Institutional abuse is when a person or group of people use their power within an imbalanced relationship to mistreat others. The mistreatment may involve sexual abuse, physical abuse, verbal abuse, financial abuse, or more. Often, the person perpetrating the mistreatment is an employee of or otherwise works with an organization responsible for the care of the institutional abuse survivor.
Survivors of institutional abuse are often socially vulnerable in comparison to the perpetrators of the abuse. Children or older adults are among the most common targets. Because of the profound power imbalance that often exists within institutional abuse cases, it may take many years for the truth of the abuse to emerge.
Survivors of institutional abuse in Cambridge may be eligible for compensation through a civil suit. At Graham Law, we approach each case with sensitivity and compassion, seeking justice for survivors. Contact us today to schedule your free initial consultation, and learn how we may be able to be of service to you.
What Is Abuse?
The Ohio Revised Code provides nuanced definitions of abuse depending on the legal context in which it is being examined. Broadly speaking, abuse refers to the infliction of physical, sexual, verbal, and/or emotional harm. It may involve unreasonable confinement, intimidation, or cruel punishment.
Abuse can cause physical, emotional, and/or mental injuries that forever impact the life of a survivor. Often, within the context of institutional abuse, a power imbalance exists between survivor and perpetrator.
Defining Institutional Abuse
There are many different ways in which institutional abuse can take shape. From schools to nursing homes, foster care to medical facilities, many different kinds of organizations can give rise to abusive conduct. In many cases, the individuals targeted by perpetrators are in some way dependent on the perpetrator and/or the institution itself.
Some forms of institutional abuse are overt. Physical and sexual violence, emotional abuse, psychological harrassment, and other forms of direct abuse may take place within the context of an institution. For example, a doctor sexually assaulting a patient, or a foster parent physically assaulting a child.
In cases where an employee of an institution has overtly abused another person, the institution may be seen as responsible for failing to prevent the abuse, or for allowing the abuse to go on.
Other forms of institutional abuse may be rooted in the organizational structures of the institution itself. Depending on a wide range of circumstances, an institution may be operating below acceptable standards, and may lack adequate resources to prevent or put an end to abuse. This can include irresponsible hiring practices, as well as under-trained, under-resourced, and overworked staff.
Some institutions are organized in such a way that the system itself is built to abuse targeted individuals. In many cases, the institution’s organizers may have good intentions, and believe that the institution’s actions and desired outcomes are for the targeted individuals’ long-term benefit. Good intentions do not mean abuse does not take place.
Whatever the intentions of the institution, its organizers, and/or its employees, institutional abuse can have profound, life-altering impacts on survivors and their close ones. Through a civil suit, compensation may be available for survivors of institutional abuse. Contact us today to schedule a consultation with our Cambridge institutional abuse attorneys.
The Impacts of Institutional Abuse
Survivors of institutional abuse often carry the impacts for many years, potentially the rest of their lives. The power imbalance at the root of many institutional abuse cases may make it very difficult for a survivor to speak out about the abuse. Sometimes, it may take many years before a survivor is able to recognize, themselves, the extent to which the abuse took place.
There is no one “average” example of an institutional abuse case, nor is there a “normal” way in which institutional abuse may impact a survivor. However, depending on the circumstances, survivors of institutional abuse in Cambridge may experience the following:
- Physical injuries, including broken bones, bruising, cuts and lacerations
- Psychological injuries, including anxiety, depression, or post-traumatic stress disorder
- Financial losses, whether from financial abuse or as a result of debts incurred treating physical or psychological injuries
- Loss of relationships
- Lack of confidence
- Loss of employment
- Loss of educational opportunities
- And more
Some impacts, particularly those that are physical in nature, may be apparent in the immediate aftermath of an abusive event. Others, such as those more emotional or psychological in nature, may not become clear until many years after the abuse has taken place.
Depending on the circumstances, there may be a limit on how much time a survivor of institutional abuse may have to file a lawsuit. Contact our Cambridge institutional abuse attorneys today to discuss your case, and learn what steps may be available to you.
How a Cambridge Institutional Abuse Attorney Can Help
Through a civil suit, survivors of institutional abuse may be eligible to receive financial compensation to cover damages incurred as a result of the abuse. Depending on the circumstances, the following may be recoverable:
- Costs of medical care
- Costs of therapy (both physical and psychological)
- Wages lost as a result of the abuse
- Compensation for damage to family relationships
- Compensation for psychological damage
- Pain and suffering damages
- Punitive damages
- And possibly more
What compensation may be available will depend on the context of any given case. At Graham Law, our Cambridge institutional abuse attorneys are here to listen to your story, and offer our insights into what may be possible for you. Contact us today to schedule your free initial consultation.
Contact Our Cambridge Institutional Abuse Attorneys For A Free Initial Consultation
Survivors of institutional abuse may be eligible for compensation, which may provide essential relief from the financial impacts of the abuse. Our team of Cambridge institutional abuse attorneys at Graham Law is dedicated to helping survivors access the justice they deserve. Contact us today to schedule your free initial consultation, and learn how we may be of service to you.