Children are vulnerable, and sometimes, adults take advantage of their vulnerability and harm them. If you or someone you know has endured child sexual abuse, an Orlando child sexual abuse lawyer at Dolman Law Group can help you file a legal case.
What Is Child Sexual Abuse?
Sexual abuse involves any sexual contact or behavior without the other person's consent. Different forms of sexual abuse include:
- Attempted rape
- Soliciting and sharing sexual pictures or videos
- Unwanted sexual touching
- Using threats to engage in sexual acts
- Forced oral or penetrative sex
Children cannot consent to any type of sexual relations, so it's illegal if an adult commits any of these acts against a child.
What Are the Effects of Child Sexual Abuse?
Child sexual abuse can have severe and far-reaching repercussions on the abused child, lasting a lifetime. The victims of this crime are likely to experience a negative impact on their psychological and physical well-being, such as:
Effect on Interpersonal Relationships
In sexual abuse cases, the victims find it hard to discuss their assault, making it difficult to get help. It also has a damaging impact on their ability to form or maintain relationships.
Effect on Intimate Relationships
Due to the past traumas from sexual abuse, victims may find it difficult to relate with others because it only brings back painful memories. Even those with partners may have built an emotional barrier that prevents openness with them.
Effect on Relationship with Parents and Siblings
If the perpetrator was a family member, the experience might damage relationships between the child and other family members. In other cases, the victim may have disclosed the abuse to a family member or a close friend, but no appropriate action was taken, making them feel isolated and untrustworthy.
Other Emotional Effects
Assault victims cope with their situation differently; some move on quickly, while others take time to process the abuse. These children can experience sadness, guilt, anger, self-loathing, confusion, and self-blame. Victims of abuse will often not feel confident to discuss it because they feel humiliated and self-conscious of the stigma around sexual abuse.
Warning Signs of a Possible Child Sexual Assault
The following are possible behaviors a child or teen may show if they are suffering from sexual abuse.
Young children may:
- Use new words for private parts
- Exhibit self-isolation or aggressive behavior when the offender is mentioned
- Perform regressive behaviors, such as bedwetting or thumb sucking
Teenagers could experience:
- Drug and alcohol abuse
- Sexual promiscuity
- Avoidance of intimacy
- Suicidal thoughts
Physical Signs of Sexual Abuse in Children
Apart from these signs, there might also be physical signs. They may be rare, but you should get immediate medical attention when you notice them in a child or teen.
Physical signs may include:
- Bleeding or discharge in the genitals, anus, or mouth
- Pain during urination or bowel movement
- Wetting or soiling accidents that are unrelated to toilet training
When you notice these symptoms, we recommend you contact a doctor or psychologist to help your child work through their sexual trauma. Receiving professional help will aid in their recovery.
Filing a Criminal or Civil Lawsuit Against a Perpetrator
We can present your sexual abuse case in a criminal and/or civil court. Most victims are unaware that criminal charges are separate from civil punishment. In a criminal case, the primary interest is to punish the sexual offender.
However, in a civil child sexual abuse lawsuit, the purpose is to recover compensation for the victim's emotional and physical damages. If you are unsure about your legal options, we recommend consulting a child sexual abuse lawyer on our team for the best legal advice.
Recoverable Damages in an Orlando Child Sexual Abuse Case
Our sexual assault attorneys at the Dolman Law Group can help abuse victims receive compensation for the following:
- Current and future medical bills
- Current and future psychological and psychiatric bills
- Pain and suffering
- Rehabilitation if needed
If your loved one passed away from the effects of sexual abuse, you may have grounds to recover wrongful death damages.
What to Do as a Victim of Child Sexual Assault
If you or a loved one has suffered sexual abuse, you should consider:
- Calling the police
- Seeking medical attention
- Hiring a sexual abuse attorney on our Orlando personal injury team
Suffering sexual abuse can traumatize both children and family members; our attorneys at Dolman Law Group are committed to helping you gain compensation following an assault. They can assume various tasks in taking legal action against the perpetrator, such as:
- Collecting and analyzing evidence
- Taking witness accounts
- Assessing damages
- Communicating with parties involved
- Negotiating fair compensation
- Advocating for you in a trial
We will provide our help to you on a contingency-fee basis, meaning you won't ask for a payment unless we secure an award for you.
The Statute of Limitations for Child Sexual Abuse in Florida
In 2010, Florida made a landmark change by eliminating the statute of limitations on criminal and civil claims involving children under 16.
If you are a victim of child sexual assault, you can file a lawsuit against the perpetrator any time after the abuse. It does not matter how much time has passed—many victims of sexual abuse find it challenging to talk about their experiences.
Call Dolman Law Group for Your Free Consultation Today
Child sexual abuse is one of the most despicable crimes, and it is challenging to manage on your own, which is why our Orlando child sexual abuse lawyers are ready to help you with your case.
At Dolman Law Group, we offer a free initial consultation for victims of sexual abuse. Contact us today to learn more.
1701 Park Center Drive, Suite #240-G
Orlando, FL 32835
Phone: (407) 759-4565