Seattle Child Abuse and Sexual Abuse Lawyers
Criminal charges against abusers can bring a sense of justice to victims of sexual abuse. However, the results of a criminal trial often provide little or no direct relief to the victims and their families.
The child sexual abuse attorneys at Premier Law Group recognize how physical and emotional trauma can negatively impact everyday life. However, survivors of child sexual abuse or may bring a civil lawsuit against a person or entity that could have prevented the crime from occurring. Because of this, victims and their families can recover financially.
Premier Law Group demands accountability for child abuse.
Sexual abuse victims may still have an opportunity to file a legal claim against the negligent party or parties. Even if the abuse happened years ago and no charges were filed. To learn more about the legal process, contact Premier Law Group today at 206.285.1743
Signs of Neglect and Child Abuse
According to RCW 26-44-020, abuse and neglect are:
“Injury, sexual abuse, sexual exploitation, negligent treatment or maltreatment of a child by any person under circumstances which indicate that the child’s health, welfare, and safety is harmed.” However, the physical discipline of a child does not constitute abuse or neglect.
According to the Washington State Attorney General’s office, the following may be signs of child sexual abuse or neglect:
- Sudden changes in behavior or school performance
- Has not received help for problems brought to the parents’ attention
- Learning problems (or difficulty concentrating) not attributed to specific causes
- Always watchful, as if preparing for something bad
- Lack of adult supervision
- Overly compliant, passive, or withdrawn
- Arrives early to school or other activities, stays late, and does not want to go home
- Shows little concern for the child
- Ignores (or blames the child for) problems in school or at home
- Views the child as bad, worthless, or burdensome
- Depends on the child for care, attention, and satisfaction of emotional needs
The Parent and Child
- Rarely touch or look at each other
- Consider their relationship entirely negative
- State that they do not like each other
If you believe that you or someone you love has been a victim to this type of assault, please contact Premier Law Group to set up a case evaluation with one of our experienced attorneys. Furthermore, all consultations are completely confidential.
The Civil Court System Can Help Protect Abused Children
Our criminal justice system does not make it easy for perpetrators or responsible parties to face financial liability to survivors. However, our civil courts do.
Every survivor will recover in their own way, and in their own time. At Premier Law Group, we understand the difficulty in trying to overcome feelings of humiliation, shame, and guilt.
However, when the time is right, initiating litigation can be empowering. Holding abusers accountable can provide comfort, and be an important part of the recovery process.
A civil lawsuit may bring closure to survivors and provide justice, a modicum of satisfaction, and financial compensation.
Washington State Statistics
Here are some statistics about sexual abuse in Washington:
- 7 percent of high school Sophomores in Washington State reported being made to engage in unwanted kissing, sexual touch or intercourse
- 80 percent of Washington women had sexual assault experiences occur before the age of 18
- In Washington State, more than 33 percent of women have experienced sexual assault in their lifetime
What is Child Sexual Abuse?
It is estimated that children are around three times more likely to be victims of rape or sexual abuse than adults.
According to the American Psychological Association, sexual abuse is unwanted sexual activity brought on to a person via force, threat, or through taking advantage of a victim who is unable to give consent.
Every state has some legislation requiring the reporting of child sexual abuse. However, a significant amount of these crimes go unreported.
Who Can Be Liable For Child Sexual Abuse?
Victims of sexual abuse may bring a civil legal claim or lawsuit against anyone who was in a position to prevent or stop the abuse from happening. Examples include claims against:
- The Department of Social and Health Services
- A daycare provider
- A school
- A religious organization
- A hospital
Many victims are abused by parents, caregivers, teachers or clergy members. If you or a loved one has a child abuse claim, contact a dedicated attorney to help you navigate this tough time.
Sexual Abuse From a Healthcare Professional
Sexual assault by a healthcare provider is inexcusable and never acceptable. Physical touch is a routine part of medical examinations. However, when it is unwarranted, aggressive, or unauthorized, it is a breach of a patient’s trust.
Sexual Abuse at the Hands of a Cleric
Sexual predators have been accused of sexual misconduct across all religions and denominations. However, clergy members can manipulate vulnerable individuals who are seeking counseling and spiritual guidance. When this happens, they are often able to convince people they are responsible for the sexual contact. Therefore, this is a breach of trust and sexual abuse.
Sexual Abuse by a Law Enforcement Professional
Sexual assault by law enforcement is also a growing concern across the country. But members of law enforcement should be held to the highest standards. Therefore, if you’ve experienced sexual abuse from law enforcement, an experienced attorney will be able to help you file a claim.
Sexual Violence While in Service to the Country
Sexual violence isn’t just an issue on the civilian sector, as we have seen it within the Armed Forces as well. Furthermore, there has been recent data that tells us that sexual violence remains pervasive. When this happens, these cases are especially difficult when the perpetrator is a higher ranking personnel than the victim. Fear of retaliation can keep victims from coming forward.
Perception Becomes Reality
It can be difficult for people to understand why victims would choose silence over seeking justice, however those who experience sexual abuse may not be able to make decisions to protect themselves. When this happens, it is difficult to ensure victims receive the protection and that perpetrators are held accountable. However, a dedicated attorney can help you to overcome these obstacles to finding justice.
Negligent Child Abuse/Supervision
Child abuse often stems from a person with power over the victim.
Examples of negligent child abuse or supervision include:
- Sexual exploitation of a child
- Sexual abuse involving a school teacher and student.
- Children in foster homes or similar environments where the children are abused while under the care of licensed adults.
- Children abused while attending summer camps or other extended activities.
- Those who have been abused in a medical care facility by a healthcare professional or while under the supervision of healthcare professionals.
The Varying Effects of Sexual Violence
The effects of sexual abuse impact not only the survivor, but also their social relationships. With medical care, the physical effects of sexual violence will heal. However, emotional trauma is often overwhelming and can last a lifetime.
Physical effects of sexual abuse include:
- Unwanted pregnancy
- Gynecological complications
- Sexually transmitted infections
Psychological effects of sexual abuse include:
- Eating disorders
- Difficulty concentrating
- Post-traumatic stress disorder
- Substance abuse
- Attempted or completed suicide
- Diminished interest or avoidance of sex
- Low self-esteem/self-blame
Emotional effects to a sexual abuse include:
- Guilt, shame,
- Lack of control
The social impact of sexual abuse includes:
- Strained relationships
- Less emotional support from friends and family
- Less contact with friends and relatives
- Lower likelihood of marriage
We Hold Child Abusers Accountable
At Premier Law Group, our Seattle child sexual abuse lawyers have years of experience handling cases which involve child abuse. Because of this, we can help guide you through the entire process. Our team has made the commitment to providing quality representation while you focus on recovering.
If you or a loved one has been the victim of sexual abuse then you can seek financial compensation for the physical and emotional injuries that you have suffered. Contact the attorneys at Premier Law Group at 206.285.1743 for a free confidential consultation.
The Need for Experts in Lawsuits against school or school district Case
There are a number of advantages to hiring someone as soon as possible. Although sexual abuse cases may be scary, the right attorney will help protect not only your finances, but your health and emotional well-being as well
At Premier Law Group, we want you to be informed about your legal options. Even if we do not end up representing you.
Contact Premier Law Group to get started on your free and confidential child sexual abuse review. Call 206.285.1743 today. And as always, there’s no legal fees until we win your case.