I am sharing this essential toolkit from Child USA for all survivors who are considering legal action under the Child Victims' Act.
If you are considering filing under a window or revival law please consider the following:
- Know that you are not alone
- See a therapist before consulting a lawyer, and continue seeing that therapist during the pendency of the lawsuit
- Understand that the legal system is a lot of “hurry up and wait” - It is normal to be asked to produce information quickly, and then not hear from your lawyer for a while
- An attorney cannot be your attorney without your authorization
- Your attorney works for YOU and cannot settle your case prior to your approval of the monetary amount
- Don ’t assume that the court system understands your needs; some officials will have received trauma-informed training, some will not (see 1 & 2)
- Understand that this can be a confusing time not only for you but everyone around you (see 2 and encourage loved ones to do the same)
- You have been empowered to file a legal action, but it will take the whole culture to end child sex abuse
- The settlement funds you receive are not blood money or dirty money, this is American justice. You deserve to be compensated for your harm.
- Talk to a finance professional about how to protect your settlement