Sexual assault / sexual abuse Victims

Posttraumatic Stress Disorder

Ms. Zellner has been representing the victims of rape, sexual assault, and sexual abuse since 1992.  She holds a record civil verdict in Illinois for a premise liability rape case.  She has represented the victims of sexual misconduct in every setting from universities, churches, prisons, and within families.

Are you a victim of any form of sexual abuse? Do you believe the sexual abuse was the result of poor security at your university or in your building, apartment, or hotel? Have you suffered permanent emotional damage as a result of the sexual abuse?

Does any of this sound familiar?

  • During the traumatic event you believed you might die.
  • You experienced feelings of intense fear, helplessness, hopelessness and horror during the attack.
  • You re-experience the trauma in any of the following ways:
    • You have recurrent and intrusive distressing recollections of the sexual abuse, including images, thoughts and perceptions.
    • You have recurrent distressing dreams of the sexual abuse.
    • You experience the sexual abuse reoccurring in flashbacks, illusions or hallucinations.
    • You have intense psychological distress when you are exposed to things, people or places that remind you of the attack.
  • You specifically try to avoid stimuli that makes you recall the sexual abuse.
  • Did the abuse diminish your feeling of self-worth?
  • Do you have ongoing feelings of depression?
  • Did the attacker abuse a position of trust to abuse you?
  • Have you suffered from an eating disorder as the result of abuse?
  • Have you been diagnosed with any psychological injuries as a consequence of the abuse?
  • Have you contemplated suicide?
  • Have you contemplated harming yourself?
  • You experience a recurrent feeling of shame.
  • Have you experienced extreme weight loss of weight gain following the abuse?
  • Have you experienced irregular menstrual cycles?
  • Have you experienced sexual dysfunction?
  • Have you experienced a loss in earnings or earning capacity?
  • Do you enjoy life as much as before the abuse?
  • Have you lost interest in sexual activity?
  • Have you contemplated running away?
  • Has your performance at school or work suffered?
  • Have you withdrawn from social interactions or lost enthusiasm to make or meet friends?
  • Do you suffer headaches or stomach aches with no medical cause?
  • Do you now suffer from addiction that you did not before the abuse?
  • Do you have difficulty trusting other people or attachment issues?
  • Do you feel like your personality has been disrupted?
  • Have you experienced fertility problems?
  • Has the attack left you feeling isolated or secluded?

Some examples of this avoidance are as follows:

  • Trying to avoid thoughts, feelings or conversations associated with the rape.
  • Trying to avoid activities, places or people that remind you of the attack.
  • You are unable to remember an important aspect of the trauma.
  • You have intense psychological distress when you are exposed to things, people or places that remind you of the attack.
  • You have a markedly diminished interest or participation in significant activities.
  • You feel detached or estranged from others, including loved ones.
  • You have a restricted range of feelings (i.e.: you feel unable to have loving feelings, you are unable to trust anyone, etc.)
  • You have a sense of a foreshortened future (i.e.: you don't believe you will have a normal life span but will die prematurely)
  • You continue to feel frightened, emotionally distressed, intimidated, terrorized, indifferent, emotionally imprisoned, secluded, objectified, disgraced, humiliated, emotionally violated, manipulated, or controlled

You have persistent symptoms of increased arousal which was not present before the attack such as:

  • Difficulty falling or staying asleep
  • Irritability or outbursts of anger
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Hypervigilance
  • Exaggerated startle response

Related Cases


This verdict was the largest sexual assault verdict in Illinois at the time. The victim was raped at work in the Chicago Bar Association Building which was managed by a management corporation. Ms. Zellner subpoenaed the rapist from prison to testify on client's behalf.

If you believe you are a victim of any type of sexual misconduct, please contact our law firm immediately using the form below to understand your rights.  There are no fees for your potential claim unless you recover a settlement or win a verdict.

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