Every year, tens of millions of Americans seek therapy to cope with their mental health problems, insecurities, emotional difficulties, and behavioral problems.
Unfortunately, some therapists tend to take advantage of their position as a trusted confidant, prey on their patients’ vulnerabilities, and engage in a sexual relationship with them. If you have been sexually abused or assaulted by your therapist, you have the right to pursue civil action against them and recover damages.
At the Law Offices of Michael S. Lamonsoff, we are committed to providing the highest level of legal representation to victims of sexual abuse and assault. We can hold your therapist accountable for their egregious conduct and fight aggressively to help you get the justice and monetary damages you deserve. Contact us today for a free consultation with one of our New York therapist sexual abuse attorneys.
What is New York Therapist Sexual Abuse?
When a therapist exploits their patient’s vulnerability and uses the position of power and authority, they have in a therapy setting to engage in a sexual relationship with their patient, it can be considered sexual abuse.
It should be noted that the sexual relationship in question does not necessarily have to be violent or physically abusive to be considered sexual abuse. Even in the absence of physical violence, the relationship between a therapist and their patient can be considered exploitative or abusive, due to the enormous amount of power and influence the therapist has over the patient.
More importantly, sexual abuse does not always involve sexual intercourse. Any unwanted or inappropriate physical contact of a sexual nature can be considered sexual abuse.
Is Sexual Contact between the Therapist and Patient Always Abusive?
Yes, even when both parties seemingly consented to sexual intimacy, sexual contact between a therapist and patient is likely to be considered abusive because of the natural imbalance of power that exists between them. The patient is usually in a vulnerable state of mind, and an abusive therapist may exploit their condition.
If the therapist frequently makes remarks about your physical appearance, indulges in sexual comments or lewd jokes, talks about their own sex life, touches you frequently or sits too close to you, tries to meet you outside regular therapy hours, gives you frequent gifts, gropes you, kisses you, or performs any type of sexual acts in your presence, these are warning signs that should alert you against therapist sexual abuse.
Warning Signs of a Therapist Sexual Abuse
Steps to Take after Sexual Abuse by a Therapist
- Get to a safe place as soon as you can.
- Contact your family or friends and tell them what happened.
- Do not go to the bathroom, comb your hair, wash yourself, or take a shower. Preserve all your clothes and accessories. It can make it easier for medical personnel to collect the assailant’s DNA evidence.
- Get to the nearest hospital or healthcare facility that can care for survivors of sexual abuse and assault. Timely medical care is essential to prevent unwanted pregnancies and sexually transmitted diseases.
- Call the police or go to the police station to report the incident.
- Contact our experienced New York therapist sexual abuse attorneys at the Law Offices of Michael S. Lamonsoff.
How to Prove Sexual Abuse by Therapist without Witnesses?
DNA evidence (which can be collected from your body, clothes, and accessories) can be crucial in proving sexual abuse by your therapist. Apart from this, a wide range of other evidence including your therapist’s notes, call records, and complaints made by other patients can also be used to build a strong case against your therapist.
It is best to contact the Law Offices of Michael S. Lamonsoff as soon as possible after an incident of therapist sexual assault or abuse.
Statute of Limitations for Filing a Sexual Abuse Claim in New York
The statute of limitations for filing a therapist sexual abuse claim in New York is set at 20 years. If you are a childhood survivor of sexual abuse, you have the right to bring a claim at any point until you turn 55.
More importantly, New York’s Adult Survivors Act provides a one-year window (from November 24th, 2022 to November 23rd, 2023) for survivors of sexual abuse and assault to bring a claim against their perpetrator – regardless of their age.
Recoverable Damages in a New York Therapist Sexual Abuse Claim
Under New York law, you have the right to recover economic as well as non-economic damages from the perpetrator – including medical expenses, psych ward hospitalization bills, lost earnings, loss of earning capacity, pain and suffering, emotional distress, loss of consortium, and diminished quality of life. Depending on the severity of the abuse and other exceptional factors, you might be awarded punitive damages as well.
Abused By Your Therapist? Legal Help is Available from Our Top-Rated New York Therapist Sexual Abuse Lawyers
The relationship between a therapist and their patient is built on the foundation of trust. When that trust is breached in the worst possible manner, it can take a heavy toll on the patient – physically as well as psychologically.
At the Law Offices of Michael S. Lamonsoff, we have been advocating for survivors of sexual abuse and assault for decades and have a track record of obtaining large settlements and awards for our clients over the years. Led by award-winning New York personal injury lawyer Michael S. Lamonsoff “The Bull,” our legal team gets results that most others cannot.
Call us today at 212-962-1020 or contact us online to schedule a free and confidential consultation with an experienced New York therapist sexual abuse lawyer.