We Serve Victims In Pennsylvania, New Jersey and New York
The National Center for Victims of Crime (NCVC) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) both report that as many as one in four girls and one in six boys will experience some form of sexual abuse before age 18. However, this statistic may be underestimating the problem, due to underreporting of this crime by victims.
Children are often afraid to report sexual abuse because they feel ashamed or guilty. In many cases, the perpetrators use threats and fear to keep young victims quiet.
If you or your family has been affected by this crime, it is important to understand that you are not alone. At Soloff & Zervanos, P.C., our crime victim lawyers can provide help in coming forward and reporting sexual abuse or assault. Attorney Jeffrey Fritz is an experienced crime victims’ lawyer. He is a charter member and past president of the National Crime Victim Bar Association, an affiliate of the National Center for Victims of Crime.
“Jeff Fritz is a passionate voice for victims of child sexual abuse. Until I found Jeff, other lawyers I spoke with told me if I wanted a crusader, to look somewhere else. I’m glad we did. It is that crusading spirit that keeps him on the case until it is finished.”
We represent parents of minors who were abused as well as adults who were sexually abused as children. We hold the responsible parties accountable and recover full and fair compensation for your past, present and future damages.
Schedule a free consultation with one of our child molestation victim attorneys in Philadelphia, Allentown, Lancaster, Reading, Cherry Hill, New Jersey and New York. Please call us at 215-929-7216 today.
The Experience To Help Survivors Of Child Sexual Abuse
We represent child sexual assault victims in lawsuits against perpetrators and institutions that failed to protect against sexual assaults, including schools, universities, hospitals and clinics, day care centers, youth organizations, babysitters, sports teams and churches.
Attorney Jeffrey Fritz also represented some of the victims in the Penn State/Jerry Sandusky case.
Our law firm emphasizes comprehensive representation of crime victims’ needs in the criminal and civil justice systems. We also help our clients obtain resources for counseling, medical care and lost wages through insurance and other means.
We work to protect the privacy and dignity of victims throughout the process. For example, we can file civil suits under pseudonyms, such as John or Jane Doe, and seal court documents. We may also be able to use closed-circuit televisions during the trial to keep victims and perpetrators in different rooms.
Potential Perpetrators of Child Sexual Molestation
Virtually any adult can potentially victimize a child in this heinous manner. That said, it’s not uncommon for the perpetrator of child sexual molestation to be someone who has power over a child. Such individuals may include:
- Religious leaders
- Camp counselors
- Doctors, nurses, and other such medical professionals
- Leaders of youth organizations
Signs of Child Sexual Molestation You Need to be Aware Of
For understandable reasons, children are often reluctant to come forward and speak out when they’ve been the victim of sexual molestation. Sometimes, this is because victims are so young that they don’t fully understand that they’ve been abused. All they know is an adult with authority has warned them against speaking out about their experiences.
Older children might feel shame or fear when considering discussing their trauma. Regardless, it is often up to a child’s parents or other such individuals to identify the signs of sexual molestation. They may include:
- Changes in mood
- Changes in appetite
- Sleep pattern changes
- Apparent knowledge of sexual topics
- Regression to thumbsucking, bedwetting, and other such behaviors
- Changes in academic performance
- Increased anger or aggression
- Stomachaches, headaches, or other such unexplained health issues
- Apparent fear of certain places or people
- Emphasis on behaving “perfectly”
Yes, there are many other potential explanations for these issues. You shouldn’t necessarily assume a child is being sexually abused if you notice these developments.
However, you also shouldn’t ignore them. Be sure to investigate the matter more thoroughly if you have any reason to be suspicious.
The Potential Consequences of Child Sexual Molestation
It’s important to understand that victims of child sexual molestation can certainly go on to live fulfilling and happy lives. That said, it’s also worth noting that this experience can be quite devastating.
Potential difficulties a child might face both in the immediate aftermath of trauma and in the years to come include (but aren’t necessarily limited to) the following:
- Academic and professional struggles
- Difficulty maintaining intimate relationships with others
- Post-traumatic stress disorder
- A greater-than-average chance of developing a substance abuse disorder
- Suicidal ideation
- Eating disorders
Through proper treatment and counseling, a victim of child sexual molestation can address their difficulties and overcome such challenges. This doesn’t mean their abuser shouldn’t be held accountable. By taking legal action, a victim can seek financial compensation for these losses and damages, relieving them of at least some of their burdens.
They may also prevent other children from being harmed in the future. If an abuser is held accountable, they may be less likely to commit the same crimes against other children going forward.
This highlights an important point. If you’ve been the victim of sexual molestation as a child, or you’re the parent or guardian of a child who’s endured this painful experience, enlisting the help of a sexual abuse attorney doesn’t merely serve to benefit you. It can also allow you to guard against others facing the same struggles.