Sexual abuse often happens to people who cannot protect themselves such as children, the elderly and the disabled. Perpetrators see them as easy targets because they are either too young, too old or too disabled, to fight back or report the crime. During their time as Assistant Prosecutors in Jackson County, Missouri, our partners, Jill Kanatzar and Lauren Dollar, came face to face with such perpetrators and used the criminal law to obtain justice. It was in this position Jill and Lauren found their callings to be the voice of victims.
Jill and Lauren carry this same passion and resolve to our firm in representing victims in civil cases. We work tirelessly to obtain justice for our clients and to ensure what has happened to our clients does not happen to others again.
It Is difficult to comprehend how often this happens to people who cannot help themselves such children, the elderly and the disabled. There is no solid understanding of how many of these people are sexually abused because the majority of these cases go unreported. When it Is reported, the perpetrator should be held criminally accountable. Dollar, Burns, Becker & Hershewe is here to hold those civilly responsible for allowing the abuse to occur and failing to protect our vulnerable.
While representing the State of Missouri, Jill tried sexual abuse cases including forcible rape and sodomy, statutory rape and sodomy and sexual assault. She has witnessed the strength survivors maintain and helped victims from an 89-year-old woman violently raped in her own home by an intruder to a 9-month-old child molested by a caregiver.
Two of Lauren’s cases in particular – a domestic assault trial with an 11-year-old witness and a child molestation sentencing – inspired her to be the voice of sexual abuse victims with our firm. After directing the 11-year-old witness to recount the abuse she witnessed her mother suffer in that one case, and then questioning the mother of two young girls who had been molested in another, Lauren knew she had to fight to protect those who cannot always protect themselves.
If you or a loved one has been sexually abused by a perpetrator in an institution such as a church, day care provider, school, group home or nursing home, we want to help. No one should take advantage of vulnerable members of our community. No matter the situation.
If you or a loved one has been a victim of sexual abuse and would like to inquire about your legal rights, please give us a call.
Incidents of sexual abuse go unreported because of the misplaced shame, intimidation and the feeling of hopelessness commonly experienced by victims. The physical and emotional distress left by these heinous crimes is something victims will confront for life.
Allowing the criminal justice system to protect others from this same harm should take priority. However, whether the perpetrator is a caregiver, clergy, nursing home staff or other resident, student or school employee, certain legal recourses may be available beyond criminal prosecution.
The criminal justice system cannot fully compensate the victim for the damage caused and the resources needed to help a victim heal. Both the perpetrator, and any entity which employed or supervised the perpetrator, may be held accountable in a civil legal action. Our team at Dollar, Burns, Becker & Hershewe has fought for and won millions of dollars in settlements for victims of sexual abuse.
A sexual abuse lawsuit not only provides financial compensation, but helps ensure that steps are taken nationwide to avoid similar conduct by other individuals placed in a position of trust.