Effects of Childhood Sexual Abuse
Child sexual abuse is sexual activity involving a child, defined as a person under 18, that violates the law or social taboos of society. The child generally does not comprehend the activity and either does not consent or cannot give informed consent due to their stage of development.
When a person is under 16, they are generally unable to provide legal informed consent. While teens from 16 to 18 can consent to sexual activity, they cannot consent to sex with certain individuals who hold authority over them.
Child sexual abuse causes serious physical and emotional harm that can last a lifetime. If your child, young adult, or loved one has been the victim of sexual abuse, a Pennsylvania child abuse lawyer from Cordisco & Saile LLC can help you report the child predator to the law, build your case, and make the most of your related claim.
The Long-Term Effects of Child Sexual Abuse
Child sexual abuse and molestation cause serious long-term mental and emotional consequences for the victim. Scientists note that fear, anxiety, and suicidal thoughts are common. They can also experience difficulties maintaining relationships for the rest of their lives.
The CDC reports that children who suffer from sexual abuse may suffer chronic conditions like heart disease, cancer, and obesity later in life. Mentally, they are more likely to have depression and symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder. They may be more likely to use illegal substances, engage in risky sexual behavior, or attempt suicide.
Researchers with the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists found that women, in particular, who were victimized by sexual abuse experienced the following long-term effects:
- Chronic pain
- Reduced tolerance to pain
- Eating disorders
- Twice as likely to become physically inactive and morbidly obese
- Four to five times more likely to abuse alcohol or illicit drugs
- Double the risk of becoming a smoker
- Increased risk of future victimization
- Sexual dysfunction
- Increased likelihood of having multiple sex partners
- Increased risk of contracting HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases
- Pelvic pain
- Gynecological disorders
Areas of life negatively impacted by child sexual abuse include:
- Educational success
- Physical health
- Long-term earning ability
- Quality of life
- Long-term sexual function
When childhood abuse has negatively impacted an individual’s quality of life, they may be entitled to compensation for this damage from the responsible party. A Pennsylvania child abuse lawyer from Cordisco & Saile LLC can determine the amount of compensation your child may be entitled to and build the strongest case possible to recover it.
Child Sexual Abuse Statistics
Persons who sexually abuse children may be in families, schools, churches, youth sports leagues, and other locations where children gather together. These statistics from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services indicate the scope of the problem:
- 90 percent of children who are the victims of abuse know the person who abused them
- 40 percent of child sexual abusers are other children, whether older or stronger children
- Approximately 60 percent of child sexual abuse victims were abused by people whom their families trusted
- 70 percent of child sexual offenders victimize between one and nine victims
- 20 percent of child sexual offenders victimize between 10 and 40 children
The CDC estimates that one in four girls and one in 13 boys are the victims of child sexual abuse in the United States. Child sexual abuse is recognized as a public health problem, given the long-term health consequences.
Important Resources for the Victims of Child Sexual Abuse
The Pennsylvania Department of Human Services program Keep Kids Safe offers a hub of resources that allow you to:
- Report suspicion of or instances of child abuse to ChildLine at 1-800 932-0313
- Access resources for counseling and related treatment
If you suspect abuse, notify the local authorities so they can investigate and start a criminal case if appropriate. A PA child abuse lawyer can help you determine what compensation your child may be entitled to receive for the long-term effects of childhood sexual abuse.
Other Parties May Also Be Liable for Your Child’s Abuse
Children who are sexual abusers might not be legally responsible for acts they cannot comprehend in some instances, but the adults responsible for supervising them can be held accountable. Too often, sexual abuse occurs while a child is under the care of a trusted institution with a legal duty to protect the children in its care. Your child could be the victim of sexual abuse by individuals affiliated with a school, daycare, church, sporting club, camp, youth organization, or other institution due to inadequate supervision and lax screening policies.
These institutions are legally obligated to perform background checks on staff, supervise staff, and institute safeguards to protect children’s safety. When sexual abuse occurs in these institutions, they must report it to the proper authorities. Unfortunately, these institutions frequently neglect their duties or, even worse, protect and enable the perpetrators.
When this happens, the party or business that failed to protect your child adequately may be liable for the related damages.
We Have a Team of Experts to Assist in Your Case
Our child abuse attorneys have decades of experience helping victims’ families recover the compensation they deserve, and we could not do it without our extensive network of experts. Child sexual abuse results in injuries that may require medical attention and long-term, life-altering consequences. Measuring the costs of this damage is made possible through our experts.
We will set up referrals to mental health and medical professionals who will carefully assess the impact of the abuse on your child or loved one and the associated treatment costs.
Evidence Supports the Damages Available in Your Child Abuse Claim
You can pursue criminal charges against the child predator who abused your child. Your Pennsylvania child sexual abuse lawyer can help you report the criminal activity to the authorities. While those charges can hold the perpetrator accountable, sometimes, it isn’t enough. A criminal case does not provide compensation to victims to make them whole. Also, the institutions that enabled the abuse are rarely charged.
At Cordisco & Saile LLC, our primary function is to pursue justice and compensation through the civil courts. The purpose of a civil claim linked to child sexual abuse is to recover the value of present and future medical and mental health treatments, lost earnings, and additional compensation for pain, suffering, and more. The damages in your lawsuit include not only immediate medical costs but all long-term medical or psychological care, as well as damages for loss of enjoyment in life and other negative consequences of child sexual abuse.
Our knowledgeable and seasoned trial lawyers will tirelessly pursue justice for you and your child by doing the following:
- Thoroughly investigating the abuse
- Building a strong case
- Properly valuing your damages
- Filing all paperwork as soon as possible
- Consulting third-party experts to prove the abuse and damages
- Negotiating with opposing parties
- Representing you in court
- Trying your case before a jury, in necessary
Determining what your claim is worth and how to obtain compensation can be difficult to handle on your own, which is why many families of child abuse victims decide to work with a lawyer. The experienced Pennsylvania child abuse lawyers from Cordisco & Saile LLC can provide you with a cost-free case assessment to determine how we can help. We encourage you to put together a list of any questions you have and any related evidence so that we can make your initial review as productive as possible.
Visit our website to review our positive case results and client testimonials to learn how we have helped families recover the compensation they deserve. No two cases are the same, and we take the time to collect the information needed to put together the strongest possible case on your behalf.
Discuss Options on Your Child Abuse Case with Cordisco & Saile LLC
Whether you suspect that a child predator is grooming a child or young adult in your family or they are the victim of abuse, we can help. It is important to report any suspicions or instances of abuse to your local authorities, as child abuse is a crime. The criminal investigation may also provide valuable evidence that we can use in your civil case to collect damages linked to the abuse.
If your child has been groomed or abused, you could also have a claim for compensation to cover any costs linked to your loved one’s injuries in addition to other damages. This compensation includes the costs of medical and psychological care both in the short- and long term. Your child could also be entitled to damages for pain, suffering, and loss of enjoyment of life.
Call us at 215-372-8153 or visit our website to schedule a free consultation.