Sexual abuse can be devastating in so many ways, for so many reasons. For the most part, this crime is so incredibly destructive because of the fact that such a significant percentage of its victims are under the age of 18.

The Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network (RAINN) claims that someone in the United States becomes a victim of sexual abuse approximately every two minutes. That number equates to a total of 207,754 sexual abuse victims nationwide each year.
When it comes to understanding the reality of sexual abuse, there are a number of statistics that would surely surprise many adults. For instance, four-fifths of all sexual abuse victims are under the age of 30.

Many people believe that adults, even those in their 40s and 50s, are just as often the target of sexual abuse as young people. Because of the predatory nature of those who engage in sexual abuse, it is much more common for young people to become the target. Sadly, many victims of sexual assault and abuse are toddlers who cannot even speak out about the crimes, let alone understand them.

Predators Frequently Go Unreported

In the United States, 54 percent of all sexual assault and abuse cases go unreported to police or people of authority. What is even more disheartening, and is perhaps also directly related to the previous statistic, is that 97 percent of all sexual predators will never spend a single day behind bars.

But the prevalence of victims coming forward in recent months has got to be a positive sign for advocates and law enforcement officials alike. The Jerry Sandusky and Penn State University sex abuse scandal, which has perhaps garnered the most nationwide attention of any sexual abuse case to date, is just one of the many victories across the country for victims of this awful crime.
In Washington State, a man who was allegedly sexually abused as a child by a Catholic school official in Seattle was recently awarded $6.4 million by a Superior Court jury. In that case, the man claims he was abused on a weekly basis over the course of three years by a teacher and principal of the school.

In that case, the boy – now a full-grown adult man – had allegedly reported the abuse to administrators several times, but his complaints fell on deaf ears. A jury found the Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate 80 percent at fault for the abuse, and subsequently the original $8 million verdict was reduced to $6.4 million.

This article was provided by Davis Law Group, P.S.

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Paul d’Oliveira

Attorney Paul d’Oliveira has been practicing personal injury and disability law for over 30 years. He started his personal injury law practice in 1989 with two offices in Fall River, MA and East Providence, RI. Today his firm has 16 offices in RI and Southeastern, MA.

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