Were You a Victim of Sexual Abuse or Assault?

ACT NOW: Call the South Carolina sexual assault attorneys of McGowan, Hood, Felder & Phillips

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Were You a Victim of Sexual Abuse or Assault?

ACT NOW: Call the South Carolina sexual assault attorneys of McGowan, Hood, Felder & Phillips

Sexual assault and abuse can cause immediate and long-term trauma. At McGowan, Hood, Felder & Phillips, LLC, we help South Carolina victims of sexual assault take back their lives by demanding justice for the harm and pain they’ve experienced. We will fight to hold the people and businesses accountable for your injuries. You may be entitled to compensation from:

Sexual Abuse
  • Your attacker
  • The perpetrator’s employer
  • Hotels and motels
  • Rideshare companies
  • Religious institutions
  • Teachers and schools
  • Coaches and coaching staff
  • Physicians and medical staff
  • Colleges
  • Nursing homes
  • Residential treatment facilities
  • Youth organizations

If you were attacked and abused by an individual, are a victim of sex trafficking or exploitation, or had your rights violated by a person of authority, the sexual abuse and assault lawyers of McGowan, Hood, Felder & Phillips, LLC are your advocates.

What are sexual assault and sexual abuse?

Sexual assault, at its core, means any type of sexual activity that is non-consensual. South Carolina Criminal Code defines sexual assault as an act of criminal sexual conduct. There are many types of conduct which qualify as sexual assault under the law. Some examples include:

  • Coercing someone to perform a sexual act
  • Groping or fondling
  • Harassment
  • Indecent exposure
  • Intimate partner violence
  • Nonconsensual sexual gratification
  • Sexual intercourse with anyone under 16
  • Sexual relations with someone who can’t consent due to an impaired state
  • Stalking

Is rape a type of criminal sexual conduct?

Yes, it is. South Carolina does not have a specific “rape” statute. Instead, the state uses the term “sexual battery,” which it defines as “sexual intercourse, cunnilingus, fellatio, anal intercourse, or any intrusion, however slight, of any part of a person's body or of any object into the genital or anal openings of another person's body, except when such intrusion is accomplished for medically recognized treatment or diagnostic purposes.”

I was not restrained or physically forced to have sex. Was I a victim of sexual assault?

Sexual assault and abuse do not necessarily require physical force. Emotional, psychological pressure and manipulation, and threats can force someone to engage in sexual activity against his or her wishes.

The one constant in all sexual assault cases is that any sexual activity must begin with consent. Consent can be withdrawn at any time, which means the other person needs to stop immediately – as soon as anyone says NO.

“Nearly 1 in 5 women and 1 in 71 men report being raped during their lifetime. In addition, 45.9% of South Carolina women and 17.8% of men in our state report being victims of sexual violence or coercion other than rape.” South Carolina Coalition against Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault

Can I file a lawsuit against my abuser in South Carolina?

There are two ways to seek justice against the person who sexually assaulted or abused you. The criminal courts are used to punish the people who did these horrible acts, and to deter them from committing any future acts.

In civil cases, there are two main goals:

  1. The first goal is to prove that a person or organization was responsible for the sexual assault or abuse. In addition to the individual who assaulted you, schools, churches, hotels, and other organizations and companies can be liable if they failed to take proper precautions to protect their students, parishioners, and customers.
  2. The second goal is to show that your injuries were the result of the assault, and that you’re entitled to damages for those injuries and losses. In this case, filing a civil lawsuit for sexual abuse is just like filing a civil lawsuit for a car crash, or a fall on someone’s property.

In civil cases, the standard of proof is that that the defendants must be liable by a preponderance of the evidence – in other words, it’s more likely than not that they were responsible.

The evidence in a case is often the testimony of our client (the plaintiff) and the testimony of the defendant. It also includes:

  • Any history of prior convictions for sex assault crimes
  • Any physical evidence such as DNA and fibers
  • Any recordings, photos or security footage of the assault
  • The medical reports and testimony of your health providers
  • The testimony of your family members, friends, and co-workers as to your mental health and emotional well-being

Our South Carolina sexual assault and abuse lawyers work aggressively to introduce other evidence on your behalf such as the statements of anyone who was abused by the same person or organization, the statements of any coworkers, and the records of prior complaints of abuse. We conduct extensive discovery to examine all the related factors which may prove a teacher, school, priest, business owner, or anyone in a position of authority failed to protect you.

How long do I have to file a civil claim for sexual abuse in South Carolina?

In general, you have three years to file a civil claim for sexual assault, but there are exceptions to every rule. Minors and victims of incest may have up to six years. In some cases, you may have less time to file a claim. It is very important that you contact McGowan, Hood, Felder & Phillips, LLC quickly so that you can discuss your options for moving forward.

Claiming damages for sexual assault in South Carolina

Victims of sexual assault and abuse may be entitled to compensation for their injuries and losses. You can make a claim for compensation for damages including:

  • Lost wages. If a survivor of sexual abuse or assault misses work – or, in the case of childhood abuse, if a parent is forced to take time off of work to care for his or her child’s health and safety – these lost wages can be claimed in a civil case.
  • Medical care. Victims who seek medical attention after an attack may claim compensation for their medical bills, and necessary medications and treatments.
  • Pain and Suffering. South Carolina allows victims of criminal sexual misconduct and sexual battery to claim compensation for physical, emotional, and mental pain and suffering.
  • Therapy and trauma care. Victims of rape and any type of sexual assault are often never the same after the attack or misdeed. They usually need long-term sessions with psychiatrists, psychologists, and other mental health counselors to have the courage to move forward.

In some cases, you may also be entitled to punitive damages, which are intended to deter the defendant from future similar conduct and/or punish them for sexual wrongs.

Fighting for sexual assault and abuse survivors in South Carolina

If you or anyone you love is the victim of sexual assault, or you have reason to believe your loved one has been sexually assaulted, you need immediate legal help. It’s critical that we speak with witnesses while their memories are fresh. It’s important that you see the right doctors. It’s essential that wrongdoers are made to pay for these unconscionable acts. To get civil justice for any act of criminal sexual conduct, call the South Carolina sexual assault lawyers at McGowan, Hood, Felder & Phillips, LLC today. We will arrange for you to speak to one of our female attorneys if you prefer.

Call 803-327-7800


S. Randall Hood, Attorney
McGowan, Hood, Felder & Phillips, LLC - 1539 Health Care Drive Rock Hill, SC 29732