Warning Signs Of Sexual Abuse In Children

Do You Suspect Sexual Abuse?

Children who are sexually abused may try to keep the abuse a secret, especially when the abuser is someone they know. Children may be afraid they will be blamed or punished for the abuse. They may be afraid they will no longer be loved or that their family will break up as a result. This fear means that it can be difficult to know when a child is being sexually abused, but many children will display behavioral or other changes.

If you learn your child has been sexually abused by an educator, foster parent, religious leader or another person, The Orlow Firm can help. During a free initial consultation, our lawyers will listen to your story and explain your potential legal options. We represent clients throughout New York City, including the Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens and Manhattan.

Behavioral Changes After Sexual Abuse

Not all children who are victims of sexual abuse will show warning signs. According to one estimate, 40 percent of children do not have symptoms. Other children may have behavior changes or physical signs. According to the American Psychological Association and other organizations, children who have been sexually abused may develop:

  • Angry outbursts
  • Anxiety or depression
  • Sleeping problems or nightmares
  • Withdrawn behavior
  • Regressive behaviors. For example, some children could start wetting the bed or sucking their thumbs again.

Children may also show sexual knowledge or behaviors that are unusual for their age. They may be reluctant to be alone with a particular person. Bruises, genital pain or bleeding, rashes or cuts may also be warning signs of sexual abuse. Sexually transmitted diseases or pregnancy can also be a symptom, especially in children under 14.

What To Do If You See Warning Signs

At The Orlow Firm, our attorneys can advise you of what to do if you or your child has been sexually abused and guide you through the legal process if you choose to file a claim against the perpetrator. For a free consultation, call (646) 647-3398 or contact us online.

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What To Do If You Or A Loved One Is Sexually Abused

Overcoming Fear After Sexual Abuse

Often, victims of sexual abuse do nothing at first. Children may be too ashamed or afraid to tell anyone what has happened to them. In some cases, victims of sexual abuse may decide not to take action until they are adults and the abuse is well behind them. At The Orlow Firm, our attorneys encourage people who have been sexually abused to take two basic steps.

First, call the police. Second, contact an attorney as soon as possible. All too often, New York’s statute of limitations prevents adults who were abused as children from filing claims against sexual predators. The Orlow Firm represents victims of sexual abuse throughout New York City, including Brooklyn, the Bronx, Queens and Manhattan. We can advise you about what to do if you or a loved one is sexually abused.

Steps To Take After A Sexual Assault

If you or your child has been sexually abused, your first step should be to call the police or other authorities. Sexual abuse is a crime, and it should be reported to the authorities for a criminal investigation and potential charges. This can be a difficult step to take because of the shame that can accompany a sexual assault, but it is important.

After contacting authorities, you should consider contacting legal counsel. If you are an adult who was abused as a child, your legal claim may be thwarted by New York’s statute of limitations for sexual abuse claims if you wait. The law requires that a lawsuit start by the time a child turns 18, plus an additional five years. In most cases, this means a victim of sexual abuse must file a claim by age 23.

If you learn that your minor child has been sexually abused, you should still consider legal counsel. A lawyer who is involved early on in the aftermath of sexual abuse may be able to obtain strong evidence that could be lost or unavailable if you contact an attorney later. In addition, law firms often have suggestions for using the many resources available to victims of sexual abuse.

Seek Treatment

If you or your child has been sexually abused, you may be able to take advantage of organizations and other resources that focus on assisting families that are dealing with child abuse. In addition, you may consider seeing a psychologist or counselor to help you cope and move past the effects of sexual abuse.

Contact The Orlow Firm

For more information on what to do if you or a loved one has been sexually abused, contact The Orlow Firm online or at (646) 647-3398.

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