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NAVIGATING CHILD SEXUAL ABUSE: RESOURCE 4 SURVIVORS




Sent in by Gabriel Spencer, Cordisco and Saile, LLC

(NOTE: TSFC IS IN NO WAY AFFILIATED WITH THIS LAWFIRM. INFORMATION IS FOR EDUCATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY AND HAS BEEN EDITED FOR THIS FORMAT)


What Is Child Sex Abuse?

Child sex abuse refers to any sexual activity conducted with a minor. This includes: 

  • Exposure 

  • Sexual intercourse 

  • Fondling or touching 

  • Masturbation 

  • Graphic or obscene conversations 

Someone who performs one of these acts with a child has committed a serious crime. 


Signs of Child Sex Abuse

Physical indications of abuse may be more readily apparent, but psychological signs are equally as telling. Watch for these common signs of child sex abuse

  • Physical trauma to the genital area, such as bruising or bleeding

  • Self-isolation or detachment 

  • Sudden fear of being apart from a parent or guardian 

  • Regressing to previously resolved behavior, such as bedwetting 

  • Reluctance to remove clothing 

  • Lack of appetite 

  • Heightened aggression or anger 

  • Self-harming behaviors, such as cutting

Many of these behaviors are also associated with other types of trauma. Regularly communicate with your child, establish a trusting relationship, and seek therapy to uncover whether child sexual abuse is the source of the problem.


How Common Is Child Sex Abuse?

In addition to overcoming the severe horrors of sexual abuse, many victimized children also become targets for human traffickers who want to sell them as sexual slaves. According to the National Center on Safe Supportive Learning Environments, a history of sexual abuse is one of the primary risk factors for children who become trafficking victims. 

Human trafficking rings often seek out vulnerable populations, including children who have experienced sexual abuse. Traffickers lure these children into their grasp by offering protection, love, or understanding. This false sense of security entices a child who feels fearful and alone. 





What To Do if You or Someone You Know Has Experienced Child Sexual Abuse

If you or someone close to you has been a victim of child sex abuse, it’s essential to seek assistance from outside organizations. Before you do, have a private conversation with the child to better understand what occurred and who was involved. Remain calm during the discussion, allow the child to speak freely, and clarify they are not to blame. 

After your conversation, the next step is to contact the police. Reporting sexual abuse can be frightening and intimidating, so explain to the child the police can protect them from further abuse.

Once the police know the situation, it’s time to contact a knowledgeable and experienced attorney who can guide you as you decide whether to file a civil suit. Child sex abuse attorneys will handle the details of the case with care and compassion, always keeping the victim’s best interests in mind.  If you experienced sexual abuse as a child or you suspect a child close to you is being abused, the attorneys at Cordisco & Saile LLC can help you hold abusers and the institutions that enable them accountable. Our Pennsylvania attorneys will approach your case with empathy and understanding, recognizing that pursuing justice in these situations is especially sensitive and challenging. 

How Common Is Child Sex Abuse?

Survivors and their families need extensive support to recover from the trauma of sexual abuse. Many organizations specialize in helping victims of child sex abuse, including: 

  • Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network (RAINN) 

  • Childhelp 

  • Enough Abuse Campaign 

  • Adult Survivors of Child Abuse (ASCA) 

  • Help for Adult Victims of Child Abuse (HAVOCA) 

These groups provide access to crisis hotlines, support networks, educational resources, and mental health treatment providers. 






REPORT ABUSE! IN FLORIDA, HERE IS THE CONTACT INFORMATION:


Statute of Limitations for Child Sex Abuse Survivors

In many states, the statute of limitations for a child sex abuse case doesn’t begin until a child reaches adulthood or later. 

For example, in Pennsylvania, victims of child sex abuse have until they reach 55 to file a lawsuit. Those who were victims between ages 18 and 24 have until they reach 30 to file suit. However, that law only applies to incidents occurring after December 1, 2019. For child sex abuse that occurred before that date, victims have until they turn 30 to bring their claims.

The statute for criminal charges is age 50, or 32 years past the age of adulthood. 

The statute of limitations may differ based on the severity of the sexual act. Some states have no statute of limitations on rape but do limit the time to report an incidence of sexual assault. Contacting a child abuse attorney is the best way to ensure you file your case before the statute of limitations runs out.

The nationally recognized and award-winning team of attorneys at Cordisco & Saile, LLC protect residents of Pennsylvania and New Jersey who have been injured in an accident from the tricks and tactics of the insurance companies. Call us today to learn more about your legal rights, and see what we can do to get your life back to the way it was.

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Long-Term Consequences of Child Sex Abuse

Victims of child sex abuse suffer both immediate trauma and long-lasting psychological and physical effects. Adult survivors of child sex abuse exhibit an array of mental health issues, such as: 

  • Depression 

  • Anxiety 

  • Post-traumatic stress disorder 

  • Addition and substance abuse

  • Disassociation

  • Suicidal thoughts

Studies have documented that child sex abuse causes changes to children’s endocrine and immune systems, DNA, and brain development. Girls who are sexually abused might suffer permanent internal damage to their reproductive systems or become pregnant. An abused child might also contract a sexually transmitted disease with lifelong symptoms. 


What To Do if You or Someone You Know Has Experienced Child Sexual Abuse

If you or someone close to you has been a victim of child sex abuse, it’s essential to seek assistance from outside organizations. Before you do, have a private conversation with the child to better understand what occurred and who was involved. Remain calm during the discussion, allow the child to speak freely, and clarify they are not to blame. 

After your conversation, the next step is to contact the police. Reporting sexual abuse can be frightening and intimidating, so explain to the child the police can protect them from further abuse.

Once the police know the situation, it’s time to contact a knowledgeable and experienced attorney who can guide you as you decide whether to file a civil suit. Child sex abuse attorneys will handle the details of the case with care and compassion, always keeping the victim’s best interests in mind.  If you experienced sexual abuse as a child or you suspect a child close to you is being abused, the attorneys at Cordisco & Saile LLC can help you hold abusers and the institutions that enable them accountable. Our Pennsylvania attorneys will approach your case with empathy and understanding, recognizing that pursuing justice in these situations is especially sensitive and challenging. 

How Common Is Child Sex Abuse?

Survivors and their families need extensive support to recover from the trauma of sexual abuse. Many organizations specialize in helping victims of child sex abuse, including: 

  • Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network (RAINN) 

  • Childhelp 

  • Enough Abuse Campaign 

  • Adult Survivors of Child Abuse (ASCA) 

  • Help for Adult Victims of Child Abuse (HAVOCA) 

These groups provide access to crisis hotlines, support networks, educational resources, and mental health treatment providers. 

Statute of Limitations for Child Sex Abuse Survivors

In many states, the statute of limitations for a child sex abuse case doesn’t begin until a child reaches adulthood or later. 

For example, in Pennsylvania, victims of child sex abuse have until they reach 55 to file a lawsuit. Those who were victims between ages 18 and 24 have until they reach 30 to file suit. However, that law only applies to incidents occurring after December 1, 2019. For child sex abuse that occurred before that date, victims have until they turn 30 to bring their claims.

The statute for criminal charges is age 50, or 32 years past the age of adulthood. 

The statute of limitations may differ based on the severity of the sexual act. Some states have no statute of limitations on rape but do limit the time to report an incidence of sexual assault. Contacting a child abuse attorney is the best way to ensure you file your case before the statute of limitations runs out.


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