What is sexual abuse?
Sexual abuse takes many forms. Generally, the term “sexual abuse” refers to unwanted conduct or contact with another person that is sexual in nature. These actions can include both physical and verbal attacks.
If you feel that you, your child, or someone you know is a victim of sexual abuse, Henson Fuerst can help. Our compassionate North Carolina sexual abuse lawyers know the laws related to sex abuse, and we know how to investigate your case.
Who’s at risk of sexual abuse?
Anyone can be at risk of sexual abuse.
Children are often targeted by adults who have power over them, whether it’s physical, mental, emotional, or even spiritual. When the abuser is a trusted friend, relative, or mentor, it can sometimes be difficult for a child to speak up about ongoing abuse.
Teenagers, adults, and even the elderly can be victims of sexual abuse. Women constitute the majority of sexual abuse victims, but men can be victims as well. Nursing home residents may be victims of sexual abuse and assault. Abusers may be friends with the victim, the victim’s spouse, a relative or caretaker, or a complete stranger.
What are the effects of sexual abuse?
The effects of sexual abuse aren’t limited to physical injuries. The emotional impacts can vary depending on gender, age, and the individual personality of the victim.
For children, the effects of sexual abuse often present as:
- post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) resulting in nightmares and reenactments of the abuse.
- rebellious behaviors, such as throwing temper tantrums, acting cruelly toward others, and running away from home.
- regressive behaviors, including bedwetting, eating problems, and separation anxiety.
In adults, sexual abuse may psychologically manifest as:
- feelings of shame, embarrassment, and self-loathing,
- lack of trust,
- low self-esteem,
- poor body image,
- and more.
In the elderly, sexual abuse may physically and psychologically manifest as:
- changes in physical or mental status,
- fear of caregivers,
- and more.
Overcoming the psychological and emotional problems that result from sexual abuse can be difficult without professional help. Our sexual abuse resources can help you find a qualified therapist or counselor in your area.
Can I file a lawsuit if I’ve been sexually abused?
Yes. Many victims of sexual abuse have the right to file a lawsuit against their abusers for pain and suffering—even if their abusers have already been convicted in criminal court and are in prison.The North Carolina sexual abuse attorneys at Henson Fuerst can prepare your claim, hold your abuser accountable, and help you get the compensation you deserve. Give us a call at (919) 781-1107 or fill out a free initial consultation form. We want to hear from you today.
Who can be held responsible for sexual abuse?
Depending on the case, a lawsuit may be filed against parties other than the person who committed the act of abuse. These parties may include:
- a caregiver who ignored signs of abuse in a nursing home resident,
- an adult who was aware of child sexual abuse but didn’t stop it,
- an owner or manager of a property where sexual abuse occurred,
- school districts, if the abuse occurred on school grounds,
- and more.
At Henson Fuerst, we can determine who was responsible in cases of sexual abuse, and we’ll do everything we can to hold that party liable for your physical, emotional, and financial damages.