If you’ve been a victim of sexual abuse, you are likely suffering painful psychiatric injuries. This horrible crime causes negative self-esteem, along with depression and anxiety. Sexual abuse in any form from any abuser is traumatic, but when it occurs from someone you have placed your trust in, such as your financial planner, the abuse is devastating.
Sexual abuse can be disastrous both physically and mentally, and as a survivor, you need all the help possible to get through this difficult time. Stop Sexual Abuse Law Firm is committed to empowering victims of sexual abuse and other crimes to help you heal and find the justice you deserve against your abuser.
Nature of Sexual Abuse and the Financial Planner
Sexual abuse is a crime of violence and is often inflicted by someone the victim knows. Female victims of sexual abuse by someone they did not know is only seventeen percent; male victims raped by strangers is twenty-three percent. Sexual abuse is most often committed by someone the victim put their trust in and is often acted out in a private setting by one person.
A financial planner is someone you are putting your trust in as they are going to be handling your money and, most likely, your future. This person is someone who has a lot of control over how the events of your life are going to play out. There should be no reason for you not to feel safe in a room alone with a person such as this. That reason, however, is what the financial planner who is also a sexual predator, counts on. They are counting on your trust and vulnerability so they can manipulate you sexually.
Other areas of sexual abuse in the financial industry occur with the women working in this field. The MeToo Movement has uncovered a collective consciousness within the sexual power dynamics that have long infected certain financial industries and personal interactions. The abuse occurring in the financial sector has taken a back seat in the limelight due to the largely publicized giants in the political and entertainment industries.
Despite not receiving as much public notice, there is overwhelming evidence that shows more than eighty percent of financial advisers state that sexual harassment and abuse is a problem within the financial advice industry. Three out of ten advisers report they have personally experienced sexual abuse or harassment in their workplace. Five out of ten planners say they have witnessed this abuse or harassment in the industry more than once.
More than two decades ago, female employees of Smith Barney Inc. filed the famous class-action suit called Boom-Boom-Room, which alleged pay discrimination and sexual abuse. This suit exposed locker-room culture and male-centric behavior on Wall Street. As a result of this suit, situations did improve somewhat, but sexual abuse is still a problem within the financial planner industry.
Stop Sexual Abuse Law Firm is ready to help you file a claim and seek compensation if you have been sexually abused by or as a financial planner. Laws protect you from having to suffer this form of abuse, and you can hold those responsible for your abuse accountable.
Some experts say the sexual behavior in the financial advisor industry has not disappeared and is perhaps even more persistent in the one-on-one fashion than it is industry-wide. One female came forward last year at a conference when she was abused by a man she thought of as her mentor. The man approached the woman in her hotel room during the conference under the pretense of having come for a friendly drink.
Some of the abusive behavior used against women in the field include rude comments on the size of her breasts, requests for females to wear makeup, or being ridiculed in a group for being pregnant. Women advisers report that the industry atmosphere is better than past years but is most likely worse than other industries due to the higher ratio of men to women in this field.
Financial Planner Sexual Abuse is All About Power
A discrimination attorney representing women who have accused high-profile men of sexual abuse, states the abuse stems from men feeling they have the power to commit these acts. On Wall Street, there is an abundance of men in power. According to a survey done on women in the financial advisor industry, nineteen percent of the females responded they deal with unwanted physical contact on a monthly basis. Others in the survey reported they had to deal with inappropriate jokes, remarks, or questions, more than fifteen percent dealt with obscene gestures, stares, or sounds, and more than fourteen percent received unwelcome requests persistently.
Victims of sexual abuse in the financial planner industry are often at a disadvantage when they try to seek compensation. Many employment agreements in this sector contain mandatory arbitration clauses or class-action waivers. These agreements force individuals into judicial venues that are not as transparent as a court proceeding. These agreements also do not promote public accountability. Many times when sexual abuse against a financial planner is initiated, it ends up in arbitration before the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority.
If you have suffered sexual abuse from or as a financial planner, contact Stop Sexual Abuse Law Firm. We are ready to fight to ensure your rights are protected and will review your employment contract to see if any clauses affect your seeking justice. We will work with you and find all legal resources to see that you receive the help you need and deserve to fight and end this abuse.
Filing Sexual Abuse Claim in the Financial Planner Industry
When filing a claim of sexual abuse in the financial industry and being forced to appear before the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, you most likely face a panel of white males with industry ties. There are plans in place to change and improve this diversity in arbitrators, but it can be quite challenging. Having an experienced attorney from Stop Sexual Abuse Law Firm standing by you through these proceedings will prove quite beneficial.
The regulator within the arbitrators hears less than ten sexual abuse cases in a year. They will make all awards publicly available, and the parties are free to share the information with the public regarding their case. There is, however, no system of keeping track of sexual abuse in the industry, as the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority does not require reporting.
Addressing the Issue of Sexual Abuse in the Financial Planner Industry
There have been some steps taken in the financial planner industry to address the sexual abuse and harassment issues that still exist. These steps cater more to Gen X and millennial clients. Beginning with the 2017 annual conference, the XY Network group of financial advisers instituted an anti-harassment code of conduct for the conference. During this conference, any staff member reserves the right to throw sexual offenders out of the conference without having to refund them and potentially barring them from future conferences.
Another association adopted a similar conference policy last year. It stated this policy is becoming a central piece of board and staff training and is working with its chapters around the country to make the same anti-harassment policies are part of their local events and meetings. Incidents of sexual abuse and harassment occur at the industry’s conferences and result in taking away an excellent networking and educational opportunity.
One of the group’s leaders states there are some amazing men in the industry who are stepping forward and have begun to speak up for women’s rights in their communities and in the financial firms, but as an industry, it has a long way to go. In a study regarding the experiences some have had to endure, it included:
- Suggestive emails or text messages
- Inappropriate jokes, personal questions, and innuendo
- Persistent unwelcome requests to meet outside the office or somewhere quiet
- Sexual posters, pictures, etc
- Unwanted touching
Even after the high-profile lawsuit, Boom-Boom-Room, sexual discrimination, harassment, and abuse continue in wealth management. Female financial advisors state workplace cultures are often disrespectful, receive a weak commitment from upper management to prevent sexual conduct, and are often a toxic environment in which to work.
What Constitutes Sexual Abuse?
Sexual abuse is any form of undesired sexual behavior, and it can happen anywhere to any one of us. The high-profile cases make the news, but that doesn’t make the quiet, unwanted sexual encounters that occur any less serious or devastating. When someone you have trusted has left you scared, confused, and hurt through sexually abusive conduct, you need help. You need Stop Sexual Abuse Law Firm to help you through this emotional time and help to seek the compensation you deserve for this abuse.
Sexual abuse can be disastrous both physically and mentally, and survivors risk Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, depression, anxiety, and it could also lead to substance use disorders. Mental health effects from sexual abuse can be experienced months, weeks, even years after the abuse. If you’re a survivor of sexual abuse, and even if you feel you are handling the situation, you still deserve justice, and you should always seek help. Stop Sexual Abuse Law Firm understands what you are going through. We have helped hundreds of survivors through emotional times and helped them find some sense of peace when they’ve brought their abusers to justice.
Signs and Symptoms of Sexual Abuse
Sexual abuse is every and any unwanted sexual experience with an abuser displaying power over you. Survivors of this abuse do not always show outward signs of abuse, and not having physical injuries does not mean you are not suffering. Some common signs of sexual abuse include:
- Someone has taken sexual liberties with you while you were drunk, under the influence of drugs, or any other way unable to give your consent for the act
- Someone touches your private areas without your permission
- Someone forces you through violence or other means to perform sexual acts
- Emotional manipulation is used to get you to perform a sexual act such as threatening to fire you, lose a promotion, or any other form of a threat they know has meaning to you
Common Myths Surrounding Sexual Abuse
Sexual abuse can be complicated, and it occurs more often than one would think. These are some myths surrounding sexual abuse about when, how, and why it happens:
- Myth: Sexual abuse is committed most often by someone you don’t know.
- Fact: Eight out of ten rapes or sexual abuse acts are committed by someone the victim knows and trusts.
- Myth: The sexual abuse would not have happened had the victim been wearing appropriate clothing.
- Fact: How a person dresses or looks is not an invitation for sexual abuse, nor is it ever considered consent. Consent only occurs when both parties are willing to engage with each other, and both say, ‘yes.’
- Myth: Sexual abuse only happens to women.
- Fact: Men can also experience sexual abuse. One out of ten rape victims is male.
Legal Help in California for Sexual Abuse by a Financial Planner
Sexual abuse can happen anywhere, and if you work in the financial industry, you are at high risk for sexual misconduct. As a victim of sexual abuse, you may have trouble trusting others, and this may cause long-term effects on your ability to create and build relationships. At Stop Sexual Abuse Law Firm, we recognize this trauma and are ready to help you build trust in our firm and in our offer to help you through this tough time.
Working in the financial industry, you realize how important monetary compensation can benefit you. As a survivor of sexual abuse, you are entitled to compensation from your abuser, and we are ready to help. You can file a claim to recover punitive damages, your attorney’s fees, medical expenses, costs for treatment of your physical injuries, as well as your psychological therapies. The Stop Sexual Abuse Law Firm wants to help you seek justice through the civil court system. You worry about healing, and we will fight for you.
In the State of California, as a victim of sexual abuse, you can pursue justice through a civil case as well as a criminal case. A civil case involves sexual violence and will deal with monetary compensation. These cases are often the only means for a victim to hold their abusers accountable. They help to give you some semblance of closure and prevent the abuser from continuing their crimes.
Sexual assault is a broad term under the California sex crimes, and those who commit these types of crimes can expect to face criminal prosecution from the state as well as face civil actions from the victim. Sexual assault victims are able to file a civil court case to receive compensation and justice even if there is no criminal conviction for their abuser's actions. You may be able to receive:
- Recovery of lost income. If the abuse has prevented you from working for an extended time or has caused you to leave your job, you can sue for lost wages the abuse has caused.
- Punitive damages. Depending on your abuser's financial state, the court can award you punitive damages as a way to dissuade your abuser from committing these behaviors in the future. These damages are awarded if the court finds the abuser's actions were intentionally harmful or egregiously negligent.
- Medical expenses. You may sue for the cost of any necessary medical treatments you may have needed as a result of the abuse. These costs can include any future or ongoing psychological counseling or other forms of treatment you may require as a result of the abuse.
- Pain and suffering. In California, it is recognized that the experience of sexual abuse is traumatic and can lead to long-term psychological challenges. California law allows victims of this crime to sue for mental anguish, emotional distress, and physical pain.
Types of Sexual Abuse Under California Law
In the State of California, sexual assault is a form of sexual violence, and it affects thousands of men, children, and women, including those in the financial industry every year. Under the laws in California, sexual assault or abuse refers to sexual conduct or behavior that happens without the victim's consent. It involves cases when a victim cannot or is unable to consent to the act. Reasons for not being able to consent to include being intoxicated, unconscious, or being physically disabled. The types of sexual assault or abuse include:
- Forced sexual acts of any nature
- Attempted rape or rape
- Unwanted touching or groping
- Unwanted penetration
- Sexual exploitation
Force is not limited to physical pressure. Emotional coercion, intimidation, manipulation, or other psychological force is also considered illegal. The statistics from the National Sexual Violence Resource Center show that most sexual abuse cases occur between individuals who know each other. This includes intimate partners, relatives, casual acquaintances, or those you work with, such as others within the financial planner setting.
Institutionalized sexual abuse is a pattern of behaviors that occur within an institution that effectively enables the predatory and abusive practices, such as those proven to exist within the financial planner industry. The term 'institutionalized' sexual abuse also refers to power dynamics as sexual abusers in this industry use their position of authority to commit abusive acts.
Sexual abuse in the workplace, or as a financial planner, is particularly heinous and dangerous, as it involves regular threats, intimidation, along with other exploitative behaviors that are capable of causing emotional, psychological, and physical damage. When you have to work with a person in authority that uses that authority to commit sexual abuse, they can face professional penalties such as the loss of a license to practice, or restrictions from future employment in the specific field. There can also be possible criminal penalties from the state along with civil actions from their victims. If you are a financial planner within a firm, and others have allowed this behavior to occur or continue, you may also be able to sue them for their share of the responsibility.
What You Should Do If Sexually Abused as a Financial Planner
Victims, whether financial planners or anyone who has experienced sexual abuse, you need to file a claim to regain a sense of justice and certainly compensation for this ugly crime that has been committed against you. Some victims feel scared to speak up about their abuse as they are afraid of retaliation. Other victims believe they can forget about the incident and hope it won't be repeated, and they can move on.
It is dangerous to think you shouldn't report sexual abuse. Talk to Stop Sexual Abuse Law Firm, and we will discuss your options and explain the legal process you need to go through to bring your abuser to justice. When you seek compensation and speak to the authorities right away, it will reduce the chances of your abuser moving on to other victims. There is also a critical factor involved with preserving evidence that could prove helpful in your case.
Once you have reported your sexual abuse to the authorities, and received medical attention if it was needed, contact Stop Sexual Abuse Law Firm. We have the experience you will need working in the California legal and court system and will provide you the support and legal assistance you will need to get through this emotional time.
Working with the right attorney can make a tremendous difference in the outcome of your case. Attorneys are able to arrange for the support you will need after such a traumatic crime, and we will get you in touch with the right resources to help you with any emotional trauma you are experiencing.
Find Legal Help for Financial Planner Sexual Abuse Near Me
If you have suffered sexual abuse by a financial planner, you will need legal advice on how to seek justice and compensation from your abuser. Call Stop Sexual Abuse Law Firm at 310- 359- 9451 to find the support you need to survive, get the justice you deserve, and the compensation your abuser should be held accountable for.