Sexual Abuse Lawyer
Studies estimate approximately 500,000 children are the victims of sexual abuse every year in the United States. Cases of sexual abuse are widely under-reported, as many children’s experiences are enshrouded in fear, shame, distrust, and denial.
Some figures suggest that as many as 88 percent of all cases of sexual abuse are never reported. According to experts, up to 20 percent of all girls and five to ten percent of boys will experience sexual abuse in their youth.
Childhood Sexual Abuse
Childhood sexual abuse is defined as any sexual activity that occurs between a child and an adult or older individual.
Each state in the United States has established an age of consent, which is determined to be the age at which an individual is old enough to understand the implications of consenting to sexual and other activities.
Any individual who has not yet reached this age is considered unable to provide consent, and therefore any sexual activity involving minors is considered sexual abuse: it is illegal. All fifty states consider sexual abuse illegal and will punish a perpetrator to the full extent of the law.
Sexual Abuse Offenders
Sexual abuse is often committed by someone known to the child or with whom the child is acquainted. It is estimated that 70 to 90 percent of all children who are sexually abused know their assailant.
A sexual abuser can be a parent, sibling, stepparent, other relative, teacher, coach, babysitter, or anyone else with an opportunity to be close to children. Of the reported cases of sexual abuse, men are the offenders more often than women, though either sex may commit sexual abuse.
Many people assume that only pedophiles commit sexual abuse against children, though that is not often the case. According to research, less than ten percent of all sexual abusers are truly pedophiles by definition. A pedophile is an individual whose primary sexual preference is children.
This type of sexual abuser commonly prefers the company of children to that of his peers. Pedophilia is considered a psychopathology, the manifestation of which is not restricted to one particular type or group of people.
A person who commits sexual abuse, pedophile or not, is often a trusted and respected member of the community.
Pressing Criminal Charges Against the Sexual Abuser
According to a number of studies, those who commit sexual abuse are not likely to stop the abuse on their own accord. Often legal intervention (pressing criminal charges against the sexual abuser) is the only way to stop the abuse.
A person who commits sexual abuse may benefit from specialized treatment: some change and never abuse again, while others will continue to commit sexual abuse. In one study the rate of recidivism for those without treatment was 17 percent compared to 12 percent for those who have received treatment.
Those who are convicted of sexual abuse will usually be required to register as a sex offender on a national registry. This provides citizens assess to information about sexual abusers and other sex offenders who live or work in their communities.
Have you or someone you know been the victim of sexual abuse? If so, please contact us today to speak with an experienced attorney who will enable you to seek the compensation that you deserve.
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