When a person is voted in as an elected leader of the community, everyone assumes they are law-abiding citizens and one you can trust. When an elected leader sexually abuses you, it is a serious violation of your trust, the public's trust, and the law.

What is Elected Leader Sexual Abuse?

Since 2017, it has been reported by the American Press that there have been at least ninety lawmakers who have faced public repercussions and allegations concerning sexual misconduct. Many of these cases were made public due to the MeToo movement and gained momentum even though some of the alleged cases occurred several years before 2017.

Lawmakers who have been found to have committed sexual abuse while in office have been removed from their position, faced discipline actions and repercussions, such as losing their committee leadership positions. Some of those elected leaders include:

  • Alaska Representative Zach Fansler slapped a woman hard enough to rupture her eardrum during a sexual encounter. He pled guilty to the charges and resigned his official position.
  • Arizona Representative Don Shooter was found to have a long history of sexual abuse toward women and was expelled from his office.
  • California Assemblyman Raul Bocanegra was found guilty for kissing and groping women without their consent. He resigned from his position.
  • California Senator Sebastian Ridley-Thomas was cited for unspecified health reasons after sexual harassment complaints were filed. There were also complaints that he kissed an employee and repeatedly called her even after being told not to have contact. The Senator resigned from his seat.
  • Florida Senator Jack Latvala was cited for sexual misconduct by multiple women. There was enough evidence uncovered to charge him with trading sexual favors to pass legislation. He resigned from his seat.

The list goes on and is quite a lengthy one of those voted in as elected leaders who have gained public trust only to use their position to commit sexual abuse against those who have put their trust in them. If you suffered at the hands of someone who was given public confidence, contact the Stop Sexual Abuse Law Firm and discuss your legal options for compensation.

  • Me Too Movement

The Me Too Movement (#MeToo) is a movement against sexual assault and sexual abuse. The phrase, Me Too, began in the context of a social media subscriber, activist, and sexual harassment survivor. Its purpose was initially to voice the experience of one person but soon grew to empower all women by encompassing strength in numbers. It visibly demonstrates how many women have survived sexual abuse, especially in the workplace.

The MeToo Movement is now used in dozens of languages, and the scope of it has become an international movement speaking out against sexual abuse and harassment. Its original purpose was to empower women through empathy. The phrase was encouraged as a hashtag to help reveal the extent of sexual abuse problems that exist among women.

After millions started using the phrase, the MeToo Movement's purpose has expanded and changed, and now means different things to different people. The movement now includes both men and women of all ages and colors and supports marginalized persons in marginalized communities. 

Sexual Abuse Trauma from An Elected Leader Doesn’t Go Away

One out of every six American women and one out of every thirty-three American men have suffered an attempted or completed rape in their lifetime. Thousands more have been victims of abuse, harassment, and assault, and the experiences and reactions of these survivors vary greatly. Many survivors of sexual abuse, especially when it occurs with someone they trust, such as an elected leader can cause:

  • Feelings of hopelessness
  • Fear
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Anger
  • PTSD
  • Substance abuse
  • Eating and sleep disorders
  • Alienation
  • Self-harm

Sexual abuse is a traumatic experience with overwhelming and consuming feelings of never being able to return to the person you were before the attack. When the abuse comes from someone who has been trusted enough to hold a public office, those feelings are intensified as you feel no one will believe you; it has happened.

An elected leader is someone who has campaigned and been held in the public's eye as an outstanding and law-abiding individual. They have achieved this status by being able to sell themselves through a strong and dominating personality. Your abuse has most likely included verbal abuse from the leader belittling you and telling you no one will believe your allegation if you try to report them.

You have to stand strong and contact the Stop Sexual Abuse Law Firm, as we believe in you. We will fight this individual and help you find the evidence necessary to make them accountable and stop them from continuing this pattern of behavior. Looking at current news cycles, it is now imaginable these elected leaders are not always the respectable individuals the voters found them to be. These elected leaders can be brought to justice, and you can receive the compensation you deserve for the pain and suffering their actions have caused.

Not everyone suffers the same traumatic experience or develops the same diagnoses with their symptoms after a sexual abuse incident. But many do find themselves suddenly experiencing a bunch of different emotions and effects when they least expect them after going through the trauma of sexual abuse. Watching the reminders on the current news cycles makes it almost impossible to avoid other's experiences that could relate to what you have gone through. At Stop Sexual Abuse Law Firm, we want you to know, you do not have to go through this alone, and that we will fight for you to obtain the justice you deserve against this unspeakable crime.

Trauma is not something you can force yourself to 'get over.' Some survivors can recover quickly, but for many, it is a painful and arduous process. Support can be challenging to find, and some women are marginalized because of their religion, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, social-economic status, race, or abilities. Unfortunately, these margins also make them more vulnerable to sexual abuse.

Why It Is Difficult to Speak Out Against Sexual Abuse by an Elected Leader

Talking about what has happened to you is an essential part of the healing process for sexual abuse victims. The sad fact is though that keeping silent is what many victims feel they have to do. Victims of sexual abuse by an elected leader do not believe they can help their situation and could possibly make it worse. They also do not feel there is justice when facing an individual who has gained the public's trust and placed them as a leader in the community.

Survivors often experience that when they tell their story, it is almost as traumatic as the abuse. Seeing those in power stand up in the media with a message that victims should stay silent is an awful feeling in an already terrible situation. Stop Sexual Abuse Law Firm does not believe in staying silent and firmly believes in supporting you as you bring your abuser to justice. We will fight for your voice against this crime and help you seek the retribution you deserve.

Sexual Abuse by an Elected Leader is About Power

Sexual abuse is more about power than most people think. It may look like it's all about the sex with the seductive words or intimidating phrases, but when someone uses assaults, rapes, or harasses, the motivation is typically stemming from their need for dominance. A person who has been elected into a community, state, or even federal government position, often begin to feel above the rest of the general public. They may also believe it's their right as the 'people's choice' to take advantage of others.

This dominance and arrogance often make victims feel helpless as the abuser makes them feel they have no out to the abuse. When someone uses their position and the perks of their power to manipulate, coerce, seduce, or attack, victims feel alone and frightened. Typically these abusers have something the victim wants, such as a promotion, a recommendation, an audition, a job, or even good grades that place them in the center of power. Wanting or needing these benefits makes the victim significantly vulnerable.

A month before the presidential election in 2016, a tape was released with raw footage regarding a presidential candidate. The tape showed him boldly bragging on how he kissed women without their consent and how he grabbed their genitals. On the tape, he stated how he simply had his way with women because he was a star, and the women allowed it. These actions were called 'sexual assault,' but the abuser (presidential candidate) said it was just 'locker room talk.' Whatever the term, the behavior by this candidate and his attitude ultimately proved inconsequential and not enough to derail his path to the election victory.

Today, there are scores of women and men speaking out and stepping up for justice. They have terrifying and heartbreaking stories of harassment, assault, and rape at the hands of powerful men in elected positions, educational institutions, journalism, and even Hollywood. Their stories tell how they were taken advantage of by those in powerful positions. These victims are seeking justice, and so can you. Stop Sexual Abuse Law Firm will help you find justice against the person who has sexually abused you. Their position in the community or the government does not matter. If you have been sexually abused, you deserve compensation.

Elected Leaders Need to be Accountable for Sexual Abuse

When the sexual abuse stories hit the headlines regarding powerful men in the industry, such as Harvey Weinstein, Louis C.K., and Matt Lauer, there was swift action taken. These power-men were fired from their jobs, contracts severed, or left their positions in disgrace. This trend ends, however, when the allegations are made regarding politicians. Many politicians who have been accused of sexual misconduct or abuse have barely faced repercussions.

The president himself has been accused of more than twenty counts of sexual assault, as well as the Republican candidate for U.S. Senator. Politicians appear to be getting away with sexual misconduct, and it is time they become accountable for their actions. When politics are involved, there seems to be a whole different set of ramifications for sexual abuse. While voters are who hold politicians accountable for their actions through elections, they have to wait years to be able to remove them from office for bad behavior.

Elections are only conducted so often, and it appears that partisan politics can trump morals. Voters are only an occasional check on sexual misconduct committed by politicians, so what happens for the survivors of sexual abuse, and the majority of Americans who believe there should be accountability for sexual perpetrators? Elected leaders on both sides of Congress are now beginning to respond to this question through new legislation.

The legislation is now aimed at updating the 1995 Congressional Accountability Act. The legislation will require mandatory sexual harassment and assault training to be completed within sixty days after beginning work in government. It will also require all staffers and senators to repeat this training once every two years.

Training sessions are not going to be enough to stop sexual abuse by elected leaders. The EEOC (Equal Employment Opportunity Commission) conducted a survey on workplace anti-harassment initiatives and found these training sessions were often ignored or trivialized. There has to be a strategy implemented that will eradicate sexual abuse in the political workplace.

Stop Sexual Abuse Law Firm will help you bring your abuser to justice and let elected leaders know this practice is not acceptable, and they will be held accountable for their actions. We will support you and fight your legal battle so you can begin healing from this traumatic experience.

Why File a Lawsuit Against an Elected Leader for Sexual Abuse

When you file a lawsuit against an elected leader for sexual abuse, you not only help yourself, you help others. Lawsuits against an abuser, no matter where they are located in society, can help you find justice and stop the abuser from hurting anyone else. Even before your case reaches the court system, the elected leader will have a spotlight shone on them to alert the public and those working for him just what kind of person he is, and create the necessary pressure for change.

While the lawsuit cannot undo the harm this elected leader has inflicted on you, it can help you receive compensation for your suffering. It can also make the leaders accountable for their actions and receive the punishment required by law for these types of heinous acts. Obtaining a favorable judgment in court may also include non-monetary requirements such as requiring the office of the elected leader to implement new practices to prevent and report abuse.

Filing a lawsuit for sexual abuse, especially when it involves an elected leader the public views as honorable, can be stressful and intimidating. Stop Sexual Abuse Law Firm will help guide you through this process as comfortably as possible while we work hard to hold your abuser accountable and responsible to compensate you.

It is Your Right to File a Lawsuit Against An Elected Leader for Sexual Abuse

In the State of California, it is your right to sue your perpetrator for damages, even if they are an elected leader. Any type of sex crime is the basis for a lawsuit, and it does not matter what the position your abuser holds. Common acts that often lead up to a sexual assault lawsuit include:

  • Groping, or sexual battery
  • California sexual battery is often referred to as a sexual assault, and the law prohibits touching intimate parts of another for sexual gratification, abuse, or arousal without their consent. Those found guilty of the sexual battery will face either a felony or misdemeanor charges.
  • Indecent exposure
  • Penal Code 314 under California law prohibits willfully exposing one's genitals to someone else as motivation to gratify yourself sexually or to offend the other party.
  • Sexual assault or abuse by a physician or doctor
  • A personal injury claim can be filed against the doctor as well as the facility they work under. This crime is a civil lawsuit and often happens during or after criminal charges have been filed with the courts for the doctor's actions.
  • Sexual assault by a rideshare driver
  • Lyft or Uber lawsuits filed against drivers who have committed sexual abuse to their customers. Personal injury claims can also be brought against the company for negligently hiring a driver capable of this crime, and they can be held liable for any abuse you have suffered.
  • Rape
  • Under California law, Penal Code 261, rape is defined as the nonconsensual sexual intercourse performed by threats, fraud, or force. Or if the sexual intercourse is performed on one who is incapable of consenting or unconscious.
  • Any non-consensual act that is sexual in nature

The defendant who has commited any of these crimes, or form of sex crimes does not have to be convicted of a crime for you to file a personal injury lawsuit for your suffering. If you have suffered damages due to a non-consensual act, you are entitled to file a lawsuit. Stop Sexual Abuse Law Firm will help guide you through this legal process.

As a victim of sexual abuse from an elected leader, or from anyone, you are entitled to punitive damages as well as compensatory damages. Stop Sexual Abuse Law Firm will help you seek justice as well as compensation for:

  • Lost wages
  • The State of California laws will allow victims of sexual abuse to recover what is called 'anticipated future loss of income.' These losses are also called 'lost earning capacity.' Your wages and what is determined to be your 'lost earning capacity' are considered compensatory damages. These damages can be collected by the defendant when it is shown they've displayed recklessness, gross negligence, intentional wrongful acts, negligence, or strict liability.
  • Pain and Suffering
  • The law in California will allow victims to recover for 'pain and suffering,' along with other 'non-economic damages in a personal injury case. California has placed no cap on the amount which can be collected. There are exceptions to this rule, and your attorney from Stop Sexual Abuse Law Firm will go over your case and detail for you what can be expected in your case for 'pain and suffering' recovery.
  • Medical Bills
  • Under the law, in a personal injury claim in which someone has caused you harm, such as through sexual abuse, they are responsible for paying any medical bills which occur through injuries they have caused you.
  • Psychological counseling
  • Loss of enjoyment of life
  • Emotional trauma or distress
  • Insomnia
  • Anxiety
  • Scarring

Anyone who has been the victim of sexual abuse by an elected leader, or by anyone can file a lawsuit to seek compensation for any of these injuries or damages done to you. You are able to file this lawsuit even if there has been no criminal conviction on your abuser, and even if you have not reported the abuse to the police.

Victims are often afraid to report their abuse to the police, as fear of not being believed is so great, as well as their fear of being blamed. Most police treat sexual abuse victims with dignity, and they can conduct an investigation that can help in your case. They are sometimes able to turn up evidence that will support show your abuser's guilt. Reporting your abuse to the police can even bolster your credibility in your civil case.

Where to Find Help For Sexual Abuse by an Elected Leader Near Me

If you have been sexually abused by an elected leader, someone who is respected by the public, and considered to be law-abiding and upstanding, you need to file a personal injury lawsuit to seek justice. Contact Stop Sexual Abuse Law Firm 310-359-9451 and speak to one of our experienced personal injury attorneys who will help you through this difficult time. Sexual abuse is a horrible crime and experience, and you need someone who understands the California court systems and the trauma you are going through. We will stand by you through the entire process and find you the best possible outcome.