Sexual abuse is never okay. As we continue to discover cases of abuse throughout the United States, we need to turn our attention to the survivors. In the aftermath of abuse, most survivors struggle emotionally and psychologically for the rest of their lives. They did not deserve the abuse that happened to them.
They do deserve justice.
Soloff & Zervanos, P.C. is ready to help survivors of sexual abuse, whether they are children or adults. Our qualified and experienced team will work to secure the compensation you deserve. When you need a Jersey City sexual abuse attorney, contact us today.
How Often Does This Happen?
It seems like we hear news stories all the time about instances of sexual abuse, some of the current and some going back decades. The truth is that sexual abuse is a major problem for both children and vulnerable adults. In many cases, victims of sexual abuse do not realize they have been abused until years later.
We want to give you some quick statistics before we discuss the effects of sexual abuse and what you can do moving forward.
Darkness to Light tells us that one in 10 children will experience sexual abuse before they turn 18. This includes one in seven girls and one in 25 boys.
Because sexual abuse victims are usually children and vulnerable adults, the perpetrators are likely going to be someone that the victim knows.
- About 90% of children who are abused know their abuser
- About 30% of children who are abused are abused by family members
Many cases of abuse take place in healthcare settings such as hospitals, doctor’s offices, and nursing homes. Healthcare professionals who take advantage of people at their lowest moments should be held accountable for their actions.
For children abused, we know the perpetrators are often coaches, foster parents, members of the clergy, mentors, scout leaders, teachers, and more. In many cases, the abuser is a member of the family, often a step-parent, step-sibling, or another relative.
The effects of sexual abuse often follow victims their entire lives. Victims can suffer from deep and long-lasting emotional and psychological scars that require continual counseling. In many of these cases, the abuse took place over long periods of time, deepening the trauma of the victims.
FAQs for Jersey City Sexual Abuse Lawyer
Following sexual abuse, it can be challenging to put your life back together, let alone think about what recourses you might have. After something as traumatizing as a sexual assault, financial compensation is the last thing on your mind.
However, you need to obtain closure. That is why our Jersey City sexual abuse lawyer will fight on your behalf until the justice has been served. The lifelong consequences of sexual abuse can take a toll on many aspects of your life, which is why our attorneys at Soloff & Zervanos, P.C., will make sure that you get compensated for everything you had to go through.
What is Sexual Assault in New Jersey?
In New Jersey, “sexual assault” is synonymous with rape. Sexual assault is any form of penetration of or by a perpetrator where physical force or coercion is used, and the victim does not consent to the sexual act.
New Jersey courts recognize all forms of penetration, including vaginal, oral, anal, fellatio, and cunnilingus, as well as the insertion of a hand, finger, or object into the vagina or anus either by the perpetrator or upon the perpetrator’s request.
The penalties for sexual assault, which is a crime in New Jersey, depending on the nature of the crime and the victim’s age. More often than not, defendants in sexual assault cases are charged with a second-degree offense with potential imprisonment of up to 10 years.
What Types of Sexual Misconduct Are Considered Crimes?
Sexual assault or rape is considered the most severe form of sexual misconduct in the state of New Jersey. Rape can be classified as “aggravated sexual assault” if the victim is seriously injured as a result of the perpetrator’s use of physical force or coercion.
However, most allegations of sexual misconduct and abuse in our state are not as severe. A more common type of sexual misconduct is when an abuser touches the victim’s private area with the threat of force or by using physical force.
The abuser could face criminal charges even if there was no physical contact between him and the victim. It is essential to contact a Jersey City sexual abuse attorney after you believe that you have been sexually abused or harassed to determine whether or not you are entitled to sue the perpetrator.
What is the Statute of Limitations for New Jersey Sexual Abuse Claims?
Thanks to a new law in New Jersey, which was signed by Gov. Phil Murphy and will become effective on December 1, 2019, sexual abuse and assault survivors now have more time to sue their abusers.
The extended statute of limitations in New Jersey gives victims of sexual abuse a two-year window from Dec. 1, 2019, to file a civil sexual abuse claim regardless of when the crime took place.
Also, the new law allows victims of child sexual abuse to bring claims until they reach the age of 55. Moreover, all victims of sexual abuse will be allowed to sue the abuser within seven years of discovering the damage caused by the violence.
By exposing your abuser to justice, you may finally find peace of mind while obtaining monetary compensation for all the damages and losses that you have endured and suffered.
Jersey City Sexual Abuse Cases: Signs a Child is Being Sexually Abused
Children who are victims of sexual abuse often don’t tell others about their experiences. This can make it difficult to identify the signs of sexual abuse in children. However, there are some common behaviors that may indicate a child is being sexually abused.
- displaying sudden changes in mood or behavior
- withdrawing from family and friends
- exhibiting fear or anxiety towards particular people
- engaging in age-inappropriate sexual activity
- developing an increase in nightmares or trouble sleeping
- avoiding certain topics or activities they once enjoyed
- gaining knowledge about sexuality that is beyond typical development for their age group
- having trouble with bladder control or stomach upset without explanation
- experiencing sudden changes in eating habits such as overeating or undereating.
It’s important to keep in mind that these behaviors could also be related to other issues, so be sure to consult a mental health professional if you are concerned. If you witness any of these signs in a child, be sure to take action. Speak with the child and ask questions as appropriate; keep track of information they’ve shared; if you’re a teacher, relative, or other non-parent, reach out to their parents or guardians for further support and guidance; and contact authorities if necessary.
Signs of Sexual Abuse in Nursing Home Residents
Nursing home residents, like children, may not speak up about their sexual abuse experiences for a variety of reasons. To help protect them from harm, it’s important to be aware of the signs that may indicate a person is being sexually abused in a nursing home. These can include: unexplained bruises or marks on their body; an uncharacteristic change in demeanor; avoidance of physical contact; fear or anxiety when around certain caregivers; exhibiting signs of depression or distress; and/or displaying age-inappropriate sexual behavior.
If you are concerned someone is being sexually abused in a nursing home, consult with administrators and other authorities to ensure they receive proper support and protection. By taking action, we can create an environment where all people feel safe and respected.
How to Prepare for an Initial Consultation With a Jersey City Sexual Abuse Attorney
When facing a sexual abuse case, it is important to find the right attorney for your legal needs. Seeking out an experienced Jersey City sexual abuse attorney can provide you with the needed representation and guidance throughout your case.
If you are considering hiring a Sexual Abuse Attorney in Jersey City, here are some tips to help prepare for an initial consultation:
- Gather all documents related to the case. This includes medical reports, police reports, witness statements, and any other paperwork associated with your claim.
- Create a timeline of what happened leading up to the event, as well as afterwards if applicable. It’s important that you discuss this in detail during your meeting with the attorney.
- Write down any questions you may have regarding the specifics of your case. When you meet with the attorney, they should be able to answer all of your questions and provide more insight into how they can help.
- Think about what kind of outcome you would like from the case. This can serve as a point of reference during the initial consultation and will help ensure that your needs are met by the attorney you choose.
- Make sure to bring a list of references if available. This could include names of people who could testify on your behalf or provide additional information related to your claim.
By taking these steps before meeting an experienced Jersey City Sexual Abuse Attorney, you will ensure that both parties understand each other’s expectations and that the case can move forward efficiently.
Time To Take Control
We know that coming forward and speaking out against your abuser can be difficult. Soloff & Zervanos, P.C. has a compassionate and experienced team who will help you through this entire process. We want to ensure that your abuser is held accountable for what happened to you. This includes securing the compensation you deserve. This could include the following:
- Punitive damages against the perpetrator(s)
- The person who abused you
- Institutions they worked for
- Institutions that covered up the abuse
- Pain and suffering damages
- Compensation for counseling