Sexual assault against an adult who can consent is a crime, but the sexual abuse of a child is an especially sensitive topic. This year, Illinois eliminated the statute of limitations on sex crimes no matter the age of the accuser. The statute of limitations for minors had already been eliminated in 2017. Facing sexual abuse as a minor has life-lasting damaging effects, and it may take a victim time to realize they have been abused. Here we will discuss how to recognize signs of sexual abuse.
Any kind of sexual contact with a minor is considered child sexual abuse. The age of consent in Illinois with a person of trust or authority is 18 years old. A person under this age cannot consent to any sexual activity. Sexual abuse is not only penetrative sex. It is illegal for an adult to participate in any of these acts with an underage child:
- Sex trafficking
- Send or ask for nude photos
- Owning, producing, or sharing child porn
- Oral sex
- Indecent exposure, or exhibitionism
Something that felt wrong as a child may not be recognized as sexual abuse until much later. The majority of child victims know the person who is abusing them. This may be someone they trust like a family member, teacher, or priest. Child victims are especially vulnerable because they may not know to report abuse or know they are being abused. One out of every six child abusers offend because of the vulnerability of children, and may not reflect sexual orientation.
A sexual abuser of children will use their power to manipulate victims. An adult may tell a child that sexual activity is normal or healthy. If a child does not know otherwise, they may suffer unknowingly. Alternatively, an abuser may threaten or intimidate their victim to prevent them from telling another adult.
This kind of emotional manipulation and physical abuse leads to physical and emotional trauma that can life-lasting. Sexual abuse victims can develop PTSD, anxiety, depression, or addiction problems.
Contact an Aurora Sexual Abuse Attorney
Realizing that you have been the victim of sexual abuse is a traumatic experience. Because of the elimination of time restraints on reporting sexual abuse for minors, the law allows victims to come forward whenever they are ready. Abuse victims may be able to collect compensation for pain and suffering through a personal injury lawsuit. Child abusers should be held responsible, so if you have been a victim, contact an experienced Kane County sexual abuse attorney. Call our office at 630-907-0909 to schedule a free consultation.