A trustor is someone you trust to help change your life or your child’s life. You depend on them to help you gain access to basic amenities, healthcare, and education. Unfortunately, we’ve heard of cases where donors abused their position, influence, and wealth by demanding sexual favors in exchange for services or financial help that was critical to the survival of the beneficiaries and their families.
Charity work must be done in a way that does no harm. When a person you trust and depend on for your basic needs becomes a sexual predator, the effects can be utterly devastating. A person who has been sexually abused will try to cope the best they can. This can involve staying silent and trying to ignore their pain. But these feelings and shame do not go away even if the abuse has stopped. It manifests in other ways, from eating disorders and risky behaviors to depression and substance abuse.
The sexual abuse lawyers at Stop Sexual Abuse Law Firm focus on helping victims of sexual abuse through the toughest moments of their lives. We understand how the emotional, physical, and mental damages resulting from sexual abuse can completely alter your life. We stand ready to help you seek and receive the help you need to put your life back together. Our firm has a leading California sexual abuse attorney, Dan Gilleon, ready to help you and your family file a civil lawsuit and help you recoup the compensation you need to take back control and find healing.
Sexual Abuse in the Charity Sector is Prevalent
To better understand trustor sexual abuse, let’s look at 3 important terms: trustor, beneficiary, and charity trust. A trustor is an individual that creates trust. Also known as a grantor, a trustor is a person who contributes to the trust to donate or gift assets to others, which can be in terms of money or property. A beneficiary is a person who directly benefits from the trust. A charitable trust is a set of assets that a donor uses or signs over to create a charitable foundation. The trust is designed to benefit, uplift, and ameliorate mankind, physically, mentally, or morally. For instance, a trust can be created for the advancement of education, the furtherance of religion, relief of poverty, promotion of public and comfort, and any other purposes considered to be charitable in law. The assets are held by the charity and some or all interest produced goes to the charity.
Sexual exploitation, violence, and abuse in charity trusts have been happening for a long time. It is horrifying to find trustors and employees in humanitarian organizations perpetrating abuses of this nature rather than combating them and protecting their beneficiaries. The charity sector has been aware of sexual abuse by trustors and personnel, but the efforts made to address the problem have not matched the challenge. Repeatedly, reports of sexual abuse and exploitation in charity trusts have emerged, the sector has reacted but then the attention has faded. This has led to organizations drafting protection policies and procedures that have never been implemented. And while measures to protect beneficiaries and employees have been developed, charity trusts have failed to adequately fund the implementation of those policies.
Trustor Sexual Abuse is All About the Power Imbalance Created by Wealth, Influence, and Fame
The vast majority of trustors, donors, and board members are positive and respectful. However, some use their wealth and influence to exploit and abuse their beneficiaries. There are deep-rooted power imbalances between beneficiaries and the donors they depend on for vital provisions. Power imbalances are usually ‘gendered’. Though not exclusively, sexual abuse by donors often involves men abusing women and girls. The charity sector has a male-dominated culture and unequal power relations are at the heart of the matter. This can foster an environment where sexual abuse and exploitation occur and victims sense that it is futile to report. Charity beneficiaries are at a structural disadvantage in their relationship with trustors and other members of the charitable trust.
Victims or survivors and their families may fear backlash and retaliation from a powerful perpetrator who has access to resources. While the charity sector has inadequate reporting mechanisms, victims and survivors often lack trust in the system. This means that they believe that reporting will not give them any results, based on other cases that were never solved or where the survivor faced retaliation and denial of the financial help they once had access to. There’s also a persistent failure of charity trusts to investigate cases of sexual abuse, exploitation, and harassment, with reporting structures under-utilized, ineffective, and not transparent. Trustor sexual abuse victims do not feel supported in coming forward. For this reason, there is chronic underreporting of sexual exploitation and abuse by trustors.
It’s common for powerful and resourceful sexual predators to feel as if they can do anything they want and get away with it. At Stop Sexual Abuse Law Firm, we have been fighting against such people for years. Being subjected to sexual abuse and exploitation because of your gender or financial situation can make you feel helpless or worthless, but it shouldn’t be like that. Our sexual abuse attorneys are ready to fight for your dignity, self-worth, and place in society. We have challenged and defeated powerful and wealthy people and we can do it again for you.
Sexual Abuse by a Trustor Can Take Numerous Forms
Sexual abuse is a broad term that refers to any actual or threatened sexual intrusion, whether under unequal or coercive conditions or by force. It is any unwanted sexual contact or actions for which the recipient does not or cannot give consent. It’s always easy to detect sexual abuse because it can come in many forms. In this case, the Trustor is someone that a victim trusts, so they may be afraid to refuse or report the abuse. Sexual abuse can include any of the following:
Rape or forcible penetration with an object
Forcing, demanding or blackmailing someone for sexual acts
Exposing children to sexually charged language
Exposing children or non-consenting adults to pornographic images or videos
Touching, kissing, hugging, and fondling
Producing or owning pornographic images or videos of children
Exhibitionism and masturbation – exposing oneself to a non-consenting adult or child
Showing one’s private parts to a child
Asking a minor or non-consenting adult to share videos or images of themselves in an inappropriate manner
Any form of sexual conduct that can damage a person’s emotional, mental, or physical wellbeing
Regardless of what form of sexual abuse you’ve experienced, the team at Stop Sexual Abuse Law Firm can help you take the steps toward justice and healing.
Causes of Trustor Sexual Abuse
When it comes to the causes of sexual abuse, an abuser’s actions may be influenced by various factors, including social and cultural attitudes towards the victim, which condones, ignore, or supports sexually abusive behavior or violent messages. There’s no one single source for the cause of sexual abuse, but it is an issue that requires a response on several fronts. Sexual abuse thrives off of one major element – power. Typically, a sexual predator in a Trustor position is someone who:
Enjoys some degree of authority over their victim. A trustor is someone in a position of power and authority. A predatory one will use that position and their influence to take advantage of their victims.
Has a physical advantage over the victim. Whether it’s a difference in muscle, size, or physical ability, victims are usually overpowered by their predators and may shy away from physical resistance or confrontation.
Uses coercion. A predatory Trustor will select their victims carefully. They deliberately pick individuals they know will be petrified to speak up or report the abuse. They often come up with excuses or stories as to why they’re engaging in sexual activities with their victims.
Has the advantage of age over the victim. Often the abuser is someone much older than the victim. An adult may abuse a child, a woman, or a young man because they may not be in a position to defend themselves as someone in their prime
Typically attempts to lure their victims into a false sense of security before making a move, or they may utilize sycophancy and attention to get the victim to lower their guard.
Uses alcohol or other substances to reduce confrontation from their victims. A Trustor who lures the beneficiary to go out for dinner and appears focused on having another person intoxicated may mean to cause harm.
It’s imperative to note that sexual abuse is never inflicted by anything that a victim utters, wears, or does. Sexual abuse is caused by the action and knowledge of the predator. If you or someone you know has been sexually abused by a Trustor you should not blame yourself for the incident or the events that led to it.
Consequences of Trustor Sexual Abuse
Individuals who have been sexually abused by a Trustor can immediately begin to deal with devastating emotions following the assault. Each victim responds to the distressing implications of sexual abuse in a different way. What’s more, the healing process can seem so lonely, but you don’t have to go it alone. A trustor sexual abuse lawyer at Stop Sexual Abuse Law Firm can help you obtain the resources you need to ease the pain caused by sexual assault. Often, survivors experience physical, emotional, and mental effects, such as:
Physical effects of Trustor sexual Abuse: Bleeding, bruising, difficulty walking, soreness, fractured or dislocated bones, sexually transmitted diseases, and pregnancy.
Emotional effects of Trustor sexual abuse: Loss of control, numbness, fear, anger, changes in trusting others, shock, and self-blame/guilt.
Mental effects of Trustor sexual abuse: Depression, Post-traumatic stress (PTSD), suicidal thoughts/attempts, or dissociation (inability to focus on to be present in daily life or focus on work/school work).
Survivors can also develop feelings of being damaged or being worthless and undeserving of a good life. They can also turn to alcohol or drugs to help them cope with the devastating feelings of sexual abuse. In fact, statistics show that survivors of sexual assault are 6-times more likely to experience PTSD, 3-times more likely to experience depression, 26-times more likely to abuse drugs, 13-times more likely to abuse alcohol, and 4-times more likely to contemplate suicide.
Our California sexual abuse attorneys are familiar with the long-term impacts of sexual abuse. So, when pursuing monetary compensation, we consider how the abuse has affected all areas of the survivor’s life as well as relationships. Usually, the damage is dramatic and substantial. This is one of the reasons many of these lawsuits eventually settle for millions of dollars. The reparation reflects a significant amount of harm suffered by the victim as a result of the abuse.
Important Things Victims of Trustor Sexual Abuse Should Know
Sexual abuse is a tragic and terrifying reality for thousands of women, children, and young people. Our California Trustor sexual abuse lawyers have successfully represented many sexual abuse victims and we understand the challenges faced by victims and families after such a harrowing breach of trust happens. It can be hard for a victim to speak up about the abuse and this is why only approximately 30% of cases are reported to authorities.
Whether you were sexually abused as a child or an adult, here are important thing you should know:
Legal counsel is necessary: Don’t dilly-dally to speak to an attorney who specializes in helping victims of sexual abuse. Trustor sexual abuse cases are extremely sensitive and there’s a time limit for filing a civil lawsuit. While monetary compensation cannot undo the pain inflicted by abuse of this nature, it does help many victims achieve a sense of closure and ensures sexual predators in charity trusts are held liable for their actions.
You can heal: The effects of trustor sexual abuse are usually long-term and require professional intervention through counseling. But don’t lose hope because healing is possible with appropriate care.
You’re not to blame: Most sexual abuse victims blame themselves for somehow allowing or inviting the abuse. Also, parents or guardians of child sexual abuse victims may feel partly liable for not identifying the signs of abuse sooner or for being taken in by an adult they believed they could trust. It’s important to remember that no one asks to be assaulted and that perpetrators are skilled manipulators who deceive, lie, and warily groom their subjects. Concentrating on the truly liable parties will help you direct your energy in more productive ways, and will enable you to help your child or yourself more effectively.
You’re not helpless: The feeling of powerlessness and helplessness is one of the most damaging aspects of trustor sexual abuse. At Stop Sexual Abuse Law Firm, we know that victims aren’t powerless, and speaking up is one of the strongest things they can do to have justice served, send offenders to jail and protect other potential victims from harm.
Many parties can be held liable: If you or your child was abused by a Trustor, you may be eligible to hold charity trust liable as well. If they failed to investigate the abuse or tried to conceal it, you may be able to get them to compensate you for the damages.
Taking Legal Action Against a Trustor for Sexual Abuse in California
Victims need to understand that they have options and helping them escape an abusive environment can set them on the road to recovery. If you or someone close to you is being sexually abused, or you believe that sexual abuse is happening, taking too long to stop the abuse will only lead to more damage being done
As aforementioned, victims of Trustor sexual abuse may be hesitant and scared to speak up about what transpired in fear of retaliation and shame. The guilt and trauma resulting from such cases of abuse can inflict a lifetime of silent pain and suffering if occurrences of this nature never come to light and perpetrators are not held accountable. Victims of trustor sexual abuse deserve the support, justice, and ability to move on with life and have their abusers pay for their heinous acts.
Criminal vs. Civil Lawsuits for Trustor Sexual Abuse
Maybe your abuser has been tried in a criminal court or the case is still in progress. For many people, the decision of a criminal court seems like the end. After all, someone can’t be tried for the same crime twice, right? Unfortunately, criminal charges/convictions do nothing to financially compensate the victim. Unlike civil lawsuits, criminal charges are strictly meant to punish sexual offenders, preventing additional damage to you and the general public. Though the abusers may pay significant fines to the criminal courts for their actions, the money won’t go toward the victim’s recovery. In some cases, the criminal court may order an offender to compensate certain expenses suffered by the survivor, or parents/guardians of the survivors. However, the lack of enforcement, together with the court’s inability to order for reparation for non-economic damages, implies that compensation falls short of meeting a survivor’s needs. In short, everything from the criminal trial is tailored toward the accused and not your suffering.
In civil court, the lawsuit is focused on the harm done to you rather than the crime committed. Your civil suit will be all about you and the reparation you deserve. The civil courts offer victims an opportunity to recover, therefore you must get started even if the criminal trial is ongoing. And if your abuser is convicted of a crime, that’s additional evidence that you were harmed, which boosts your chances of winning your civil lawsuit.
Even if your abuser does not stand trial or is not found guilty in criminal court, you can still sue them in civil court and hold them accountable for their acts of sexual abuse. In criminal cases, the perpetrator is considered innocent until proven guilty and the prosecutor must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the accused is guilty. The standard of proof for a civil case is much lower and the attorney is only required to prove that it’s more likely than not that the accused committed the assault.
Obtaining the Maximum Compensation You Deserve
The California sexual abuse attorneys at Stop Sexual Abuse Law Firm understand the impact of sexual abuse on the victim and aggressively seek compensation for damages on their behalf. We’re committed to diligently serving our clients’ best interests with care and compassion. We handle cases on a contingency fee basis, which means that our firm takes on all financial responsibilities and you don’t pay any fees until and unless we a favorable settlement or verdict on your behalf. Don’t be deterred from seeking legal representation because of lack of finances – we’ll take care of that from filing a claim to case resolution.
We strive to prove that our clients were affected by the sexual abuse incident on a deep, personal level. We work in partnership with doctors, psychologists, therapists, and expert witnesses to testify to this truth and to show that the effects are usually long-lasting. As a survivor of Trustor sexual abuse, you’re entitled to recover damages for the following:
Pain, suffering, and emotional distress
Past and future wage loss
Past and future medical treatment related to the abuse
Loss of quality of life
In some cases, punitive damages to punish the abuser and related parties for malicious and wrongful conduct
At Stop Sexual Abuse Law Firm, we understand that no amount of financial compensation can heal the wounds inflicted by sexual abuse. However, we know that rape and sexual assault cause financial hardships and often diminishes a person’s ability to maintain healthy relationships, earn a living, focus on school work, and live a quality life. Holding your abuser accountable for their actions in a court of law can make sure your voice is heard and the perpetrator does not hurt others.
Statute of Limitations for Seeking Damages for Trustor Sexual Abuse in California
California maintains a statute of limitations for which sexual abuse victims may legally file a civil lawsuit to pursue compensation. These deadlines protect the rights of the alleged abuser because with time, memories fade, witnesses relocate or die, and evidence gets lost, affecting the veracity of the evidence. But then, when you’re the victim, that statutes of limitations can be a deterrent to pursuing restitution, so you must act quickly to protect your rights.
It can take years for survivors of molestation to summon the courage to confront their perpetrator, particularly if the offender was someone well known to them. Assembly Bill 218, which took effect in January 2019, increases the time limit for filing a civil lawsuit to obtain a recovery for damages suffered as a result of sexual abuse. Therefore, victims of sexual must ascertain whether the abuse occurred before or after January 1, 2019, because the new law treats these cases differently.
Survivors of childhood sexual abuse have until age 40 to file a civil lawsuit. The delayed discovery rule now allows a 5-year window after a victim discovers or reasonably should have discovered that a psychological illness or injury was caused by sexual abuse. If the survivor was an adult at the time of the occurrence, the statute of limitations allows for a lawsuit to be filed within 10 years from the last act or attempted act, or within 3 years from the date the victim ascertains that an injury resulted from that act. There’s also a 3-year window for the revival of past claims that might have been barred due to the expiry of the statute of limitations. It’s worth noting that the typical 2-year statute applies for abuse that occurred before 1/1/19.
We understand that choosing to speak up is a deeply personal decision and can feel like a violation in and of itself. However, failing to meet these legal deadlines can keep you from pursuing the compensation you deserve. Even if the abuse happened years ago, it’s always worth calling our California sexual abuse law firm to see if we can help.
Find a Trustor Sexual Abuse Attorney Near Me
Whether you’re the parent/guardian of a victimized child or an adult victim of trustor sexual abuse, please know that you don’t have to go it alone. Our experienced, compassionate, and aggressive legal team at Stop Sexual Abuse Law Firm is the legal advocate you need. We stand ready to help you explore all legal avenues and guide you through the legal steps you need to take to regain your sense of personal empowerment. We have the knowledge, grit, and passion to seek justice and fight for your right to compensation.