What Is Child Sexual Abuse?

Child Sexual Abuse Defined

A traumatic experience can leave a lasting impression on a person that can affect their ability to enjoy their personal life and progress in their professional life.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) defines child sexual abuse as the involvement of a child – a person under 18 – in sexual activity that violates the law. The child does not fully understand or consent to the sexual activity. Due to their age, they cannot give informed consent and are not developmentally prepared for sexual activity.

If you or a loved one survived child sexual abuse, which is a significant adverse childhood experience and public health problem, and one that is entirely preventable, a sex abuse lawyer near you can help you recover compensation and seek justice from the perpetrator.

How Common is Child Sexual Abuse?

In the U.S., child sexual abuse is a substantial – although preventable – public health problem. While estimates vary across studies, the CDC estimates that one in four girls and one in 13 boys experience child sexual abuse at some point in their childhood.

Childhood sexual abuse is known as an ACE, or adverse childhood experience. Childhood sexual abuse can cause immediate physical injuries such as physical injuries or sexually transmitted infections, as well as long-term mental health consequences like depression and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Childhood sexual abuse can also lead to chronic conditions later in life, including heart disease, cancer, and obesity.

When a child has an adverse childhood experience (ACE), it can cause changes and impact:

  • How a person thinks over their entire lifetime
  • Changes how a person feels over their lifetime
  • Changes how a person acts over their life
  • Short- and long-term physical health consequences
  • Short- and long-term mental/emotional health consequences

When a person’s life changes after an injury from someone else, they should recover damages to make them whole or bring them in as close a position as possible as though the injury had never happened. With the significant mental and physical health consequences of childhood sexual abuse, survivors can recover substantial associated damages linked to these injuries and their costs.

What are the Costs Associated with Child Sexual Abuse?

In one recent year alone, authorities estimate that the total lifetime economic burden of child sexual abuse in the U.S. was an estimated $9.3 billion, though this estimate is thought to be very low given that much of child sexual abuse goes unreported. Significant mental health costs can accompany all of the chronic conditions noted above, such as obesity or heart disease.

A common development following childhood sexual abuse is PTSD. PTSD is a disorder that develops in some individuals who have experienced a shocking, dangerous, or scary event. PTSD generally begins within three months of a traumatic event, although it can sometimes take years to emerge after the initial traumatic event.

PTSD can interfere with both personal relationships and work, making it difficult for the traumatized person to pursue a normal life. The symptoms of PTSD and other repercussions of childhood sexual abuse are sources of compensation for those injured by child sexual abuse.

Damages for Childhood Sexual Abuse Include Medical and Mental Health Services

Being a victim of childhood sexual abuse can lead to a life of mental health and psychological needs to address the lasting trauma and injury from the experience. The cost of a lifetime of mental health and psychological services as well as potential medications can be significant, and if you have been the victim of childhood sexual abuse, you are entitled to damages to cover these costs.

Your attorney will work with their network of medical experts and your doctors to accurately determine the impact of childhood sexual abuse on your present and future mental health and what treatment will be necessary throughout your life. Your attorney then calculates this amount and incorporates it into the damages they seek for you.

Lost Earnings Potential is Recoverable in Damages

Being the victim of childhood sexual abuse can lead to PTSD, the symptoms of which can make it so that you cannot work. If the mental or psychological injury from childhood sexual abuse has negatively impacted your professional life, you are entitled to compensation for your lost earnings potential. You or your loved one should not have to suffer the economic consequences of their childhood sexual abuse; the abuser should be held responsible.

Individuals who violate the law and cause injury are liable for the damages they cause, and predators who abuse children are in breach of the law. Further, if their employer or another party knew of the abuse and allowed it to happen, they can also be liable.

Your Child Sexual Abuse Attorney Negotiates the Best Outcome for You

Accurately calculating your damages then demanding them from the abuser in a legally actionable format can be difficult, and your child sexual abuse attorney is here to help. Your attorney steps into your shoes and handles all communications and negotiations on your behalf, removing the stress from your day-to-day life. This allows you to focus on getting the treatment you need to move forward with your life.

Connect with a Local Child Sexual Abuse Lawyer Now

St. Louis Personal Injury Attorney
Chis Dixon, St Louis Child Injury Lawyer

If you or a loved one has been the victim of child sexual abuse, collecting the damages you are entitled to begins with making a claim. Your experienced local personal injury lawyer lawyer can take your case from claim through collecting what is rightfully yours, so you can focus on getting on with your life while your attorney focuses on making the most of your damages. Reach out to schedule a consultation with a local personal injury attorney with a child sexual abuse practice now to explore options on your case.