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Maryland Child Sexual Abuse Lawyer Representing Victims

If you or your child has suffered abuse, you may now be left with many questions like:

  • Can I sue for child sexual abuse?
  • What is legally considered abuse?
  • What is my child abuse case worth?

Hiring a Child Abuse Law Firm

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.

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Criminal Vs Civil Lawsuit For Child Sexual Abuse Survivors

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.

What To Do After Experiencing Child Sexual Assault

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.

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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.

Signs of Child Sexual Abuse

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:

  • Playing with toys in a sexual nature
  • Nightmares or bed-wetting
  • Withdrawal from friends or family
  • Regression to younger behaviors
  • Emotional outbursts
  • Anxiety or fear of seeing certain people
  • Using adult words
  • Acting more mature specifically with regard to sex

Some physical signs of child abuse may include:

  • Pain, bruising or bleeding, especially around the genitals, anus or mouth
  • Blood in underwear
  • Difficulty sitting
  • Recurring pain during bowel movements

Remember, there is no act stronger than standing up to an abuser and holding them accountable.

child abuse lawyer in maryland

Child Sexual Assault Statistics in Maryland

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:

  • Schools
  • Churches
  • After-school programs
  • Camps
  • Sports
  • Other activities outside of school and home

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.

Frequently Asked Questions Around Child Abuse

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

What is Child Sexual Abuse?

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.

What Are Lasting Effects of Child Sexual Assault?

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:

  • Serious physical injury
  • Localized pain
  • Anxiety
  • Fear
  • Self-harm
  • Eating disorders
  • Substance addiction
  • Discipline issues
  • Family troubles
  • PTSD
  • and more

It is important to remember that a child is an innocent victim of a terrible crime.

maryland child sexual assault lawyer

What Are Some Penalties For Sex Crimes Against Children?

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.

First Degree Rape

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.

Second Degree Rape

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 Offense

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.

Civil Lawsuit

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.

Can A Parent, Caregiver, or Organization Be Held Liable?

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.

Are There Statutes of Limitation in Child Sexual Abuse?

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.

Contacting a Child Sexual Abuse Lawyer

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.

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This website is by Blank Kim P.C. d/b/a Maryland Injury Guys. We have offices throughout Maryland with attorneys licensed to practice law in the state of  Maryland. Use of this site does not form an attorney-client relationship and information herein shall not be construed as legal advice. This website is to be considered as ATTORNEY ADVERTISING. Past settlement and verdict values are no guarantee of similar future outcomes. This firm may retain local counsel to prosecute cases. This website has not been approved by the Court of Appeals of Maryland or the Maryland State Bar. Cases may be co-counselled or referred to other firms for litigation.
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