How To Report a Child Predator
Knowing when a child predator could be targeting your child—and how to report a child predator—is important to protect your children’s safety and best interests. If your child was a victim of sexual abuse, has been solicited online, or has been sent inappropriate materials, they can suffer life-long damage. A Pennsylvania child abuse attorney from Cordisco & Saile LLC can help.
Child predators victimize some of the most vulnerable individuals in our population. If you suspect child sexual abuse, it’s important to report your suspicions to the relevant authorities. Child sexual abuse can result in long-term and life-altering consequences for the victim. Identifying signs of child sexual abuse allows you to take immediate action if you suspect your child is a victim.
A Pennsylvania child abuse attorney from Cordisco & Saile LLC is available to provide you with a risk-free consultation on how you can enforce your child’s legal rights.
The Legal Definition of a Child Predator
A child predator is an individual who engages in, or attempts to engage in, some form of child abuse. This may include any of the following:
- Sexual abuse
- Physical abuse
- Emotional maltreatment
The effects of sexual, emotional, or physical child abuse are long-term and life-altering for the victim and their families. Under Pennsylvania Law, child abuse is defined as intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly engaging in acts of abuse or failing to act after becoming aware of abuse, resulting in harm. Here are a few examples:
- Causing the bodily injury of a child
- Causing the sexual abuse or exploitation of a child
- Causing or being a significant contributor to a mental injury to a child
- Creating the likelihood of child sexual abuse or exploitation
While this is not an exhaustive list, it covers the most common forms of child abuse, and if any of these acts have caused your child harm or injury, it is essential to report the predator to the authorities.
What To Watch Out For To Protect Your Children
The Administration for Children and Families has published a guide to help parents and other concerned parents recognize child abuse, which can take many forms.
While some forms of abuse result in physical marks that can be clearly identified, others leave only mental damage. Watch out for indicators of child sexual abuse and common child grooming signs, such as the following:
- A sudden change in your child’s behavior
- A shift in their school performance
- Watchful behavior, like something bad may occur
- Withdrawn, overly compliant, or passive attitude
Experiencing any of these forms of abuse not only causes harm at the time of the abuse but also long-term and often life-altering psychological damage. It is not always possible to stop abuse before it happens, but if you become suspicious that your child is exhibiting signs of abuse, it is important to consider the signs and consult with a lawyer to determine your options.
There may be more obvious signs of physical abuse in the form of bruises, but sexual and psychological abuse may not result in obvious markers of harm. Child predators take advantage of children and engage in abuse, and the legal definitions of child abuse will apply to your related case or claim.
How To Report a Child Predator to the Authorities
The Pennsylvania Department of Human Services’ Office of Children, Youth, and Families has established the Keep Kids Safe initiative to support safety and to target abuse. If you suspect child abuse has occurred, call ChildLine at 1-800-932-0313, or visit its website for online resources.
These resources provide links to trained specialists available 24/7 to receive referrals and reports of suspected issues concerning child abuse or well-being. It’s also a good idea to contact your local police or sheriff’s department to initiate criminal charges.
Some people are mandated reporters of child abuse. These individuals are legally required to report suspected child abuse when they have reasonable cause to suspect that the child is being victimized. Mandated reporters include:
- Employees of a health care facility
- Employees of childcare services
- School employees
- Emergency medical services
- Peace officers or law enforcement officials
- Foster care workers
These individuals and others receive training to identify the signs of child abuse, but that does not mean that a mandated reporter will identify and report every instance of abuse. If you suspect your child is a victim of abuse, you can contact these parties for guidance and their opinions as you begin the reporting process yourself.
A Pennsylvania child abuse lawyer from Cordisco & Saile LLC will ensure the abuse is reported and that the child collects the full damages they are entitled to through a civil lawsuit.
Your local authorities will guide you on how to best pursue your suspicions and press criminal charges for abuse. Discussing your situation with a local Pennsylvania child abuse lawyer from Cordisco & Saile, LLC will help determine your and your child’s legal rights concerning recovering damages for the abuse.
Child Abuse Can Happen Online or Begin Through Online Contact
Abuse in the modern world isn’t something that only occurs in person. It can also happen online, and abusers can use online communication cto intiate in-person abuse. Identifying child sexual abuse and reporting it is important to stop the problem from recurring. Even if you aren’t sure but have your suspicions, it is better to report and connect with an attorney to determine your rights than to risk allowing it to continue.
The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children has established CyberTipline, America’s centralized reporting system for the online exploitation of children.
Contact CyberTipline concerning reports of the following:
- Suspected online enticement of children for sexual acts
- Misleading domain names that may result in exposure to age-inappropriate material
- Unsolicited obscene materials transmitted to a minor over the internet
- The use of misleading digital images or words online
If you suspect your child has been the victim of online sexual abuse, it is important to report the instance to CyberTipline and your local authorities. Afterward, reach out to a local attorney.
A Sexual Abuse Attorney Can Help on Your Case
Working with a lawyer when you suspect your child has been abused provides you with an invaluable advocate throughout the process. A lawyer will assist you in reporting the abuse to the authorities and collecting evidence to support your case and related claim. Child abuse often results in a criminal charge against the child predator, and you could also have a right to bring a civil claim to collect damages.
Child abuse can result in a right to collect compensation for the damages linked to childhood abuse, including:
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional and psychological damage
- Medical and psychological treatment costs
- Loss of enjoyment in life
- Any impact on the victim’s earnings ability
Your child abuse attorney can advise you on what damages are available in your case and handle the process on your behalf to ensure you recover the full compensation your child is entitled to.
Connect With Cordisco & Saile LLC To Explore Options
If your child has been the victim of sexual or other abuse, a Pennsylvania child abuse lawyer from Cordisco & Saile, LLC can provide a risk-free, cost-free case assessment. Refer to our site to check out our case results and read client testimonials to hear from our satisfied clients.
To learn how we can help, call us at 215-642-2335, or visit our site to schedule a consultation.