm have trauma-informed training specifically to provide a safe, stable environment to have confidential conversations about your legal rights and options. Reach out to Jessica Pride online or by calling our offices at (619) 516-8166 as soon as possible — the more information you hold, the more confidence you’ll have in making choices for your future.

For Adult Survivors of Teenage Sexual Abuse — Female, Male, and Trans/Non-Binary

Many adult survivors are still experiencing symptoms of the past teenage sexual abuse they survived in their adolescence. There are support groups for adult survivors, self-care tools available, and in many instances, there may be a way to find justice through a child sexual abuse lawsuit

Female Survivors of Teenage Sexual Assault

An enormous amount of research done on the long-term effects of teenage sexual assault is focused on girls and women. This may be due to the fact that females are more likely to be sexually abused in adolescence than their male counterparts (1 in 4 girls). Evidence shows that female survivors may be changed both biologically and psychologically. 

Female sexual assault survivors are more likely to experience:

  • Abnormal physical developments like an earlier onset of puberty, high rates of obesity, and more major illnesses
  • Persistent PTSD and depression
  • Dropping out of high school 
  • Teen pregnancy 
  • Dissociative symptoms and self-mutilation

Female survivors of teenage sexual assault are also more likely to be re-victimized later in life than male survivors.

Male Survivors of Teenager Sexual Assault

Although girls are more likely to be sexually assaulted in adolescence, 1 in 13 boys will experience a form of sexual abuse before the age of 18. Boys and adult male survivors experience additional consequences due to societal stereotypes surrounding masculinity. 

Male sexual assault survivors frequently experience:

  • Feelings of guilt, shame, and emasculating self-doubt over a perception that they were “too weak” to prevent being assaulted
  • Sexual orientation confusion if they experience arousal during the attack
  • A misinterpretation of consent if their bodies ejaculate during the incident

A physiological reaction to stimulus does not equal consent in male or female abuse survivors. For boys, the fear many survivors have of not being believed after a sexual assault may be compounded with a fear of being judged and rejected if anyone finds out.

Trans and Non-Binary Survivors of Teenager Sexual Assault

The numbers documenting transgender sexual violence are shockingly high. For trans and nonbinary individuals, roughly 1 in 2 are sexually abused or assaulted at some point in their lives. Additionally, 12% of transgender youth report being sexually assaulted in grade school (K–12) by peers or instructors.

For trans and nonbinary individuals who experience teenage sexual assault, they are more likely to deal with:

  • Homelessness as a result of their identity or reporting their abuse (where 22% of homeless transgender individuals report being assaulted while staying in shelters)
  • Sex work which makes them even more vulnerable to sexual re-victimization as well as criminal charges
  • Discrimination in seeking the help available to female and male survivors because shelters and support offers are often gender-exclusionary

Trans people of color, who are gay/lesbian/bisexual, or who live with disabilities also face additional vulnerability and discrimination based on those characteristics.

Many states have opened up “look back” windows for filing childhood and adolescent sexual abuse cases, meaning adult survivors of teenage sexual assault may have access to justice. Contact Jessica Pride at (619) 516-8166 to discuss your legal options.

Contact Compassionate Teen Sexual Assault Attorneys

A person’s childhood and adolescence should be a safe time to learn and thrive. The teenage years should be about self-discovery, including a healthy, consensual exploration of one’s own sexuality. To experience a sexual violation during these precious years is unacceptable, and you deserve justice to help process the trauma, and prevent persistent harms caused by unacknowledged physical and emotional wounds.

Filing a lawsuit allows many survivors to feel empowered, to feel as if they’re closing a difficult chapter of their life once and for all. When you’re represented by Jessica Pride’s firm, the work of litigating the case is our job, not yours — your priority is to return to your life and shape the future you deserve.

Contact us by calling (619) 516-8166, and speak with our compassionate team about what you need, and the best way we can help you achieve that goal through the law.

Early Commuication for Parents

Teenage Sexual Assault FAQs

Check icon

Can a teenager sue for damages if they were sexually abused as a minor?

In many cases, yes, a teenager or adult survivor of teenage sexual assault may be able to file a lawsuit against the person who abused them. This is true for adult perpetrators, and possibly in instances where the attacker was also a minor at the time. Each state has different rules for who can file a lawsuit related to adolescent sexual abuse and when — to learn about any deadlines or exceptions that may be relevant to your situation, contact a personal injury lawyer experienced in sexual assault cases for survivors.

Check icon

What compensation can a teenager seek in a personal injury lawsuit?

A teenager can seek compensation for a range of damages. These can include medical expenses, therapy costs, lost wages and future earning capacity, lost educational opportunities, pain and suffering, as well as emotional distress. An experienced lawyer can help ensure sexual assault survivors obtain the financial damages they are entitled to.

Check icon

Can my teenager file a lawsuit against an institution that allowed the abuse to occur?

Generally yes, if an institution or organization such as a school, church, or youth group knew or should have known about the abuse, they may be considered liable. Those entrusted with children and teens have a duty to intervene and protect the young people in their care — if they failed to take reasonable steps to prevent sexual harm, your teenager may be able to sue the institution for negligence. This includes peer-to-peer assaults between unsupervised young people, and scenarios that place youths in direct private contact with adults (coaches, tutors, after-school detention, religious prayer meetings, etc).

Check icon

How can a personal injury lawyer help in a teenager sexual abuse case?

Our personal injury attorneys at the Jessica Pride law firm can help teenage survivors understand their rights and options, guide them through the legal process, gather evidence, negotiate with insurance companies, and advocate for their best interests in court. 

We can also seek the maximum compensation they are entitled to under the law, to help afford a better, safer, thriving future. Reach out to us today online or at (619) 516-8166 for a free, fully confidential consultation.

“I just received the self-care package from your team, when I opened the box and read the letter from you all, it felt like a hug came right out of the box. Thank you so much, it meant so much to me.”

– Client of Jessica Pride –

“I am also hopeful and beyond grateful that my voice is being heard! So I want to say thank you Jessica and Christy, for giving me a voice when I felt mine didn’t matter. You guys are truly angels fighting a great cause. I am forever grateful! Thank you so much!”

– Client of Jessica Pride –

“Jessica has been the epitome of the word excellent. She is always easy to talk to and very approachable. Always directly available. Very truthful and efficient. I highly recommend her and her team!!”

– Client of Jessica Pride –

“Your compassion, humility, and fierce advocacy, are the qualities that make you the incredible rockstar attorney that you are. We’re with you in this fight!”

– Lauren Betters (Gender Equality Law Center, NYC) –

“I’m graduating with a finance degree. I just wanted to say thank you for fighting for me. Turns out, I was able to put the pieces together.”

– Client of Jessica Pride –

“I just received the self-care package from your team, when I opened the box and read the letter from you all, it felt like a hug came right out of the box. Thank you so much, it meant so much to me.”

– Client of Jessica Pride –

“I am also hopeful and beyond grateful that my voice is being heard! So I want to say thank you Jessica and Christy, for giving me a voice when I felt mine didn’t matter. You guys are truly angels fighting a great cause. I am forever grateful! Thank you so much!”

– Client of Jessica Pride –