Do You Suspect Child Sexual Abuse?

child sexual abuse

Nothing can prepare a parent for the horror of their child being the victim of sexual abuse. Feelings of confusion, worry, anger and guilt begin to form upon hearing the news. We know you want justice for your child and your family. However, you may be unsure about what steps to take to get justice. If you are a parent in this tragic situation, then you do not need to go through it alone. A Philadelphia child abuse attorney can help you pursue compensation to hold the at-fault party accountable in civil court.

At Eisenberg, Rothweiler, Winkler, Eisenberg & Jeck, P.C., we know how concerned you are with getting your child help. Our injury attorneys believe in using every resource possible to investigate and litigate child abuse cases. As a result, we not only help you pursue compensation but also connect you with experienced professionals. Child abuse is a life-altering event; as such, we are dedicated to protecting the rights of survivors and families.

What Is Considered Child Sexual Abuse in Pennsylvania?

The Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network (RAINN) defines child sexual abuse as when a perpetrator intentionally harms a minor physically, psychologically, sexually or through acts of neglect. Child sexual abuse is defined as child abuse that involves sexual activity with a minor. Additionally, child sexual abuse does not necessarily have to include physical contact between the perpetrator and child. Examples of child sexual abuse may include:

  • Exhibitionism (exposing one’s self to a minor), fondling or intercourse
  • Masturbation in the presence of a minor, or forcing a minor to masturbate
  • Obscene phone calls, text messages or digital interaction of any kind
  • Producing, owning or sharing pornographic movies or images of children
  • Sex of any kind with a minor
  • Engaging in sexual trafficking
  • Any sexual conduct harmful to a child’s mental, emotional or physical welfare.

Pennsylvania law states that child sexual abuse can also occur because of neglect. If someone fails to prevent known sexual abuse, then they can also be charged and held responsible. For further information, consult with our Pennsylvania sexual abuse lawyers.

What Are the Signs of Child Sexual Abuse?

RAINN states that 93% of sexual abuse victims under the age of 18 know their abuser. The perpetrator is not always necessarily an adult, either. He or she might be an older sibling, another family member, teacher, coach, playmate, caretaker or the parent of another child. Often times, the perpetrator holds a position of authority over the victim, making the child’s sexual abuse a violation of trust and authority as well as a physical violation.

Physical warning signs of child sexual abuse include:

  • Bleeding, bruises and swelling in genital areas
  • Bloody, torn or stained underclothes
  • Difficulty walking or sitting
  • Frequent urinary or yeast infections
  • Pain, itching or burning in genital areas

Behavioral warning signs of child sexual abuse include:

  • Hygiene changes (refusing to bathe or excessively bathing)
  • Developments of phobias, signs of depression, suicidal thoughts or post-traumatic stress disorder
  • Trouble in school, self-harm and running away from home or school
  • Inappropriate sexual knowledge or behaviors
  • Nightmares, bedwetting, or regressive behaviors (such as thumb-sucking)
  • Overly concerned and protective of siblings
  • Shrinks away or appears to be threatened by physical contact

How Can A Child Abuse Attorney Help Me?

Your loved one will need all the help they can get after being a victim of child abuse. Unfortunately, that could mean compounding medical bills, counseling, treatment programs and time off work. While a personal injury lawsuit will not turn back the clock, they can help you move it forward. Our law firm can pursue a child abuse claim that seeks monetary compensation for bills and pain and suffering. As a result, you can have your burden lessened. Instead of worrying about how to pay for treatment, you can focus on your child.

However, our Philadelphia child abuse attorneys will do more than help you pursue a lawsuit. In addition, we can help by connecting you with healthcare professionals. Our recommended experts are handpicked and selected from over three decades of experience. For this reason, professionals we recommend can help your child to:

  • Pursue Goals: Your child needs to be prepared for the future. Unfortunately, this can seem difficult after sexual abuse. We can recommend counselors that help your child focus on the future, not the past.
  • Build Relationships: Child abuse, especially sexual abuse of a minor, can make relationship building difficult. If left untreated, your child may have difficulty forming relationships into adulthood.
  • Reduce Personal Problems: As a rule, our attorneys will recommend counseling to reduce social adjustment problems. Treatment plans can help you and your child reduce long-lasting personal problems.
  • Recovery from Sexual Abuse: Child sexual abuse presents very unique and challenging problems. Thus, it is important to be connected with an experienced professional who focuses on helping with recovery from child sexual abuse.

How Are Child Sexual Abuse Claims Handled?

Sexual abuse cases are serious matters, but those involving child victims are especially troubling. Young boys and girls put their trust in their teachers, daycare providers, coaches, supervisors and family members. Unfortunately, there are life-changing consequences when this trust is violated by any adult. For this reason, child sexual abuse claims are handled with care and compassion, but also putting the victim first. Often, the perpetrator faces criminal charges and jail time. However, you may also be entitled to pursue a civil claim against the individual or institution that allowed the abuse to happen.

Generally, multiple entities and individuals are involved in child sexual abuse lawsuits in civil court. As a result, these claims can be lengthy and expensive. A child abuse lawyer can help you move on by limiting the risks associated with your claim.

Our Philadelphia injury attorneys understand that you may be hesitant to file a civil lawsuit. However, sexual abuse victims are not awarded compensation based upon the outcome of a criminal trial. Rather, victims are awarded compensation by filing a successful civil personal injury lawsuit. This is an important step to help you obtain funds to pay for medical care and therapy. Thus, without filing a personal injury claim, you miss out on compensation that could be used for your child’s recovery. It is in both your child’s and your family’s best interest to bring the responsible parties to justice in both civil and criminal courts.

Has someone close to you betrayed your trust? Are you concerned about how to move forward with a child abuse claim? Do you have questions about you and your child’s rights? Understandably, sexual abuse of a minor is hard to discuss and can be even more difficult to relive. At our office, you will find a safe, secure, calm, helpful and welcoming atmosphere. Our Philadelphia child abuse attorneys’ record of success in representing victims of sexual abuse comes from our compassion and experience.

Our lawyers firmly believe that you are entitled to seek compensation and justice. After all, if untreated, your child could face life-changing emotional and physical damage. We will work together to help you manage your situation and obtain the care you and your child need. If a child you know has been abused, we can help. Contact Eisenberg, Rothweiler, Winkler, Eisenberg & Jeck, P.C., online or call (215) 546-6636. Our law firm has offices in Philadelphia, PA and Cherry Hill, NJ. With a free initial consultation, we can review the details of your situation at no cost.