Evanston Sexual Abuse Lawyer
Sexual abuse is an extremely sensitive area of the law and can be very hard for victims to come forward about. Sexual assault cases often involve a great deal of emotional distress on the part of the victim or their family members, as well as high legal costs.
At Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers, LLC, our personal injury attorneys have decades of experience handling these types of cases. We understand how important it is to protect your rights in court, which we will do from start to finish with every case you bring us.
Contact an Evanston personal injury lawyer at (888) 424-5757 (toll-free phone number) or use the contact form below for immediate legal advice and schedule a free consultation. Our legal team will work tirelessly to help you get justice for what happened and ensure that no further harm comes from it happening again in the future.
The Devastation of Sexual Assault
According to RAINN, the Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network, one in six American women has been victims of rape or attempted rape in their lifetime. In addition, nearly 20 million women in the United States have been victimized by someone seeking to do them harm.
RAINN also reports that every two minutes, someone is sexually assaulted in this country by someone at home through domestic violence, by strangers, or someone at work, school, or Church. These numbers are staggering and show just how pervasive sexual abuse is in our society.
Unfortunately, many victims feel alone and ashamed after being sexually assaulted. They may not know where to turn for help or might be afraid to speak out about what happened to them.
Everyone should be aware of the signs of sexual abuse and what to do if someone you know is affected.
What Are the Signs of Sexual Assault?
There are many signs that someone may have been sexually assaulted. Some of the most common include:
- Bruises or injuries in the genital area
- Bleeding from the vagina or anus
- Difficulty walking or standing
- Disorientation or confusion
- Slurred speech
- Broken or damaged clothing
If someone you know shows any of these signs, it may be possible that they have been sexually assaulted. Make sure to ask them what happened and if they are okay before you contact emergency services.
Many sex crimes go unreported, for the predator never faces a criminal defense or requires a criminal defense lawyer when facing charges of sexual assault.
Don't Be Afraid to Ask the Questions
It can be difficult to know what to say or do when someone discloses that they have been sexually assaulted. However, it is important to remember that the victim needs your support.
Here are some questions you can ask the victim:
- Are you okay?
- What happened?
- Do you want to go to the emergency room?
- Do you want to call the police?
If the victim is ready to contact emergency services, try to stay with them so that they don't have to talk about what happened alone. If it is not possible for you to stay with the victim, send someone else instead so that they are never alone during this difficult time.
Reach Out to Someone You Trust for Help
After a sexual assault, many people may want to keep what happened a secret. Victims feel ashamed or do not know how their family and friends will react. The victim must know you are there to support them no matter what.
If someone discloses their experience with sexual abuse to you, reach out to someone you trust for support, that could be a friend, family member, or therapist. You can also call the National Sexual Assault Telephone Hotline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673) for confidential support.
Sexual assault is a devastating crime that affects millions of people in the United States. However, by being aware of the signs and symptoms of sexual abuse, you can be there for someone when they need your support the most.
Sexual Assault Cases Can Be Difficult to Prove
Many people are surprised to learn that just because someone has been sexually assaulted does not mean that they will automatically win a case in civil court.
Sexual abuse is often a very difficult crime to prove. The victim must show that they did not consent to the act and that the other person knew this to win a case. It can be difficult, especially if the assault occurred several months or years ago.
If you have been sexually assaulted, it is important to contact an attorney who specializes in sexual abuse cases. They will advise you on your best course of action and help you through the difficult process of filing a civil suit.
Sexual Assault Can Have Long-Term Effects
Are you a sexual abuse victim? If so, it is important to remember that this does not define who you are. It is also possible for victims to recover and heal after their experience.
If you feel like your life has taken a negative turn since the assault, it may be beneficial to seek professional help. A therapist can provide you with confidential support and teach you coping mechanisms that will allow you to move forward positively.
How Can You Help?
- Keep an eye out for signs of sexual abuse
- Reach out for help if someone discloses they have been sexually assaulted
- Remember that being a sexual abuse victim does not define who you are
- Consider the long-term effects of sexual abuse and take steps to recover
Abuse Rates Among School Children
According to the CDC, nearly 10% of students in grades K-12 had been victims of physical or sexual violence within the last year. Further, 4.5% of students reported that the abuse happened on school property.
Data reveals that children with developmental, behavioral, or emotional disabilities are at a higher risk of experiencing violence than their peers. Additionally, LGBTQ students are twice as likely to experience violence at school.
What You Can Do
If you have a child who is being bullied or is a victim of violence, it is important to reach out for help. You can contact your child's teacher, school counselor, school staff member, or the police.
It is also important to talk to your child about violence and bullying. Let them know that it is not their fault and should not keep the abuse a secret.
You can also find helpful resources online or through organizations like the National Child Traumatic Stress Network (NCTSN).
Sexual abuse can have long-term effects on victims, including post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), anxiety, and depression. If you are a sexual abuse victim, it is important to seek help from a therapist or counselor. They will provide you with confidential support and teach you coping mechanisms that will allow you to move forward positively.
How Can You Help?
- Keep an eye out for signs of bullying, cyberbullying, and dating violence
- Reach out for help if someone discloses that they have been sexually or physically abused
- Remember that being the victim of sexual or physical violence does not define who you are. Consider the long-term effects of sexual or physical violence and take steps to recover.
Surviving Rape and Sexual Abuse
Sexual abuse can be terrifying and life-changing for victims. However, it is important to remember that you are not alone during this difficult time. Some people care about you and want to help.
If you have been sexually assaulted, there are several things you can do to get started on the road to healing:
- Talk to someone you trust about what happened. It could be a friend, family member, or therapist
- Seek medical attention, even if you do not have any physical injuries
- Contact a rape crisis center or hotline in your area
- Keep a journal to document your thoughts and feelings about the assault
- Get involved in activism and work to end sexual violence
Counselors or therapists will provide you with confidential support and teach you coping mechanisms that will allow you to move forward positively.
Confronting Sexual Abuse in Schools
A school is a place for children to grow and learn in an environment free from the perils of sexual abuse. But unfortunately, this is not always what happens, as schools across the country have found themselves under investigation for failing to prevent sexual abuse among students.
Victims of sexual abuse in schools have legal options, including filing claims against negligent school districts that failed to take reasonable steps to protect them from harm.
Civil Claims and Jury Awards for School Sexual Abuse in Illinois Schools
To recover maximum compensation from a claim of sexual abuse on school property, a plaintiff must first show that an individual associated with the school district had a duty to provide her with reasonable safety from sexual harm.
Possible defendants could include teachers, other employees, and non-employee third parties such as volunteers, visitors, and students.
The second element of a successful claim in an Illinois school sexual abuse case is proof of sexual harm. It includes harassment, assault, battery, and other forms of unwanted sexual contact.
The final element of a claim in an Illinois school sexual abuse case is proof that the individual associated with the district was negligent in protecting the plaintiff from harm.
It includes instances where the school knew or should have known of a danger to the plaintiff and failed to take reasonable steps to prevent the abuse.
If you have been the victim of sexual abuse or violence in Illinois, please do not hesitate to reach out for help. The National Sexual Assault Telephone Hotline is available 24/7 at 800-656-4673.
You can also find more information about legal remedies for sexual abuse survivors through the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN) or contact a Chicago, IL, sexual abuse attorney.
Sexting and Sexually Explicit Photos on Smartphones
Increasing numbers of teens send and receive sexually explicit photos over their cell phones. But as more kids embrace sexting to flirt, cyberbullying has become increasingly common, according to the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy.
The term "sexting" emerged in 2007. It is defined as sending sexually explicit messages or photos via cell phone, primarily by teenagers.
Sending sexual images creates legal risks for teens depicted in them, even if it's voluntary. Incidents in which peers bully teens through these images have led to discipline, school transfers, and even criminal charges.
Sexual Abuse in Religious Organizations
For decades, the Catholic Church and other religious organizations have faced an onslaught of investigations after hiding predator priests in religious leaders among their congregations. These predator priests would then go on to sexually abuse innocent children.
In one such case, the Catholic Church agreed to a $660 million settlement with more than 500 victims of sexual abuse.
While this case was the largest monetary settlement in U.S. history relating to sexual abuse in a religious organization, it is by no means an isolated incident.
Sexual Misconduct, Abuse, and Mistreatment in Nursing Homes
Data shows that many nursing home residents are victims of sex offenses at the hands of caregivers, other residents, visitors, caretakers, and family members.
In addition, many sex abuse victims in nursing facilities are not only elderly but are also cognitively impaired, which makes them especially vulnerable to abuse.
In one study of sex offenses in nursing homes, it was reported that almost half of all residents who were victims of sexual abuse were also physically abused by individuals assisting people with disabilities and medical care needs.
Federal and state laws protect nursing home residents from sexual abuse and mistreatment. Under the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), a nursing home is required to protect its residents from abuse and neglect as the facility must have a complete sexual abuse prevention plan, including reporting any suspected incidents.
Holding a Sexual Predator Accountable
Often, sexual offenses go unreported, with the predator never facing a criminal charge for sexual misconduct. The victim of sexual abuse will usually remain quiet, feeling shame, guilt, and embarrassment.
There are a few ways sexual predators can be held accountable for their actions.
- If you are the victim of sexual abuse, it is important to reach out to law enforcement and file a criminal complaint. It will investigate the allegations and lead to the predator being arrested and prosecuted.
- In addition to filing a criminal complaint, it is also possible to file a civil claim against the predator in civil court. If successful, this can lead to monetary damages being awarded.
While these are important steps in holding sexual predators accountable for their actions, they only represent part of the process. Unlike a white-collar crime, sexual abuse molestation is considered a sex crime that often results in lengthy prison sentences ordered by a judge at trial.
Evanston, Illinois Sexual Abuse FAQs
Our Cook County, personal injury law firm understands that many families have unanswered questions on dealing directly with an insurance company involving a sexual abuse case. An Evanston sexual abuse lawyer has answered some of those questions below.
Contact our Chicago, IL law firm today at (888) 424-5757 for additional information or immediate legal advice on civil and criminal cases.
What Are Some Signs Someone Is Sexually Assaulted?
There is no one answer to this question as the signs of sexual abuse can vary greatly from individual to individual. However, some common signs that someone has been sexually assaulted include physical injuries, changes in mood or behavior, difficulty eating or sleeping, and feelings of shame or self-blame.
It is important to remember that not everyone who experiences these signs will have been sexually assaulted, and not all sexual assaults result in physical injuries. However, if you are concerned that someone you know may have been sexually assaulted, it is important to reach out for help.
What Should I Do If I Think My Child Has Been Sexually Abused?
If you suspect your child has been sexually abused, it is important to contact law enforcement immediately. The sooner an investigation begins, the more likely it will be that the perpetrator can be identified and prosecuted.
It is also important to seek medical treatment for your child as soon as possible to address any physical injuries that may have occurred due to sexual abuse. Finally, it is important to seek counseling and support for your child to help them heal from the abuse.
Can I File a Lawsuit Against the Perpetrator Even If There Is No Physical Evidence?
Yes, you can file a lawsuit against the perpetrator even if there is no physical evidence. In many cases, sexual abuse is a crime that is difficult to prove without physical evidence.
However, it is unnecessary to prove the allegations beyond a reasonable doubt in a civil lawsuit. Instead, the plaintiff (victim) must only show that it is more likely than not that the abuse occurred.
It makes it possible for victims of sexual abuse to file a lawsuit even if they do not have any physical evidence to support their allegations.
What Is the Statute of Limitations for Filing a Sexual Abuse Lawsuit?
The statute of limitations for filing a sexual abuse lawsuit is two years from the abuse date. However, sometimes, the statute of limitations might be extended when the victim is a minor when abused. It means that if you were a minor when the abuse occurred, the two-year statute of limitations does not begin until your eighteenth birthday.
If you consider filing a lawsuit for sexual abuse against someone who is no longer in Illinois, it is still possible to file this lawsuit. You may also file a complaint in another state if the perpetrator has moved there.
What Is the Aftermath of Sexual Abuse?
Sexual predators can cause serious and long-lasting harm to their victims, and they must be held accountable for their actions. If you or someone you know has been a victim of sexual abuse, please do not hesitate to reach out for help.
The attorneys at our law firm are here to help you seek justice and hold the perpetrator accountable for their actions. We understand that this is a difficult time, and we are here to support you every step of the way. Contact us today at (888) 424-5757 to schedule a free consultation.
Hiring an Evidence and Sexual Abuse Lawyer to Resolve a Compensation Case
Sexual abuse is a heinous crime that can have long-lasting effects on victims. Were you or someone you know sexually assaulted, and do you want to hold the sexual predator accountable for their despicable actions?
The Chicago, IL personal injury attorneys at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers, LLC are legal advocates for sexual abuse victims and can help your family too. Call us at (888) 424-5757 (toll-free phone number) or use the contact form to schedule a free initial consultation.
We understand it takes a tremendous amount of courage to come forward after an assault and report what happened. Unfortunately, many sexual abuse victims never speak out about their experiences again, but at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers, LLC, we want you to know that you are not at fault for what happened.
Our Evanston, IL legal team is standing by to listen to you tell what happened to you months or years ago.
Our sexual abuse lawyers can provide a private setting on a contingency fee basis to ensure that all confidential or sensitive information you share with our legal team remains private through an attorney-client relationship.
Currently, our law offices aggressively fight on behalf of our clients throughout Illinois and the following localities, including Cook County, Kane County, DuPage County, Winnebago County, Lake County, Park Ridge, Arlington Heights, Rolling Meadows, and the greater Chicago area.