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- Emotional Trauma: Sexual abuse victims may become depressed or withdrawn and express fear of being left alone or with health-care workers.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