Sexual Abuse Of Children By Caregivers: A Varied & Widely Unknown Impact

iStock_000002267584XSmallThis year, more than 80,000 episodes of sexual abuse involving children will be reported to authorities. Take a deep breath….

Because the actual number of instances sexual abuse in children is believed to be far greater, due to the fact that only a fraction of the childhood sexual abuse cases get reported to authorities.

While the sexual abuse may occur both inside the home– at the hands of friends or family, research tells us that the incidence of sexual abuse in children increases outside the home.

While thankfully, far from a commonplace occurrence, children in a day care, group home or institutional setting are at an increased risk of becoming victims of sexual abuse compared with their peers in a more traditional settings.

The impact of sexual abuse amongst children varies greatly dependent upon individual factors such as: the child’s personality, their age and their living situation.  Similarly, victims of childhood sexual abuse manifest the effects of their abuse at different times of their lives.  In some cases, the sexual abuse victims may not even become aware of the full effects of their abuse until later in life– when they begin to experience difficulties with relationships and intimacy.

Common manifestations of sexual abuse in children include:

  • Sudden behavior changes
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Withdrawal from friends and family
  • Toileting accidents
  • Behavioral problems
  • Inappropriate sexual behavior
  • Aggressiveness

Despite the obvious level of discomfort that accompanies sexual abuse topics, experts agree that some of the most productive part of sexual abuse treatment involves an open discussion of the incident itself and acknowledgment of related feelings.

Treatment for victims of sexual abuse usually incorporates various aspects of individual and group therapy.  Because family members may experience feelings of guilt and embarrassment, it is also important that counselors work with the family unit as well as the child.

Pursuing A Childhood Sexual Abuse Case Against A Facility

In order to recover damages against a facility where sexual abuse have occurred, it may be important to establish that the management was in a position to prevent the act from occurring.  In some cases this means the facilities failure to screen its employees, while in other situations it may be necessary to establish that the facility failed to intervene when it should have known when the alleged conduct occurred.

As attorneys who are devoted to representing victims of sexual abuse and assault, we have developed contacts with medical and psychological professionals across the country to both assist our clients with the recovery process as well as assure that the full extent of their trauma gets conveyed in a compassionate, yet effective way to decision makers such as defense lawyers, insurance companies or to a court.

At all times, we are mindful of the best interests of out clients and frequently work hard to resolve matters prior to litigation and before the individual is forced to re-live their trauma before a jury.

You can always talk with an attorney experienced with representing victims of sexual abuse free of charge.  All contacts are kept in the strictest confidence. (800) 926-7565


Alleged sexual abuse at a day care center: impact on parents.

The spectrum of sexual abuse in daycare: An exploratory study, Journal of Family Violence 3 (4): 283-298.


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