Los Angeles Child Sexual Abuse Lawyer for Survivors
As a parent, you experience many emotions after discovering your child was sexually abused at an institution such as a school, camp, or church. You may feel horror, grief, anger, and helplessness. You may not know what to do to help your child recover.
One step you can take to empower your child and protect others is to confront your child’s abuser and the institution that enabled the abuse through a sexual abuse lawsuit. A child abuse lawyer in Los Angeles can help you take this monumental step. This action may feel frightening, but it gives you and your child a voice to speak out against injustice.
At Boucher LLP, our attorneys stand with sexual abuse survivors, giving them the legal tools needed to seek justice and move forward with their lives. Our Los Angeles child sexual abuse lawyers have represented many survivors, giving us the legal skill and compassion to advocate for you. Our law firm aims to empower you and your child and help you both find the path to healing.
We help survivors stand up to the institution, no matter how powerful, that failed to protect a child from sexual abuse, whether that be a school, camp, youth sports organization, or church. No one is above the law, as we showed in the $660 million settlement between survivors of childhood sexual abuse and the Archdiocese of Los Angeles.
Here, we’ll share information on child sexual abuse and describe the legal process for pursuing a childhood sexual abuse claim in Los Angeles.
How Often Does Child Sexual Abuse Occur?
Sadly, childhood sexual abuse occurs more frequently than many people think, as illustrated in these statistics from Child Protect, an organization that supports victims of child abuse:
- One out of three girls and one out of five boys will be sexually abused before they turn 18;
- Only one-third of child abuse and neglect incidents are reported; and
- 3.6 million cases of child abuse are reported every year in the U.S.
Unfortunately, California is not an exception. Children’s Bureau reveals that “there were more than 220,000 reports of child abuse and neglect in Los Angeles and Orange Counties in 2017.”
Who Sexually Abuses Children?
While parents may fear letting their children out of their sight in a crowded public place, often people we least suspect become abusers. Children are sexually abused by community leaders, school employees, and clergy members more often than many would like to believe. Child Protect statistics point out that 90% of child sexual abuse survivors knew the perpetrator.
People who have the trust and love of children, or who hold positions of power over vulnerable kids, may violate this trust in terrible ways. When they do so by sexually abusing children, they deserve to be held accountable for their horrid actions, as do the organizations or institutions that harbored them.
The Los Angeles childhood sexual abuse attorneys at Boucher LLP bring the institutions that enable child sexual abuse to justice. Whether the institution is a school, church, diocese, youth organization, or government institution, our knowledgeable child sexual abuse attorneys in LA are not afraid to stand up to the biggest powers in the state on behalf of child sexual abuse survivors.
What Are the Effects of Childhood Sexual Abuse?
Childhood sexual abuse can impact survivors for the rest of their lives. Children who were sexually abused may experience physical injuries as well as alterations to their brain structure that may produce the following extended mental and emotional effects:
- Anxiety disorders,
- Major depression,
- Post-traumatic stress disorder,
- Dissociative disorder,
- Psychosis, and
- Drug abuse.
Though the effects of child sexual abuse can be devastating, children who access healing therapies and experiences may be able to overcome their trauma and experience joyful lives. Healing therapies include exposure therapy, family therapy, art and music therapy, and mindfulness approaches.
While nothing can erase the trauma of child sexual abuse, for some, seeking justice through a lawsuit can be empowering, helping survivors reclaim their confidence and sense of self-worth that might have been taken from them. It can also bring about a sense of closure.
What Does a Lawsuit Do?
There are two potential avenues for justice through the U.S. legal system: criminal prosecution and civil liability. Your child’s abuser deserves criminal prosecution by the State of California, which seeks to punish the abuser by sentencing him or her to time behind bars. The decision to criminally prosecute a child sexual abuser ultimately lies in the hands of the prosecutor or district attorney.
However, you have another option in your fight for justice—a civil lawsuit. Regardless of whether the sexual abuser has been criminally convicted or the State failed to bring charges, you can file a civil lawsuit. A civil lawsuit requires a lower burden of proof than a criminal prosecution, which makes it easier for survivors to get justice.
A childhood sexual abuse lawsuit is about reclaiming your voice and giving your child the resources they need to heal. A lawsuit does this by bringing awareness to childhood sexual abuse, deterring abusers from harming children, motivating or requiring institutions to implement more safeguards to prevent future sexual abuse, and seeking monetary compensation that will provide support for you and your child.
In a civil lawsuit, a child abuse attorney in Los Angeles will take legal action against your child’s abuser and/or the institution that enabled the abuse. A Los Angeles child abuse lawyer will attempt to negotiate a settlement, on your terms, which may include monetary payment, community service, and other requirements.
A settlement protects your child’s privacy, shortens the duration of legal proceedings, and keeps the case out of court. However, if an institution refuses to accept responsibility for its failure to keep your child safe from sexual abuse while in its care, our skilled lawyers will be prepared to take your case to trial.
Contact the Los Angeles Child Sexual Abuse Attorneys at Boucher LLP for a Free Consultation
If your child has suffered the horror of sexual abuse at the hands of a trusted adult, you may feel powerless. You need to speak to a child sexual abuse lawyer in Los Angeles. Our attorneys have worked with many sexual assault and child sexual assault survivors, and our greatest satisfaction is found in helping these brave families seek justice and healing. We believe in bringing the utmost compassion and personalized attention to the legal process as we help survivors reclaim their power.
To learn more about how we can help you and your child, contact the Los Angeles child abuse attorneys at Boucher LLP for a free consultation. We can discuss your legal options, share ways to protect your privacy, and evaluate how this process might help on the path to healing. We can work together to bring awareness to child sexual abuse, protect children from sexual abuse, and expose abusers as we seek justice. Together, we can show abusers the power of survivors.