What is Professional Sexual Misconduct?

Posted on Tuesday, November 26th, 2019 at 8:21 pm    

Sexual exploitation by physical and mental health professionals remains prevalent in society, despite attempts to hinder such acts from occurring. Policies, published guidelines, and ethical codes have been implemented to deter professional sexual misconduct. However, this type of sexual exploitation continues to be a poorly understood problem. Of the mental health clinicians who treat or evaluate patients, almost half of the mental health clinicians have reported that at least one patient had been sexually exploited by a physician, psychiatrist, psychotherapist or other health professional. Due to the connotation associated with “professionals,” these sex offenders are prone to more frequent moral outrage, societal disgust and negativity than other sex offenders.

Unfortunately, sexual contact between patients and mental health professionals is nothing new. Similarly, disclosure of professional sexual misconduct continues to be an extremely complex and difficult process. Professional ethical boards and therapeutic programs are provided in order to establish individualized responses to this issue. As globally defined, professional sexual misconduct is the acting out of several inappropriate and/or abusive verbal and/or nonverbal sexual behaviors introduced and/or continued by the professional toward a patient, client or subordinate in the workplace. The role of trust, power and authority combine to play a role in the sexual acting out process by professionals.

Although the behaviors vary greatly, they generally range from simple, unsolicited but insistent sexual statements and comments, to repeated verbal advances and sexual harassment, to actual bodily behaviors, including inappropriate hugging and kissing, sexual touching, rubbing, exhibitionism, voyeurism, masturbation, oral sex, and coital sexual relations. Behavior by the offender is usually calculated and prearranged, and it may be pressured and forceful. Offender’s often have obsessive-compulsive qualities, which may lead to repeated offenses. An inability to feel empathy can cause the offender to place blame on the victim for the attack. They minimize their own actions to bolster their confidence to feel good in the aftermath.

There are several situations in which professional sexual misconduct can occur. For example: a male surgeon who exhibits a history of inappropriate sexual comments and invasive sexual inquiries towards certain female nurses; a male professor and physician who has a background filled with sexual liaisons with a quantity of female students and/or patients; a male psychiatrist who has been known in the past to carry out sexual relations with female patients; a male family medical doctor with grave professional boundary issues, who retains social affairs with male patients and intimate sexual relations with several of his female patients; an obstetrician-gynecologist who is known to be sexually offensive and rash in his remarks, positions, and behaviors toward a select number of his female patients; a female family physician who gets involved in a sexual affair with a male patient who had confided in her for emotional and moral support; a male plastic surgeon who has a history of sexual relations with post-surgical female patients; a dentist who is known to have a repugnant compulsion of rubbing his genitals against female patients; a psychiatric social worker who is exceedingly associated with child protection cases, displaying a history of expressive and sexual relationships with reliant, disadvantaged female clients towards whom he feels compelled to help “save” and “care”; and, a male psychologist known to be tied to sexual affairs with female patients.

Another area of professional sexual misconduct that has been adequately described, is within clergy members and religious leaders. Coming to light more recently in this realm is sexual misconduct by priests, pastors, preachers, ministers, rabbis and religious leaders of other denominations. This misconduct generally occurs within the confine of the members churches, synagogues, mosques and congregations.

Much like other sexual offenses, such as child sexual abuse, information on the prevalence of professional sexual misconduct is widely available however, the data represents an underestimation of the reality. The truth about such sexual offenses are very under-reported. This can be the result of either nondisclosure of such offenses, or because nothing is done once the disclosure is brought forth. Data collected anonymously on roughly 114 psychiatrists revealed shocking statistics: that 10% of the psychiatrists admitted to engaging in some form of erotic and/or sexual contact with their patients. Furthermore, a survey compiled anonymously revealed that 6.4% of over 1300 psychiatrists admitted having sexual relations with at least one of their own patients, while one-third of this group had acted out on more than one patient.

As defined, sexual contact can be any form physical contact that pleases or stimulates sexual desire in a physician, patient or both. Therapeutic significance of sexual relations with patients as a form of remedial emotional experience geared at curing or healing the patient, is a belief valued by many repeat offenders. Another study suggests that of the 1900 obstetrician gynecologists, surgeons, internists and family practitioners, 9% recognized having been sexually involved with one of their own patients. Of the overall physician population, sexual misconduct and boundary violations are likely to occur 3% to 10%. Similar results have been reported for surveys involving social workers and psychologists.

Apart from the detrimental physical and emotional effects sexual misconduct can have on a victim, it also promotes conflict in the work environment. The offender’s behaviors and attitudes in the workplace often arise to those of a substance abuser. Offenders often act out at work, exhibiting their loss of personal control despite adverse consequences. In addition to psychological problems such as personality disorders, substance abuse and depression, professionals accused of sexual misconduct often suffer intimacy disorders and sexual compulsivity.

Classification of an offense is measured by its description, and the nature and extent of the professional relationship with the victim. Professional sexual misconduct occurs on a daily basis, and you or someone you know may be a victim. If you have survived sexual abuse, know that you need not suffer any longer. At Hach & Rose, LLP, it is our duty to bring justice to those who could not protect themselves. A new addition to our highly-equipped firm is Mr. Stanley Spero. Mr. Spero’s legal knowledge, analytical capability, judgment, communication and legal experience have all been rated 5.0/5.0 by his peers. Mr. Spero is focused on the individual needs of every client. He understands the harm that is caused as a result of abuse by psychiatrists, psychologists, psychotherapists, social workers, educators, pastoral counselors and clergy. Mr. Spero knows what needs to be done in order to obtain restitution and justice on his clients’ behalf. Please do not hesitate to contact us at (212) 779-0057 or online. The experienced and knowledgeable New York sexual abuse attorneys of Hach & Rose, LLP, are prepared to help you fully understand your legal rights and options.

The Roots Of Sexual Abuse In The Military

Posted on Friday, November 22nd, 2019 at 9:33 pm    

Sexual assault in the military affects service members of all genders, ages, ranks and sexualities. Trauma from sexual assault can have both short-term and long-term effects on the victims. Survivors of military sexual assault find it harder to take time off or away from work to cope with their trauma, as compared to civilians. Continuing to work and live alongside their assailant may force these victims to relive their painful trauma every day. As with civilian survivors, emotional and psychological issues can hinder an individual’s ability to perform physically and fully in their employment. This often reduces the victims’ overall quality of life. These mental and physical problems can develop immediately after the attack, or they can take years after the service member has parted ways with the military.

Often times, military sexual assault victims try to push the memory of their incident to the back of, or out of, their minds. When big events occur, such as getting married or having children, this hidden memory resurfaces and causes a lot of pain and discomfort. Sexual assault in civilian life mirrors sexual assault amongst veterans, however, military culture may exacerbate such affects. Similarly, gender stereotypes are prevalent in both civilian and military life. However, the patriarchal configuration and the prominence placed on masculine standards in the military have the potential to incite notions of hostility, dominance, self-support and risk taking. The military is an environment that has typically been perceived as homophobic. When added to power differentials between men and women, men try to exercise their masculinity through sexual behavior and language. When coupled with a sense of entitlement to sex, this hyper-masculinity can become threatening.

At times, soldiers are taught that empathy is weakness. Thus, soldiers tend to limit their empathy in order to complete their duties, which may also apply to their fellow service members. This lack of empathy amongst the service members can make it easier to perpetrate sexual assault. Cultural acceptance is one of the military’s biggest downfalls in regard to sexual assault. Civilian survivors of sexual assault and military victims often do not seek help or report because they fear that nothing will be done from their report. Both encounter feelings of blame, humiliation, invasion of privacy, incredulous questioning and even retaliation, all of which can worsen the victims’ mental growth. Unit cohesion is one of the many cultural factors that are specific and contribute to sexual assault in the military.

Feelings of betrayal often prevent a military victim from reporting, as they do not want to be viewed as a “trader” to their unit. The victims feel as though they will cause trouble and disrupt the morale and cohesion of their group. These emotions increase the level of conflict to the situation that may not be present in other situations when reporting sexual assault. As a result of the value placed on team performance, higher authority may minimize or dismiss claims against top leaders. As a team, service members are expected to solve conflicts amongst themselves, which can result in assault and harassment going unreported. Movement of military personnel is critical for professional development, but it allows perpetrators to take advantage of new service members to the unit.

Team allegiance is one of the most valued aspects in the military. Therefore, reporting a fellow team member can be viewed as a form of disloyalty. Other members may feel as though this isn’t really a big deal, and that reporting would be unnecessary. When service members report, the leaders of that team often worry that they will be blamed for allowing such an incident to occur. This can lead the higher authority to distance themselves from the incidents altogether. The military reporting system is a complicated process on its own. Although members have the ability to choose to report privately, maintaining that confidentiality can be difficult to uphold. While the military does have resilience building programs that train the service members to cope in stressful situations, these programs actually have the effect of preventing such members from seeking help. Prior restrictions on job assignments, such as women being prevented from positions that led to promotion, sent a viral message that they were not as valuable as men.

The military places a lot of emphasis on training, specifically prevention training. While all service members receive mirror prevention training, not everyone is at equal risk. Such trainings are deficient in health risk reduction strategies. Living arrangements are another aspect of military life that tend to encourage sexual assault. Co-ed living spaces and barracks are high-risk areas. Although significant efforts should be undertaken to enhance safety of the occupants, they often are not. The military legal system involves various rules that make convictions problematic. Older policies permitted military performance of the perpetrator, and the lifestyle of the victim to be considered as evidence.

Sexual assault in the military festers due to its leadership structure. Such attacks are handled within the higher command. That means, the commanding officer of a victim within the team has the ability to intervene at any time: to halt an investigation, minimize a sentence or even set aside a conviction. As the issue of sexual assault in the military is now widely acknowledged, high-ranking officials have begun to belatedly address it due to public pressure. While sexual assault in the military has largely been focused on service women, sexual violence in the armed forces affects large numbers of men as well. Most men and women do not report incidents of sexual assault; however, the number has been growing in recent years.
While it is understandably very difficult to voice one’s trauma, it is crucial for the veterans whom are victims of sexual assault to immediately consult and hire an experienced, compassionate and committed attorney who knows how to aggressively protect his or her rights. Because these experiences often rock military and non-military victims to their core and result in delayed disclosure and reporting, litigating claims that span several decades becomes complicated. New York State has progressed immensely with its’ receptiveness to abuse victims’ voices. The right to legal recourse is one of the steps New York has taken with the hope of healing, redressing, and protecting these victims of sexual abuse.

The next step to be attained is in the area of understanding the explicit and unequivocal need for attorneys who can handle such complicated litigation. Hach & Rose, LLP., is versed in complicated lawsuits and its attorneys are fearless in taking on lawsuits with powerful Defendants. A proud addition to our firm, Stanley Spero, has been specializing in representing victims of sexual exploitation by professionals since 1985, and is revered nationally for his focus and his industry savvy. He has been recognized by Martindale-Hubbell as an AV Preeminent Attorney. The AV Preeminent rating is the pinnacle of professional excellence earned through a strenuous Peer Review Rating process. Mr. Spero has also obtained a Superb 10.0 rating from AVVO for his experience, industry recognition and professional conduct. Mr. Spero is the President and Director of Advocate Web, a nonprofit corporation providing support and educational services to victims of professional exploitation.
At Hach & Rose, LLP, we are committed to working diligently and zealously to represent those who could not protect themselves. If you or a loved one has suffered from any form of sexual abuse, it is critical to act now. Do not hesitate to contact the New York sexual abuse lawyers at Hach & Rose, LLP today at (212) 779-0057. Our compassionate, caring, and experienced attorneys will work diligently to uncover whether criminal charges, a civil lawsuit – or both – can be filed against the perpetrator or negligent third party who is responsible for the abuse and its damages to you.

Military Sex Abuse Victims Seek Help From VA

Posted on Friday, November 22nd, 2019 at 9:29 pm    

Sexual assault is an inescapable problem in the United States, including the Armed Forces. Societal attitudes and beliefs about sexual assault lead to acceptance and complacency of a “rape culture” in the United States where rape is exempted, tolerated, normalized, and even condoned. This belief of acceptance generates an environment that makes it virtually impossible for sexual assault victims, in both the armed forces and civilian systems, to achieve justice, and dissuades them from reporting and seeking help.

Sexual assault victims perpetrated by military service members are both men and women, it does not discriminate. However, of the women veterans who seek health care services from the Department of Veterans Affairs, 25% report experiencing at least one sexual assault while enrolled in the military, compared to the lesser 1% of male veterans. There is an increased risk of sexual assault against women who enter the military of enlisted rank, at younger ages, and even those who suffered sexual assault before entering the military. There are similarities in regard to reporting the abuse between victims of sexual assault inside the military, as well as on the outside. Feelings of shame, fear, and embarrassment often hinder a victim of sexual assault from reporting. However, less separation exists between a person’s private and professional life while enlisted in the military. These veteran victims fear that others inside will find out about their assault, and will be seen as weak and unable to accomplish the mission. Further, they fear that they will not be promoted and/or assigned to important jobs, or may lead to separation from the military for being such victims.

In the military, victims of sexual assault may make a “restricted report,” which allows disclosure to specific persons. For example, sexual assault victims may report to healthcare personnel, sexual assault prevention and response victim advocate (SAPR VA), or a sexual assault response coordinator (SARC). Fortunately, a victim can be assigned to a SARC or a SAPR VA in order to receive counseling and medical treatment, without sparking an official investigation. On the other hand, without requesting confidentiality, a victim may also make an unrestricted report. The difference being, when the victim makes such a report to SARC, command authorities or healthcare personnel, the incident is reported to law enforcement and is sometimes used to prompt an investigative process. Moreover, the alleged offender’s higher authority or commanding officer holds the power as to what action to commence when an unrestricted report is made. Such power determines whether legal, disciplinary, or administrative action will be taken against the alleged offender. Even more drastic, the higher authority may choose to separate the offender from the military administratively.

The belief that such offenders in the military are not held accountable for their actions often has the detrimental effect of excusing and condoning sexual assault in such an environment. Furthermore, by instilling such beliefs upon society, this “blind-eye” towards sexual assault in the military reinforces chauvinist mentalities and behavior toward women. The effect of sexual assault on victims in the military often lead to mental health issues, which cause the victims to be separated from the military. This separation can be perceived as retaliation for reporting the incident, which can lead to even bigger problems for the victims, i.e., their safety. Beyond terminating their position in the military, the effects of sexual assault can be crushing on one’s trust and well-being.

Similar to sexual assault victims in the civilian system, sexual assault survivors in the military also suffer long-term health and mental health consequences from the trauma. Every day becomes an inner battle with humiliation, self-reproach, anger, self-blame, and an inability to trust. Many victims suffer post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, substance abuse, and mental health issues. Sexual assault victims often feel disconnected from society, which can lead to homelessness, unemployment, interference of interpersonal relationships, physical problems, and suicide. However, there are outlets that aim to help military sexual assault victims to guide them forward in their lives after the attack(s). The largest healthcare system in the country is the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). Both male and female veterans are included within survivors of military sexual assault. Unfortunately, almost a quarter of the women veterans who seek healthcare from the VA report that they have experienced at least one sexual assault while active in the military.
Mental and medical healthcare links to supportive social work services for employment and housing counseling, and trauma-informed therapies are just a few of the services provided to survivors through the Veterans Affairs. Further, both the benefits of the VA-based services and community-based civilian services are accessible to women through the VA. For more trauma-informed care, it is encouraged to look toward community-based civilian services. While VA-based services are often viewed as being more sensitive to the particular needs of women veterans, they are not always comfortable approaching the VA for such services.
At Hach & Rose, our team will connect you with counselors and support to help you through the healing process, while also advocating on your behalf and confronting the powerful institutions that enabled these crimes to be committed. A proud addition to our firm, Stanley Spero, was recognized by SuperLawyers in 2018, and has been licensed in the profession of law since 1973. SuperLawyers is an exclusive list of top-rated attorneys in specific practice areas who were chosen after thorough evaluation of numerous criteria. Looking forward, Mr. Spero is committed to continue his current role of supporting and helping victims of professional exploitation.

If you or someone you know has been a victim of sexual abuse, Hach & Rose’s team of zealous attorneys and counselors will guide you through the path to justice and healing. The trauma, pain, and suffering experienced by any sexual assault victim is profound, causing deep wounds of anger, betrayal, and violation, with lasting negative effects on one’s relationships, mental & physical health, and life. Do not hesitate to contact the New York sexual abuse lawyers at Hach & Rose, LLP today at (212) 779-0057. Our compassionate, caring, and experienced attorneys will work diligently to uncover whether criminal charges, a civil lawsuit – or both – can be filed against the perpetrator or negligent third party who is responsible for the abuse and its damages to you.

Public and private entities are facing increasing allegations of abuse and assault in wake of CVA

Posted on Wednesday, October 30th, 2019 at 5:36 pm    

Four hundred twenty seven sexual abuse lawsuits were filed by 5 p.m. on the first day that the one-year extended statute of limitations window was opened by New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s signing of the The Child Victims Act (CVA). We are now beginning to see some of the different public and private entities that are being hardest hit by these actions.

School Districts

On September 27, 2019, WKBW-TV reported that there are currently 31 lawsuits targeting the Kenmore-Town of Tonawanda district, all of which were filed against alleged serial predator Arthur Werner, a retired fifth-grade teacher at Herbert Hoover Elementary School. According to the news outlet, this abuse began in the early 1960s and the most recent claim occurred during the 1991-1992 school year.

WHAM-TV reported on October 10, 2019, that a teacher in the Brighton Central School District was accused of sexually abusing two women “hundreds of separate occasions” between 1971 and 1975 or 1976. The man was a teacher in the Brighton Central School District until retiring in March 2001 and a gymnastics coach with the Brighton Town Recreation Department.

On October 15, 2019, the New York Daily News reported that a Manhattan law firm said in a letter to the city comptroller that the city government of New York City would be the subject of 17 child sexual abuse lawsuits. The letter specifically mentioned the Education Department and the Administration for Children’s Services, and it included details about eight of the 17 cases.

Diocese of Buffalo

WKBW reported that 80 percent of the over 200 lawsuits filed in Western New York under the CVA name the Diocese of Buffalo as a defendant. One firm told WKBW that it expected to file as many as 90 lawsuits before the limitations window ends.

On October 24, 2019, WSHU-FM reported that three new civil complaints filed against the Diocese of Rockville Centre on Long Island alleged that four members of the Diocese sexually abused three minors between 1963 and 1971. The members included Bishop John McGann when he was a monsignor, two other priests, and an employee of the Diocese.

The New York Post reported on August 22, 2019, that at least 47 alleged victims had filed suit against the Diocese of Brooklyn in Brooklyn and Bronx courts since the CVA went into effect. On September 18, 2019, the Buffalo News reported that the 138 lawsuits filed against the Catholic Diocese of Buffalo were more than any other defendant in New York State.

According to the Buffalo News, Catholic dioceses facing lawsuits included the following totals:

  • Buffalo — 138
  • Archdiocese of New York City — 125
  • Brooklyn — 78
  • Rochester — 45
  • Rockville Centre — 43
  • Albany — 34
  • Syracuse — 20
  • Ogdensburg — 16

How the courts are preparing for legal action

On August 14, 2019, USA Today reported that New York’s civil courts had been preparing for the dramatic number of legal actions filed because of the CVA. The state had named judges for each judicial district (including the five counties within New York City) who would handle nothing but lawsuits filed under the CVA.

One judicial district for counties within the Rochester diocese would have child sexual abuse cases routed to a special part, or section, of state Supreme Court. One primary judge was assigned with a backup and as many as three more on standby should caseloads be too large.

A judge was actually accused of sexual abuse in one case, as the Briarcliff Daily Voice reported on October 25, 2019, that former Orange County Court Judge Jeffery Berry was accused of sexually assaulting a student while employed at Cornwall Central High School. The Cornwall Central School District was also named in the lawsuit because the suit alleged employees knew of allegations against Berry while he was employed there.

Concerns about due process

The Buffalo News reported on October 18, 2019, that a Catholic religious order from the Province of St. Anthony of Padua of the Conventual Franciscans and related entities asserted that the CVA was unconstitutional and child sexual abuse cases filed under the law should be dismissed. According to the News, Franciscan orders are named as a defendant in at least seven CVA lawsuits in Erie County.

Due process concerns are expected to be one common defense in these cases, as many defendants in sexual abuse cases that are often several decades old will claim that they have trouble remembering events from such periods and have no way to defend themselves against such claims. While liability insurance may help protect certain institutions from significant financial losses, even the amount of coverage they are afforded could become a complicated issue for certain policyholders.

On September 30, 2019, ABC News reported that a year-long review of the Archdiocese of New York’s handling of sexual abuse allegations found that it had acted in accordance with standards established by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops in the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People. Former District Judge Barbara Jones did have recommendations, however, including the hiring of a person whose sole job would be to oversee how the archdiocese responds to sexual abuse allegations.

How victims can take action

Many people are now aware of their newfound rights under the CVA, but it can still be difficult for some people to take the necessary steps. It is perfectly understandable why victims of sexual abuse do not want to again encounter their attackers, but you can still take the steps you need to get justice and protect yourself by working with an experienced attorney.

Were you or your loved one the victim of sexual abuse in New York? No matter how long ago your abuse occurred, you are going to want to do something about it right now while the state has provided this limited period and Hach & Rose, LLP will be committed to helping you every single step of the way.

Our firm knows that sexual abuse is a difficult subject to discuss and we can make sure that you are able to feel confident in your decision to move forward with a lawsuit while being by your side every step of the way. You can have us help you understand all of your legal options as soon as you call (212) 779-0057 or contact us online to set up a free consultation.

How the extension of the sex abuse statute of limitations is affecting New York and other states

Posted on Tuesday, October 15th, 2019 at 5:12 pm    

When New York Governor Andrew Cuomo signed the Child Victims Act (CVA) on February 14, 2019, the bill extended the statute of limitations for survivors of child sexual abuse. Claims that had not expired under the old limitations period after survivors turned 18 years of age now allowed survivors until they were 55 years of age to file claims, and claims which had expired now had a one-year extension that would begin six months after the governor signed the CVA.

USA Today reported on August 14, 2019, that 200 child sexual abuse lawsuits had already been filed by 5 a.m. the morning that the six-month mark finally arrived, and the total reached 385 claims by noon that day. According to USA Today, the “vast majority” of filings named Catholic priests as abusers and sought damages from the diocese and parishes where offenses allegedly occurred, but the Boy Scouts of America was also named in at least four suits and Rockefeller University was named in two.

A widespread impact…and it’s growing

On October 20, 2019, the Wall Street Journal reported that 22 states and Washington, D.C., had laws extending or eliminating the statute of limitations for child sex abuse claims, and “almost every aspect” of liability insurance contracts could end up being disputed. The Journal noted that insurance companies have typically paid between 20 and 80 percent of settlements between churches and victims, but the potential cost of the new legal actions was challenging to estimate although analysts were projecting that it could potentially be billions of dollars.

The Journal also reported that the Diocese of Rochester had filed for bankruptcy on September 12, 2019, because of 46 lawsuits filed against it since the new limitations period window opened. Insurers that had set aside reserves to pay claims based on what they expect to pay later may have assumed that there would be no liability for claims after statutes of limitation had passed, but now the new laws could be forcing them to recalculate those reserves.

According to the Journal, CNA Financial Corp. filed a lawsuit against the Diocese of Buffalo arguing that insurance policies one of its companies sold to the diocese several decades ago should not apply to current child-abuse claims. The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of New York sued more than 30 insurance companies it believed would deny coverage, and Chubb Ltd. said it would not cover a claim when the archdiocese alerted one of a Chubb subsidiary about a sexual-abuse lawsuit.

The fight against new legislation continues

On October 2, 2019, USA Today published an investigation into tactics that the Catholic Church and Boy Scouts were using to try and lobby against extended child sexual abuse statutes of limitations. An analysis of legislation filed in all 50 states that were part of a two-year look at model legislation in partnership with the Arizona Republic and the Center for Public Integrity found that state lawmakers had tried at least 200 times since 2009 to extend the civil statute of limitations for child sexual abuse cases.

“Where legislation has been introduced, equally coordinated opposition has followed from the groups that stand to lose the most,” USA Today wrote.

Just as many bills that seek to revive previously barred lawsuits borrowed phrasing and language from similar measures in other states, USA Today reported that 10 church opposition statements that it ran through a language-processing algorithm to search for commonalities found that a Maryland statement shared key terms with a statement in California and terms from a 2018 statement in Georgia had overlap with a Wisconsin bishop’s statement nine years earlier. The 2018 Annual Report from the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops reported that dioceses and eparchies reported costs related to allegations paid out $239,172,851 between July 1, 2017, and June 30, 2018.

The Journal also noted that another important question in these cases is whether all claims about a single alleged abuser are considered one insurance claim or if each victim or instance of abuse counts as a separate “occurrence” under an insurance policy. Several policies have coverage limits and deductibles directly related to occurrences, such that a policyholder may be expected more for more occurrences.

The CVA allows victims to file lawsuits against private and public institutions that may have been involved in the abuse, and the CVA also removed the notice of claim that had been required in cases involving public entities. The extended limitations period will only be in effect until August 13, 2020, so it becomes even more critical for child sexual abuse victims to make sure that they can file lawsuits right now.

The New York Unified Court System website notes that the one-year window applies regardless of a victim’s age and how long ago the abuse occurred. You could file a claim even when it is too late under the old statute of limitations, even if you previously sued the abuser and had a case dismissed for waiting too long, and also if a notice of claim was never filed.

Help is available if you’ve been a victim

If you or your loved one has been the victim of sexual abuse at any time in New York City, now is the time for you to take action. Hach & Rose, LLP has more than 100 years of combined experience, and we will be committed to helping you get justice.

Our firm understands how difficult it can be for many people who have been victims of sexual abuse to revisit these kinds of traumatic experiences, and we will be sensitive in our discussions with you so can feel completely comfortable in working with us and trusting our firm to help you hold your abuser and all other responsible parties accountable. We can answer all of your legal questions when you call (212) 779-0057 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation.

Abused by doctors as girls, there women plan to sue

Posted on Friday, October 11th, 2019 at 2:06 pm    

Abuse by doctors against their patients is true abuse of authority. The following describes four women who say that a trusted pediatrician abused them as children, and they’re ready to sue.

Read more at: https://www.nytimes.com/2019/10/08/health/copperman-sexual-abuse.html

Sexual Abuse by Medical Professionals

Posted on Thursday, October 10th, 2019 at 6:50 pm    

Abuse by doctors against their patients is the last thing patients expect to happen. During an exam, doctors are supposed to touch their patients in medically appropriate ways, but certainly not fondle patients. During a session, psychiatrists are meant to listen to their patient’s darkest secrets, but never parlay the intimacy into a kiss. For surgery, anesthesiologists put their patients under, but this never means there is an invitation to molest a patient. The damage to patients when physicians ruin the cherished boundaries of the doctor-patient relationship can last for years, if not forever.

When a physician abuses his authority rather than heals, patients are left feeling confused and harmed. It’s the confidentiality and sensitivity of a doctor’s visit, coupled with the deference paid to people who wear white coats, that leaves patients astounded. Consequently, the aftermath of such abuse causes many patients who are abused to begin to avoid doctors altogether. Patients are often overwhelmed with guilt, and tend to blame themselves rather than their abuser for the attack. Some patients begin to question whether they can trust anyone after a doctor has betrayed them in such a way. It becomes very difficult for victims of such abuse to maintain close relationships after the attack. Because doctors are such highly respected members of society, victims often feel that if they do report such abuse, the complaint will be brushed off to preserve the physicians career. Similarly, many patients do not report because they fear they won’t be believed.

The most important step a victim can take to achieve justice is to immediately consult and hire an experienced, compassionate and committed attorney who knows how to aggressively protect your rights. As these traumatic experiences often shake victims to their core and result in delayed disclosure and reporting, litigating claims that span several decades become complicated. New York state has progressed immensely with its’ receptiveness to abuse victims’ voices. It is imperative that survivors of sexual assault understand the explicit and unequivocal need for attorneys who can handle such complicated litigation. Hach & Rose is versed in complicated lawsuits and its attorneys are fearless in taking on lawsuits with powerful Defendants.

At Hach & Rose, LLP, we are committed to working persistently and passionately to represent those who could not protect themselves. If you or a loved one has suffered from any form of sexual abuse, it is critical to act now. Do not hesitate to contact the New York sexual abuse lawyers at Hach & Rose, LLP today at (212) 779-0057. Our compassionate, knowledgeable and skilled attorneys will work diligently to uncover whether criminal charges, a civil lawsuit – or both – can be filed against the perpetrator or negligent third party who is responsible for the abuse and its damages to you.

Why Male Rape Victims Do Not Report

Posted on Monday, October 7th, 2019 at 9:28 pm    

The long-term effects of sexual abuse against women by men have been studied extensively, however, there has been minimal research exploring the effects of sexual abuse by men on other men. Male victims of rape and sexual assault in adulthood have received very little attention, until recently. Moreover, male rape in the military has been prevalent in our society for decades and yet, even less attention has been paid to males in such circumstances. Studies have shown that, similar to female rape victims, adult male rape victims rarely turn to the medical, legal, or mental health systems for assistance. Another similarity that is shared between both male and female sexual abuse victims is the sense of humiliation, fear, shame and self-blame. However, adult male sexual abuse victims are even less likely than females to report an assault.

A lost sense of manliness has been a common theme discovered while treating male sexual abuse victims. Many of these victims feel as though they have been made “less of a man,” and this is something male rape victims struggle to reconcile with. Statistics have shown that 5% to 10% of sexual assaults committed in the United States involve male victims. As many as 1 in 10 men will be sexually assaulted in their lifetimes, some experts say. Many people are surprised by these numbers because the problem of sexual abuse against men isn’t talked about very often.

Although often concealed, sexual assault against men happens in many different ways. Some men may be assaulted by someone they know, while others are assaulted by a stranger or a group of strangers. While men are sometimes sexually assaulted by women, more often the male victim is attacked by another male. Trauma is something that does not discriminate against gender, and it is sadly something most sexual abuse victims suffer. The loss of control of one’s own body is a disturbing scar on the victim’s soul.

The fact that men get sexually assaulted is one of our society’s greatest denial. Denying the existence of sexual abuse against males is heavily rooted in the belief that men are immune to falling victim of such attack. Society grasps this notion that men should be able to fight off any attacker if they are a, “real man.” Society also struggles to understand that men can be forced into sex too, even when they don’t want it. In turn, these mistaken beliefs in society increase the pain and suffering that is felt by male survivors of sexual assault. Men often feel ashamed, isolated, alone and again, “less of a man.”
Very few men actually seek help after being sexually abused. The harsh reality is that only 5-20% of all victims actually report the crime, with the percentage for male victims even lower. Many male victims suffer in silence after being sexually assaulted due to overwhelming feelings of confusion and self-blame. The idea of being a victim is very difficult to handle for most men. Men are raised to believe that they should be able to defend themselves against anything. Society has deeply ingrained in our minds that men are meant to be “manly” and “masculine.” What society doesn’t realize is that, these beliefs result in feelings of inadequacy for the male survivor of sexual assault.

The sad truth about these societal beliefs are that they force men to question whether they deserved or somehow wanted to be sexually assaulted, because men often believe they failed to defend themselves. Frequently, male survivors of sexual assault often feel disgusted with themselves for not fighting back. The feeling of a “loss of manhood” in these types of situations is normal, however, the thoughts attached to such a feeling isn’t necessarily. It is of critical importance for a male sexual abuse victim to remind themselves that they did what they could in the situation to survive. There is nothing unmasculine about that.

As a result of being sexually assaulted, male victims often punish themselves by getting into self-destructive behavior after such attack. Several men begin abusing drugs or alcohol as a means to cope with the trauma. For others, they may cope with such trauma by arguing with friends or co-workers, or even being aggressive towards strangers. Relationships often deteriorate, as the victim begins to isolate from those close to them. It is quite common for male survivors to develop sexual difficulties after being abused. Male survivors struggle to resume intimate relationships or to begin new one due to the unwanted memories of the assault to trigger flashbacks. Every male survivor copes with the aftermath differently, so it’s normal for intimacy to take a while before being resumed.

Sexual assault against heterosexual males frequently results in questioning and confusion about one’s sexuality. As sexual assault against males has often been perceived to only target homosexuals, heterosexual males sometimes begin to believe that they either are gay or will become gay. Consequently, some survivors being to question their own sexual assault, as abusers often accuse their victims of enjoying the assault. Sexual orientation, whether it be past, present or future, has no correlation with being sexually assaulted. Being sexually assaulted does not make people “become gay.”
Gay-bashing motivated by hatred and fear of homosexuality are often the underlying trigger for sexual assaults of men. Verbal abuse by the perpetrators against their victims often state that the victims deserved to be sexually assaulted. The aftermath of such verbal abuse coupled with the physical abuse suffered can lead to lifelong detrimental effects on these victims. However, sexual assault is a vulgar act of violence and it’s crucial to remember that it stems from power and control, and that no human deserves.

Every day that passes is another day further from the traumatic attack, it’s another day to move forward from it. Male victims of such abuse need to understand that the reactions they experience post-abuse are both normal and temporary. Although one’s life may be disrupted for while from the trauma, the emotions of distress and puzzlement lessen with time. Some days will be better than others, as some reactions may be triggered by places or things connected to the assault. Other days, such reactions may appear to come from out of the blue.

Understandably, speaking about the assault can be really difficult to do, however, it’s important to stress the benefits of talking about it with others. In order to heal and regain a sense of control over one’s own life, eventually facing these feelings will have to occur. Many male victims have a sense of wanting to forget the assault ever happened, and to let the past be the past. However, communicating with someone who will understand, listen and comfort is a key part of this process.

Male victims of sexual assault often detach from society and their daily routines. Following a major trauma such as sexual assault may cause a victim to be unable to function at 100% capacity. Symptoms such as anxiety, loneliness, inability to concentrate and remember things are just a few caused by sexual assault. Some days are better than others, and some aspects of life may take longer to recover. The need for time to recover and rebuild oneself is essential to the healing process.

The most important step a victim can take to achieve justice is to immediately consult and hire an experienced, compassionate and committed attorney who knows how to aggressively protect your rights. As these traumatic experiences often shake adult male victims to their core and result in delayed disclosure and reporting, litigating claims that span several decades become complicated. New York state has progressed immensely with its’ receptiveness to abuse victims’ voices. It is imperative that male survivors of sexual assault understand the explicit and unequivocal need for attorneys who can handle such complicated litigation. Hach & Rose is versed in complicated lawsuits and its attorneys are fearless in taking on lawsuits with powerful Defendants.

At Hach & Rose, LLP, we are committed to working persistently and passionately to represent those who could not protect themselves. If you or a loved one has suffered from any form of sexual abuse, it is critical to act now. Do not hesitate to contact the New York sexual abuse lawyers at Hach & Rose, LLP today at (212) 779-0057. Our compassionate, knowledgeable and skilled attorneys will work diligently to uncover whether criminal charges, a civil lawsuit – or both – can be filed against the perpetrator or negligent third party who is responsible for the abuse and its damages to you.

Lawsuit accuses downtown auburn Music shop owner of childhood sex abuse

Posted on Friday, October 4th, 2019 at 8:22 pm    

We continue to fight for justice for our clients, including Patricia Rabinovich, who was abused between the ages of 9 and 16. Though every story of abuse brings its sadness, we are grateful for the New York Child Victims Act which has allowed Patricia, and many others just like her, the ability to file civil lawsuits during the one-year “look back.”

For more information, visit this website.

Sexual Assault: Is the NFL and Other Leagues Doing Enough?

Posted on Friday, October 4th, 2019 at 8:18 pm    

Hillary Nappi, Hach & Rose LLP and Ken Belson, The New York Times
As featured on: http://www.hwtpradio.com/

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