While sexual abuse is considered a violation of criminal law, civil cases often follow criminal court proceedings. Victims and prosecutors in criminal court must prove beyond a doubt that the abuse occurred. In civil court, victims must only prove it is more likely than not that the accused is guilty.
Even if the accused is found not guilty in a criminal court, the victim can still sue for monetary damages. The damages can include medical bills (including those for psyho-therapy or counseling), pain and suffering, and other provable damages.
Many attorneys practice in the area of personal injury, but with highly emotional cases like sexual abuse, it is important for victims to choose an attorney with whom they feel comfortable discussing details of their abuse.