Chicago Sexual Abuse Lawyer
Sexual abuse is a heinous crime that can have lifelong effects on victims. Victims of sexual abuse often feel confused and alone.
Sexual abuse is an ugly reality that too often goes undisclosed where victims suffer in silence because they are embarrassed, ashamed, and fearful of what will happen if they speak up.
Are you or a loved one a sexual abuse survivor? The personal injury attorneys at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers, LLC, are legal advocates for the sexually assaulted and fight aggressively on their behalf to hold those responsible financially accountable
Call a Chicago sexual abuse attorney at (888) 424-5757 (toll-free phone number) or use the contact form today for immediate legal advice and schedule a free consultation. All confidential or sensitive information you share in a safe setting with our legal team remains private through an attorney-client relationship.
Sexual abuse is an unfortunate reality for many people. If you or someone you love has been the victim of sexual abuse, it is essential to seek legal help. In such cases, Chicago sexual abuse lawyers can help you pursue justice.
No one should have to suffer the physical, emotional, and mental trauma that comes with sexual abuse. Unfortunately, this type of abuse is relatively common in Chicago. The Chicago Police Department statistics show that there were 2,065 reports of sexual assault in Chicago in 2021.
The department saw an increase in the figure from 2020, which was 1,612. Sexual assault cases have increased in all parts of the city. Since sexual violence is on the rise, everyone needs to be vigilant, especially children and women.
What Is Sexual Abuse?
Sexual abuse is any sexual violence, including rape, child molestation, sexual assault, and sexual harassment. It can happen to anyone regardless of age, gender, or background.
Moreover, it is a crime that can have long-lasting effects on the victim. The physical and emotional trauma can be shattering for abuse victims.
Any unwanted sexual contact also constitutes sexual abuse. Besides mental anguish and physical injuries, the horrible experience often leads to other problems, such as pain and suffering, missed work, therapy bills, medical costs, etc.
What Are The Signs Of Sexual Abuse?
Sex abuse often leaves behind physical and emotional scars on victims. Sexual abuse survivors can find it challenging to come to terms with what happened, let alone speak about it.
Here are some indicators that someone is a victim of sex abuse:
- Detachment from family and friends
Sex abuse survivors, especially children, are often scared to tell anyone about the abuse for fear of retaliation. Unfortunately, many sexual abusers are people that the victims know and trust, such as a family members or a neighbor.
This makes it even more difficult for sexual abuse victims to come forward. However, if you suspect that someone you know is being or has been sexually abused, it's important to offer help.
Where Does Sexual Abuse Take Place?
Sexual abuse can happen everywhere. Unfortunately, many sex abuse victims live with their abusers, making it hard to spot the signs of abuse. Other times, the abuser may be someone outside the family, such as a coach, teacher, babysitter, or neighbor.
Here are some places sexual violence or unwanted touching can occur:
- Mental health facilities
- Daycare centers
- Nursing homes
- Foster home
- Tutoring facility
- After-school program
- Religious institutions
- Medical facilities
- At home
Sexual abuse in places like nursing homes and schools at the hands of a nurse or a school teacher is likely because both the children and the elderly are dependent on these authority figures.
Types of Chicago Sexual Assault Cases
Sex abuse or unwanted sexual touchingmight involve:
Date rape occurs when the victim is sexually assaulted by someone they spending time with like on a date, at an event or at home. In many cases, the victim may be romantically involved with their abuser, leading to long-lasting emotional harm.
While a stranger raping a victim is one of the most feared types of sex abuse, it is less common than rapes or assaults involving a family member, friend, or partner.
Unwanted Sexual Touching
Children are prime victims of such sexual abuse. Family members, teachers, babysitters, and others can inappropriately touch them without notice from others.
The Aftereffects of Sexual Abuse on Victims
Sexual abuse victims tend to experience embarrassment, shame, fear, and other emotions. These are all normal reactions to an abnormal situation. It's important for loved ones to be patient and understanding and offer support without judgment. Victims of sexual abuse may experience the following aftereffects:
- Radical Changes in Personality: When people experience sex abuse, they may act in ways that are out of character. For example, a usually outgoing person may become withdrawn and shy. A victim may also become more aggressive.
- Changes in Sexual Attitude or Behavior: Some victims of sexual abuse become promiscuous, while others become celibate. Some will engage in risky behaviors, such as unprotected sex.
- Poor Performance in School: Young children or students experiencing sexual assault may have trouble concentrating in school. Their grades may suffer as a result.
- Eating Disorders: Many victims of sexual assault struggle with poor body image and may develop eating disorders such as anorexia or bulimia.
- Self-Harm: Self-mutilation, such as cutting or burning oneself, is often a sign that a person is dealing with deep emotional pain. Sexual assault victims may turn to self-harm as a way to cope with their trauma.
- Substance Abuse: Many people who have been sexually assaulted turn to drugs or alcohol to numb their pain. Substance abuse can lead to addiction and other serious life-altering problems.
- Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder: A concerning consequence of sexual assault is post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Victims of sexual violence may have flashbacks, nightmares, and anxiety. They may avoid people or places that remind them of the attack. In severe cases, they may even dissociate from reality.
Common Defendants in Chicago Sexual Abuse Cases
Most childhood sexual abuse lawsuits involve predators and others with the means to pay a court judgment or settlement.
Below are some common parties named (defendants) in legal claims stemming from childhood sexual abuse.
- Clergy: Thousands of civil lawsuits have been filed against Catholic church members. The church itself says that as much as 1% of its priest population are abusers, equating to hundreds of thousands of wrongdoers and millions of abused kids. In addition, the Catholic Church has paid out an estimated three billion dollars in settlements for the abusive acts of its clergy and priests that occurred in churches and dioceses.
- Teachers: Teachers are the target of child sex abuse claims. In most cases, the teachers are named individually and as an employee of the school district where they were employed when the alleged abuse occurred. In most of these circumstances, school districts have to represent them in court under a theory of Respondeat Superior.
- Coaches: The horrors of Larry Nassar came to light at Michigan State University. However, many other coaches have abused minors with sexual harassment or inappropriate sexual activity.
- Doctors: A USC physician abused hundreds of young women, prompting a large outcry, his conviction, and a thorough review of the treatment of minors by medical professionals. Doctors exercise such complete control over patients that sexual abuse involving a patient can and does happen unexpectedly.
- Foster Parents: Many foster parents entrusted with protecting our most vulnerable members of society are a real danger all too often. In most cases, the individual perpetrators don't have sufficient assets to pursue. Consequently, cases are typically brought against the foster care agencies for failing to screen the parents or supervise minors under their care.
- Youth Groups: Many large youth groups nationwide have been scrutinized for child sexual abuse cases. The Boy Scouts of America (BSA) received negative attention involving sexual abuse litigation.
- Other Care Facilities: As disturbing as it sounds, the facilities we entrust our youngest children and elderly parents to for care are not immune from abusive conduct. Reports of sexual assaults on minors at daycare centers are increasingly common.
- Caregiver Facilities: Many survivors of sexual assault are residing in nursing homes where the predator might be an employer, staff member, visitor, or another resident.
What Damages Can Victims of Sexual Assault Seek?
Sexual abuse cases require legal action in order to ensure that the abuser is punished and does not have the opportunity to abuse again. While monetary compensation cannot heal the physical and emotional damage done by sexual assault, it can help the victim pay for medical treatment, counseling, lost wages, and other necessary expenses.
In some sexual assault cases, punitive damages may also be available. For example, sexual assault victims can seek the following compensation in the Chicago area:
- Medical Bills: Sexual abuse lawyers can help victims recover damages to pay for the cost of medical treatment for physical injuries suffered in the attack.
- Counseling and Therapy: Many victims of sexual abuse suffer from the emotional trauma that can last a lifetime. Sexual abuse lawyers can help victims recover the cost of counseling and therapy to help them cope with their experiences.
- Lost Wages: If the sexual assault renders you unable to work, you may be able to recover damages for the wages you would have earned by holding abuser responsible for your inability to work.
- Pain and Suffering: Sex abuse survivors experience physical pain and suffering. You may be able to recover compensation for these injuries.
- Punitive Damages: A civil court may award punitive damages to punish the abuser and send a message that this type of behavior will not be tolerated.
Support for a Victim of Sexual Abuse
Are you or someone you know a sexual abuse victim in Chicago? Reach out to a Chicago sexual abuse attorney to help seek compensation for financial costs, emotional distress, and punitive damages.
Additional resources in Chicago, IL, are also available, including:
- Illinois Coalition Against Sexual Assault: ICASA is a not-for-profit membership organization that provides help to sexual abuse victims and survivors across Illinois. They have a 24/7 crisis hotline that you can call for support and information about sexual violence.
- Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP): SNAP is a self-help group that helps sexual abuse victims heal and move on from their trauma of abuse at religious institutions.
- Rape, Abuse, & Incest National Network (RAINN): RAINN is the largest anti-sexual violence organization in the United States. They operate the National Sexual Assault Hotline at – 800-656-HOPE (4673). Survivors can also talk to them through online chat.
- Resilience: Resilience is another not-for-profit organization in Chicago, IL, that assures victims are treated with dignity, respect, and compassion. They provide free counseling services for anyone sexually assaulted, regardless of when the abuse happened.
- 1in6: 1 in 6 is an organization that helps men who have had unwanted or abusive sexual experiences in their lives. They offer a free, confidential helpline for men to talk about their experiences and receive a free consultation from trained professionals.
- Community Crisis Center, Inc: CCC is an organization offering hope, advocacy, safety, education, and respite for people impacted by any kind of violence or crisis in the Fox Valley Region, Illinois. If you live in Fox Valley, you can learn about the organization's counseling and prevention education by contacting them.
These are only some of the many organizations that support sexual assault victims in Chicago. If you or someone you know is a victim of sexual assault, call us today.
Hire Sex Abuse Attorneys To Resolve Your Compensation Case
Are you or a loved one a victim of sexual abuse? A sexual abuse lawyer from our law firm can file a case against your abuser. You may be able to recover financial and non-financial damages, from the sexual predator and others who might also be involved.
A sexual abuse lawyer at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers, LLC, can help you initiate legal action against the perpetrator and other parties who may be directly or indirectly involved in assisting or facilitating the trauma you suffered.
Moreover, a sexual abuse lawyer can often file your claims in years after the state statute of limitations expires. We accept all sexual assault lawsuits on a contingency fee arrangement, meaning no upfront fees are paid until your case is resolved.
Contact us at (888) 424-5757 for your free case evaluation.
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