Legal Resources for
Victims of Sexual Abuse

Susan K. Smith
David M. Moore

Attorneys at Law

Mediation, Collaboration
Victims' Remedies
Injury Cases

Smith & Moore, LLC

24 East Main Street
(Route 44)
Old Avon Village North
Avon, CT 06001
Direct dial:

Atty. Smith:  (860) 678-1860
Atty. Moore: (860) 674-0122

Fax: (860) 677-5229
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Atty. Smith's Hartford
Conference Space
21 Oak Street
Suite 208
Hartford, CT 06106
Directions & Map

Peer Review Rated
For Ethical Standards and Legal Ability


Site Feature Articles

Legal Articles

Other Reading

Resources for Connecticut Survivors

Connecticut statutes

Recommended Links

How to Find a Victims' Lawyer in Your Area

Recommended Books*

After Silence: Rape and My Journey Back By NANCY VENABLE RAINE. "[A] blameless and shameless modern narrative about the meaning of rape . . . . [A] book that dignifies the human spirit. It should be read by everyone." New York Times Book Review. First Chapter: 'After Silence'

The Courage to Heal : A Guide for Women Survivors of Child Sexual Abuse -- Ellen Bass, Laura Davis (Contributor). The classic and definitive self-help guide for women survivors of sexual abuse, The Courage To Heal is a tool for recovery that works. This is also the book often cited by those who challenge the credibility of incest survivors. . . This is a comprehensive, supportive, carefully worded and often passionate book, as helpful for those who are the partners, friends or family of survivors, as for survivors themselves.

*Anyone in litigation or contemplating litigation should check with their attorney before reading self-help books.

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The Fine Print: This web site provides general information only and cannot be relied upon as legal advice. Laws change  and differ from State to State. Applicability of the legal principles discussed may differ substantially in individual situations. You should consult an attorney about your particular situation.

COPYRIGHT 1998-09 Susan K. Smith All Rights Reserved.

       Site Feature Articles         

First Steps: I want to bring a civil claim, what should I do?

Remedies for Victims of Sexual Abuse. Statutes of limitation, types of claims, professional exploitation, Violence Against Women Act, waiver of privacy, impact on therapy, hypnosis, protective orders and publicity, retaliation suits, other remedies. Should you bring a claim? Connecticut version of article.

Statutes of Limitation. National state-by-survey of extended and discovery-based statutes of limitations applicable to civil damage claims for childhood sexual abuse. Statutory references, cases, explanations, links to statutes and state resources. Companion to the article, Remedies for Victims of Sexual Abuse.

Mandatory Reporting of Child Abuse. A summary of the major features of statutes requiring mandatory reporting of child abuse and neglect. Links.

                          Other Reading                         

Guest commentary: Sex Education Helps Keep Kids Safe From Abuse. "If sex is never talked  about . . then children will be very reluctant to tell if they’ve been abused." By Patricia Wass, Coordinator of Sexual Assault Crisis Services at the Susan B. Anthony Project in Torrington, Connecticut.

Article: The effects of sexual abuse. "Like scar tissue, the effects of sexual abuse never go away, experts say, continuing to influence victims in various ways, such as by contributing to drug and alcohol abuse, low self-esteem, divorce and distrust." By Kathleen Megan.

A guide for parents to teach their children personal safety rules to reduce the risk of sexual abuse. "Children are best protected by giving them the knowledge and skills necessary for their safety and well-being."

Sex Offender Registration in CT - It's Not That Simple. Registration laws may create a false sense of safety.

Sexual Offender Treatment. Offender treatment provides a means for motivated offenders to avoid re-offending, is a means to monitor and hold them accountable and provides validation for victims.

Linked Article: Long-term Effects of Child Sexual Abuse by PAUL E. MULLEN and JILLIAN FLEMING . A supported journal article which surveys the impact of child sexual abuse on social and interpersonal functioning. (Sept. 1998).

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Civil Remedies for [Connecticut] Survivors of Sexual Abuse: An Overview. Statute of limitations, defenses, false memory, practical considerations, privacy concerns. Should you bring a claim?

Connecticut statutes relating to sexual abuse issues:

  • Special statute of limitations allowing victims of childhood sexual abuse to bring civil actions for damages up to the date preceding the victim's 48th birthday. Conn. Gen. Stat. 52-577d.

  • Connecticut's Victim's Rights Statutes. "Rape Shield" statute, victim notification statutes and other statutes relating to the rights of victims; Connecticut's Constitutional Provisions on Rights for Crime Victims

Site Article: Mandatory Reporting Laws.

Connecticut Sexual Assault Crisis Service (CONNSACS). News, articles, reference, newsletters, lists. CONNSACS provides support groups for survivors of any type of sexual abuse or sexual assault. Link to Website.

Office of Victim Services  Link to the Connecticut Office of Victims Services -- this is a rich resource of information, services and contacts for victims of crime.

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      How to Find a Victims' Lawyer in Your Area      

The National Victim Center (2111 Wilson Boulevard, Suite 300, Arlington VA 22201, Tel 703-276-2880, Fax 703-276-2889) maintains a list of victims' lawyers in each state who are members of the organization.

A good source of referrals is your local rape or sexual assault victim crisis center. Another source is the local chapter of the National Organization for Women (NOW). Your state's bar association may have a victims law subcommittee and may be able to provide you with the name of the chair or a membership list. Your state bar association may also have a referral service.

You can also try the Martindale-Hubbell Lawyer Locator, the on-line version of the famous advertising directory for lawyers. Martindale-Hubbell is a paid service and not all lawyers chose to be listed or advertise. You can search the on-line site by geographical area, name, specialty, etc.