If you or a loved one need to report sexual abuse in Louisiana, you should contact the police immediately. Law enforcement can initiate a criminal investigation into the abuse to hold the abuser accountable. Depending on the circumstances, you may also need to submit a report to specific state agencies.
Beyond any criminal charges the abuser receives, you also have the right to seek a civil case against them. You may have significant medical bills or other costs related to the abuse and your recovery. According to Louisiana law, the person who perpetrated the abuse should reimburse you for these costs. Our firm can represent your personal injury case as you seek compensation.
First Steps for Reporting Sexual Abuse
According to the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN), sexual abuse victims should contact law enforcement. If you believe you are in immediate danger, you should call 911. Otherwise, you can contact your local precinct directly. If you are on a college campus, you can also call the campus police department.
You should also visit a medical professional soon after the abuse occurs. A doctor can perform an examination, take note of your injuries, and recommend some options for both physical and psychological care after the abuse. In addition, they can help you report the crime and conduct a sexual assault forensic exam if you wish.
Mandatory Reporting Requirements for Child Sexual Abuse
When a child suffers sexual abuse in Louisiana, those who witness or hear about the abuse must report it to the Louisiana Department of Children & Family Services (DCFS) online or via telephone. Frequently, abuse witnesses include teachers, doctors, or clergy members.
Still, anyone who witnesses or hears about this type of abuse against a child must report it. Doing so can protect the child and possibly other victims from further harm. Children cannot consent to any sexual activity or exposure, and those who violate this state law must face the consequences.
Mandatory Reporting Requirements for Senior Sexual Abuse
Mandatory reporting also applies when someone witnesses or hears about sexual abuse against an elder person in Louisiana. The state requires witnesses to file a report with the Louisiana Department of Health (LDH) through the Office of Aging and Adult Services. If you believe you know about the sexual abuse of an elder adult, you should report it to the proper authorities.
Sexual Abuse at a Nursing Home
Sexual abuse of an elder adult can also occur at a nursing home. Often, these individuals are unable to consent to sexual contact or exposure due to their medical conditions. This is a particularly unsettling situation for the abuse victim and their family, as they expect the nursing home staff to protect residents. Unfortunately, this does not always happen. Nursing home residents could experience sexual abuse from:
- Staff members
- Other residents
After reporting the abuse to law enforcement and the nursing home facility’s management, you can contact our firm to hire a nursing home abuse attorney. Depending on the circumstances, we could seek a settlement from the abuser and the nursing home for the victim.
For a free legal consultation, call 337-221-9907
Definitions of Sexual Abuse
Louisiana defines multiple types of sexual abuse through its statutes. These definitions affect the criminal proceedings, determining the charges and potential penalties the abuser faces. Examples of acts that constitute sexual abuse in Louisiana include:
- Unwanted sexual remarks or advances
- Unwanted exposure to sexual materials
- Unwanted sexual contact
- Unwanted sexual penetration
- Being forced into participating in sexual activity or contact, including touching or fondling
When the victim does not or cannot give consent regarding these activities, this is sexual abuse.
It Does not Matter What Your Relationship is to the Abuser
Sexual abuse can involve almost anyone as an abuser. For example, it could be someone who works with you. The abuser could even be someone close to you, such as a former sexual partner or spouse – the person committing the abuse should not matter to law enforcement. You have a right to report it and take legal action.
Give Law Enforcement All of the Facts
When filing a report with law enforcement about sexual abuse, it is important to explain everything that happened in the abusive situation.
We fully understand that this can be difficult to do on your own. It is normal to feel guilt, humiliation, and other negative feelings. Others may not want to relive the pain of the incident. Always remember that you did not do anything wrong to create this abusive situation.
It could be helpful to have a sexual abuse attorney by your side while filing a report with the police. Our team can stand by your side and ensure that your experience is heard so that you can hold the abuser accountable and put this behind you.
The Team at Laborde Earles Injury Lawyers is Ready to Help
Our law firm takes pride in holding those who commit sexual abuse accountable for their actions. When you hire Laborde Earles Injury Lawyers, we will treat you with the compassion, dignity, and care you deserve. Our attorneys will take care of your entire case, seeking compensation for your pain, suffering, medical bills, and lost wages.
For a free case review, contact our team as soon as possible at (337) 777-7777.