Sexual abuse is not new, but it seems like we are hearing about these cases more often now than ever before. One thing we know is that victims of sexual abuse, whether they are children or adults, develop deep emotional and psychological scars due to what they have been through.
Soloff & Zervanos, P.C. is ready to step in and be by your side. Our compassionate team will listen to you and work to secure the compensation you deserve for what has happened to you. When you need a Staten Island sexual abuse attorney, we are ready to help.
The Effects Of Abuse Are Devastating
Imagine a child who trusts someone so willingly. They never expect that they will be abused and they often do not understand what is happening.
Now imagine a vulnerable adult, perhaps someone under anesthesia, or maybe an elderly person in a nursing home. All too often, people take advantage of them as well.
Sexual abuse is perpetrated by a person in a position of power and authority of their victims and it often happens for long periods of time. We want you to know that this is a bigger problem than most people realize. One in 10 children will be abused before they reach their 18th birthday. You read that right. 10% of kids are sexually abused. This includes:
- One out of every seven girls
- One out of every 25 boys
When it comes to children, we find that the abusers are usually:
- Religious leaders
- Foster parents
- Family members
- Older children
- Mentors/scout leaders
In 90% of all child sexual abuse cases, the victims knew and trusted their abusers.
When adults are sexually abused, the perpetrators are often:
- A doctor abusing a patient
- Nursing home staff abusing elderly residents
- In-home care aides abusing the elderly
*In many abuse cases, there is an attempt to cover up the abuse by the perpetrator organization or employer.
Staten Island Sexual Abuse Cases: What Are the Signs of Sexual Abuse in Children?
Children and minors who are victims of sexual abuse at the hands of adults and authority figures often feel reluctant to speak up about their experiences. As the parent or caregiver of a child, it may be your responsibility to monitor your child for warning signs indicating they may be a victim.
Signs of sexual abuse in children may include, but are not limited to:
- Physical symptoms such as bruises or bleeding in the genital area
- Difficulty walking or sitting
- STIs or pregnancy, especially in younger children
- Regressive behaviors, such as thumb sucking or bedwetting
- Nightmares or trouble sleeping
- Changes in appetite
- Withdrawal from friends or usual activities
- Sudden fear of certain people or places
- Self-harm or suicide attempts
- Unexplained money or gifts
- Sexualized behavior or language that is not typical for the child’s age
It’s important to note that these signs can also be caused by other issues, and should not be taken as conclusive evidence of abuse. If you suspect a child is being abused, report the matter to the appropriate authorities.
Signs of Staten Island Nursing Home Sexual Abuse
Like children, elderly nursing home residents may be afraid to speak of their experiences when they’ve been sexually abused. Additionally, some nursing home residents struggle with cognitive difficulties which can prevent them from fully understanding or even remembering that they’ve been abused.
Signs that a nursing home resident may be a victim of sexual abuse include:
- Bruising or bleeding in the genital area
- STIs or vaginal or anal bleeding
- Unexplained anxiety, depression or emotional withdrawal
- Sudden changes in behavior
- Bruising around the breasts or genitals
- Difficulty walking or sitting
- Refusing to be alone with a certain staff member or visitor
- Sudden change in who is responsible for their care
- Unusual reluctance to be touched or bathed
- Self-harm or suicide attempts
- Unexplained money or gifts
Again, these warning signs may not always be indicate of sexual abuse. However, they should not be ignored. Be sure to investigate the matter further and strongly consider relocating your loved one to your home or a new facility if you have reason to suspect they have been sexually abused.
How to Prepare for a Consultation With a Staten Island Sexual Abuse Attorney
When preparing for a consultation with a Staten Island sexual abuse attorney, it may be helpful to:
- Gather any relevant documentation or evidence, such as medical records, police reports, and any other documents that pertain to the abuse.
- Make a list of any witnesses or other people who may have information about the abuse.
- Write down any questions you have for the attorney and bring them to the consultation.
- Think about the goals you want to achieve by working with the attorney, such as seeking compensation for damages, holding the abuser accountable, or seeking a restraining order.
- Be prepared to discuss the details of the abuse, including when and where it occurred, who was involved, and any physical or emotional effects it has had on you.
Keep in mind that it is normal to be emotional when discussing the abuse, but try to be as clear and concise as possible when describing the events.
The Long Road
Victims of abuse, whether children or adults, are very likely to suffer from more than just physical wounds that are inflicted. The emotional and psychological trauma will likely consume many victim’s lives. Many victims report being unable to have healthy sexual relationships. Long-term counseling is often necessary for sexual abuse survivors.
FAQs for Staten Island Sexual Abuse Lawyer
The vast majority of rapes and sexual assault crimes are never reported to the police. Still, it is estimated that nearly 50,000 women in New York City are raped each year.
A sexual assault is arguably the most horrifying and traumatizing experience a person can go through. While it is possible to punish the abuser through criminal prosecution, it hardly does anything to heal the victim’s permanent emotional and psychological scars that can linger for a lifetime.
While a criminal conviction may offer some measure of closure, a Staten Island sexual abuse lawyer can help pursue monetary compensation for the medical expenses, loss of income, pain, suffering, emotional distress, and all kinds of other emotional and psychological effects of sexual abuse.
Here at Soloff & Zervanos, P.C., our fearless attorneys help victims fight back against rapists and abusers to get the compensation they so desperately need to obtain some measure of satisfaction.
Who is Sued for Sexual Abuse and Assault in New York City?
Only about 16 percent of rapes are ever reported by the police. Many victims refuse to report sexual abuse in fear of retaliation or because they think nothing can be done to identify, catch, or punish the abuser.
What many sexual assault survivors do not realize is that the rapist or abuser is not the only party that can be held criminally liable in a criminal suit or held accountable for the victim’s damages in a civil lawsuit.
Other parties who could potentially be named as defendants in sexual abuse cases in New York City include:
- The offender’s employer, especially if the crime occurred on the job and in the course of employment (e.g., for failure to perform thorough screening, background checks, or supervision);
- The landlord, owner, or occupier of the property where the sexual assault took place (e.g., for failure to repair or provide adequate lighting conditions or provide other security measures);
- The abuser’s psychological or other professional workers who chose not to report the plans, tendencies, or suspicious sexual behavior of the patient under their care;
- A government entity or agency that failed to respond to reports or complaints of criminal activity promptly; and
- Any individual or entity that assisted or encouraged the criminal act.
What Does Premises Liability Have to Do with Sexual Assaults?
In many sexual abuse cases, the victim and their Staten Island sexual abuse attorney are able to hold the owner or occupier of the premises where the criminal act occurred accountable for the crime.
Some environments and properties carry a high risk of being targeted by rapists and abusers to commit crimes and sexually assault their victims.
For example, if a property owner fails to repair broken lights or install a surveillance camera to keep their visitors and customers safe, the owner could be held responsible for the failure to prevent the crime on their property.
However, this will require proof that the property owner or occupier failed to protect the victim from the reasonably foreseeable criminal act committed by a third party.
How Much Time Do You Have to Bring a Sexual Abuse Claimin New York?
In August 2019, the state of New York suspended the statute of limitations for sexual abuse cases involving children. The “look-back window” is the one-year filing period that allows victims of child sex abuse to sue their perpetrator before their turn 55.
The Act also eliminates the requirement to file notices when suing the institutions that may have allowed or ignored the child sexual abuse. A victim of child sex abuse could take advantage of the Act even if his or her lawsuit was previously dismissed in New York.
For rape accusations in New York City, there are no time restrictions for filing criminal charges against the perpetrator. However, if your claim involves premises liability, there is a three-year limit for suing the person or entity that failed to prevent the reasonably foreseeable crime.
What Are Your Next Steps?
Soloff & Zervanos, P.C. want you to know that you do have a voice. We understand that victims of sexual abuse, whether they are children or adults, struggle with physical and emotional scars. We want to help you bring your abuser to justice.
Our knowledgeable and experienced team will investigate your case and work to secure the compensation you deserve, which can include the following:
- Compensation for counseling
- Pain and suffering damages
- Punitive damages against the perpetrator(s) including
- The person who abused you
- Institutions they worked for
- Any party that covered up the abuse