Chicago Sexual Abuse Lawyer
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. Our law firm fights aggressively 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 law office remains private through an attorney-client relationship. We'll treat you with the utmost respect you deserve.
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 from sexual abuse that so deeply affects a victim's life. 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 many forms of sexual assault recently. 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?
Any sexual abuse committed against others involves violent misconduct, including rape, child molestation, sexual assault, and non-physical sexual acts like sexual harassment. Sexual abuse can happen to anyone regardless of age, gender, or background.
Moreover, sexual abuse is a crime that can have long-lasting physical and psychological effects on the victim. The physical injuries and emotional damages can be shattering for victims of sexual abuse.
Any unwanted sexual contact also constitutes sexually abusive behavior for which the predator should be held accountable.
Besides mental anguish, depression, 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?
Sexual assault often leaves behind physical and emotional scars on many victims. Sexual abuse survivors can find it challenging to come to terms with what happened or speak about what occurred.
Some indicators that someone is harmed by sexual abuse involving children and adults include:
- Emotional damage
- 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 predators are people the injured party knows and trusts, such as family members, neighbors, or other victims of sexual abuse.
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.
Some places where sexual violence or unwanted touching involving staff members, visitors, other students/residents, and employees occur include:
- Mental health facilities
- Daycare centers
- Nursing homes
- Foster home
- Tutoring facility
- Encounters with police
- 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. Failing to protect the innocent from sexual abuse is unacceptable.
Our Chicago sexual abuse lawyers can hold all those responsible for harmful behavior financially accountable.
Types of Chicago Sexual Assault Cases
Sex abuse or unwanted sexual touching might involve:
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.
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
Minors and young adults 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.
Rape and Sexual Abuse by Authority Figures
Our sexual abuse lawyers have handled cases where innocent adults and minors are raped, sodomized or made to perform sexual acts by authority figures. These sexual abusers involve:
- Religious leaders
- Teachers and coaches
- Employers, managers and supervisors
- Family members
- Police officers
- School camp counselors
- Others charged to protect the abused
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 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 experiencing sexual abuse, a person 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, leading to poor grades.
- 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: 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: Survivors of sexual violence may have flashbacks, nightmares, and anxiety.
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.
- 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.
- Coaches: Coaches have sexually abused minors with sexual harassment or inappropriate sexual activity.
- Doctors exercise such complete control over patients that sexual abuse involving a patient can and does happen unexpectedly.
- Foster Parents: Our law firm typically files claims against 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.
- Medical Care Facilities: Many sexually assaulted survivors reside in nursing homes where the predator might be an employer, staff member, visitor, or another resident.
What Common Damages Can Child Sexual Abuse Victims Seek?
There are numerous legal options 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.
Being fairly compensated cannot heal the injury and emotional distress done by sexually abusive behavior. However, it can help sexual abuse victims, and their families 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 compensation in the Chicago area involving:
- Medical Bills: Sexual abuse lawyers can help survivors recover damages to pay for medical care and treatment for physical harm suffered in the attack.
- Counseling and Therapy: Many sexual abuse survivors suffer from intense emotional trauma and event-associated mental illnesses that can last a lifetime.
- 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 a victim of sexual abuse punitive damages to punish the sexual abuser and send a message that inappropriate behavior will not be tolerated in the justice system.
Support for Sexually Assaulted Minors and Adults
Were you or someone you know sexually assaulted in Chicago? Do you seek justice and compensation to hold the sexual abuser and others accountable for your damages?
Contact an experienced Chicago sexual assault lawyer from our law offices to recover your financial costs, emotional damages, and other losses.
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.
- 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 operates the National Sexual Assault Hotline at – 800-656-HOPE (4673). Sex abuse 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 endured unwanted or abusive sexual assault. They offer a free consultation from trained professionals.
Call our Chicago law firm if you or someone you know has been victimized by sexual assault.
Hire Sexual Abuse Lawyers to Resolve Your Compensation Case
Have you or a loved one been sexually assaulted? Personal injury attorneys from our Chicago, Illinois, 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.
A sex abuse lawyer in Chicago, Illinois, 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 for monetary damages years after the state statute of limitations expires.
At Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers, LLC, our Chicago, Illinois law firm accepts all sexual assault lawsuits on a contingency fee arrangement, meaning no upfront fees are paid until your sexual assault lawyer resolves your civil lawsuit.
Contact our sexual abuse lawyer at (888) 424-5757 or use the contact form for your free case evaluation.
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