Sexual abuse, in any form, is not easy to talk about whether it happened recently or decades ago. When someone has been sexually abused, assaulted, harassed, or molested, it can be difficult to comprehend, let alone to seek justice. That is where the Law Offices of Mark Yablonovich comes in to help.
Sex abuse of children is a pervasive problem throughout the United States. The Child Molestation Research & Prevention Institute has found that at least one in five girls and one in ten boys will be sexually abused before they become teenagers. Given the difficulty in reporting such abuse, the numbers are likely even higher. Sadly, most abuse is perpetrated by adults that a child knows, such as a relative, teacher, religious leader, coach, or mentor. Countless organizations serving children have failed to take the steps necessary to protect them from sexual abuse and misconduct. Such organizations are finally facing legal responsibility.
California takes the protection of children against acts of sexual abuse very seriously. The laws in place to protect children, prevent abuse, and punish those who commit it are powerful tools for seeking justice. These laws cover a wide range of sexual activities and inappropriate behavior, including:
If you suspect abuse or if your child reports abuse, listen. Don’t let abusers excuse their behavior by saying that it was an accident or a joke. The truth is, if it makes you or your child feel uncomfortable, it is likely abuse. To learn what action you can take against the abuser, speak with an experienced child sex abuse attorney today.
Children often feel shame, fear, and uncertainty in the wake of abuse and may not know how to verbalize what has happened to them. That is why it is imperative for parents to notice when something may be wrong with their child. Signs of sexual abuse may include:
Removing your child from any situation you feel is unsafe is the most important step. It is important, then, to get your child to speak about what has happened. Children may feel more comfortable speaking with a therapist or other professional before speaking with their parents or guardians about the abuse. It is important to allow children to go at their own pace. Once the safety of your child is secured, speak to an experienced sex abuse attorney about the steps you can take to punish the abuser and prevent further abuse.
If you suspect abuse, it is important that you take action immediately.
Many victims don’t recognize these effects until they are adults. Some victims relive the trauma of the abuse for decades after the assault. Common long-term effects of sexual abuse include:
Depending on the identity of the abuser and how the abuse occurs, there may be many parties who are ultimately responsible for the suffering caused by abuse.
Organizations serving young people have a vital duty to ensure the safety of their participants. When an institution knew or should have known about the risks of abuse and failed to take appropriate steps to keep children safe, the institution, along with the individual abuser, may face liability for the harm caused.
The following organizations and individuals have been held responsible in sexual abuse cases:
It is critical to determine all possible liable parties when pursuing justice for sexual abuse and molestation. Speak with an experienced sex abuse attorney today to understand who may be responsible for your injuries.
The prosecutor’s office has the choice of whether to investigate allegations and file criminal charges for sexual misconduct involving children. These cases are important to directly punish the abuser, but they are often inadequate to hold the organization accountable and to help victims recover from abuse and cover their losses.
A civil lawsuit, on the other hand, allows victims to seek compensation, including:
While no amount of money can erase the harm caused by sexual abuse, adequate compensation can help you and your family move forward with healing and a sense of justice. Civil lawsuits can also help protect others from sexual abuse by encouraging institutions to implement policies to prevent further abuse from occurring.
Each state has its own statute of limitations. Per recent legislation in California, many survivors of child sexual abuse can bring a civil lawsuit for damages until their 40th birthday. And those whose statutes of limitations have previously expired have until December 31, 2022, to file a lawsuit against the perpetrator and any affiliated organizational members, such as a church, Boy Scouts, or any other organization.
In many cases, survivors of assault do not report the crime or do not pursue any action against their abusers for a long period of time. It’s important to know that the statute of limitations in a civil case is different from the statute of limitations for criminal charges. A civil case’s outcome is not determined by the outcome of a criminal case. A personal injury lawsuit can be filed even if criminal charges are pending, were dismissed, or were never filed. Please contact us today to learn more about your options before it is too late.
When choosing a lawyer to represent you and/or your child it is important to have a team that you can trust. The attorneys at the Law Offices of Mark Yablonovich are dedicated and skilled advocates with a passion for obtaining justice for victims of sexual assault in all forms. The Law Offices of Mark Yablonovich has a consistent track record of victory for its clients and brings experience that is both professional and personal in the realm of child sex abuse.
You’re not alone. We are here to walk you through this difficult time both inside and outside of the courtroom.