If you or a loved one has suffered sexual abuse while under the supervision of a church, school, or another organization, you may be able to be entitled to compensation for any psychological trauma, medical bills, lost income, or other damages. Our law firm is working with some of the more experienced sexual abuse attorneys in the country and there are no legal fees until you receive a settlement or award. Call us toll free or contact us online for a free consultation.
Has Someone You Know Suffered Sexual Abuse?
Call d’Oliveira & Associates for a Free Case Evaluation!
In recent years, sexual abuse lawsuits have received national news coverage. These tragic stories have revealed that sexual abuse can happen anywhere and that victims of sexual abuse are not alone. The brave victims that have come forward have prevented abusers from hurting others and have uncovered negligent practices of churches, schools, and other groups. Groups that provide activities for children and teenagers have a duty to protect the children under their care by using the best hiring practices and safeguards.
Signs of Abuse
Child abuse can involve sexual acts, fondling, or grabbing. Sexual abuse is not just physical contact it also includes child pornography, exposure, and voyeurism. There is no tell-tale sign that a child has been sexually abused or molested. Parents and family members should be mindful of their child’s behaviors and notice any unusual changes. Since you know your children best, you should try to talk them about any concerns you have in a way that makes them feel safe.
- Withdrawal from normal activities
- Sudden or unusual changes in behavior
- Depression and sadness
- Emotional extremes
- Suicidal thinking
- Sudden weight changes
- Sleep problems
- Alcohol or drug use
- Risky or unusual sexual behavior
- Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs)
- Decreased socialization
- Isolation from family and friends
- Spending an unusual
amount of time with an adult outside of
- Problems at school
Where Does Abuse Happen?
Abuse can happen anywhere a person has unrestricted access to children and teenagers. This situation arises at Boy Scouts, camp, church, school, and other places. Coaches, scout leaders, and Sunday school teachers play an important role in our children’s lives and we trust that they will do their best to care for our children. Unfortunately, sometimes this trust is misplaced.
Groups that host activities for children need to use the best hiring practices and safeguards. For example, churches should have an appropriate screening process for all of their Sunday school teachers. This may require the church member to be in good standing, provide references, submit to a background check, and undergo training. Also, many states have licensing requirements for employees at day cares, pre-schools, and schools. Additionally, these organizations need to have safeguards. This means that all classrooms should have windows, adults should avoid being one-on-one with a child, and adults should never be alone with children in the bathroom. Organizations need to take reports of inappropriate behavior seriously, investigate the matter, and deal with it appropriately. As a parent you should ask your children about their time at camp or practice and you should “drop-in” on your babysitter or day care to make sure they are meeting your expectations.
Always be aware of your child’s behavior and never trust place absolute trust in an adult based solely on a family relationship, or friendship, or title. The majority of sexual abuse cases involve someone the child knows and trusts.
- Boy Scouts: The Boy Scouts of America is an organization that has been teaching camping and survival skills to boys since 1910. Unfortunately, recent lawsuits have revealed that in some cases the organization did not protect boys from sexual abuse and it even covered up incidents of sexual abuse. Read more
- Church: The Catholic Church has been the subject of numerous sexual abuse cases and several large verdicts and settlements have been awarded to victims. However, sexual abuse is not limited to the Catholic Church, other churches, denominations, and religions have failed to protect children. Read more
- Schools: Coaches, school counselors, and teachers receive a lot of trust from parents and have a lot of power over children. Cases of sexual abuse at school can place the child and family in a difficult position, accusing a trusted teacher of a shocking crime. However, victims of abuse at school deserve justice and other children need to be protected. Read more
- Camps, cyber stalking, day care, foster care, special needs children, and youth sports leagues
Sexual Abuse Statistics
Government statistics indicate that 54% of sexual assaults incidents are never reported. Children and women are the most vulnerable victims of these crimes. In just one year, local child protective services identified 126,000 children who were victims of sexual abuse. 15% of sexual assault and rape victims were under the age of 12, 44% were under the age of 18, and 80% were under the age of 30. Also, 93% of children and teenagers who are abused know their abuser.
Millions of men and women across the nation have been the victim of sexual abuse. Almost 3 million men have been the victim of sexual assault. While, 1 out of every 6 women in the United States has been the victim of attempted or completed rape. This amounts to over 17 million women. Sexual abuse has devastating effects on all of its victims. In fact, victims of sexual assault are 3 times more likely to suffer depression, 13 times more likely to abuse alcohol, 26 times more likely to abuse drugs, and 4 times more likely to have suicidal thinking (i).
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Sexual abuse cases are complex factually and legally. These cases can be difficult because they deal with an emotional issue, a serious allegation, and may be difficult to prove. Whether a person has a strong lawsuit differs from case to case but it is important to understand that there are lawyers dedicated to pursuing these claims and a sexual abuse lawsuit can be filed years after the incident occurred. Read more
- National Center for Prosecution of Child Abuse:
- National Sexual Violence Resource Center:
- Stop Child Sexual Abuse:
- Survivor’s Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP):
Do You or a Loved One Need a Lawyer to Pursue Your Lawsuit
If you or a loved has suffered sexual abuse at church, school, or another organization, then you may be able to recover for your injuries. Our law firm has focused solely on personal injury law and we are sensitive to the injuries of our clients. We work with some of the more experienced sexual abuse lawyers in the country who can help you make a stand for justice. And, there are no legal fees until you receive a sexual abuse settlement or award.
Feel free to call our 24-hour phone line at 1-800-992-6878 for more information or fill out a contact form for a free legal consultation.
- (i) Rape Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN),
statistics compiled from government sources.