How to Respond to Child Sexual Abuse?

Child sexual abuse is a vice that calls for a collective effort to fight. Most people who survive sexual assault at some point in their childhood suffer long-term mental, social, and emotional effects for a long time.

On top of ensuring that the child is safe and stable, it is essential to see that the guilty do not go scot-free. Therefore, if your child or any child under your care becomes a child sexual abuse victim, you have to take action to secure justice for them.

Here are some steps to take to go after the child sexual abuse perpetrator and why you may need a sexual abuse lawyer.

Identify the Child Sexual Abuser

Once you learn that someone is sexually abusing your child, you need to investigate to get facts about the incident. The best way is to interrogate the child tactically. If the child opens up to you, listen carefully without interfering or judging.

In addition, appreciate your child for trusting you then probe to know who the perpetrator is. However, do not make harsh comments about the abuser as the child might have mixed feelings about them and does not want anything wrong happening to the guilty. Nonetheless, you may not know what with the information at hand. Therefore, avoid acting irrationally and seek professional help from a sexual abuse lawyer.

Place Criminal Charges

If you know the sexual abuse perpetrator, you need to report them to the police first and give a statement as provided by the victim. If the child is strong enough and willing, they can also provide information. The police will then investigate the matter to gather enough evidence to ascertain that the crime was committed.

A sexual abuse lawyer will help you choose the best option to take. The attorney will then present the claim to court. Note that criminal charges can result in a jail sentence, fines, and other sanctions against the offender.

Taking Civil Action

Civil lawsuit seeks compensation for short-term and long-term damages the victim suffers. Other than placing criminal claims, you can opt to take civil action by filing a claim in the civil court against the abuser or their employer. It is possible that a third party contributed to the offense, especially if the incident occurred in an official setup such as at school.

No amount of material compensation can indeed reverse the action, but as a parent, you will need money to take care of the victim’s needs like medical counseling, among others. A sexual abuse lawyer can help you to place a civil lawsuit. However, if there are multiple survivors, they can gang up and pursue a civil class action.

Consider the Time Limits

The time frame for filing claims against child sexual abusers varies from state to state. Some states have no time limit, which means you can place charges at any time in your lifetime. However, if the perpetrator is dead, the criminal court may not administer justice.

Therefore, it would be best to seek professional guidance on placing sexual abuse lawsuits in your state. Note that placing criminal charges against the sexual offender does not stop you from seeking civil compensation and vice versa.

The Bottom Line

As you go after the guilty to pursue justice for your child, it is vital to understand that you do not have to walk alone. Sexual abuse attorneys will always be ready to take the burden off your shoulders.

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