We Want to Help You Find Justice if You Were Assaulted as a Child
Few things are as devastating as sexual assault and abuse. When this crime is committed against a child, the physical and psychological scars can affect them as they come of age and try to find their way into adult life. It is a horrifying fact that every 9 minutes, the sexual assault of a child is committed somewhere in the U.S. Most of these attacks—93%—are perpetrated by someone who knows the child and holds a position of authority over them.
The attacker may be:
- a family member,
- a teacher,
- a clergy member,
- a coach,
or any other figure that both has the child’s trust and the opportunity to be alone with them.
Many perpetrators of childhood sexual abuse coerce the child into remaining silent about the abuse, which both burdens the child with a painful secret and allows the abuse to continue. Assaults may happen once or repeatedly, but either way, the child who experiences them may suffer developmental difficulties, physical injuries, and mental health struggles as a result.
The Impacts of Childhood Sexual Abuse Persist into Adulthood
The trauma of sexual abuse usually outlasts the abuse itself and can develop into mental and behavioral conditions that cause more harm. Many survivors of assault blame themselves because their attacker is someone they know and trust. This can lead to survivors adopting negative beliefs about themselves. They may experience depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and other mental illnesses.
Aside from causing children to lose trust in authority figures and struggle to connect with others, sexual assault can impact a victim’s behavior in other ways. As they grow up, adolescents may:
- Be 3-4 times more likely to use illicit substances
- Begin regularly using drugs before peers who were not assaulted
- Be between 3 and 5 times more likely to commit criminal acts
These behaviors can stand in the way of success at a vital age; education is important when it comes to entering the workforce. Even for those survivors who do manage to complete secondary and post-secondary education, the effects of depression, anxiety, and PTSD can interfere with their performance both in class and in the workplace. Sexual abuse as a child has a cascading effect that reduces the quality of life of survivors and victims.
Medical Aspects of Recovery
In addition to the heavy mental burden, the survivors of childhood sexual assault may need higher-than-average levels of healthcare for physical conditions. They are more likely to contract HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). In some cases, their genitals and other organs in the area may be damaged by forced sexual contact. Sexual abuse may also be accompanied by other types of physical abuse, causing additional damage.
Fighting for Justice for the Survivors of Childhood Sexual Abuse
If you are healing after an experience(s) of childhood sexual abuse, seeing your assaulter held accountable can be an important part of moving forward. Not only should perpetrators pay the criminal consequences, but the abusers and others who allowed or facilitated the abuse should be held financially accountable for their unconscionable conduct.
If you or someone you love has been violated in this way, you deserve help and support. The civil justice system provides avenues for victims and survivors of childhood sexual abuse to pursue legal action and against their abusers and those who allowed the abuse to take place. For example, many states have extended statutes of limitations for abuse that happens during childhood, meaning that a survivor may have well into adulthood to bring a claim. If a legal action is successful, it may result in payment of financial compensation to the survivor.
Ashcraft & Gerel wants to help you recover compensation from your attacker—because they should pay in every way possible for what they did to you.If you want to file a claim for childhood sexual abuse, call us now at (866) 709-0505 to set up a free and private consultation with one of our experienced attorneys. We can provide the advocacy you need to stand up against abusers and seek justice.