Los Angeles Child Sexual Abuse Attorney
Sexual assault of a child is a horrific crime that causes severe and lasting psychological trauma. When children have been abused and sexually assaulted at school, church or other organization, they often feel ashamed and confused. They do not know what to do or who to turn to. Because of this, many child sexual abuse survivors do not come forward until many years after the abuse.
At Strong Advocates, we fight for survivors of sexual abuse to regain the power that was stolen from them when they were abused as children. We hold the abusers and the institutions accountable for these atrocities and help our clients change their life including getting significant financial compensation.
Child Sexual Abuse in California Schools
School should be a space where children are safe to learn, grow and thrive. When a school becomes the location of sexual abuse, the teacher, administrator, coaches or other abusers and the school system need to be held accountable. All too often, school districts have failed to follow their mandatory duty to report suspected child abuse. Many districts try to cover up suspected abuse by quietly transferring the teacher to another school or dismissing them without transparency. Our office holds these districts accountable.
Holding Perpetrators and Institutions Responsible for Sexual Abuse
Perpetrators of child sexual abuse must be held accountable for their actions. They must be stopped from hurting other innocent children. A successful civil case helps ensure that the perpetrators are stopped from ever abusing another child, and helps the victim gain the compensation and closure they need to move forward in their life.
Perpetrators of child sexual abuse can include:
• After School program employees
• Day care workers
• Scout leaders
• Health care providers
• Religious leaders
• Student teachers or interns
• Police Officers
When schools, churches, or other institutions fail to properly supervise their employees or fail to report to law enforcement signs or suspicions of child abuse, the institutions can also be held liable for the child sexual abuse. This means that a jury could find them responsible for paying significant monetary damages to the victim to compensate for the trauma caused by the abuse. An institution should be held liable for child sexual abuse if, for instance, they fail to investigate complaints by parents or children, fail to notice certain red flags, or fail to report suspected child abuse to law enforcement.
The following organizations and institutions are commonly held responsible in child sexual abuse or sexual molestation cases:
• School districts
• Churches or synagogues
• Public and private school teachers
• Boy Scouts of America or Girls Scouts of the USA
• Colleges and Universities
• Hospitals or medical networks
• Youth organizations
• Sports organizations
Statute of Limitations on Child Sexual Abuse Claims
As of January 2020, survivors of childhood sexual abuse have until they are 40 years old (or 5 years from the discovery of the abuse) to file a civil lawsuit in California. The newly updated law also provides for a three year window (from 2020 to 2023) to revive claims that were originally barred because of the statute of limitations.
Know Your Rights in School Sexual Abuse and Assault Cases: Civil Court vs. Criminal Court
When minors have been groomed and abused by predators at schools or other institutions, they can seek justice through both the criminal and civil justice systems.
Criminal court cases for child sexual abuse aim to convict the abuser, and sentence him according to the law. These cases are brought by the government, which has the authority to file charges against the predator. If convicted, the abuser may face incarceration, fines, mandatory counseling, probation, and other criminal sanctions. Criminal cases do not punish the abuser’s employer, which may have enabled the predator to molest or assault the victim. That’s why we file a lawsuit.
Civil court cases aim to compensate the victim for the pain and suffering they were forced to endure as a result of the sexual abuse. A civil suit is generally brought against the predator and the school district or other organization for their failure to take actions to prevent the abuse from occurring. A civil lawsuit allows you to seek compensation for your or your child’s losses including pain and suffering, lost opportunities, medical expenses, and punitive damages. The majority of child sexual abuse civil cases end in a settlement rather than a trial.
Although no amount of money can ever make up for the trauma and abuse, monetary compensation can help survivors of child sexual abuse to move forward with a sense of justice.
If you or your child has been the victim of sexual abuse by a trusted adult, it is important that you seek experienced legal counsel promptly. A skilled Los Angeles child sexual abuse attorney from our non-profit legal office can ensure that the lawsuit is filed in a timely manner, preserve important evidence, and locate witnesses.
From warning signs to the physical and psychological impact sexual abuse can have on a child, our facts and resource guide will inform you on how to educate and protect your child from abuse. Our guide also provides local resources for child abuse survivors in Los Angeles.
Trust Strong Advocates sexual abuse lawyer with your or your child’s case
Strong Advocates represents survivors of child sexual abuse against individual offenders and the institutions. We fight hard to make sure the school system or other institution is punished for their failure to protect school children. We make sure our clients have excellent therapists and are empowered at every step of their case.
By working with us, our clients who are child sexual abuse victims get to rewrite the end of a very difficult chapter in their lives. Strong Advocates helps make sure our clients experience their case as another path toward healing, and gain the justice and they deserve.