By Colleen M Quinn, Esq. and Kelsey Abell
While #MeToo may appear to be just a hashtag, it has created an avalanche of healing, justice, and change for victims of sexual assault. Through public testimony, worldwide news attention, and personal experience shared on various forms of social media, the #MeToo movement has given a more encouraging platform for both male and female victims to come forward about their experiences that have long been viewed as too taboo to discuss. In addition to strengthening the voices of those who feared the public’s reaction to their stories of sexual assault, the #MeToo movement has encouraged victims to seek justice through legal action. Consequently, many trial lawyers that practice in the areas of personal injury, medical malpractice and/or employment law, as I do, have seen a large increase in the number of prospective client calls asking if he or she or they have a case. Unfortunately, the reality is that, other than criminal prosecution, most claims are time barred or, alternatively, if not time barred, pose issues with collecting a monetary recovery. We can only hope that the greater awareness now will push clients to seek recovery much sooner. Further, as companies and institutions put in better policies, and as victims no longer will tolerate improper touching, we also anticipate that societal reform might help to reduce the number of incidents of sexual abuse.