National Statistics on Child Sexual Abuse
A single incident of child sexual abuse is devastating. As child sexual abuse lawyers, we recognize that the numbers of abuse are significant and far-reaching. Consider these statistics reported by theU.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:
- 1 in 4 girls and 1 in 13 boys in the U.S. suffer child sexual abuse.
- 91% of the time, child sexual abuse occurs by someone that is known to and trusted by the child’s family or the child themselves.
The National Children’s Alliance reports that every year 600,000 children are abused in the U.S. About two-thirds of the cases the organization handles involve child sexual abuse.
Attorneys for Sexual Abuse Victims
Sexual abuse can happen to children of any age. Younger children may not be aware of what sexual abuse is and may easily fall prey to grooming or whatever stories or “logic” the abuser is telling them. School-age children may be more aware of what sexual abuse is and may also be more likely to report the abuse; however, the abuser may coerce them into silence by making threats of physical harm to the child or people they care about. This can make it difficult for a growing mind to understand what is happening and determine how to make the abuse stop. These difficulties are only compounded when a family member is the perpetrator of such devastating behavior.
Children who are sexually abused and molested by a family member suffer severe trauma. Some examples of emotional and psychiatric trauma include anxiety and depression- including suicidal thoughts- to personality disruptions, self-harm, and regularly to posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). These mental health issues need to be addressed to help a child heal. Licensed social workers and other mental health professionals provide therapies to help victims of sexual abuse. In therapy, the child can learn methods to deal with the trauma that was inflicted on them and find positive ways to form interpersonal relationships and live a productive life.
Signs of Abuse by a Family Member or Trusted Adult
If you are a parent, it’s hard to recognize that someone could have hurt your child. Many times, parents face a wide range of emotions related to what’s occurred. Denial, avoidance, anger, aggression, and even violence can occur. It is nearly impossible to believe that someone you know and trust could do such a thing. Yet, it does occur.
You may be unsure if your child or loved one has suffered child sexual abuse. While we encourage you to reach out to a therapist and work closely with your child’s doctor to determine what’s occurred fully, there are some signs that indicate you may want to take action right away.
- Physical signs are common but not always present. The child may have trauma in the genital area, including bruising, bleeding, or blood (often on underwear, clothing, or sheets). Some may be diagnosed with a sexually transmitted disease.
- Excessive talking about sexual-related topics
- Not wanting to be left alone with a specific person or someone that is their primary caregiver
- Sexual behavior that is inappropriate at the child’s age
- Overly compliant behavior, often being scared to disobey
- Regressive behaviors such as starting to bed wet or thumb suck
- Changes in eating habits
- Onset of headaches, stomach aches, or other illness
- Nightmares or other nighttime fears
- Self-harm behaviors
- Excessive worrying and fearfulness
In situations like this, parents must act. When you see your child struggling in any way, reach out for help. Our team offers the child sexual abuse lawyer that you need to remain by your side throughout this process.
Types of Sexual Abuse
There are numerous forms of sexual abuse. Every form is devastating. Our sexual abuse lawyer can guide you even if you’re not sure if you have been the victim or if you have a case. Here are some examples of the types of sexual abuse that could occur:
- Verbal Abuse: This occurs through spoken or written words that, in some way, evoke, express, or imply sexual content.
- Covert:Covert sexual abuse occurs without a person’s knowledge. This could include being followed, photographed, observed, sexually cyber harassed, or social media stalking.
- Physical:Physical sexual abuse is any type of non-consensual touching, cornering, kissing, tickling, intercourse, oral sex, brushing up against another person, any type of stalking or invasion of privacy, and more.
- Visual:Visual sexual abuse takes place when a person provides sexually explicit photos or images, exposing a person to unwanted sexual content.
- Ritualistic:This form of sexual abuse typically occurs in relation to some type of ritual or spirituality. It could be someone related to worship or penance.
Types of Sexual Abuse Cases
Who is responsible for the sexual abuse you’ve suffered? It can be hard to fully understand what you are facing and why. Below are some of the common types of sexual abuse cases and how they can impact you.
- Assault: In an assault case, which is a violent attack, a person will experience or be under threat of some type of violence related to sexual assault. Keep in mind that assault applies to attempts or threats of violence and typically does not represent actual violence itself. Most often, there is no physical contact.
- Battery: In a battery case, there is physical contact that is threatened and occurs. That includes intentional touching of another person’s body in some type of offensive or harmful way without their consent. Most sexual abuse cases fall under this area, but that is not always the case.
- Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress: A third type of case involves what is referred to as tort of outrage. That is, it occurs when there is an intentional infliction of emotional distress on another person. The defendant acts intentionally or in some reckless fashion to cause emotional distress in some type of extreme manner.
Our sexual abuse lawyer can help you with any type of sexual abuse case you are facing. You may not be fully sure which type applies to your situation. Allow our team to help support and guide you throughout the process.
Potential Conditions Resulting from Abuse
Those who suffer from sexual abuse, especially as a child, are more likely to struggle for the rest of their lives in some way. According to RAINN, the effects of child sexual abuse are life-long, often resulting in the following statistics:
- They are 4 times more likely to develop substance abuse disorders.
- They are 4 times more likely to suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder.
- They are 3 times more likely to suffer major depression as adults.
The consequences are even more far-reaching:
- There is a risk of sexually transmitted infections
- Some individuals are at a higher risk for obesity, cancer, and heart disease
- Physical injuries can cause mobility concerns or long-term pain
- Behavioral consequences that impact victims may include risky sexual behaviors, such as engaging in sexual acts with more than one partner
- Increased risks of suicide to attempts at suicide
- Risk for the perpetration of sexual violence
The impact of child sexual abuse can be evident in many ways, yet many people don’t know what options are available to help them. Reach out to Cohen & Malad, LLP to learn how we can help you. Though you may not be confident that you can take civil action against someone that has hurt you, we will help you determine if that is the case. Our child sexual abuse lawyer will work closely with you, providing you with compassion and care, supporting you through the questions and uncertainty, and working tirelessly to help you find justice for the impact sexual abuse has had on you or your loved one.
Summary of a Sexual Molestation of a Minor Claim by a Family Member
A preteen was repeatedly sexually molested by a step-grandparent over the course of three years. Through the discovery process it was estimated that the child was molested more than a dozen times during their pre-pubescent years. These attacks have had a devastating effect on the child’s emotional and psychological development. Since the molestation was discovered, the child has received continual intensive counseling by a licensed therapist specializing in childhood trauma and sexual abuse. The step-grandparent faced criminal charges for the serial molestation of the child and was sentenced to 20 years in prison. Cohen & Malad, LLP attorneys were successful in recovering in a civil case in this matter and obtained damages to help pay for the ongoing psychiatric treatment necessary to help the child deal with the effects of this sexual abuse trauma that will last throughout their lifetime.
Resources for Survivors
Finding help is always worthwhile. The following are some resources that may be able to help you.
- Indiana Coalition to End Sexual Assault & Human Trafficking
- Assist Indiana – Serving Survivors of Violence
- Holly’s House (National and State Resources Available)
- Victim Support Services from Indiana Criminal Justice Institute
- The Julian Center
- National Sexual Violence Resource Center
- The National Child Traumatic Stress Network
Other Types Of Sexual Abuse Cases We Handle
We are proud to help families heal through the legal pursuit of sexual abuse claims. Here are a few more specific examples of cases we’ve handled.
- Daycare sexual abuse
- Child-on-child sexual abuse
- Church sexual abuse
- Nursing home sexual abuse
- Residential treatment center sexual abuse
- School or sports organization sexual abuse
- Youth Sports Sexual Abuse
Sexual Abuse and Molestation Lawyers
If you, your child, or someone else you know is a victim of sexual abuse or molestation, contact us. Our attorneys have been trained by mental health professionals so as to not revictimize the Plaintiff when telling his or her story. We have helped many families get compensation to pay for the help they need in order to heal after sexual abuse. We understand the sensitive nature of this type of lawsuit and prioritize our clients’ privacy and trust while fighting to get them the compensation they need to assist them in healing and coping with sexual abuse. Speak to us today with no cost or obligations.