The psychological trauma of child sexual abuse can last a lifetime. Those who suffered sexual abuse–irrespective of their age, but especially children–can experience health disorders ranging from PTSD to depression, fear, and anxiety in adulthood. You cannot change the past, but you can take positive steps today toward healing and recovering not just physically and mentally but financially and emotionally as well.
Several changes to laws surrounding child sexual assault aim to reduce the incidence of child sexual assault and help victims of past instances of assault get the justice and awards they deserve.
If you or someone you know suffered abuse of any kind, contact our New Jersey child sexual assault lawyer for help. At Pintas & Mullins Law Firm, we want to see how we can help you set things right and potentially get closure. Call us now at (800) 219-9622 for your free consultation.
Defining Child Sexual Abuse
§ 2C:24-4 of the New Jersey Statutes outlines how the law defines child sexual abuse. Any use of force, coercion, or manipulation of a child–anyone under the age of 18–by an adult or an adolescent for sexual gratification classifies as child sexual abuse. Abuse can take more than one form and includes rape, psychological pressure, coercion, child pornography, and indecent exposure.
Rape involves the use of force or threats of force. It includes any attempt to rape as well, and in some cases, the threat of force or violence is so extreme that the victim believes that resistance would be futile. Coercion is similar, but it involves psychological pressure or intimidation, threats, or blackmail to force a minor victim to unwillingly participate in or be subject to sexual acts.
Indecent exposure is when an abuser displays his or her genitals to a child or shows the child pornographic material. Such acts do not always involve physical contact between the abuser and the victim, but they can still have long-term psychological effects. As for child pornography, this involves the depiction of minors engaging in sexual conduct. The victim suffers the trauma of the sex acts they are forced to perform, as well as the fear that picture or video evidence of the acts can leak into the public domain.
The effects of these forms of abuse are nothing short of devastating to the victim. From the day abuse of any kind occurs, the victim’s life trajectory is unalterably changed, and it can fling the victim into a vicious cycle of anxiety, depression, and further abuse. Several secondary issues can also develop from abuse such as suicide, loss of appetite, poor performance at school, social isolation, mood swings, and other mental and emotional health issues.
Confronting the demons of the past is never an easy task, but with a New Jersey child sexual assault lawyer in your corner, you can focus on your recovery and therapy while also pursuing legal action.
The Effects of Child Sexual Abuse
Long-term physical and psychological trauma are two of the most life-changing effects of childhood sexual abuse of any kind. The scars that abuse leaves may necessitate years or even decades of treatment and therapy.
For parents, guardians, and other loved ones, it is important that they learn to recognize and identify potential signs of sexual abuse. Telltale signs of sexual abuse–whether physical, emotional, or psychological–can include:
- Excessive anxiety
- Eating disorders
- Changes in personality
- Unexplained mood swings
- Issues with relationships or intimacy
- Sleep disorders
Beyond mental health issues, child sexual abuse can even result in lower overall health outcomes in the survivors. According to the Journal of General Internal Medicine, some ailments that the survivors of child sexual abuse often suffer from include:
- Stomach issues
- Poor reproductive health
- Heart and lung issues
It can take a lifetime of treatment for a survivor of sexual abuse to overcome these health issues, all at considerable expense to themselves as well as their families. We strongly believe in upholding what is right and providing the victims of abuse their inalienable right of seeking justice, amends, and whatever awards the law may allow for past instances of abuse, even if they took place decades prior.
Contact a Child Sexual Abuse Attorney
Sexual abuse is a heinous crime that can happen at any time and to anyone. According to Mayo Clinic, it takes many forms and can take place in a variety of settings, from home, school, and church to community centers, gyms, workplaces, and more.
If someone is being abused, we can help. We can also help someone who was abused in the past file a claim for awards from the individual or individuals who abused them. Depending on the specifics of your case, you may be able to sue an individual abuser or even a group or an organization such as an office or a club if that organization knew about the abuse but did nothing to prevent it.
We work with victims and their families with the utmost compassion and privacy and help them understand what needs to be done for their case, how we will do it, what to expect along the way, and what kinds of compensation may be available.
We do not charge any up-front fees to get started on your case, and we offer free case evaluations. See how a New Jersey child sexual assault lawyer with the Pintas & Mullins Law Firm can handle your case. Call us at (800) 219-9622.