If you are a child or adult who was sexually abused during childhood, a child sexual abuse attorney can help you get on the path to recovery. A child sexual abuse attorney specializes in cases of abuse and addiction in which minors were victimized by adults in positions of power and trust. A child abuse lawyer not only provides legal representation and counsel, but can also help you understand your rights, options, and the resources available to you.
Child abuse can take many forms, but all cases of child abuse, sexual or otherwise, have one thing in common: a child, defined as a minor under the age of 18, was victimized by an adult that they trusted. The perpetrators of this type of abuse use their position of trust to take advantage of a child who believed that they should be able to trust them as a leader and role model. These victims didn’t wrongly trust strangers. They rightly trusted adults they knew and depended on, who took advantage of their leadership roles for self-serving purposes.
Examples of child sexual abuse cases
Child sexual abuse can take place anywhere that adults take on leadership roles with children, often within institutions of trust. Examples include churches, schools, athletic programs, childcare providers, and other organizations with employees who are hired to serve as leaders, teachers, coaches, role models, and care providers for children of all ages.
Real-life examples of these institutions include the Boy Scouts of America, the Mormon Church, the Seventh Day Adventist Church, and the Catholic Church. But incidences of child abuse are in no way limited to these major organizations. They merely serve as an example that child sexual abuse happens within organizations designed to foster childhood development that the public inherently trusts to care for children in a safe and positive environment.
What a child abuse lawyer can do for you
Meeting with a lawyer that specializes in child sexual abuse does not mean that you have to file a lawsuit against a perpetrator, although this is certainly one of your options. A child abuse lawyer will not try to force you to do something you don’t want to do or aren’t comfortable with just for the sake of serving justice.
Child abuse lawyers are counselors that want to help you begin the healing process more than anything else, regardless of the course that process may take. A priest abuse lawyer, for example, will help a victim of abuse within the Catholic Church understand their options for starting the healing process, including connecting them with additional counseling and support groups, demanding apologies and/or monetary damages, creating public awareness of the crimes that were committed, holding institutions of trust and their employees accountable, and simply lending a listening ear.