Child sexual abuse is a vile, disgusting act and undoubtedly affects more than the victim. Parents, siblings, friends, teachers, and others in close contact with the child are affected immediately by the actions of the predator, as they now must conduct themselves differently than they had prior to the incident, establishing themselves once more as a person able to be trusted, a beacon of both hope and safety.
Child Sexual Abuse and Vulnerability under Authority
In the case of child molesters, it typically is someone the child knows, someone who abuses their power to get what they want. Manipulative in nature, these individuals are known for this type of behavior because it has happened countless times.
This can be members of the church clergy, a scout leader, a coach, a teacher, a counselor at a camp, or any other person with some level of authority over children. By being someone your child trusts, they create opportunities of vulnerability in which they abuse that trust and attack.
Once victimized, it is likely a child will have difficulty acknowledging or trusting authority. Hierarchies and other structures may lose their meaning to some degree. These changes are monumental and deserving of attention. Unlike a broken bone, the damages these individuals inflict upon the children they assault are not able to heal as quickly, if ever fully, and have a much higher impact on the life of the child.
In 2020, the nonprofit news organization ProPublica released a database of Catholic clergy members who have been credibly accused of sexual abuse or misconduct.
Navigating churches and clergy members that may be at fault for you or your loved one’s injury can be a scary and frustrating experience, but it doesn’t have to be. For 13 years, Lemberg Law has made legal representation a pain-free and easily accessible process. We have successfully recovered more than $50 million in damages for more than 25,000 clients across the nation. Our track record speaks for itself.
Signs of Child Abuse
While signs of child sexual abuse may not be immediately obvious, according clergyabusevictims.com, there are some signals that parents should be aware of when abuse occurs. Signs can include:
- Unusual sadness and depression
- Withdrawal from normal activities that a child participates in
- Spending an increased amount of time with another adult outside of the family
- Cutting themselves off from their friends & family
- Sudden weight gain or loss
- Starting with drugs and alcohol
- Suicidal thoughts
- Increased aggressive behavior, especially when someone gets into their personal space
- Loss of friends and socializing
- Attempt sexual acts against other children
Long-Term Effects of Child Abuse
As mentioned above, the role of any adult in the affected child’s life changes drastically. The mindset of a victim is not nearly identical to what it was before. Now, all adults could potentially be of some threat level and must, consciously or not, prove their imposed safety rather than inherently possessing it. This is not always a one-time event, either; some children, when molested, need continuous evidence and reassurance that adults, even those most prominent in their lives, are of no danger to them.
Additionally, the child will need to learn to cope with everything that has happened, and this responsibility too falls on the shoulders of the adults in his or her life. They need role models; they need consistency; they need a consistent reminder that they are safe from harm’s way. This may take weeks to pass; months; years; maybe never. Sexual abuse as a child is known to have lasting traumatic effects throughout the entirety of adolescence and adult life.
Connecticut changes its statute of limitations for filing child sexual abuse charges
In 2002, Connecticut passed a law that made the statute of limitations for bringing personal injury claims for sexual assault and sexual exploitation of a minor to 30 years after the minor reaches adulthood. In Connecticut, a victim of childhood sexual abuse has until age 48 to bring a claim against his or her abuser.
FAQs – Child Sexual Abuse
Why does so much sexual abuse of children go unreported?
Going forward with the topic of authority, a familiarity with the assaulter is usually true in cases of child molestation. In fact, it is estimated that 93% of victims know the attacker prior to the assault. This perceived friendliness allows the attacker the ability to get close to the child without the child ever feeling the need to be afraid. In many cases, as is such with scouts or summer camps, the figure of authority serves as a guardian, both in charge of the child, as well as being responsible for their safety.
Before they turn 18, it is expected that one in ten children will be sexually assaulted. This figure is grossly under-reported, as something this drastic should be known. 20% of these children are abused before they even turn 8. These numbers are horrifying and yet they are unlikely to change without effort. Not every heinous act is preventable, so knowing what to do if something like this is ever to happen is vital.
I’ve been a victim of Child Sexual Abuse/Molestation. What are my next steps?
Knowing what procedures to follow after an incident like this is both stressful and not readily available to the public. It is in your best interest to let an attorney handle the legal proceedings in your child’s molestation or sexual assault case. You have enough to worry about and concentrate on now. Let us help alleviate some of your stress.
These experiences can be devastating, and we are fully aware of that. You should not be overwhelmed during these times of hardship. Our expertise and knowledge allow us to handle your case with precision and ensure you receive the appropriate indemnity for the transgressions of your child’s attacker.
What type of compensation may I be entitled to?
You may be entitled to compensation for any of the following:
• Physical pain
• Mental Anguish
• Diminished quality of life
• Medical bills
• Home healthcare
What is the statute of limitations for filing a claim?
In Connecticut, there is no limitation for reporting child abuse if the victim is still a child (under the age 18), regardless of how many years have passed between the incidence and the report. Generally, a victim is only permitted to file a lawsuit until they reach 48 years of age, however in some cases, a victim may have until they reaches 51 years of age to file a claim. It is important to speak with an experienced child abuse attorney as soon as possible to discuss your case.
How can Lemberg Law help?
At Lemberg Law, our attorneys are both compassionate and knowledgeable. We know that, no matter the adversity you face, less worry is better. We know that you work hard to lead the life you do, and we want to help you get back to that. Call 475-277-2200 for your case evaluation. It is free and there is no obligation to use our services after the review. Call today and see how our qualified attorneys can assist you.