Every year, the horrific statistics continue to show that thousands of children suffer from sexual abuse by sexual predators throughout the United States.
The mental and psychological damage, as well as the physical damage, can result in devastating consequences. Most children suffer sexual abuse from people they know, either family members or friends of the family.
According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), over 3.5 million children are the victims of some sort of abuse in 2018. Of those children, 10.7% are physically abused, and 7% are sexually abused.
If your child suffered any kind of sexual abuse, do not hesitate to contact Pintas & Mullins Law Firm at (800) 219-9622 to learn how an Arkansas child sexual assault lawyer can help you receive justice on behalf of your child.
Child Sexual Abuse Victims
Many child sexual abuse victims remain hesitant to report their crime or tell an adult of their sexual exploitation. Many are too young to understand what has actually happened to them, but only know that they received threats never to tell of the incident to anyone.
In other cases, a child may feel some sense of shame regarding the entire incident or continuation of abuse. It is for these reasons that sexual abuse may continue for years before a discovery occurs regarding the abuse of a victim.
Criminal Court vs. Civil Court
While sexual abuse of children is a criminal act, in order to receive financial compensation for outstanding medical bills, mental health therapy for psychological damage, or the pain and suffering caused by sexual assault of a child, a family must take the case to civil court.
While financial compensation will never make up for the actual crime or assault that occurred, these monetary damages will help the victim with much-needed treatments, and help a family take time off of work to put their lives back together.
Pressing charges might also prevent a child sexual assault abuser from continuing their abuse. An Arkansas child sexual assault lawyer can help with this.
Signs in Children Who Suffer Sexual Assault
Many children who suffer either sexual assault or sexual abuse do not have the verbal skills to articulate what actually happened to them. In other cases, they are too young to understand the event or explain to an adult the event in detail.
The child’s abuser might also have threatened to harm them further if they told a family member about the abuse, thus terrorizing the child into remaining silent. Some of the types of behavior of children who suffered from sexual assault or sexual violence include the following:
- Excessive crying
- Fear for no known reason
- Fear of a particular family member or friend of the family or babysitter
- Changes in eating habits
- Nightmares or other sleep changes
- Unexplained injuries such as bruises, cuts, limping or rashes
- Withdrawal from family and friends
- Anxiety or depression
- Poor school performance
- Aggressive or violent behaviors
- Vaginal or rectal bleeding
- Changes in the genital area including pain, swelling, discharge or itching
- The contraction of a sexually transmitted disease
- Knowledge of sexual behavior at an age considered too young
This is not an exhaustive list. However, you should pay close attention to any of the above signs. The most obvious sign, which should never be ignored, is a direct or indirect report of sexual abuse by your child.
Long-Term Effects of Child Sexual Assault
Many children wait years to come forward regarding their sexual assault or sexual abuse. In the meantime, these victims have significant emotional scars left from sexual assaults and abuse that often outweigh any of the physical injuries suffered.
In some cases, sexually abused children become abusers later in life without treatment or assistance. In other cases, children who are victims of sexual assault tend to have a greater risk of becoming re-victimized in the future by partners or spouses.
The tendency to develop maladaptive coping mechanisms such as drug dependency, alcohol abuse, or other self-soothing behaviors that are toxic are common in those victims of child sexual assault.
As these children grow into adults, they may develop deep psychological challenges, including anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder. Seeking both psychological help and therapy, along with holding the abuser responsible can assist in the healing process of those victims of child sexual assault.
Seek Immediate Assistance
If your child suffered any kind of sexual assault, you have the option of contacting the police. Additionally, you should seek immediate medical attention to ensure the health and safety of the child.
Seeking emotional therapy might also be beneficial for a victim of child sexual assault.
Preparation of a Child Sexual Assault Case
If you believe your child suffered a sexual assault, you have the legal right to pursue justice.
Child sexual assault cases are often legally complex and challenging. You will need to ensure that all medical records are properly obtained and reviewed, witness testimony occurs regarding the incident, and expert medical witnesses may also be a key element to your case.
There is no statute of limitations in Arkansas for child sexual abuse cases, according to Arkansas Code § 5-1-109 (D).
Hiring an Arkansas Child Sexual Assault Lawyer
If you discovered that your child suffered any child of sexual assault or abuse, you are likely overwhelmed and devastated. Consider calling one of our team members at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm at (800) 219-9622 to learn how our attorneys can help you understand your legal rights and help you receive justice for your child.
We work on a contingency basis, which means you owe us nothing until we win you a settlement.