If you or your child has suffered abuse, you may now be left with many questions like:
Our local Maryland child abuse attorneys have experience representing victims and understand the traumatic experience your or your loved one has lived through. Our team fights tirelessly for you and to obtain justice. Call us today for a free consultation. Our phones are available 24/7 for a confidential consultation.
It is important to know that as a survivor of child abuse, you have options and there are people who are able to help you. Sexual assault victims may pursue a civil lawsuit for damages and be awarded financial compensation. A criminal court may also find the perpetrator guilty but victims may not receive compensation through the court.
After suffering sexual assault, reporting the crime to law enforcement should be your first step. Speaking with an experienced child abuse attorney should also happen quickly after as well. Experienced sexual abuse attorneys will be able to collect all the details and determine if a third party may be held responsible.
If you discover that your child has been molested, raped, or any other act of sexual violence, the first thing to do is call 911 to file a report. Seek medical attention for any injuries the sexual assault may have caused, and be sure to do a forensic exam to collect any details from the crime.
If you are an adult and you have blocked the memory until now, it is important to speak with an attorney. Even if you had remembered the assault and are just now wanting to file a lawsuit, there are statutes of limitations around child sexual abuse, which means it is better to speak with an experienced attorney as soon as possible.
While everyone is different, there are some common signs of sexual abuse in children. Both physical and inappropriate non-touching activities can be damaging to a child's development. It is especially important to notice these signs in young children who may not be able to vocalize what is happening. Some common psychological signs may include:
Some physical signs of child abuse may include:
Remember, there is no act stronger than standing up to an abuser and holding them accountable.
In the state of Maryland, it is estimated that 24% of children have been victims of sexual abuse. It is also estimated that just 12-30% of these are reported. Unfortunately, sexual assault, and especially abuse of children, is prevalent but many of these cases go unreported to the police.
Often with child abuse cases, the perpetrator is often someone the victim knows. There are many places that child sexual abuse could happen, due to perpetrator taking a job in a position of authority while around minors. Places this could happen include, but are not limited to:
Whether the abuse was a one time event, or was a repeated action, it is important to speak to law enforcement as well as an experienced child molestation lawyer.
If you or your child has been a victim of child sexual abuse, you may be left with many questions. Our team of child molestation lawyers have answered some of the most common questions they receive. If you still have questions do not hesitate to reach our to one of our local offices to speak directly with an attorney. Our phones are available 24/7 for a free consultation
Child sexual abuse, or child molestation, can occur in many different settings and take many different forms of abuse. Child abuse can involve molestation, fondling, inappropriate touching, or even rape of a child or minor. Exposure to pornography, indecent exposure, human trafficking, or even child pornography can also be considered a sexual offense against children, not all cases involve physical sexual acts.
Childhood sexual abuse can affect victims differently. Often the abuse can manifest in emotional damage, physical injury, or behavioral issues. Some of the common damages seen by our law firm include:
It is important to remember that a child is an innocent victim of a terrible crime.
Depending on the case and the victim's age, there are different penalties for sexual crimes against children. Maryland takes sexual abuse cases seriously, and child abuse charges can include being added to the national sex offender registry for 15 years up to life.
Rape in the first degree is a felony and can lead to up to life in prison. There are specific circumstances that apply for a rape, or attempted rape to be considered a first degree offense.
Sexual intercourse can lead to a second degree rape charge if the victim is younger than 14 and the offender is at least 4 years older. An experienced attorney will be able to let you know the specifics that relate to your case.
Sexual offenses also vary by degree and are based on the sexual act that may have been committed. Similar to first degree rape, a sexual offense in the first degree can meet a possible maximum prison sentence of life. Second-degree sexual offenses can also hold jail time in a criminal court.
A civil case for child sexual abuse seeks compensation for physical and emotional damages that can help cover therapy and rehabilitation.
The sexual solicitation of minors, sexual abuse of a child, or sexual conduct between a juvenile justice employee and inmate or confined child all hold different criminal charges and fines.
Yes, a third party may be held responsible if you or your child were sexually abused. The doctrine of negligence recognizes that institutions or individuals owe children a duty of care and protection from a sexual predator or sexual exploitation. Schools, religious communities, the Boy Scouts and medical facilities are all among different third-parties who may be found liable for the sexual offenses an employee or person on the property commits.
Yes, there are statutes of limitations for many types of crimes, including child sexual abuse. In Maryland, the amount of time you have to file a lawsuit will depend on if you were a child or adult at the time of the sexual assault.
If you or your child was sexually abused under the age of 18, you have up to 20 years after turning 18 to file a case. This is due to a 2017 Maryland law that extended the statue of limitations for child sexual abuse. This means that victims have until they turn 38 to file a civil lawsuit, either against an individual or negligent third party.
Rather than waiting to speak with a law firm, it is important to contact an attorney as soon as possible after your child was assaulted or you have a recollection of abuse. The longer it takes to start a claim could make it more difficult to collect interviews or hold the perpetrator responsible.
Do not hesitate to reach out to one of our experienced child abuse lawyers. Our team is aggressive when facing the criminal defense team, fighting for you and the justice you deserve. We understand that securing compensation does not wipe the pain that the sexual violence has caused but hope that by reaching a settlement, you are able to focus on healing without worrying.
Our attorneys know the importance of building a trusting attorney-client relationship. Call today to speak directly with an attorney to learn more about filing a lawsuit. Sexual activity with a minor, such as clergy abuse, child molestation, or sexual contact should never happen against a child and you deserve to seek compensation and justice. We believe you and your voice deserves to be heard. By speaking out against the child molestation or abuse, you may help other victims who are afraid to speak or help protect future victims from having to experience the same trauma.