Child Sexual Abuse Runs Rampant In The United States
Child sexual abuse runs rampant in the United States. According to the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN), nearly 60,000 children are sexual assaulted every year. Over 10 percent of girls and about 2 percent of boys are victims, and approximately a third of these were under 12 years old when the molestation occurred.
Where Does Child Sexual Assault Occur?
It occurs everywhere – in the child’s home, at school, at church, and during other extracurricular activities.
Sexual abuse often occurs at home. According to RAINN, 93 percent of the time, the perpetrator is known to the victim – 34 percent of the abusers are family members and 59 percent are acquaintances.
Educational institutions are another breeding ground for child sexual abuse. A federally-funded study indicates that 10 percent of K-12 students experience sexual misconduct by a school employee.
Take, for instance, The Thacher School. This is an elite boarding school in Ojai, California. Recently, the institution admitted that there had been allegations of child sexual assault by staff going back decades.
Another example is San Jose’s Presentation High School for Girls. An independent investigation concluded that the school’s administrators had failed to adequately address allegations against six staff members for misconduct from the early 1980s until 2013.
Priests often have close relationships with children. They have taken advantage of this and sexually abused the children
An example from Pennsylvania highlights the extent of the problem. A grand jury report found that six Catholic dioceses covered up child sexual abuse by over 300 priests for a period of 70 years. The report found that there were more than 1,000 childhood victims.
Busy parents rely on daycare to care for their young ones. Unfortunately, these facilities don’t always measure up. They can be another hotbed of child sexual abuse, which shocked the public conscience when it first became widely reported in the 1980s.
This traditional association is found in over 2,700 locations across the United States. Its mission is to focus on children and their future. But it doesn’t always work out for the children.
For example, at one YMCA location in Louisville, Kentucky, a YMCA employee has been sued for allegedly inappropriately touching 17 children between the ages of 3 and 8 years old. The employee is in jail and faces 20 charges of child molestation.
Who is Eligible to File a Child Sexual Abuse Lawsuit?
If you or your child has been sexually assaulted by employees at one of these institutions, you may be eligible to sue the institution for compensation. Often the most challenging aspect of eligibility is a state’s statute of limitations.
What is the Statute of Limitations for a Child Sexual Abuse Lawsuit?
When you’ve been sexually assaulted, you have a limited time to file a claim. This is called the statute of limitations. In some states, the period of time is as short as two years. However, recently, some states have taken steps to lengthen the time allowed or even eliminate the statute of limitations for sexual assault:
- Florida. This state recently passed a law eliminating the statute of limitations for children under 16 years of age who have been sexually assaulted. However, the law is not retroactive.
- New York. Victims who were sexually abused as a child have until they are 55 to file a lawsuit. However, there is currently a lookback window in effect until August 14, 2021. This window allows a victim to file a claim regardless of when the sexual assault occurred.
- California. A victim has until the age of 40 to file a lawsuit. They can even file it after the age of 40 if they do so within five years of discovering the abuse. Like New York, California also currently has a lookback window in effect. It expires on December 31, 2022.
Determining when the statute of limitations ends can be difficult in many states. Consult a child sexual abuse attorney so that they can examine the facts of your case and help to file your lawsuit before the statute of limitations expires.
Should I File an Individual Lawsuit or Join a Sexual Abuse Class Action Lawsuit?
Most lawsuits are filed individually, which means that the victim sues the institution that employed the person that abused them. However, occasionally there are large sexual abuse class action lawsuits. For example, recently, two class actions were filed by victims of sexual abuse against the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.
There are several factors that go into whether to join a class-action lawsuit. Your child sexual abuse lawyer can discuss those considerations and provide guidance on the right approach for you.
What is the Average Payout of a Child Sexual Abuse Lawsuit?
There is no single number that quantifies this, as the payouts vary depending on several factors. These include the strength of your case, the severity of the abuser’s conduct, and the willingness of the institution to engage in meaningful sexual abuse settlement discussions.
How Much Compensation Can I Receive from this Type of Lawsuit?
This cannot be predicted, as it depends on the same factors listed above. However, you may discuss your case with an experienced sexual abuse lawyer to getter a better idea of the possible compensation for your claim.
What Type of Compensation Can I Receive in a Child Sexual Abuse Lawsuit?
There are several types of compensation or damages, that may be recoverable for injuries resulting from sexual abuse. These include economic, non-economic, and punitive damages.
Economic damages are compensation for the financial costs resulting from your injuries. These generally consist of provided medical care, future anticipated medical treatment and lost income.
Non-economic damages compensate you for the pain and suffering associated with the injury. These can be substantial in sexual abuse cases.
Punitive damages may be available if the institution that hired and supervised the abusing employee consciously disregarded your safety or the safety of others.
Hire a Child Sexual Abuse Attorney
Litigation against large institutions like YMCA, schools, or the Catholic Church is complicated. Fill our form to be contacted by an experienced child sexual abuse lawyer, you will get the information and legal representation needed to help successfully seek the compensation you deserve.