Child Sexual Abuse
Molestation is a term that is generally used in reference to child sexual abuse. Although it is a hard topic to talk about, the unfortunate reality is that many children of all ages are molested each day. There are many community programs and legislative initiatives that have been put into place in order to try to protect children from these atrocities.
A report in 2005 estimated that 9.3% of the confirmed or substantiated child abuse and neglect cases involved molestation. This means that there were more than 80,000 victims that year alone. Many studies suggest that a significant percentage of cases go unreported, meaning there are more victims, many of whom are not receiving the help they need. Although a significant number of these cases are boys, girls are more likely to be victims of sexual molestation. Victims’ ages range from newborns to teenagers, and many times the assailant is someone known by the family.
There are many forms of child sexual molestation. Although most people think of sexual intercourse, that is just one example. Any activity that involves the sexual touching, sexual exploitation, and even non-touching offenses count as molestation, and all are just as damaging. Here are some examples of child molestation:
- Forcing a child to touch an adult inappropriately
- Penetration involving a penis or any other object outside of those deemed medically necessary
- Masturbating in front of a child
- Making a child watch or look at porn
- Purposely exposing a child to sexual intercourse or activity
- Engaging in indecent exposure
- Using a child for the production of pornography
- Using a child, or soliciting a child, for prostitution
These are broad categories that may contain examples not listed. The legal definition of child molestation, in most states, is the act by either an adult or child who coerces, forces, or threatens a child to take part in any form of sexual activity.
Although sexual molestation can happen to any child, there are some things you can do to lower the risk. First, teach your child what appropriate sexual behavior is, and how and when to say no. Watch your child when he or she is around other adults and keep an eye out to see if your child seems uncomfortable around certain people. Only leave your child with those whom you trust.
Next, be supportive of child molestation victims. Although this certainly applies if your child becomes a victim, it can also apply when you talk about other victims. Children need to know that sexual molestation is never their fault and that they can talk to you about the abuse without fear of being punished. If your child is sexually molested, he or she is likely to experience a wide range of emotions. It is important that s/he know that these emotions are normal and are to be expected, and that they do not need to feel guilt or shame over the abuse.
If you believe a child is in danger of sexual molestation, immediately contact your local child protective services. If you work with children, it is a legal requirement for you to report reasonable suspicions of neglect or abuse. In some states, citizens are also required to report. You might be the only person who can help that child.
If your child is the victim of sexual molestation, take him or her to the emergency room and also call the police. The hospital can collect evidence, treat any injuries, and if necessary, help protect your child against potential pregnancy or sexually transmitted infections. Additionally, the hospital can provide access to the resources that can support your child’s long term recovery.
If you, or someone you love has been the victim of child sexual abuse or molestation, contact Wilshire Law Firm immediately for a free, no-obligation case consultation. Our attorneys are ready to go to work for you – to see you compensated for the damages, pain and suffering, mental anguish and other injuries that you have sustained.
We are well experienced in the complexities of proving child sexual abuse cases. We are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to take your call.
During your case consultation, we will discuss the merits of your case with you. We will provide you with the knowledge you need to make an informed decision about moving forward. We will also remind you of your rights and answer any questions that you may have.
After your consultation, we will let you know how we may be able to assist you with your case and secure the justice that you deserve.
The child sexual abuse attorneys at Wilshire Law Firm can secure financial compensation for victims of sexual molestation on a contingent fee basis, which means the victim pays no attorney fees unless we secure a cash settlement.