Child sexual abuse is a crime that changes a victim’s life forever. While nothing can ever right the wrong of child sexual abuse, under California law, survivors of sexual abuse have a path to justice through a civil lawsuit.
If you or a loved one is a survivor of child sexual abuse in Riverside, California, our attorneys can help. At The Senators (Ret.) Firm, LLP, we have dedicated our lives to helping survivors seek justice and holding wrongdoers accountable. Contact us at (949) 381-0912 for a free case consultation. When you are ready, we are here to listen.
What Is Child Sexual Abuse?
Child sexual abuse encompasses a broad range of behaviors and actions. In general, child sexual abuse is any type of sexual activity involving a minor under the age of 18 years old and an adult. Any child or adolescent who is coerced, threatened, deceived, or groomed into sexual acts is a victim of child sexual abuse.
Abusers may be friends, family members, teachers, coaches, members of the clergy, and others that a victim trusts. Child sexual abuse often involves a betrayal of this trust to commit sex crimes against a victim.
Because of this relationship, many victims of child sexual abuse are too afraid to speak up. They may fear retaliation by a perpetrator or not being believed. It is often up to others to notice the signs of child sexual abuse. These may include depression, withdrawal, physical injuries, nausea or loss of appetite, new terms for sex organs, unusual knowledge of sexual subjects, regression (in young children), and fear of a certain place or person.
Defining Child Molestation
Child molestation is contact or interactions that are inappropriate between an adult and child, where the child is, in some way, being used for the sexual stimulation of the perpetrator. The laws do not outline every type of sexual molestation act possible, but some examples of child molestation and child sexual abuse include, as noted by the U.S. Department of Justice:
- Exposing oneself to a child
- Masturbating in front of a child
- Fondling the child
- Sex with a minor
- Inappropriate text messages or phone calls
- Pornographic content depicting children.
- Forcing a child to masturbate
What to Do If Your Child is a Victim of Sexual Abuse?
If you believe your child has been the victim of sexual abuse in any form or you are unsure, seek out medical care as the first step. Visit the emergency room, discuss the details in private with the doctor, and then turn to the police to file a report. Do not wait to do this.
Then, contact our child sexual abuse attorney to discuss your situation. Allow us to put in place safeguards to protect your child and your family’s privacy through this legal matter. We will also work aggressively to pursue every ounce of legal strategy and protection for your child.
Who Is Liable for Child Molestation?
The circumstances of every case are different, but once the child identifies the abuser, that is only the beginning of the liability in many cases. Ultimately, there could be other parties that are also responsible for the losses your child has incurred. This could include:
- Schools where the abuse occurred
- Youth groups
- Boy Scouts or Girl Scouts
- Clergy members
- Camp leaders
- Hospitals or medical providers and companies
- Sports programs
If someone did not take the steps they could have taken to protect your family member, and their actions led to your child’s loss, they may be held responsible for what has occurred. Our team will work closely with you and your child to identify any details that could provide insight into what occurred and why it happened here. We do not always know the full story until a comprehensive investigation is done. Know, though, that we work diligently to minimize any risk to your child, including any additional trauma.
What Is The California Child Victims Act?
The California Child Victims Act is a tool to support those who were victimized as children to fight back. It enables survivors to seek out three times the base damages award from any defendant that, in any way, tried to cover up or attempted to cover up the sexual assault of a child. It is critically important for you to know that if anyone has put your child at risk and someone has covered up that exposure to risk in any way, you have the legal right to pursue compensation from them.
This act, which went into place in January 2020, is another layer of protection from loss. However, it is just one tool available to you. We encourage you to reach out to us for more support now.
Types of Cases We Accept in Riverside
While a criminal case can lead to criminal charges for perpetrators, a civil lawsuit can hold the institutions that are responsible for the abuse accountable. At The Senators Firm, our Riverside child sexual abuse lawyers are capable of handling any type of case involving child sexual abuse. We have the experience, legal expertise, and willingness to take on the largest institutions on behalf of our clients – and win. We’ve recovered nearly $500,000,000 on behalf of clients in cases involving:
- Camp sexual abuse
- Child sexual exploitation
- Clergy sexual abuse
- Foster care sexual abuse
- Juvenile detention center sexual abuse
- Public and private school sexual abuse
- Sexual abuse of special needs children
- Sexual bullying at school
- Sports sexual abuse
Every child sexual abuse case is different and extremely personal. Regardless of the setting and the circumstances surrounding the abuse, we never apply a one-size-fits-all approach. Our attorneys tailor a custom legal strategy for each client we represent and strive to provide the personal attention that they deserve.
What Is the Statute of Limitations on a Child Sexual Abuse Case?
In California, the statute of limitations for a victim of child sexual assault or abuse is the survivor’s 40th birthday or within five years of discovering a connection between a psychological injury or illness and child sexual abuse, whichever comes later. While this may seem like a long window, in many cases, survivors of child sexual abuse don’t disclose the abuse to anyone for decades. Depending upon the length of the delay in disclosure or when they discovered the connection, survivors may have much less time to pursue legal action than they realize. For this reason, it is important to contact an attorney as soon as possible after the discovery of child sexual abuse to ensure you do not miss your filing deadline.
Dedicated Riverside Child Sexual Abuse Attorneys | Demonstrated Results
A child sexual abuse lawsuit can provide closure and help a survivor move forward with a greater sense of justice. It can also recover the vital financial compensation they need to pay for mental health counseling, medications, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other losses associated with the abuse. However, for a claim to be successful, it’s critical that survivors work with an experienced law firm.
At The Senators (Ret.)Firm, LLP, we have decades of experience representing survivors of sexual abuse and recovered hundreds of millions of dollars on their behalf. While our case results speak volumes about the quality of our representation, we genuinely care about helping sexual abuse victims. Sexual abuse proceedings can be difficult, emotional experiences, and our attorneys have dedicated their careers to guiding survivors through them.
To find out how we can help, request a free, confidential case consultation by calling (949) 381-0912 or contacting us online. We understand how difficult it can be to come forward and are here to listen when you are ready.