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Compassionate Riverside, CA Child Sexual Abuse and Molestation Attorneys
In our society, child sexual abuse and molestation are heinous and reviled acts. If you believe that your child has been the victim of sexual abuse or molestation, you should contact an experienced attorney. A lawyer can play an integral role in your child and your family’s recovery from the trauma of child sexual abuse or molestation.
In the United States, sexual abuse of a minor, child molestation, and child abuse are criminal offenses that may result in lengthy prison sentences. While state or federal prosecutors must file criminal charges against perpetrators of sexual abuse, victims of child sexual abuse or molestation can bring a civil lawsuit against an abuser or other responsible party.
Damages in a civil lawsuit compensate victims and their families for the pain, suffering, emotional distress, medical expenses, psychiatric care, and costs of counseling that may arise after an act of sexual abuse. A skilled lawyer will pursue all available forms of compensation for your child and your family.
Tragically, child sexual abuse and molestation occurs in Riverside regularly. If your child has suffered at the hands of a sexual predator, contact a compassionate lawyer immediately. For a free and confidential consultation with an experienced attorney, call Estey & Bomberger at 1 (800) 925-0723.
In order to preserve your child’s rights, you must act quickly. It will be easier to prove your child’s case against an abuser or responsible party if you report child sexual abuse or molestation as soon as it happens or as soon as you learn about it. A deadline known as a statute of limitation may prevent you from holding an abuser liable in court regardless of how strong your child’s case is.
Understanding Child Sexual Abuse and Molestation
It can be very difficult to understand and cope with the sexual abuse or molestation of your child. According to the Mayo Clinic, child sexual abuse includes a wide range of activities. They define child sexual abuse as any sexual activity between an adult and a child, such as fondling, intercourse, oral-genital contact, or exposure to child pornography. These behaviors are intended to arouse the adult in a sexual manner, and generally, little or no thought is given to what effect the behavior may have on the child.
It is important to note that not all child sexual abuse or molestation involves bodily contact, and even if there was no physical touching, a crime or civil wrong may have been committed. The display of genitalia or private parts, verbal pressure or threats to engage in sexual activity, and exploiting children as sex workers may also constitute child sexual abuse or molestation.
Tragically, these acts are very common. Some researchers estimate that before reaching the age of consent, one out of every six boys and one out of every four girls are sexually abused.
In many instances, child sexual abuse or molestation is committed by adults who are not related to their victim, but know the child. For example, the abuser may be a friend of the family, teacher, coach, babysitter, tutor, or neighbor.
How to Prevent Child Sexual Abuse and Molestation
Unfortunately, it is not possible to protect your child 100% of the time. There are, however, several steps that you and other caregivers can take to keep children safe.
- BE IN THE KNOW. Make every effort to get to know the people that come around your child, and don’t be afraid to ask them questions about their background. Get their contact information, and be sure to talk to others who know the people with whom your child spends his or her time.
- STAY INFORMED. The National Sex Offender Public Website has information about people who have been charged with certain crimes against children and adults. You should research your neighborhood, and stay informed about where offenders are located.
- TALK TO YOUR CHILD. It is important to teach your child about the difference between appropriate and inappropriate (or safe and unsafe) touching and behavior. You should tell your child that if anyone tries to touch his or her body in a way that makes him or her feel unsafe or uncomfortable, it is okay to tell a parent, caregiver, or other trusted adult. Make sure that your child understands that his or her body is private. Tell your child that they may tell others not to touch their bodies in a way that feels unsafe or uncomfortable. Finally, make sure that your child knows that he or she does not have to do everything that an adult or authority figure tells him or her to do.
- MONITOR ONLINE ACTIVITY. If your child can access the Internet, talk to him or her about the dangers of interacting with strangers online. You should always monitor your child when he or she is on the Internet. You may want to purchase software that helps block certain content and keeps track of your child’s Internet activity. PC Mag has more information about keeping your child safe online.
Resources for Victims and Families
A number of child advocacy centers in California offer help to child abuse or molestation victims and their families. The National Children’s Alliance has more information about resources for victims and their families, and a list of these centers. You may also want to visit:
- The National Child Traumatic Stress Center
- The National Center for Children Exposed to Violence
Protect Your Child and Family. Act Today!
If you suspect that your child has been the victim of sexual abuse or molestation, you should contact a compassionate attorney advocate today. For a free and confidential consultation with an experienced attorney, call Estey & Bomberger at 1 (800) 925-0723.
With the right help, children can recover from sexual abuse and go on to lead full, happy, and healthy lives. You may need to seek help in order to support your child through the difficult recovery process. It may be necessary for you and your child to consult a psychiatrist or undergo therapy. The attorneys at Estey & Bomberger will see to it that abusers are brought to justice, and can help you and your child get the help that you need and the compensation you deserve.