Sexual abuse is not a subject anyone likes talking about, particularly if it involves a child. There are few things worse any parent can imagine, and there are few things more scarring that can happen to a child. Yet, it is important to discuss this topic, so parents and children can receive the justice they deserve if this terrible tragedy ever befalls them.
Why Choose Our Firm
Attorney Howard Frederick, our lead child sex abuse lawyer, has ample experience with cases like these, so he knows how best to act to defend the rights of your child. As a former prosecutor for the DA’s office in the Bronx, Attorney Frederick has, unfortunately, seen hundreds of cases involving child sex abuse. Because of his extensive experience with these types of challenging cases, Attorney Frederick is an invaluable aid in the courtroom, and he is a passionate advocate for victim’s rights. If you or your child were harmed, our firm is here to help.
Who Commits Child Sexual Abuse?
Anyone could commit sexual abuse against a child, but there are a few individuals who are more likely to carry out these types of crimes. In general, authoritative figures, especially those who work with children, tend to be more likely to take advantage of their position by using persuasion, guilt, and power to take advantage of those weaker than themselves.
Common child sexual abusers include:
- Clergy members
- Church congregation members
- Other instructors
- Parents and relatives of a child’s friend
- High-profile individuals who take an excessive interest in a child (artists, entertainers, businesspeople, politicians, etc.)
The Child Victims Act
New York has recently passed the Child Victims Act, which allows people who suffered sexual abuse as children to come forth with lawsuits against their abusers, even if the abuse took place decades prior. Under this new law, victims who recently recall their childhood trauma will be able to hold the appropriate parties liable for the damage they caused. The law will modify the statute of limitations and allow victims a one-year window, during which they may bring lawsuits against their abusers through claims that otherwise would have expired.
If you were the victim of sexual abuse as a child, even if that abuse occurred decades in the past, our firm is here to help. We understand that old wounds never fully heal, and we are here to provide you with the long-awaited justice you deserve. We can work with you to build a solid case against your abuser and other liable parties.
Insurers Balk at Repercussions of the Child Victims Act
The Childs Victim Act will naturally lead to an upswing in child sexual abuse cases, which can lead to hefty settlements and fees for insurance companies responsible for covering liable churches, schools, and other organizations. In one such instance, the Rockefeller University sued its insurance providers because they refused to cover the University’s payments to sexual abuse victims. Years prior, a Rockefeller University professor was accused of sexually abusing several children on campus, and as a result, the university has been sued for its responsibility in the matter. However, the university’s insurers refuse to pay, which has, in turn, led the school to sue its insurers.
Other schools and churches throughout the United States may find themselves in similar situations, but that doesn’t lessen their responsibility for the harm that occurs on their grounds. If you were abused on campus, at school, or within a church, our firm is prepared to use our ample resources to ensure your voice is heard.
Call (646) 681-7055 today to schedule a free case evaluation. We promise to listen to all of your concerns, and will never rush you to make a decision.
Child Sexual Abuse: What to Watch Out For
Every child is different, meaning there is no surefire way to tell if a child has been abused. However, according the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network, or RAINN, there are several key signs to watch out for which may indicate the presence of sexual abuse.
Common warning signs for child sexual abuse include:
- Behavior that is inappropriately sexual for a child’s age
- Talking or language that is inappropriately sexual for a child’s age
- Bedwetting or soiling sheets, especially when a child had previously outgrown this habit
- Thumb-sucking or other habits that a child had previously outgrown
- A newfound or intensifying fear of being left alone with certain adults or taken away from primary caregivers
- Nightmares of being left alone or involving other specific situations
- Reluctance to remove clothes during bathtime, bedtime, and other occasions
- General worrying and fearfulness
- Physical signs of trauma, such as bleeding, bruising, or infections in the blood
As mentioned above, child sexual abuse can be difficult to detect, as traumatized children are unlikely to discuss abuse of their own volition, and oftentimes the abuser is a person the child knows and has even had a good relationship within the past. This can be a person from virtually any facet of the child’s life, who may or may not have previously shown signs of inappropriate behavior towards the child.
What To Do If You Suspect Child Abuse
Sexual abuse of a child may refer to any number of things, including sexual contact, conduct, intimidation, or grooming of anyone under 18 years of age. While we tend to think of sexual predators as criminals hiding in the shadows, more often than not, this kind of abuse is committed by someone the child knows. If you believe your child may be a victim of sexual abuse, it is important to report your suspicion to law enforcement officials as soon as possible. Most children who are sexual abuse victims will not come forward on their own, so it is up to parents and trusted loved ones to advocate for them and act with haste. The sooner authorities can reconstruct a picture of events in child abuse cases, the sooner they can put a perpetrator behind bars.
Another step you will want to take almost immediately is to hire an experienced child abuse attorney in New York to help you receive compensation commensurate with your family’s pain and suffering. At Silbowitz, Garafola, Silbowitz, Schatz & Frederick, L.L.P., our compassionate and tenacious legal advocates have been standing up for victims since 1987, and promise to always act swiftly and decisively to fight for what your family deserves.
Sexual Abuse Has Long-Term Consequences. Act Now For Your Child!
While most parents and guardians go through life thinking, “That could never happen to my child,” the reality is that child sexual abuse is sadly far more common that most people think. According to the National Center for Victims of Crime, as many as 1 in 5 girls in the U.S. and 1 in 20 boys will be the victim of sexual abuse during their childhood. Although children are most vulnerable to abuse between the ages of 7 and 13, 16% of teenagers ages 14 to 17 will also be victimized in the U.S. during a one-year period, while 28% of all U.S. teenagers will be abused sometime between ages 14 and 17.
Making all of these statistics more troubling is the fact that only 20% of adult women will recall childhood sexual abuse at some point during their lifetime, while only 5-10% of adult men will remember they were sexually abused as a child. This is why it is additionally important that you file a suit to receive compensation as soon as possible. Your child may need years of therapy to fully be able to move on with their life. Yet the longer you wait to pursue legal action, the greater the chance is they will bury what happened to them and have to live with the pain of abuse without being able to talk about it.
Act now for your family. Hire Silbowitz, Garafola, Silbowitz, Schatz & Frederick, L.L.P. today, and give your child a chance at a better life. Our firm is available by phone at (646) 681-7055, or you can contact us online to set up your free case review.