Our Michigan child sexual abuse injury lawyers have a comprehensive understanding of the laws regarding child sexual abuse and the lifelong affects that this abuse has on the victim. The lawyers must also understand the extreme sensitive nature of the case and the importance of maintaining confidentiality for the client.
The issue of child sexual abuse came to the forefront of the news and created significant public awareness a few years back ith the Catholic church sexual abuse scandal. Hundreds of victims from around the United States came forward to describe their abuse by clergy as young boys and girls. Their horrifying accounts of this abuse gave rise to lawsuits against both the church and the clergy.
Clearly, the issue of child sexual abuse expands much farther than just the clergy. Reports of abuse by family members, teachers, baby sitters, and strangers are much more frequent. Victims of child sexual abuse do have legal rights against their abusers and others who "turn their heads" and permit this abuse to happen.
Child molesters can use many methods such as coaxing or persuading a child into sexual activity and/or overpowering or threatening to harm a child into sexual activity. Child molesters most often manipulate child victims into complying with sexual activity with attention, affection, and gifts over a period of time. Sometimes this is aimed at the parent of very young children in order for the child molester to obtain the family's trust and thereby gain access to the child.
Child molestation can include:
* Fondling or touching
* "Flashing" or exposing adult genitals to a child
* Showing sexually explicit material to a child
* So called "normal" sexual activity such as vaginal or anal intercourse or oral stimulation of the genitals
* So called "deviant" sexual activity such as urination, defecation,sadomasochism, or bondage
Most children will not tell a parent or adult that they have been abused for many reasons, including shame, guilt, embarrassment, and even threats by the abuser. Signs that a child has been abused include:
-Changes in behavior, extreme mood swings, withdrawal, fearfulness, and excessive crying;
- Bed-wetting, nightmares, fear of going to bed, or other sleep disturbances;
- Acting out inappropriate sexual activity or showing an unusual interest in sexual matters;
- A sudden acting out of feelings or aggressive or rebellious behavior;
- Regression to infantile behavior; clinging;
- School or behavioral problems;
- Changes in toilet-training habits;
- A fear of certain places, people, or activities;
- Bruises, rashes, cuts, limping, multiple or poorly explained injuries;
- Pain, itching, bleeding, fluid, or rawness in the private areas.
Behavioral changes such as these may be due to causes other than sexual exploitation such as a medical, family, or school problem. Also keep in mind that sometimes children do not always demonstrate obvious signs such as these but may do or say something that hints at the exploitation. The damages and injuries caused by child sexual abuse are far reaching and often last a lifetime.
These include severe psychological injuries, like post-traumatic stress disorder, that affect the victim's ability to establish relationships in the future and also damage their existing relationships. It also often affects a person to obtain gainful employment and earn a living. Victims of child sexual abuse should contact a lawyer at our law firm learn more about their legal rights and remedies.
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