Child sexual abuse is a tragic occurrence across the U.S. According to the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN), child protective services confirm or find evidence of a new child sexual abuse case every nine minutes.
If you or someone you know suffered sexual abuse as a child, you could file a lawsuit to seek compensation for the losses you sustained as a result. A San Francisco child sexual abuse lawyer from Greenberg Gross can help you fight for justice.
What Is Considered Child Sexual Abuse in California?
Child sexual abuse can appear in many forms, and the experience affects all survivors differently. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), sexual abuse entails involving a child in any sexual activity that they do not understand, do not consent to, or are not developmentally able to consent to.
California Penal Code § 288 states that anyone who engages in a lewd or lascivious sexual act with a child under age 14 is guilty of a felony.
Child Sexual Abuse Has Long-Term Effects on Survivors’ Health and Well-Being
When children experience sexual abuse, they can suffer both short- and long-term negative effects. Such effects may include physical, mental, and behavioral issues such as:
- Physical illness or injury
- Chronic illness
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Substance abuse
If you or a loved one suffered sexual abuse as a child, you do not have to face these challenges alone. Our San Francisco child sexual abuse lawyers at Greenberg Gross can help you pursue compensation for the injuries and long-term effects of abuse.
How Common Is Child Sexual Abuse in California?
According to a study by the Child Welfare League of America (CWLA), nearly 3,500 children in California suffered sexual abuse in 2017. However, many cases of sexual abuse go unreported, so actual numbers may be much higher.
Statistics from RAINN show that 93% of children who suffer sexual abuse know the perpetrator either as a family member or acquaintance. Perpetrators of sexual abuse may include:
- Immediate or distant family members
- Teachers, coaches, or other school employees
- Friends or acquaintances of the family
- Church employees or representatives
- Volunteers at schools and other public organizations
- Childcare providers
- Other children
These are only a few of the individuals or organizations who may be responsible for childhood sexual abuse. If you or someone you know suffered abuse as a child, the San Francisco sexual abuse lawyers at Greenberg Gross will hear your story and help you understand your legal rights.
How Can a San Francisco Child Sexual Abuse Attorney Help You?
Greenberg Gross LLP has supported survivors of child sexual abuse in San Francisco and across the U.S. We are not afraid to defend the rights of sexual abuse survivors aggressively against powerful individuals and organizations. In fact, our comprehensive experience handling complex litigation and federal prosecution provides us with abundant knowledge and resources to handle child sexual abuse cases in San Francisco skillfully.
Our San Francisco child sexual abuse attorneys understand that every survivor has a different story, and we are here to provide the legal support you need to tell that story and seek justice for your losses.
What does a Child Sexual Abuse Lawsuit in San Francisco Entail?
When a childhood sexual abuse survivor files a lawsuit against the perpetrator, the civil trial is separate from any criminal trial. A guilty verdict for a criminal trial establishes the penalties the perpetrator faces for their crimes, which may include fines, jail time, and mandatory registration with the National Sex Offender Registry.
What a criminal case does not do is provide monetary compensation for the losses the assault survivor sustained due to the abuse. A civil lawsuit against a perpetrator of child sexual abuse allows the survivor to pursue monetary compensation for their injuries, including:
- Medical treatment
- Psychological therapy
- Lost career potential
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional anguish
- Diminished quality of life
A conviction in a criminal trial can help you win a civil case by providing a guilty verdict that you can present as proof of the perpetrator’s wrongdoing and the lasting effects of their actions.
We understand that every survivor faces different challenges. Our child sex abuse lawyers serving San Francisco will review your case and help you determine which damages to include in your civil lawsuit for compensation.
What if I Was Sexually Abused Many Years Ago?
Legislation recently passed in California under AB 218 expanded the definition of childhood sexual abuse and extended the statute of limitations for filing sexual abuse lawsuits under certain circumstances. Overall, the legislation provides additional time for many survivors of child sexual abuse to come forward and seek justice and compensation.
If you were sexually abused as a child, you may be able to file a civil action against the abuser any time before you reach age 40. If you discover psychological illness or injury as a result of childhood sexual abuse, even if it is after the abovementioned timeframe, you may still be able to file a lawsuit against the perpetrator within five years of that discovery.
Greenberg Gross has spent the past ten years defending the rights of abuse victims in California courtrooms. We are well-versed in state and federal laws pertaining to child sexual abuse and can advise which statutes of limitations may apply to your case.
Contact Greenberg Gross for a Free Child Sexual Abuse Case Consultation
If you or a loved one suffered childhood sexual abuse, you are not alone. A San Francisco child sexual abuse lawyer at Greenberg and Gross can guide you through the legal process and help you seek the justice you deserve.
Contact our office today to arrange a free consultation and learn how one of our compassionate sexual abuse attorneys can help you.