DEAR ABBY: My rapists are dead now, but I can see from the years since their attack what damage they have caused. I'm having medical complications that have developed over time, pain and suffering from those complications, PTSD and additional stress over pharmacy bills because of it. It has affected the way I feel about men, and I'm afraid it will be this way for the rest of my life.
My attackers caused a great financial burden on me because of the cost of psychological counseling and loss of income due to episodes of related illness and working beneath my potential. Rapists seem to think they're entitled to take what they want when they want it. I'm thinking perhaps they should be forced to take responsibility for the resulting cost to the person whose life they affected, which brings me to my question: Can women sue their rapists? -- ALTERED BODY AND SOUL
DEAR ALTERED: In this country, anybody can sue anyone for anything, but not someone who is dead. However, lawsuits can be emotionally and financially costly, and the question is whether the plaintiff can win. Some states offer financial assistance to victims of crime, which includes medical and dental expenses, counseling costs, funeral or burial expenses, and lost wages or support.
Because your rapists are deceased, it would be more practical for you to go online and visit www.victimsofcrime.org to explore what kind of compensation may still be available for you. I wish you luck in your pursuit of justice.