How Can Child Sexual Abuse Lawyers Help You Find Justice?

What happens to us during childhood has lifelong impacts—a skilled child sexual abuse lawyer can help you seek justice whenever you’re ready.

Sexual assault, harrassment, and abuse are dehumanizing violations of a person’s body and dignity. When they are perpetrated on children, they can cause lifelong issues with trust, intimacy, and mental health. Filing a lawsuit can help heal the wounds caused by these transgressions by shining a light on dark incidents.

We at the Pride Law Firm have dedicated our professional lives to serving clients with sensitive cases. These include racial and civil rights discrimination, as well as sexual misconduct offenses perpetrated against men, women, and children.

If you are ready to speak to a child sexual abuse lawyer today, contact us online or call our offices at (619) 516-8166 for a confidential consultation. We respect your privacy and your wishes every step of the way, and would be honored to work to achieve the justice you deserve.

A boy in a blue jacket sits alone beside a swing set looking sadly at the ground.

What Is Institutional Child Sexual Abuse?

An assault from an individual on a child is horrendous, but sometimes that intolerable act is covered up and enabled by institutions like:

  • Schools
  • Churches
  • Youth groups
  • Sports teams
  • Medical offices

In order to save their reputations or simply to save money, people within institutions may quietly reassign known abusers to avoid responsibility. In many cases this is illegal—those who are trusted with the care of children are often mandatory reporters, meaning they must report instances of sexual abuse to the proper authorities. In every case, it is a betrayal of trust and a moral failing that unfortunately is allowed and sometimes even encouraged in institutions.

There is no organization more important than the safety and well-being of a child. Institutions that enable sexual abuse or unsafe access to children should be held fully accountable for the harm they’ve fostered.

No organization is more important than the safety and well-being of a child.

What Is the Average Settlement for Childhood Molestation?

There is no one number that can accurately summarize every childhood sexual abuse case settlement, but the amounts can be significant enough to cover a wide range of losses. The determining factors include the age of the child, the relationship the perpetrator had with them (teacher, pastor, stranger, etc.), who else knew about the incident and failed to stop the abuse, and how much time has passed.

Here are some of the possible damages a settlement or verdict may cover:

  • Medical and therapeutic bills related to the abuse, including surgeries, psychological support, and medications
  • Loss of income and future earning capacity as an adult survivor, or the loss of income associated with taking time to support your own child
  • Pain and suffering such as the emotional distress associated with “triggering” events (like panic attacks) or a loss of “consortium” in a marriage if your injuries from childhood sexual abuse interrupt emotional or physical intimacy
  • Punitive damages, which are fees charged to the perpetrator as punishment for what they did, funds that are then awarded to you
  • Wrongful death expenses if your loved one or child was so harmed by the sexual abuse they endured that it ended their life (as in cases of suicide)

There are other kinds of benefits to filing a lawsuit. In speaking out, you could:

  • Help stop perpetrators from hiding in plain sight and victimizing others
  • Expose the failures that left you or your child vulnerable to sexual abuse in the first place (a lack of background checks, or failsafes so that children are never left alone with non-familial adults)
  • Force negligent institutions to correct their policies and reporting procedures for child safety

By filing a suit, you may also give hope to others who have survived childhood sexual abuse. You could be the example who empowers them to speak out as well. In these ways, you could also help save a life.

By filing a child sexual abuse lawsuit with Pride Law Firm, you help stop perpetrators, reform institutions that fail to protect children, and give hope to other survivors.

What Is the Punishment for Child Harassment and Abuse?

Because child sexual abuse is a horrific crime, many assume that those who are caught molesting or assaulting children will suffer criminal penalties, but that is not always the case.

Since children are especially vulnerable to manipulation, lies, and threats from abusers, they may not have the capacity to report the incident when it occurs. Likewise, for those children who do cry out for help, their accusations are sometimes dismissed, ignored, or covered up.

When a child is believed, and the perpetrator is located, there are multiple laws that they may be criminally charged with in California, where The Pride Law Firm is located. These range in severity from ​​lewd or lascivious acts on a child (Penal Code 288 PC) to unlawful sex with a minor (Penal Code 261.5 PC).

If found guilty, the punishments for these acts may seem insultingly inadequate for survivors and their families. For example, punishments as light probation and a fine are not uncommon. Outside of the criminal justice system, you can file a civil suit with Pride Law Firm to hold the guilty party accountable, as well as any institution that failed your child or your younger self like schools, churches, and private groups like the Boy Scouts of America.

Civil actions may also be available to you even if the criminal statute of limitations (filing deadline) has run out. See the next section for more information on the statute of limitations for child molestation and abuse.

You have power under the law to hold abusers accountable. Contact The Pride Law Firm at (619) 516-8166 whenever you’re ready, and consider the real possibility of justice.

 

What Is the Statute of Limitations on Child Molestation?

A statute of limitations is the timeframe between when an unlawful act occurs, and the deadline you have to file a lawsuit related to the incident. These limitations are in place to make sure cases are judged as soon as possible, when evidence and recollections are fresh.

However, child sexual abuse cases are unlike other forms of personal injury. The child may not have the ability to report or articulate what has been done to them at the time, and children do not have the ability to consent the way adults can, which includes contracting to file a lawsuit.

Many states understand these circumstances, and have extended the statute of limitations for child sexual abuse and assault cases to a set number of years after the child turns 18. Other states like Kentucky, Maryland, North and South Carolina, Virginia, West Virginia, and Wyoming have eliminated the statute of limitations for all felony sex crimes, including those committed against children.

In California, survivors of childhood sexual abuse may file a lawsuit by age 40, or within five years of discovering the abuse as an adult. These are recent changes in the law to account for the known phenomenon of delayed reporting or disclosure in child sexual abuse cases.

What Is Delayed Disclosure?

Delayed disclosure is a common occurrence with survivors of childhood sexual abuse, and describes why individuals wait for years, or often decades, before disclosing to anyone that they have experienced abuse.

Survivors are often hesitant to talk due to the psychological and emotional trauma involved, including feelings of shame, guilt, fear, and denial. In fact, the average age of reporting for child sexual assault survivors is 52 years old, and those traumatizing factors can be considered as part of the damages award we seek on your behalf.

The Pride Law Firm recognizes how difficult it is to take this brave step, and we are here to provide a safe place to disclose your truth. If you’re ready to tell your story, our attorneys are prepared to help you seek justice.

The Pride Law Firm can help you explore all of your legal options in a free, confidential consultation that prioritizes your wishes, best interests, and personal boundaries above all else.

Making Your Voice Heard With Pride Law Firm

The silence around child sexual abuse is part of what makes healing so difficult for survivors. That children may not know how or when to speak for themselves, that they are too easily disbelieved or ignored, means that perpetrators often operate for years in the shadows. You can help shine a light into those shadows by bringing forward a lawsuit today.

The Pride Law Firm is a wellspring of support for our clients in cases of sexual harassment, racial discrimination, and sexual abuse. We make sure that no one is the underdog when we fight on their behalf, and we amplify the voices of those who’ve been too long overlooked.

If you’re ready to be heard, reach out to us via our online contact form or call us directly at (619) 516-8166. Pride Law is ready to roar on your behalf, and will work tirelessly to secure the justice you deserve.

Child Sexual Abuse FAQs

What qualifies as child sexual abuse?

Child abuse can include harm done to a child sexually, psychologically, physically, or by neglectful inactions. Sexual abuse can be perpetrated by touching (molestation or rape) or non-touching abuses (showing sexual material or body parts to a child, photographing a child in sexual poses, or watching a child use the bathroom).

How many child sexual abuse cases go unreported?

Though it’s hard to know the exact figures, studies indicate that only between 12% to 30% of child sexual abuse cases are reported to authorities. That means for every three instances of child sexual abuse, only one is reported.

What are the lifelong effects of child sexual abuse?

According to the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN), children and teens who experience sexual assault are four times more likely to develop post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and substance as adults, and three times more likely to have a major depressive episode. Such psychological conditions could lead to suicide if not properly treated.

What good can come from pursuing a child sexual abuse lawsuit?

Our clients report feelings of relief, solace, and vindication when their cases are complete. Along with the tangible rewards of a financial settlement or verdict, there is a priceless sense of freedom, of clearing the air, and of closing the book on a dark chapter of the past.

In addition to the good a lawsuit can do for you, by taking legal action you may also help others who have undergone similar experiences. Expose those who present a danger to children, hold any institutions accountable for their inaction, and let others know they are not alone by having the bravery to speak your truth. Begin today by contacting Pride Law Firm at (619) 516-8166.