Santa Clara Child Sexual Assault & Abuse Lawyers
Dedicated attorneys protecting child sex abuse victims in the Bay Area
The sexual abuse of a child is a horrific crime that can result in horrific emotional and mental scars for the victim. In the majority of cases, these assaults are committed by people children trust and respect, causing the victim confusion and fear of speaking out – sometimes not until years or even decades later. For many survivors of childhood sexual abuse, the stigma or shame of the experience may take a lifetime from which to recover.
If you, your child or a loved one has been a victim of childhood sexual abuse or assault, there is hope. Bringing a civil lawsuit against the person or people who committed the abuse can help hold the right people accountable and begin to close a painful chapter of your life. You may also be able to bring an action against any other people or institutions that negligently allowed the abuse to occur. The Santa Clara sexual assault attorneys at Taylor & Ring can help. We will listen and we will stand by you.
Common examples of childhood sexual abuse and assault
As parents, guardians or caregivers, it’s crucial to understand the common types of child sexual abuse and typical perpetrators. Tragically, children and adolescents are often victimized by people they trust, and who have some power or authority over them. Abusers often include:
- Foster parents
- Friends or neighbors
- Medical professionals
- Religious leaders
- Youth leaders
Sexual assault in California typically falls under these two categories:
Unwanted sexual contact. In these situations, the victim did not consent to a sexual act. Note that the abuse doesn’t have to involve penetration. Sexual abuse can also include indecent exposure, voyeurism and child pornography.
Under the age of consent. Here, the victim may have allegedly consented, but they were under the legal age of consent, or were in a predatory relationship with a trusted adult (like a doctor, priest or teacher).
Rape is the most well-known form of sexual abuse and assault. However, there are several other kinds of sexual assault recognized by California law:
- Attempted rape
- Forced sexual acts of any nature
- Groping or unwanted touching
- Sexual abuse
- Sexual exploitation
- Unwanted penetration of the victim
When we say “forced sexual acts,” it doesn’t mean only physical force. Abusers can also use emotional and psychological manipulation or threats.
Age of consent in California
The age of consent in California is 18, providing the individual is considered mentally competent to consent to a sexual relationship. And, anyone who engages in a sexual act with an individual under the age of consent will be subject to both criminal and civil charges – even if the act was consensual.
The younger the victim of the sexual abuse or assault, the more severe the charges against the perpetrator. Charges can range from misdemeanors to felonies.
Holding those who assault children responsible
There’s no question that you want to hold the person who sexually abused you or your child responsible for their crimes, and our attorneys are dedicated to doing just that. However, there may also be third parties who failed in their duty to protect vulnerable children in their care. They too must be held accountable. These parties can include:
- Institutions and organizations responsible for the actions and behaviors of their employees and representatives, including religious institutions, youth organizations and schools or academies
- Property owners who failed to provide proper or adequate security measures to prevent criminal behavior (premises liability actions)
- Adults who failed to properly supervise or prevent the perpetrator from committing the assault
- Employers who hired or continued to employ a sexual predator
- A mandated reporter who failed in their duty to report suspected sexual abuse
- An agency or government entity that failed to respond to suspected abuse reports
- Any person or entity that aided in the criminal sexual act
The Santa Clara child sexual assault attorneys at Taylor & Ring dedicate our work to protecting the rights of innocent children and adult survivors of sexual abuse. We believe you and we are here for you.
Compensation for victims and survivors of child sexual abuse in Santa Clara and San Jose
We understand that there’s no amount of money in the world that can erase the anguish and suffering a child endures as a victim of sexual abuse or assault. It’s an unthinkable violation that can take a lifetime to process. However, many survivors can bring about a sense of closure through civil action. Holding people accountable for their actions in both a legal and financial sense can bring a victim some peace.
We will fight for you or your loved one to obtain compensation for:
- Medical expenses
- Loss of income
- Pain and suffering
- Punitive damages
We dedicate all our resources to securing you the maximum amount of compensation possible.
Startling child sexual abuse statistics
Sadly, children and teens are some of the most common victims of sexual abuse in the United States. RAINN reports the following statistics:
- Every nine minutes, a child is sexually assaulted or abused
- Of all victims under the age of 18, two out of three are between ages 12 and 17
- One in nine girls and one in 53 boys under the age of 18 experience sexual abuse or assault at the hands of an adult
- 82% of all victims under 18 are female
- Females ages 16-19 are four times more likely than the general population to be victims of rape, attempted rape, or sexual assault
Out of the 63,000 sexual abuse cases that Child Protective Services (CPS) substantiates each year, they found that:
- 80% of perpetrators were a parent
- 6% were other relatives
- 5% were "other" (from siblings to strangers)
- 4% were unmarried partners of a parent
And, RAINN reports, childhood sexual abuse has consequences that can go on long into adulthood. Compared to non-victims, victims of sexual abuse are:
- Four times more likely to develop symptoms of drug abuse
- Four times more likely to experience PTSD as adults
- Three times more likely to experience a major depressive episode as adults
Remember, you don’t have to go through this alone. Our Santa Clara legal team can help.
If you or your child is a victim of sexual abuse in the Bay Area
Here are some crucial steps you should take if you or your loved one has suffered sexual abuse. These actions may help ensure the perpetrator is brought to justice.
- Contact the proper authorities as soon as possible.
- Get the victim medical attention from a hospital or physician immediately. This step is absolutely critical – an examination for signs of sexual abuse can be the source of valuable evidence that can help put the perpetrator behind bars.
- Assist the victim in getting emotional support through a certified sexual abuse therapist or counselor.
For knowledgeable consultation about options regarding civil actions, talk to the experienced Santa Clara attorneys at Taylor & Ring. We are dedicated advocates for our clients and are ready to hear your story.
Our experienced Santa Clara child sexual abuse lawyers will fight for justice
At Taylor & Ring, we understand how difficult it is to speak up about childhood sexual assault. We will stand by your side, fight for you and hold the perpetrator accountable for their terrible crimes. It’s time to begin to heal, and we want to help. To speak with a child sexual abuse lawyer serving Santa Clara, San Jose, and the entire Bay Area, please call 310-776-6390 or complete our contact form to schedule a consultation.