Child sexual abuse involves any form of unwanted sexual contact with an adolescent or teen adolescent. Statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Healthy Kids Colorado Survey Report is chilling:
- In the U.S., one in four girls and one out of every 13 boys experience child sexual abuse at some point in childhood.
- Across the country, 91% of child sexual abuse is perpetrated by someone the child or child’s family knows.
- In Colorado, 42% of child sexual abuse survivors experience their first completed rape before the age of 18 years.
- Among 46,537 students at 199 Colorado schools,10.1% of females and 3.4% of males reported being physically forced to have sexual intercourse.
- 9.5% of Colorado youth report having experienced physical, dating, or relationship-related violence.
This heinous act can leave a lifetime of physical and mental scars on a child. If you are a survivor of child sexual abuse or your child has been abused, you have legal options that may help alleviate your pain.
What Constitutes Child Sexual Abuse
Examples of child sexual abuse include:
- Penetration of the victim’s body.
- Oral-genital contact.
- Genital exposure.
These behaviors often involve force, intimidation, or threats to coerce a minor’s participation. Other forms of adolescent sexual abuse include child pornography and grooming behavior in which someone builds an emotional connection with a child to manipulate them into sexual exploitation.
In Colorado, it is illegal for an adult to engage in any sexual activity with a person under the age of 17. The penalties for such offenses are severe and may involve jail time or prison sentences for perpetrators. Even if the perpetrator does not physically touch the child—such as engaging in verbal conversations about sex—they can still be found guilty of child sexual abuse.
Child Sexual Abuse Can Happen Anywhere
A wide range of individuals sexually abuses children. Parents and caregivers are some of the most common perpetrators, but unfortunately, other people in authority or trusted positions may also commit such heinous acts against children.
Common perpetrators include:
- Mental health professionals.
- Clergy members.
Sometimes, strangers also engage in the sexual abuse of children. Parents and families must be aware of potential perpetrators and signs of abuse in children. It is also essential to create an environment where children feel safe and secure speaking up if they or someone they know is being abused. We must end the silence around child sexual abuse and create an atmosphere where it can no longer remain hidden.
Child sexual abuse survivors in Colorado can seek justice through civil lawsuits, where they can collect damages for physical and emotional harm caused by the abuser. Depending on the case, damages can include payment for medical bills related to the abuse, pain and suffering compensation, punitive damages, and lost wages from work missed due to the abuse.
Survivors may receive compensation for psychological trauma caused by the abuse, such as depression, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), anxiety, and various other mental health issues associated with their experience. They may also be compensated for any physical injuries sustained from the abuse or treatment of such injuries. Survivors may also obtain damages for loss of life enjoyment if the abuse’s effects significantly alter their quality of life.
Many survivors also benefit emotionally from holding their abuser accountable in court, providing them much-needed closure after such an emotionally traumatic experience. Many abusers must pay restitution or perform community service as part of their sentences in criminal cases related to child sexual abuse. This serves as another form of justice for survivors who experienced long-lasting consequences from someone else’s crimes.
Lamothe Law Firm Supports Survivors
At Lamothe Law Firm, we understand how difficult it can be for survivors of child sexual abuse in Colorado to come forward and seek justice. Our attorneys are dedicated to seeking compensation for survivors with damages that are both financial and emotional.
Depending on the specifics of your case, you may be entitled to compensation for medical bills arising from the abuse or therapy bills incurred due to emotional trauma.
You may also be able to recover damages for pain and suffering caused by the abuser’s malicious actions.
At Lamothe Law Firm, we understand the seriousness of this crime and are committed to providing compassionate legal counsel throughout your case. We firmly believe you deserve justice if you were wronged—and our legal team will fight hard on your behalf.
Lamothe Law Firm Seeks Justice for Child Sexual Abuse Survivors
Child sexual abuse is a complicated and deeply personal issue. We are here to support survivors’ decisions and fight for justice. If you are a survivor of child sexual abuse or your child has suffered sexual abuse, contact Lamothe Law Firm today to learn more about your legal options and confidentially discuss your case to learn how we can help.