Long-Term Effects Of Sexually Abused Children

Effects Of Sexual Abuse Can Linger For Decades

The effects of sexual abuse don’t end when the abuse stops. In all likelihood, children who are sexually abused will deal with the consequences of their abuse for the rest of their lives. The long-term consequences are one reason that victims of sexual abuse may consider filing legal claims against sexual predators and the agencies or entities that robbed them of a childhood and caused significant problems as an adult.

At The Orlow Firm, our experienced New York sexual abuse lawyers are familiar with the potential long-term effects on sexually abused children. We understand how to create a compelling case for compensation based on the serious emotional and mental harm that sexual abuse can cause. We serve clients throughout New York City, including the Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens and Manhattan.

Effect Of Sexual Assault On Kids

Initially, children who are victims of sexual abuse may display behavioral changes such as withdrawal or angry outbursts. There may be other warning signs. The effects of sexual abuse can linger for decades, however, and in some cases, children who appear unaffected will deal with consequences in later decades.

The long-term consequences of sexual abuse can depend on the length and severity of the abuse and other factors. In general, they can include:

  • Depression, suicidal thoughts, anxiety, insomnia and other mental and emotional problems
  • Feelings of guilt
  • Low-self esteem
  • Sexual dysfunction
  • Drug and alcohol abuse
  • Difficulty with relationships

In addition, children who are sexually abused may be more likely to be future victims of sexual abuse as adolescents and adults.

Dealing With The Effects

If you were sexually abused, you did not have control over the abuse that happened to you, but you do have control over the long-term effects. Treatment, including psychotherapy or other counseling, can help you deal with both the short-term and long-term impact of child sexual abuse. There are resources that can help you learn what to do about sexual abuse.

Contact the Orlow Firm

To learn more about the long-term effects of sexual abuse and to find out whether an attorney can help you, contact The Orlow Firm.

Call (646) 647-3398 or contact us online.

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Sexual Abuse Compensation

Holding Sexual Abusers Accountable

As personal injury attorneys, we will be among the first to say that financial compensation from a successful legal claim will not undo the significant effects of sexual abuse. Victims of sexual abuse often have severe emotional and mental anguish, and they may need years of treatment to begin overcoming their loss. While a lawsuit will not reverse the damage of sexual abuse, it can help victims heal and provide some financial relief for the hardships they have faced.

At The Orlow Firm, our New York attorneys understand that victims of sexual abuse may have many reasons for filing a legal claim. We are committed to helping our clients meet their goals while pursuing maximum sexual abuse compensation for them. We serve clients in the New York City region, including the Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens and Manhattan.

Types Of Damages

If you or your child is a sexual abuse victim, you may be eligible for several types of compensation, referred to as damages. Your abuser, or an institution or agency such as a school, church or foster care agency, may be required to compensate you. Depending on the circumstances of your case, you may receive compensatory damages such as:

  • Pain and suffering: In sexual abuse cases, compensatory damages are often awarded for pain and suffering and loss of enjoyment of life. They are designed to compensate you for the anguish and grief you have endured and will endure in the future.
  • Medical expenses: As the result of your abuse, you may have required significant medical care and therapy, and you may need to continue receiving medical care and therapy. Through a successful legal claim, you may be reimbursed for these past and future costs.
  • Lost earnings: If the effects of your abuse are so severe that you are no longer able to work, you may be eligible for compensation to help make up for your lost earnings.

For many sexual abuse cases, compensatory damages for long-term effects such as pain and suffering and loss of enjoyment are the most significant type of compensation.

Enforcing Your New York City Sexual Assault Victim Rights

At The Orlow Firm, our lawyers will evaluate your case to determine who you may hold accountable and the types of compensation for which you may be eligible. We are dedicated to pursuing the compensation you need to get your life back on track. Schedule a free initial consultation today.

Call (646) 647-3398 or contact us online.

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Sex Abuse in Day Care

For most working families, day care is more than a convenience. It is a necessity that allows them to achieve a better standard of living. Sexual abuse of children in day care is relatively rare. But when it does occur, its impact on both parents and children may be felt for many years and be difficult to overcome.

Types of Day Care

Day care settings may be licensed or unlicensed. They may be more formal and institutional, such as preschools, with a trained professional and semi-professional staff. They may also be medium-sized and less formal as to structure and staff training, or small family-run operations in the home. Although day care homes seem to pose a greater risk of sexual abuse than day care centers or preschools, even model programs can turn out to be harmful and unsafe. The common denominator in all day care settings is that, to a greater or lesser degree, adults and adolescents are allowed ready access to children, sometimes for hours on end without much supervision.

Who Are the Abusers?

Day care centers employ a variety of individuals, any one of whom may have the inclination and opportunity to abuse a child in their care. Regular staff may include:

  • Teachers
  • Teacher’s Aides
  • Administrators and Directors
  • Janitors
  • Bus Drivers
  • Volunteers

In family day care, husbands, sons, grandfathers and other relatives, boyfriends and neighbors may have access to children in the home. A most recent case of day care sex abuse involved the teen-aged son of the owner and, in two other instances, the husbands of the primary caretakers who molested children while their wives were either not at home or elsewhere in the house.

One of the most troubling aspects of day care abuse is that it tends to be more severe than sex abuse in other contexts and more often involves physical injury. Some abusers in day care are pedophiles who are motivated by a desire for sexual gratification. Others are sadistic individuals who enjoy hurting children and may engage in physical as well as sexual abuse. At its worst, sex abuse in day care may involve ritual abuse or the use of children in pornography.

Warning Signs

Parents with children in day care should be alert to these possible indicators of abuse:

  • Bedwetting, fear of going to bed, nightmares and other sleep disturbances.
  • Behavioral changes and mood swings.
  • Changes in toilet training habits.
  • Sudden aggressive or rebellious behavior.
  • Sexual acting-out or an unusual interest in sexual matters.
  • Clinging or regressive infantile behavior.
  • Fear of certain people, places or activities.
  • Excessive fear of returning to the day care setting.


Parents may be slow to recognize these signals of abuse. They may deny them or attribute them to other causes. For example, a mother who sees persistent redness and irritation in her daughter’s vaginal area may think it’s a hygiene problem. Or, when a child becomes very frightened or reluctant to go to day care, the parent may interpret it as separation anxiety.

Sex abuse in day care victimizes both the parent and the child. Parents may feel terribly guilty at having entrusted the care of their child to abusive strangers. Children may experience long-term trauma. Parent and child victims will need therapeutic intervention and time to heal. With a great deal of emotional support, each of them may succeed in dealing with the after-effects of sexual abuse.

Choosing a Day Care Center

Parents who choose unlicensed family day care settings for their child should be aware that these entities lack formal requirements for screening and training of staff. In licensed day care centers and preschools, parents should make sure that all staff members who come in contact with their children are screened for criminal records, substance abuse and a history of emotional instability.

If your child has been sexually abused in a day care center, contact the attorneys at The Orlow Firm for a free initial consultation. For your convenience, we maintain four offices throughout New York City. Call (646) 647-3398 or contact us online.

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Sex Abuse: What’s the Harm?

It is said that sex abuse robs a person of his or her childhood. It disrupts normal emotional and psychological development and results in feelings and knowledge for which a child is unprepared. Children as young as two or three cannot understand that sexual activity with them is wrong. But this kind of abuse can damage a child’s behavior and self-worth and interfere with healthy adult relationships. It can even cause victims to become sexually abusive individuals themselves.


The ill effects of sex abuse vary in their symptoms and long-term impact. Some children seem to exhibit little psychological distress. They may, however, be fearful of discussing their feelings or may have repressed them as a coping mechanism. Other children experience delayed effects-no apparent short-term harm but serious problems that emerge later in life. In general, the variables that affect the degree of harm suffered by the victim include the child’s age, the duration, frequency and severity of the abuse, the extent to which force was used, and the relationship of the abuser to the child. Often, the abuser is known to the child, causing the victim to be torn between loyalty to the abuser and the sense that what is occurring is very wrong. In such cases, children will be frightened of disclosing the abuse because

  • They are afraid they will be blamed for the abuse and punished for it.
  • They fear their families will not love them anymore.
  • They are afraid they will cause a break-up of the family.
  • The abuser has threatened them with violence.

In general, children who disclose the details of the abuse soon after its occurrence will be less traumatized than those who carry the secret for years.

Impact of Sex Abuse on Children

The effects of sex abuse on child and adolescent victims include, but are not limited to:

  • Low self-esteem
  • Lack of trust in adults
  • Sleep disturbances and nightmares
  • Unusual interest in things of a sexual nature
  • Seductive or sexually-acting out behavior
  • A feeling that their bodies are dirty or damaged
  • Withdrawal from friends or family
  • Return to infantile behaviors such as thumb-sucking or bedwetting
  • Unusual aggressiveness
  • Extreme fear or anxiety
  • Refusal to go to school
  • Delinquent behavior

Impact of Sex Abuse on Later Behavior

As adults, people who were sexually abused as children may experience

  • Depression
  • Guilt
  • Low self-esteem
  • Suicidal thoughts
  • Sexual dysfunction
  • Anxiety attacks
  • Insomnia
  • Alcoholism
  • Drug Abuse


Victims of child sex abuse respond to different treatment methods. Those with higher self-worth and strong family support fare better. Some seek out spiritual guidance or educate themselves about sex abuse through reading, conferences and workshops. Others benefit from psychotherapy. Generally, victims who can let go of guilt and self-blame are more likely to overcome the effects of abuse. Often, it is the passage of time that promotes healing.

Filing a lawsuit against a sex abuser cannot undo the harm. But it can provide financial compensation for damages and perhaps prevent the abuser from harming others. If you or a loved one has been sexually abused as a child, contact the attorneys at The Orlow Firm for a free initial consultation. For your convenience, we maintain four offices throughout New York City. Call (646) 647-3398 or contact us online.

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Tragic Case of Abuse Serves as Reminder to be Vigilant

Nursing home abuse often sounds like a scene from a movie or a tale of folklore, but for many families it is a sad reality. A shocking case of suspected abuse recently captured on video serves as a reminder for us all that nursing home abuse is an issue against which we need remain vigilant.

On the video, a nurse appears to jerk a wheelchair out from underneath an elderly patient. The 85-year-old patient who suffers from dementia was tossed from the wheelchair, suffering a broken hip. Worse yet, the nurse appears to walk away from the injured patient, not once, but twice, as the patient lays on the ground in pain.

After a couple of minutes the video shows another employee approach the injured patient. However, this employee appears to wait another minute before helping the injured patient. Having the whole incident caught on camera will allow the nursing home to discipline those involved, if in fact they are found guilty of abuse.

The nursing home has a video system in place for the protection of the patients and staff. The administrator of the nursing home where this incident occurred stated: “Our video system, which is in place throughout our center, assists us in providing our patients the best treatment and care available.”

Unfortunately, the video system was not able to protect the injured patient in this instance. Hopefully the recording of this event may be used to protect the safety of the other patients — prompting other facilities to install surveillance cameras for everyone’s protection.

Signs of Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect

While this shocking case of suspected abuse was captured on videotape, it may be more difficult to discover if a loved one is experiencing abuse. A loved one may not reveal abuse when it is present. A patient may fear retaliation or increased abuse, or may be physically unable to report the abuse due to illness or mental limitations.

Abuse and neglect can manifest in many forms, including physical, emotional and psychological abuse. Even if you do not suspect your loved one is currently being abused by a care facility, it is always important to be aware of the signs of abuse.

The Elder Abuse Foundation suggests looking for the following signs of abuse:

  • Bed sores
  • Frozen joints
  • Unexplained injuries, including bruises, fractures, burns or sprains
  • Sudden change in behavior
  • Missing possessions
  • Change in banking practices or unexplained large withdrawals
  • Sudden change in will
  • Staff refusing or delaying visits or not allowing visitors to be alone with resident

If it is suspected that a loved one is being abused or neglected in a nursing home or other care facility, take action immediately. For questions concerning abuse, neglect or nursing home safety, speak with a personal injury attorney experienced in nursing home and elder abuse.

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