Sexual Abuse Questions

If I find out my child was sexually abused by a teacher or by a doctor or counselor, what should I do?

If you have reason to believe that your child was sexually abused by a teacher, doctor, or other professional, you should contact law-enforcement. Child sexual abuse is a serious crime. Law enforcement officers are specially trained to be sensitive with children in investigating these cases.

What if sexual abuse was committed by someone in my church?

No matter where sexual abuse was committed, it is a crime. Responsible churches take pains to protect their members from sexual predators. If your church is asking you to cover up a crime, think very carefully about whether this is the decision you want to make.

When should I go to the police?

The time to go to law enforcement is when you suspect that a crime has occurred. This can happen when someone commits sexual abuse, or covers it up. You have a particular responsibility to report sexual abuse committed against a minor child. If you do not know whether you should contact law enforcement about a crime committed against an adult, we will be glad to discuss this with you.

Is there someone who can help my child?

It is very important that survivors of sexual abuse, both children and adults get counseling to help them understand and cope with what has happened to them. It is important for survivors of childhood sexual abuse to understand that what happened was not their fault, that they can heal, and that they can seek justice. It is important that when you are looking for a counselor, you look for one with specific training in helping survivors of sexual abuse.

Are there organizations that help victims of crime?

There both national and local organizations that help victims of crime. One organization with a good national reputation is the National Center for Victims of Crime. Also, if someone is being prosecuted for committing a crime against you or a loved one, often the district attorney’s office will have a victim’s advocate available to help you.

Are there organizations that help survivors of sex abuse?

The National Center for Victims of Crime has many resources to help survivors of sex abuse. Also, the Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network (RAINN) provides information, resources, and volunteer opportunities. RAINN also runs the National Sexual Assault Hotline. The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP) has representatives in many states and years of experience in helping survivors of sexual abuse, whether abused by priests or by other adults not connected with a church.

What if I report sex abuse, and the institution tells me they are “taking care of it”?

You should not take anybody’s word that they are taking care of an incident of this nature.

When should I get a lawyer?

If you are uncertain whether you need an attorney, please feel free to call Copeley Johnson & Groninger PLLC. We will be glad to discuss this situation with you. Not all instances of sexual abuse require a representation by a lawyer. Some do, however, and if your situation calls for it, we will be glad to help.

Will I have to pay to see a lawyer in a sex abuse case?

You will not need to pay a consultation fee to talk to a lawyer at Copeley Johnson & Groninger PLLC about your potential sexual abuse claim.

Are there civil remedies for sexual abuse?

We can investigate your case and give you an opinion about whether an institution such as an employer, school, day care, camp, church or medical practice may be liable for failing to detect the signs of sexual abuse and protecting the victim. If that happened, the negligent institution may be held accountable for the cost of its conduct.Sexual Abuse Questions 2

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