Fully viable and successful lawsuits can be brought under the New York Child Victim’s Act (CVA) that involve abuse other than sexually touching a child. In fact, simply sharing pornographic material with a minor – or making a child the subject of pornography by taking sexually suggestive photos can also give rise to a claim.
Equally offensive and actionable behavior can include an adult exposing his/her genitalia to a child or forcing a child to view the sex acts of others. Sadly, children often suffer long-term emotional damage due to all sexually inappropriate events that include them, even when they are not raped or otherwise touched in a sexual manner.
What follows is a review of certain behaviors that can indicate that a child (or teen) may have been sexually abused — and a few brief tips for locating a qualified therapist to work with your sexually traumatized child. Finally, some long-term consequences of childhood sexual abuse – when little or no effective therapeutic therapy has been provided to a child — are also noted.
Signs that your child may have been sexually abused by an adult
Be aware that many sexually traumatized kids may innocently experience “autonomic sexual arousal” that may make them initially “feel” as though they like what they’re seeing or being asked to do – when in fact their brains have not been involved in choosing the behavior. Therapy is necessary to help them emotionally re-wire their reactions to certain types of images or behavior;
Parents or caregivers of children must periodically make time – not just once – to speak to their children about what constitutes permissible (and forbidden) touching of their bodies by others. As caregivers, you should make sure your state has joined the many others that have passed Erin’s Law. This statute requires all schools to teach children about protecting themselves from wrongful touching – and to tell someone when they need help or protection from an abuser.
Look carefully for the best sexual abuse therapist you can find for your child
Always try to locate the most qualified therapist you can afford once you have any reason to believe your child has been sexually abused in any manner. This may include the physical form of sexual abuse – or exposure to sexually inappropriate materials (like pornography) — or it can occur because an adult exposed his/her genitalia, breasts or buttocks to your child.
Your child’s level of emotional recovery may directly depend on receiving timely therapy from an experienced child sexual abuse therapist. College students and much older adults often report being haunted by their early childhood sexual abuse throughout their lives – especially when they received very little (or no) meaningful therapeutic treatment as children.
Here are a few added tips about helping your child to heal.
Many children respond well to answering questions when allowed to draw certain events or play with small dolls. Be sure to calmly praise your child for agreeing to go with you to talk with someone about their feelings and recent experiences. And always be sure to explain to any other, older children in your home – in a private talk session – what their sibling is going through. Ask these kids to treat their brother or sister normally.
Traumatized children ache to have their former, easier lives back and don’t deserve to receive any misguided “kidding” or extensive questioning from their older siblings about what therapy is like – or about their past sexual abuse.
If your child has been sexually abused in a physical or non-physical manner by any adult such as a teacher, coach or friend of the family – you may need to file a claim under the NY Child Victim’s Act. Our New York City child abuse law firm knows how to sensitively investigate these types of cases before settling them with opposing counsel — or pursuing them in court.
We want to help you fully recover for all your child’s pain and suffering, medical and psychological treatment expenses and other losses. We’ll fight hard to win the maximum compensation available to help you build a better future for your child.
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