Child Sexual Abuse

Empowering survivors to speak out and seek justice

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Sexual Abuse Lawyers in Maine

News Alert (6/23/21): This week the State of Maine changed the statute of limitations for those born before August 11, 1970, who were sexually abused as children, allowing them to pursue civil claims against their abuser.

If you experienced child sexual abuse while you were at school, as part of a religious organization, attending a day care or while participating in a youth sports activity, we are here to help. Whether the abuse occurred yesterday or 20 years ago, or whether it was a one-time incident or an ongoing occurrence, child sexual abuse is a painful trauma no one should ever have to endure. Our goal is to provide you the platform and resources to fight back and get the justice you deserve.

Our lawyers are trained to treat your case with the understanding and commitment it deserves. We see each case as unique and respect all client wishes for confidentiality. If you were the victim of sexual abuse don’t wait, the attorneys at Berman & Simmons have the knowledge and experience to help navigate your claim. In fact, we’ve presented best practices at a national legal convention, teaching other lawyers how to find insurance coverage for victims of sexual abuse and win cases.

At Berman & Simmons, there is no case too small to represent and no abuser too large to take on.

Working with You to Hold Sexual Abusers Accountable

Sexual abuse claims present a web of emotional and psychological challenges.

We understand how hard it can be to come forward as a survivor of childhood sexual assault. Braving cultural stigma, reliving past trauma, and facing those responsible for your pain is difficult and takes immense courage. We also realize aggressive pursuit of sexual abuse claims and the fact-intensive nature of these cases can trigger painful memories and feelings.

Discovering the heinous nature of such conduct, how and when it comes to light, and the impact it has had on your life requires us to maintain a delicate balance of sensitivity and diligence.  We’re mindful of these issues and prepared to empower you with a voice to share your story, while we fight for your rights.

Forming the Best Team to Stand by Your Side

Our lawyers are committed to maintaining confidentiality, respecting personal boundaries, and standing up against people and institutions intent on silencing your voice. We are also committed to forming the best team to represent you. On select cases, you may work with a team of 2-4 lawyers. As our client, you don’t have to go through any of this alone. Together, we can help you take on the most powerful.

Boy Scouts of America

As one of the largest youth organizations in America, Boy Scouts of America is responsible for screening troop leaders and investigating complaints within the organization. Official Boy Scout records show that over 12,000 cases of abuse were reported to the organization between 1944 and 2016. Total numbers of abusers and survivors are expected to be much higher. We are here to take on the organization when they fail to protect the children who trusted them.

Facing over 300 lawsuits from men who say they were sexually abused as Scouts, the Boy Scouts of America filed for bankruptcy in February 2020. In doing so, the organization will also create a trust to provide compensation to victims.

Religious Institutions

Child sexual abuse occurs across religions and denominations. Children and families trust the religious leaders of their community, and that trust is sometimes abused. The Catholic Church receives hundreds of accusations of abuse by clerics every year, with minimal response from the Vatican. Amid the wave of sex abuse lawsuits against the church, at least 20 Catholic dioceses in the U.S. have filed for bankruptcy. It is our job to support you regardless of your beliefs, your background or the size of the institution.

Youth Sports/Activities

Leaders involved in youth sports and activities are responsible for the safety of the children they’re working with. When they fail at this, children suffer. Coaches, teachers, and volunteers are looked up to by the children entrusted to them. We work to hold institutions accountable for their actions.

Attorney Miriam Johnson looking at iPad

Experienced Attorneys Ready to Help

Berman & Simmons’ lawyers are widely acknowledged as the best personal injury lawyers in Maine. But for us, that it is not enough. With our unique resources and talent, we strive to be among the very best in the country. We have worked hard to build a team of lawyers that are ready to defend you.

Every day our lawyers fight on behalf of those who cannot win alone. We make it our goal to bring justice to those who need it most, and we will stop at nothing to achieve it.

Our staff and attorneys are committed to listening to your story and providing the support you need. We will help you by providing solutions, legal advice, and closure.

A Team Approach for Our Clients

Get Peace of Mind

It never hurts to consult an attorney regardless of whether you decide to move forward.

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    We understand that recalling and discussing the details of your abuse can be extremely difficult and will work with you to ensure you’re as comfortable as possible

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    The lawyers of Berman & Simmons will advise you of your rights and advocate on your behalf

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    Our attorneys will make sure everything is completely confidential and nothing moves forward unless you’re ready to pursue legal action

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  • Is there a statute of limitations for sex abuse cases?

    Most of the time yes. Maine changed its laws in the early 1990s to eliminate the statute of limitations for minors who were sexually abused. Your case is not over just because you didn’t take action right after the incident; it takes many survivors years to come forward. We are here to support you when you are ready.

  • Does it matter if I didn’t tell anybody about the sex abuse?

    No, it’s okay if you didn’t report the sex abuse when it occurred. It takes courage to come forward and many survivors are too afraid or confused to do so at the time of the abuse. We are honored that you would confide in us and we will support and listen to your story now, whether or not you have told anyone else. We strive to earn your trust and we will.

    Our lawyers are trained to handle your case with discretion and sensitivity to ensure you feel comfortable sharing details of your experience, no matter how long ago it was. It’s important that you share your story and we will help you through that process.

  • I’ve been sexually abused. Will people believe me?

    Yes, we will help tell your story in the most believable, persuasive way. You may have been dismissed or ignored in the past or people may not have believed you. From our first phone call, we will always believe you and we will take the time to advocate on your behalf to ensure others believe you too.

  • Can you help me make sure this happens to no one else?

    Yes, we will help you make your claim and highlight what you experienced so it doesn’t happen again. Being brave enough to come forward is the first step towards making sure the people and institutions responsible for the abuse are exposed and held accountable. While we cannot end sexual abuse altogether, with your help in bringing a claim, we can make our communities safer.

  • Can I trust you?

    Yes, but we want to earn your trust. It all starts with a phone call. From there you can get to know our lawyers and decide for yourself if we are the people you want to trust with your story. We realize this situation is very difficult for you to face. Starting with our first conversation and throughout our relationship with you, everything you tell us is confidential and you don’t have to tell us anything you don’t want to.

  • Will I have to testify against the person who sexually abused me?

    Maybe. Oftentimes you don’t have to testify, but if you choose to, we will make sure you’re well prepared. Whether you’re facing a sexual predator or an institution that failed to protect you, we will help you to make the best choices and prepare you for all the scenarios and possible outcomes . We will respect your decision to testify or not and make sure you feel safe, regardless of what you decide.

  • Will I have to go to trial someday?

    Maybe. A well-prepared case will often settle. However, trials are sometimes unavoidable if a case is to be resolved in the best interest of the survivor. Whether or not we go to trial, we will be with you every step of the way from our first meeting to the final resolution of the case. We know how important this is in your life and will not stop until we’ve done everything in our power to help you.

  • Will I have to face the person who sexually abused me?

    Most likely not. Most cases don’t require the survivor to testify, but if yours does, our lawyers will ensure that you are fully prepared and feel safe during the process. If you are not required to testify, or a settlement is reached before going to trial, we will do everything in our power to make sure you don’t have to face the accused if you do not want to.

  • What if I want a female lawyer?

    We have both male and female lawyers who handle sex abuse cases and they often work together on larger cases. If you have a preference, let us know.

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