The Seattle child sex abuse attorneys at the Savage Law Firm are devoted to standing up for child pornography survivors’ rights to justice and compensation.

The Seattle child sex abuse attorneys at the Savage Law Firm are devoted to standing up for child pornography survivors’ rights to justice and compensation.

Compensation for Child Pornography Cases

Survivors of child pornography can face lifelong psychological struggles. Although the idea of going after the people who have produced and distributed their images can be difficult for some survivors, the fact is that holding these people accountable and obtaining restitution can help survivors:

  • Gain a greater sense of justice
  • Obtain compensation that can help them cover the costs of therapy or other treatments they may need as they strive to overcome the damage caused by the consumers of their images.

Supreme Court Rules on Compensation for Survivors

In the past, many lower courts ruling on requests for restitution by  survivors of child pornography crimes imposed heavy burdens of proof which prevented a survivor from obtaining any contribution to the costs of their recovery. However, in 2014, the Supreme Court made a groundbreaking ruling in U.S. v. Paroline, holding that all those who “merely” possess a victim’s images are at least in part responsible for the devastating injury which results.

The Court’s opinion acknowledges the profound harm that is inflicted on the person who is the subject of the images and videos even where the victim and the possessor or distributor of the images had absolutely no other connection and the consumer of child pornography had no part in the physical abuse which is depicted. The struggles of the survivor of child pornography in this case have been detailed in the New York Times Magazine article, The Price of a Stolen Childhood.

Specifically, the Paroline case focused on the question of whether people who possess child pornography images could legally be ordered to compensate the subjects of those images (with the specific legal arguments being whether “proximate causation” is necessary and whether theories of “joint and several liability” apply).

In this case, the Supreme Court ultimately found that survivors of child pornography could seek restitution (i.e., court-ordered compensation) from people convicted of possessing their images, as the court officially stated that these possessors “collectively create the demand that fuels the creation of abusive images.”

This ruling has effectively been a huge boost to the rights and entitlements of survivors of child pornography because it has:

  • Made clear that all people convicted of possessing their images are accountable;
  • Established that each person convicted of child pornography crimes should contribute compensation to the victims so that they can get the treatments and other help they may need.

The lawyers at the Savage Law Firm were a part of the team which brought this important case to the Supreme Court.

International Advocacy Group Focuses on Support Child Sex Abuse Survivors

While the Savage Law Firm has been at the forefront of a number of legal battles focused on bringing the perpetrators of child sex abuse (including those who possess the images of this abuse) to justice, our work does not stop there. In fact, our own Attorney Carol Hepburn has also been dedicated to helping survivors with their ongoing recovery needs.

As part of her latest work in this vein, Carol Hepburn has been a key member of an international advocacy group, which recently rolled out a new initiative to enhance the understanding of victims’ needs in order to provide them with better support in their journey towards recovery. You can read more about this group – and its latest initiative – here.

The Experienced Portland Child Sex Abuse Lawyers at the Savage Law Firm

At the Savage Law Firm, our Portland child sex abuse attorneys understand that no amount of money can ever make up for childhood sexual abuseand exploitation. However, we also know that helping abuse survivors obtain compensation from their abusers and the people who possess images of them can be crucial to helping them obtain:

  • A sense of justice
  • The financial support they need if they are unable to work due to their psychological issues
  • The counseling and other long-term treatments they may need to deal with the damage caused by their abuse.

Since 1977, our experienced and compassionate attorneys have been devoted to standing up for survivors’ rights and providing them with respect and the highest quality legal services. While this means that our Portland child sex abuse lawyers will work diligently to help our clients tell their stories in court, it also means that our attorneys and dedicated staff will vigorously stand up to defense lawyers outside of the courtroom to ensure that our clients are able to obtain the settlements and justice they deserve.

Our goal is to help survivors of child pornography obtain the best possible resolutions to their cases so they can focus on their recovery and future.

Contact Our Portland Child Sex Abuse Lawyers Today

If you or a loved one has been a subject of child pornography, we encourage you to learn more about your rights and how we can help you by attending a free, no obligations initial consult.

Call us at 503-222-0200 (in Portland) or at 206-957-7272 (in Seattle). You can also email us using the form on this page. We represent clients in Oregon and Washington from our offices in Portland and Seattle.

Additional Resources Regarding U.S. v. Paroline

Link 1: U.S. v. Kennedy, Pet for Certiorari
Link 2: Amicus Brief “Vicky” U.S. v. Paroline 12-8561
Link 3: U.S. v. Paroline – Amy Merits Brief
Link 4: U.S. v. Fast – Vicky-Pet. For Certiorari