Being forced or coerced into sexual contact is never an acceptable situation, and it's even more repugnant when it involves some of the most vulnerable among us: children and the elderly. As parents and caregivers, we do our best to ensure that we are placing our children and our elders in safe environments. Despite our best intentions, however, these groups remain at a heightened risk of becoming victims of sexual abuse. Children are most at risk of sexual abuse from a non-family member in settings where they remain outside the supervision of their parents, such as:
It is extremely difficult to know the exact number of children who are sexually abused, as many cases go unreported. In 2003, 78,188 cases of child sexual abuse were reported through child protective agencies, yet surveys of adult women show that 9-28% of them report that they were sexually abused as children, which would mean that that number is likely much higher.
Although the impact of an episode of sexual abuse may not be outwardly apparent, studies repeatedly confirm that people who are sexually abused as children continue to suffer lifelong problems in different areas of their lives. If you or someone you care about has been a victim, contact Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers for a free consultation with a sexual assault attorney in Illinois.
Find a Sexual Abuse Attorney for Elders
Those who are elderly or are physically or mentally unable to protect themselves are also at risk of sexual abuse. These adult victims are primarily at risk of uninvited sexual contact in a long-term care setting such as a nursing home or assisted living facility. These victims are targets due to their limited ability to fight off sexual advances or the fact that they are cognitively unable to report the abuse. Many are further traumatized with fear tactics to ensure their silence.
Signs of sexual abuse in adult victims can include physical, emotional, or behavioral changes. It's important to be able to spot the common characteristics of sexually abused patients in nursing homes or assisted living facilities.
- Physical Symptoms: The victim may have bruising and lacerations on or around their genital area, wrists, ankles, and other extremities. Sexually transmitted diseases and infections can also be signs of sexual abuse.
- Emotional Trauma: Sexual abuse victims may become depressed or withdrawn and express fear of being left alone or with health-care workers. They may become fearful or resistant of being dressed or undressed for routine care.
- Behavioral Changes: Victims may show signs of anxiety or anger. Cognitively impaired individuals, such as those with dementia, may begin displaying new behaviors, including avoidance of certain staff members, sleep disturbances, and violent episodes.
If you've noticed these symptoms in a loved one, it's time to seek help and support, and one of the support points you may consider contacting is a sexual assault attorney in Illinois. The sexual assault lawyers at our firm are sensitive to the nature of your case and passionate about delivering justice.
Demonstrating the Extent of Sexual Abuse in Civil Lawsuits
In many cases involving sexual abuse, our sexual assault attorneys use the services of psychiatrists, psychologists, and other mental health experts both to help our clients personally cope with some of the emotional issues that they encounter and to help jurors understand the horrors that our client experienced. Frequently, the use of these experts translates into a more valuable case, as these experts can better articulate the impact on the individual than people are usually capable of doing themselves.
Hire a Top Sexual Assault Lawyer in Chicago and get Help Moving Forward
Each sex abuse attorney at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers has experience providing assistance with these difficult situations, and we are mindful of the emotional toll these cases have on victims when they are forced to relive their experiences. All safeguards are used to minimize the emotional toll on the individual through the course of settlement or litigation of the case.
If you or a loved one is the victim of sexual abuse in Chicago or anywhere in Illinois and you've been wondering, "Where can I find sexual abuse lawyers near me?", please contact our law office for a confidential discussion of your situation and your legal rights. A sex abuse lawyer will answer your questions in a safe, no-pressure environment.
Resources for Individuals and Families Coping With Sexual Abuse
- Removing the Statute of Limitations on Childhood Sexual Abuse Cases
- Sexual Abuse in Nursing Homes
- Child Sexual Abuse Fact Sheet
- When Childhood Sexual Abuse Cases are Ignored
One of the most horrendous acts that can happen in our society is the sexual abuse of a child. This perversion of power can scar a young child, affecting their emotional growth and every aspect of their lives. Unfortunately, it is difficult to protect these young victims, especially when their abusers are adults that are often those closest to them: family members, educators, caregivers and even clergy.
Although nothing can detract from the pain this type of abuse can cause, civil lawsuits against the perpetrator can provide compensation for injuries and give a sense of closure for many victims. As Chicago sexual abuse attorneys, Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC is committed to holding responsible parties fully accountable under Illinois when it comes to paying damages in civil lawsuits deriving from their acts.
If you or a loved one is a victim of sexual abuse, we invite you to contact our office for a free review of your legal rights and options for a financial recovery. We are deeply committed to holding individuals and organizations accountable for abuse perpetrated against the innocent. Complete our case intake form here for a free review of your legal rights and options for recover.
Impacts Of Sexual Abuse On A Child, Teen & Adult
The long-reaching impacts of this type of child molestation and sexual abuse can follow victims for the rest of their lives. For children that are molested by a trusted adult, the road to recovery can last a long time. Many abused children and adult survivors have deep-seeded psychological damage, affecting their ability to forge healthy relationships, as well as many other challenges. Some of the common impacts child sexual abuse can have on a victim include:
- Anti-social behavior
- Stunted emotional development
- Loss of self-esteem
- Self-abusive behaviors
- Suicidal tendencies
Each victim’s circumstances are unique; how they cope is dependent on the support system they have around them. Some victims show immediate signs of emotional damage where other children may not display any symptoms of abuse until years down the road.
Frequency of Child Molestation
It is difficult to know precisely how many children are abused as it is often not reported to authorities. However, the statistics that are verifiable are horrific enough. According to a 2010 report from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Children’s Bureau, 9.2% of children that were victimized were sexually abused.
This number is almost 1 in 10 children, which is a conservative number since many children do not report their abuse, especially when the abuser is someone they trust. Another report by the National Institute of Justice estimates that 3 out of 4 adolescents that were sexually assaulted claimed the abuser was someone with whom they had a close relationship.
Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC has represented individuals sexually abused in the following settings across Illinois:
For many victims of sexual abuse as a child, the road to recovery is difficult. Many victims live in silence and pain for years before they confide to anyone about their trauma. The emotional and psychological damage can affect all areas of their lives, from diminished focus in school to forging healthy relationships. Because of the abuse, these children can grow up to live very different lives than they would have if their childhood had not been taken away through the malicious acts of their abuser.
It is almost impossible to put a price on the costs of child sexual abuse. Survivors of this type of abusive attack have scars that will always be with them and have had a piece of their childhood ripped away. Although therapy and counseling can help many victims learn to move past this abuse, the damage that it caused will always be a part of them for the rest of their lives.
Chicago Sexual Abuse Lawyers Actively Pursuing Claims For Civil Damages
Whatever your circumstance, it is important to know that you are not alone. Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC has represented individuals who were victimized as children by religious leaders, school officials, organized group leaders and others in positions of power. Our Chicago sexual abuse attorneys are not just committed to your financial recovery, in many circumstances we have helped connect victims with other survivors and with leading counselors. Talk to us to arrange a confidential consultation with an attorney who appreciates your situation. Contact us today.
Resources for child sexual assault: