One of the responsibilities of employers and other entities here in New Mexico and elsewhere is to safeguard those who work for them along with those who frequent the establishments they operate. For instance, schools are responsible for keeping the students, teachers and staff safe and residential treatment facilities are responsible for making sure their patients and staff are safe. When these companies fail to do so, sexual abuse can occur.
For example, if a school fails to conduct the proper background checks and allows a sexual predator to work there, the people around him or her are at risk. Sadly, this scenario happens all across the country, including here in New Mexico, but not only in schools. Group homes, residential treatment facilities, nursing homes and other establishments where vulnerable populations are have all seen this type of tragedy occur at one time or another.
Filing a civil lawsuit
If you or a loved one became the victim of sexual abuse in one of these types of agencies or organizations, you may have the opportunity to seek restitution from it as well as the perpetrator. Many people are under the impression that their only recourse is through the criminal justice system, but that is not necessarily the case. It may be possible to file a civil lawsuit against all the parties who may bear some legal liability for what happened to you or your loved one.
Having the ability to file a lawsuit and actually doing so are two different things, however. You would need to follow certain rules, meet deadlines, file the appropriate paperwork and gather the right evidence to move your claim forward. The process can only add to the stress and frustration you already feel. For this reason, it would greatly benefit you to discuss the situation with a New Mexico attorney experienced in the civil laws governing sexual abuse cases.