Child abuse is a crime that occurs almost daily. According to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, approximately one million children are sexually abused yearly in the US alone. Also, studies by the Crimes Against Children Research Center show that 20% of female adults and about 10% of men can recall a sexual abuse incident in their lives.
These crimes often go unreported because victims don’t want to face their abuser or fear repercussions. As a result, the victim’s life is negatively affected as they struggle with depression, anxiety, flashbacks, eating disorders, and nightmares.
Child sexual abuse is any non-consensual sex act against a child under 18. There are several reasons why victims of child sexual abuse often don’t report their experiences. Some include fear of being blamed or stigmatized, shame, guilt, and even self-blame. Here is how a lawyer can help you if you are a child sexual abuse victim.
1. Get Justice
A lawyer specializing in child abuse cases can help you get justice and heal from the trauma. Since some victims of child sexual abuse have been quiet for so long, they may feel like their case wouldn’t hold any ground. But an experienced lawyer can help you get justice regardless of how long ago the abuse happened, thus helping you begin the recovery journey. In addition, once justice is served, you stop the perpetrator from harming you or other children.
2. Guidance through the Legal Process
The lawyer helps you file a lawsuit against the perpetrator and keep your information confidential to protect you. An experienced lawyer will inform you of all you need to know before the case, potential outcomes, what every court proceeding entails, and what the litigation jargon in your case means. This guidance allows you to follow the proceedings with a better understanding of the entire process.
3. Get Settlement or Compensation for You
Your lawyer can also help you get compensation for the damages caused by the perpetrator. The court is at liberty to state the amount of compensation you deserve. Some injuries child sexual abuse victims suffer are post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, emotional trauma, self-harm, suicidal thoughts or attempts, and substance abuse.
4. Provide Counseling
Sometimes, the lawyer needs to provide counseling services to help victims cope with the trauma they experienced. If they cannot offer the services, they can liaise with a counselor they trust to ensure they put the interests of the child sexual abuse victim first. Once you can share your experience, your healing journey begins. Talking about it provides an avenue to release all the negative emotions you have been carrying all along.
Most victims remain silent for fear of ridicule or being blamed. Also, some fear that reporting the crime will ruin their lives and destroy their families. But, if you are a child sexual abuse victim, the law protects you and helps you get compensated for the harm you suffered. So, finding a child sexual abuse lawyer allows you to get relief through their legal strategies.