Sexual abuse is never okay, no matter who is involved, and the vast majority of workplaces take a strong stand against such issues. However, incidents can still happen when a lot of people work together. If you’ve been harassed or abused at your workplace in Missouri, you should seek out a competent and experienced sexual harassment lawyer as soon as possible.

Unfortunately, there is a lot of stigma and shame attached to such assaults, and you might have been too worried to come forward until now. Although there is a statute of limitations on filing a sexual harassment lawsuit, it is quite generous, so you might still have a case even if you were harmed several years ago. Today, let’s have a look at how long you’ll still be able to file and what you should do if you’ve experienced such a problem at your place of work. 

How Long After an Incident Can I File a Lawsuit in Missouri?

Harassment, whether it happens at the workplace or in a private setting, is taken seriously in the US, and the lawmakers understand that it can take victims several years to come forward. For this reason, the statute of limitations is generally less strict than with other types of personal injury cases, and you may still be able to file your lawsuit even if the incident occurred years ago.

The exact rules depend on how old you were at the time and the details of your situation. People who are ready to come forward about something that happened in the past should always contact a lawyer, who will be able to tell them what to expect and then fight for their rights.

Adult Abuse Cases 

As a general rule, you can file your lawsuit up to five years after a sexual abuse or battery incident occurred. This statute of limitations is more generous than for some other personal injury cases, but you will need to keep it in mind and make your decision before the time is up. Regardless of how long ago the incident was or what the exact circumstances of your case are, you should speak to a qualified sexual harassment attorney, who can assess your situation.

Sometimes, there might be an exception, or different rules will apply, so consulting a professional is the only way of knowing for sure whether you have a case. Your lawyer will also be able to tell you who should be held responsible for what happened, for example an employer who didn’t insist on adequate security, and they can also predict what kind of compensation you can expect.

Child or Teen Abuse Cases

The vast majority of incidents related to sexual abuse at the workplace affect adults, but there might be teenagers working at certain establishments who can also be caught up in such an issue. The rules are different for them. In most cases, they can file their lawsuit for up to 10 years after their 18th birthday, so if you were affected as a young person or your young loved one has been sexually assaulted at work, you still have plenty of time to make a claim.

You should still speak to an attorney because there are certain other factors that might be taken into consideration. In some cases, you might only have three years from the time a physical or emotional injury resulting from the abuse was discovered. Your lawyer will be able to explain to you exactly which rules apply to your situation and what your next steps should be.

I’ve Been Sexually Harassed – What Should I Do?

When you’ve been exposed to an unsafe situation at work, it can sometimes be hard to know what to do next. Should you tell your boss about it and risk being dismissed, or should you try to go on and hope it doesn’t happen again? When is the best time to get in touch with your lawyer? Read on to find out what you should and shouldn’t do after such an incident.

Handle the Situation at Work 

Before anything else, make sure you let the perpetrator know that their behavior is not okay and that you are not comfortable with the current situation. While many people assault others on purpose, some might not be aware how offensive and distressing their actions are. Next, you should inform your employer, preferably in writing, even if you’re worried about being dismissed. An unsafe work environment will just make things worse in the long run.

Depending on how your boss replies to your complaint, you might be able to continue working at your current workplace, or you might have to leave and find new employment. Never stay in a situation that is unsafe, as this can cause you significant long-term mental health issues. Instead, make it clear that you are feeling threatened or harassed and then remove yourself from the dangerous situation.

Get in Touch with a Sexual Harassment Lawyer

No matter when and how the incident occurred, you will need to get in touch with a lawyer familiar with sexual harassment cases. They will listen to your situation and take all factors into consideration, then they will discuss with you how to proceed. In many cases, going to court and pursuing compensation can be important to minimize the consequences of the incident.

Unfortunately, your sexual harassment lawyer in Missouri can’t reverse what happened in the past, but they can ensure that your financial future is secure. That way, you can support yourself and your family, even if you have to take time off due to the injuries you incurred or the mental health problems the harassment has caused you.

Get Treatment  

Sometimes, sexual assault and battery result in significant physical injuries. In such a case, you should get help immediately to make sure that you aren’t permanently affected. If the harassment is several years ago and you are still suffering from physical symptoms, don’t hesitate to ask your lawyer about recommendations for specialists who can treat you. The compensation you receive could help you to regain your health.

Additionally, consider whether you need therapy to deal with the emotional trauma that comes with assault. Processing difficult emotions on your own can be hard and counter-productive, and most victims could benefit from some professional help. This type of treatment can also be covered by your compensation, and it can be helpful to undergo therapy even years after the incident occurred.

Sexual abuse at the workplace can stem from colleagues, bosses, or even clients, and it should always be reported and dealt with. Most victims of such a situation are traumatized, and they might not be able to tell anyone about their issues immediately. Fortunately, you can file a lawsuit even several years after the harassment happened, and you can find a talented sexual harassment lawyer in Missouri to help you fight for your rights.

Get in touch with us today at Holman Schiavone in Kansas City, MO to book your initial consultation and speak to one of our experienced lawyers. We will listen to what happened, discuss whether you have a case and what the likely outcome is, and then help you to lay out your case in the best light possible. That way, you can gain the compensation you need to restart your life and repair some of the damage that has been done.