According to New Jersey law, "sexual abuse" means an act of sexual contact or sexual penetration between a child under the age of 18 years and an adult. In most instances, a parent or guardian who knowingly permits or acquiesces in sexual abuse by any other person also commits sexual abuse. Child sexual abuse or child molestation is a form of child abuse in which an adult or older adolescent uses a child for sexual stimulation. Forms of child sexual abuse include asking or pressuring a child to engage in sexual activities (whether sexual activities actually occur or not), indecent exposure (of the genitals, female nipples, etc.) to a child with intent to gratify their own sexual desires, physical sexual contact with a child or using a child to produce child pornography.
Survivors of child sexual abuse share many common experiences as children and also share many of the long-term effects of abuse. These problems often have a pervasive impact on all areas of a survivor's life. A child who is the victim of prolonged sexual abuse may as an adult develop low self-esteem, a feeling of worthlessness, and an abnormal or distorted view of sex. The child who was abused sexually may become withdrawn as an adult and mistrustful of other adults, and can become suicidal.
Essex County Lawyer Helping Victims of Child Molestation
Adult survivors may have powerful feelings that are left over from their abuse. Recognizing that child abuse may continue to impact you past your childhood is a necessary step in your recovery.
If one has sufficient support, one step to consider in your recovery process is to use the legal system to seek monetary and non-monetary relief. Non-monetary relief can include causing policy changes and receiving an apology where institutions are involved.
At the Law Office of Daniel B. Shapiro in Montclair, I work with adult survivors of child sexual abuse throughout northern and central New Jersey to maximize the settlement or judgment they receive in a civil lawsuit. Filing a civil lawsuit for damages under New Jersey's sexual abuse law enables you to confront your abuser or the institution that failed to protect you and enabled the abuse.
The statute of limitations for childhood sexual abuse cases is different than the two-year statute of limitations that applies to other civil lawsuits. Many people who were abused as children don't acknowledge the abuse and don't understand the long-term effects it has had on them until years later, when they enter therapy or treatment for a mental health problem, alcoholism or drug addiction. In childhood sexual abuse cases, the statute of limitations begins to run when the person realizes he or she was a injured as a result of sexual abuse.
Meet With A New Jersey Attorney Experienced in Assisting Child Abuse Victims
If taking legal action is the right step, I have the experience and expertise to become a part of your support team as your case progresses through the legal system. I have been involved in witnessing the stories of sexual abuse survivors for many years. Often, those stories were being told for the first time in public.
Devoting my practice to assisting survivors is the most fulfilling way I can use my professional skills. I welcome the opportunity to hear your story and discuss your options during a free, no-obligation consultation. Call 973-746-8662 or email me to schedule an appointment.
The Law Office of Daniel B. Shapiro represents adult and child victims of childhood sexual abuse throughout northern and central New Jersey, including residents of Montclair and Verona. I assist residents in all cities and towns in Essex County, Bergen County, Passaic County, Sussex County, Hunterdon County, Somerset County, Middlesex County and Hudson County.
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