Experienced Riverside & Orange County Sexual Assualt Attorneys
According to the National Sexual Violence Resource Center, one in five women will be raped at some point in their life, while 1 in 3 women and 1 in 6 men will experience some type of sexual violence in their life. Ninety-one percent of victims of sexual assault and rape are female, while 9 percent are male. Sexual assault can cause serious, long-term problems, including Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, resulting in health care costs for women who were sexually abused as a child being16 percent higher. For children in the United States, the statistics are equally dismal—1 in 4 girls and 1 in 6 boys will be the victims of child molestation before they turn 18. Of those girls, 12.3 percent are age 10 or younger at the time of their first rape.
By and large, the vast majority (96 percent) of those who sexually abuse children are male, and a third of those who sexually molest a child are family members. Perhaps one of the worst aspects of the above statistics regarding sexual assault and child molestation is that only 12 percent of child sexual molestation is ever reported to authorities. Children who endure sexual molestation when young are much more likely to experience emotional and physical problems as adults, as well as to become dependent on drugs or alcohol. Adult rape is considered the most under-reported crime, with as many as 63 percent of sexual assaults never reported to the police. Although many people believe false reporting of a sexual assault or child molestation is common, in fact, the prevalence of false reporting is extremely low—somewhere between 2 percent and 10 percent. This means it is far more likely that a sexual assault will not be reported at all than it is for a person to falsely report a sexual assault.
There are no words that can describe the physical and psychological pain of experiencing sexual trauma. The attorneys at Greenberg & Greenberg understand what it means to fight back against sexual abusers and can find you the support you or your child need to regain your lives.
Sexual Assault of Adults
Adult victims of sexual assault may spend the remainder of their life battling emotional and physical damages. In many cases, our American criminal justice system fails to protect victims of sexual assault by failing to prosecute the offender. When this is the case, an experienced California sexual assault attorney can step in and file a civil claim against the perpetrator as well as others who could also be liable (employers who knew or should have known they employed a sexual predator, as an example). Perhaps a thorough background check was not done on the perpetrator, or perhaps an employer clearly saw warning signs, yet failed to take action. In some cases of sexual assault, there was simply a total lack of employee supervision, creating an environment which allowed sexual abuse and sexual assaults. If this is the case, then the employer, along with the perpetrator, could be held liable for monetary damages.
Where Do Sexual Assaults Typically Occur?
All too often, patients are sexually abused by doctors, nurses, or hospital or medical staff. Dependent adults can be abused in nursing homes or mental health facilities and young children can be abused by leaders of community organizations and teachers, as well as priests, ministers, and other religious institution personnel. Young, vulnerable women are often sexually assaulted in college settings (dorms, fraternity, and sorority houses), and people of all ages can experience sexual assaults in the workplace. Of course, sexual assaults can also occur in dating or marital relationships, falling under the domestic abuse umbrella. Sexual assaults require experienced California sexual assault attorneys who are extremely familiar with the process of careful investigation, precise preparation, and corroboration of facts and witnesses.
The Impact Sexual Molestation Has on a Young Child
The impact of sexual molestation on a young child can be devastating. It can be particularly difficult for preschoolers to adjust to any type of change or loss, and sexual molestation speaks heavily to those feelings. These young children can end up feeling totally powerless, unable to protect themselves—utterly helpless. After all, young children still depend heavily on the protection and support of their parents, loved ones and caregivers. Children are also very trusting by nature. When an incident of child sexual molestation occurs, a child may be confused by the fact that a person they trusted turned out to be the one who hurt them. This can cause them to lose trust even in parents or other loved ones—those they believed would look out for their safety and wellbeing.
Typical Behaviors Following Sexual Molestation of Young Children
Research indicates that preschoolers subjected to sexual molestation whose parents react severely are more likely to show traumatic, stress-related problems such as regressive behaviors. Unfortunately, it can be difficult for the parent not to react strongly to something so horrific happening to their child. The child may lose previously mastered skills or revert to outgrown behaviors such as sucking their thumbs. Children who have experienced sexual molestation may report stomachaches and headaches or may engage in re-enactments of the experience. Withdrawn behavior, tantrums, inappropriate sexual behavior with other children and nightmares are common among children who have experienced sexual molestation.
Long-Term Effects of Childhood Sexual Abuse
Childhood sexual abuse has been associated with eating disorders, depression, repression, relationship problems, sexual problems, anxiety and sleep disorders later on in life, with depression being the most common after-effect. Survivors of sexual abuse may have difficulty externalizing the abuse, resulting in very negative feelings about themselves. After years of negative self-thoughts and feelings of worthlessness, long-term, serious depression may set in. Many survivors of child molestation feel guilt and self-blame, feeling personally responsible for the abuse. Body issues and eating disorders are another long-term effect of childhood sexual molestation. Many adult victims of childhood sexual molestation may have difficulty establishing relationships with others or engaging in any type of intimate or sexual relationship.
Are Childhood Repressed Memories Real?
Some people express skepticism regarding repressed childhood memories of child molestation, perhaps feeling the memories are made up or were “planted” by another person. The majority of researchers and clinicians, however, believe adults who were sexually abused as children will remember at least some part of it, although they may not fully understand it or tell another person about it. It is more likely that the memories were repressed because of the pain they brought to the victim. Sexual molestation of a child can occur in many different places, however quite often, it occurs at a school, church, daycare or in a person’s home.
When Those We Entrust Our Children to Do Not Protect Them
It is impossible for us to have eyes on our children 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. We often entrust teachers, teacher-aides, religious leaders, schools and churches with the responsibility of watching our children or teenagers. This trust can be broken when a school, church or another type of institution breaches their duty of care in the protection of your child. Lead personal injury attorney, Elan Zektser, has the unique experience of working with child and adult victims of sexual abuse, prosecuting perpetrators, assisting law enforcement in the sexual assault and abuse investigations, training schools and churches on preventing these types of crimes, and, in some instances, going after individuals who failed to protect the victims of sexual assault. Elan Zektser has not only handled hundreds of sexual assault lawsuits but has taken over 100 of them to verdict. Here at Greenberg & Greenberg, we are confident that you will not find a more caring, skilled and aggressive attorney to handle your case in which a child or sexual assault victim was wronged.
How the Greenberg & Greenberg Attorneys Can Help Following a Sexual Assault or Child Molestation
The attorneys at Greenberg & Greenberg have advocated for more victims of sexual assault and molestation than any firm or attorney in the State of California. As experienced attorneys in this field, we are aware of the extraordinary physical and psychological toll these types of acts inflict. For many victims, it is hard enough to deal with the trauma let alone face the prospect of reliving it in a courtroom. The legal staff at Greenberg & Greenberg have a vast knowledge regarding obtaining the necessary support to help victims regain their lives and self-esteem, while aggressively protecting their legal interests in and out of the courtroom, recovering deserved compensation.
If you or a loved one have been a victim of any type of sexual abuse, you might think the only way your attacker can be held responsible is through the criminal court system. With the experience of Greenberg & Greenberg, the option to file a civil lawsuit for damages against your attacker or third party may be a viable option. As either a victim or parent/guardian of a victim of sexual abuse, you have the right to take legal action against your attacker as well as a number of additional parties. California law says that you may be able to take legal action against the perpetrator as well as the owner of the location where the actual abuse took place if the owner failed to provide a safe environment. Get the help you need and deserve from the highly experienced Greenberg & Greenberg attorneys.