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.
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 New York City personal injury attorney 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.
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 with in 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.
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.)
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.