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Sexual Abuse of Special Needs Children

California Sexual Abuse Lawyer Helps Victims Seek Justice

Children with physical or mental disabilities are more susceptible to child sexual abuse than others. There are a number of reasons why rates of abuse against special needs children are higher, such as their increased dependence on caretakers and their inability to understand or report abuse. In any form and in any setting, child sexual abuse is inexcusable and illegal. Committed against children with disabilities, abuse and assault may also be an enhanced - or aggravated - criminal offense.

Incidence of Sexual Abuse Among Children with Disabilities

According to the VERA Institute of Justice Center on Victimization and Safety, children with disabilities are three times more likely to be victimized by sexual abuse than other non-disabled children. The probability of sexual abuse is even higher among children with certain types of disabilities such as intellectual and / or mental health disabilities. Research citied by the institute shows the following:

  • In 2010, the Administration on Children Youth and Families (ACYF) conveyed that more than 3 million cases of child maltreatment were reported in 2009, of which 10% of these cases involved sexual abuse specifically. Of these cases, 11% of the children were said to have a disability; 3% were said to have behavioral problems; more than 2% were said to be emotionally disturbed; and more than 3% were said to be experiencing an additional medical condition.
  • In 2000, a school-based study was conducted in the state of Nebraska, the results of which concluded that children with disabilities are more than 3 times more likely to be sexually abused than children without disabilities. Included in the study sample were more than 40,200 children between the ages of 0 and 21, all of whom were attendees of the state's public school system between 1994 and 1995. The study revealed a 31% prevalence rate of mistreatment among children with disabilities vs. a 9% prevalence rate among children without disabilities.
  • In 1998, the Boys Town National Research Hospital conducted a study which found that children with disabilities were at least 2.2 times more likely to be sexually abused than non-disabled children. Included in the study sample were more than 39,000 hospital records dating between the years of 1982 and 1992.

In total, studies such as those listed above reveal that children with disabilities are about 2.9 times more likely to be sexually abused than children who are not disabled. Children with intellectual and mental health disabilities are even more at risk according to findings of the studies described above, showing a risk factor that is approximately 4.6 times higher for sexual abuse than their peers who do not experience any type of disability. If your child was mistreated by a sexual perpetrator, then you should waste no time in contacting a California sexual abuse lawyer from our firm for the support that you need and the legal intervention that your child deserves.

Work with the Experienced Team You Need

At The Senators Firm, we are proud of the fact that we have made victim advocacy our firm's mission. Members of the American Association for Justice, the prestigious Million Dollar Advocates Forum®, the American Bar Association, and more, we have shown time and time again that we want to help abuse victims and families gain a sense of justice and closure that they can use to begin a more positive future. Cases that involve sexual abuse of special needs children can be legally complex, and we strongly advise all prospective clients to contact our firm as soon as possible to schedule a free case evaluation.

Your Legal Rights If you or someone close to you has become a victim of sexual abuse, please contact us to learn more about your legal rights.
800.773.0849
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