When a child suffers sexual abuse or exploitation, the impact lasts a lifetime. The physical and emotional violation is scarring on its own, but can also lead to ongoing health and personal issues.
At Carolina Defense Lawyers, we’re sensitive to the pain and difficulty of these situations. Our Columbia child sexual abuse lawyers are committed to assisting victims and their families here in South Carolina. We will fight aggressively for you and your family, providing one-on-one attention and skilled representation from our experienced attorneys in Columbia.
Hiring a lawyer is one of the most important decisions you will make during any legal process, and should not be based solely on advertisement. Please review our qualifications and experience, then contact our professional attorneys at The Jeffcoat Firm for a free and confidential consultation to discuss how we can protect your rights.
- Sexual Abuse of Children is a Widespread Problem
- Liability for Sexual Abuse of a Minor in Columbia, South Carolina
- How Can Our Attorneys Help?
Sexual Abuse of Children is a Widespread Problem
No one knows the exact rates of occurrence, but studies agree that sexual abuse of children is far more common than most people realize. Research suggests that one out of every four girls and one out of every six boys, will be the victim of sexual abuse as children or teenagers.
Unfortunately, most children keep sexual abuse a secret. It is estimated that only ten percent of abused children and minors report their abuse to an adult. Understandably, young victims of abuse may distrust adults after such an experience because the abuser is often someone who the victim knows and trusts.
Liability for Sexual Abuse of a Minor in Columbia, South Carolina
Research shows that child sexual abuse, including molestation, most often occurs at the hands of a trusted adult or authority figure. Perpetrators often include teachers, camp counselors, doctors, neighbors, coaches, babysitters, and clergy members.
When a minor is victimized by a sexual predator, the perpetrator is liable for physically committing the violation. However, other parties — such as the people or organization affiliated with the predator — may also be held liable for failing to protect the victim.
Responsibility for allowing abuse to occur or failing to report child sexual abuse may fall on any organization with a duty to protect minors, including the following:
- Daycares and preschools
- Summer camps
- Youth sports organizations
A Columbia sexual abuse civil lawsuit is separate from a criminal case. In a criminal case, the perpetrator may face jail time and other punishment; in a civil case, the victim and their family may receive monetary settlements or other compensation from the perpetrator or other at-fault parties. The burden of proof is higher in a criminal case, so if the perpetrator has already been convicted, it may be easier to win the civil case. However, even if the perpetrator was not convicted of criminal charges, they may still be found liable for civil damages.
The victim and their parents or other legal guardians may be entitled to compensation for abuse. Minor victims of sexual abuse in South Carolina have six years after they turn 21 or three years from the date that they realized that their injuries were caused by the abuse to file a civil lawsuit.
Damages for child sexual abuse can include payment for physical and emotional pain and suffering, the expected costs of future counseling, and — in cases where an employer or other organization grossly mishandled reports of abuse — substantial awards of punitive damages.
How Can Our Attorneys Help?
Carolina Defense Lawyers serves victims of child molestation and child sexual abuse in South Carolina, including Columbia, Lexington, and Richland Counties. Each case receives the personalized care and special attention you deserve. Contact our experienced child sexual abuse case lawyers today to discuss your rights and options during a free case evaluation.
DISCLAIMER: Any results achieved on behalf of a client in one matter does not necessarily indicate that similar results can be obtained for other clients.
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