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Chicago Sexual Abuse Lawyers

Sexual abuse is a heinous crime that can have lifelong effects on victims. Child sexual abuse victims 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 we 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. We'll treat you with the utmost respect you deserve.

Chicago Sexual abuse lawyer

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 rising, everyone must 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 damages can be shattering for abuse victims.

Any unwanted sexual contact also constitutes sexually abusive behavior for which the predator should be held accountable. 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 harmed by sex abuse:

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Insomnia
  • Nervousness
  • Fearfulness
  • Flashbacks
  • Detachment from family and friends

Sex abuse survivors, especially minors, are often scared to tell anyone about the abuse for fear of retaliation. Unfortunately, many sexual abusers are people the injured party knows and trusts, such as family members, neighbors, or other victims.

Knowing the abuser makes it even more difficult for the injured to come forward. However, if you suspect someone you know is being or has been sexually assaulted, it's important to offer help to ensure the predator is held responsible.

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
  • School
  • Daycare centers
  • Nursing homes
  • Foster home
  • Tutoring facility
  • After-school program
  • Religious institutions
  • Medical facilities
  • At home

Sexual abuse in nursing homes and schools at the hands of a nurse or a school teacher is likely because youngsters and the elderly depend on these authority figures.

Chicago Sexual abuse attorney

Types of Chicago Sexual Assault Cases

Sex abuse or unwanted sexual touching might involve:

Date Rape

Inappropriate sexual behavior occurs without consent when the victim is sexually assaulted by someone they spend time with, like on a date, at an event, or at home. In many cases, the victimized person may be romantically involved with their abuser, leading to long-lasting emotional harm.

Stranger Rape

While a stranger raping someone 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 targets of the many forms of sexual abuse. Family members, teachers, babysitters, and others can inappropriately touch the child without notice from others.

The Aftereffects of Sexual Abuse on Victims

Sexual abuse victims experience embarrassment, shame, fear, and other emotions, which are all normal reactions a child feels to an abnormal situation.

Loved ones need to be patient and understanding and offer support without judgment. Victims of sexual abuse may experience the aftereffects of a predator's indecent exposure or inappropriate physical contact, including:

  • 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 or indecent exposure in front of others.
  • Poor Performance in School: Sexually assaulted young students may have trouble concentrating. Their grades may suffer as a result.
  • Eating Disorders: Many sexually assaulted adults and minors 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. Sexually assaulted minors and adults may turn to self-harm to cope with their trauma and related depression.
  • Substance Abuse: Many people who have been sexually assaulted turn to drugs or alcohol to numb their feelings. Substance abuse can lead to addiction and other serious life-altering problems.
  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder: A concerning consequence of being sexually assaulted is post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Survivors 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 says that as much as 1% of its priest population are abusers, equating to hundreds of thousands of wrongdoers and millions of sexually assaulted 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 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 sexually abused minors with sexual harassment or inappropriate sexual activity.
  • Doctors: A USC physician sexually assaulted 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 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.
  • 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.
  • Caregiver Facilities: Many sexually assaulted survivors reside in nursing homes where the predator might be an employer, staff member, visitor, or another resident.

What Damages Can Child Sexual Abuse Victims Seek?

These cases require legal action in civil court to ensure that the abuser is punished and not allowed to abuse again. The predator need not be found guilty in criminal court to resolve a compensation claim.

While monetary compensation cannot heal the physical and emotional damage done by sexually abusive behavior, it can help the victim pay for medical treatment, counseling, lost wages, and other necessary expenses.

In some cases, punitive damages may also be available. For example, sexually assaulted adults and minors can seek the following compensation in the Chicago area:

  • Medical Bills: Sexual abuse lawyers can help survivors recover damages to pay for medical treatment for physical harm suffered in the attack.
  • Counseling and Therapy: Many sexual abuse survivors suffer from intense emotional trauma that can last a lifetime. Sexual abuse attorneys can help survivors recover the cost of counseling and therapy to help them cope with their experiences.
  • Pain and Suffering: Sex abuse survivors experience physical distress 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.
Chicago Child Sexual abuse lawyer

Support for Sexually Assaulted Minors and Adults

Were you or someone you know sexually assaulted in Chicago? Reach out to an experienced Chicago law firm when seeking compensation and justice for financial costs, emotional distress, and punitive damages.

Additional resources in Chicago, IL, are available, including:

  • Illinois Coalition Against Sexual Assault: ICASA is a not-for-profit membership organization that provides help to sexually assaulted survivors across Illinois. They have a 24/7 crisis hotline that you can call for support and information about sexually abusive violence.
  • Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP): SNAP is a self-help group that helps sexually abused adults and minors heal and move on from their trauma of abuse at religious institutions.
  • Rape, Abuse, & Incest National Network (RAINN): RAINN is the largest sex-related 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 survivors 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. 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 offers hope, advocacy, safety, education, and respite for people impacted by any 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 Chicago's many organizations that support sexually assaulted survivors. Call our law firm today if you or someone has been victimized by sexual assault.

Chicago Child Sexual abuse attorney

Hire a Sexual Abuse Lawyer to Resolve Your Compensation Case

Have you or a loved one been sexually assaulted? Sexual abuse attorneys from our law firm can file a civil claim against your abuser. You deserve compensation to recover financial and non-financial damages because of the sexual predator's wrongful acts.

The sex abuse attorneys 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, sexual abuse attorneys may be able to file your claims years after the state statute of limitations expires.

Our law firm accepts all sexual assault lawsuits on a contingency fee arrangement, meaning no upfront fees are paid until your lawyer resolves your civil lawsuit.

Contact us at (888) 424-5757 for your free case evaluation.

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