A child’s only responsibility is to grow up and become a successful adult. However, sometimes a traumatic experience can happen to a child that disrupts that development. Any kind of trauma will affect a person for life, but when a child is sexually abused, it can have lasting psychological and emotional effects. When children are endangered, their abusers should be held accountable.
Before they reach the age of 18, 25% of girls and 16% of boys are sexually abused. According to the Crimes Against Children Research Center, young girls are the largest targets to sexual abuse and men are the most likely perpetrators. Victims of child sexual abuse are more likely to come from low-income households and may have been victims of other crimes as well. Ninety percent of child sexual abuse is done by a person that a child trusts. Sexual abuse often comes from an adult that a child knows well, such as a family friend or acquaintance. The next likely perpetrators are family, then strangers.
The sexual abuse of a child can take many forms and constitutes as any sexual relations with a child. The age of consent in Illinois is 18 years old. Children cannot consent to sexual acts or manipulation. Sexual abuse is often thought of as intercourse, but it can also include:
- Masturbating in front of a child, or forcing a child to masturbate
- Sharing or creating pornographic material with a minor
- Sex trafficking
- Oral sex
- Sexual conversations with a minor, in person or online
When a child is being abused, they may not have an understanding of the situation to reach out for help. They also may be manipulated by the adult to believe that what is happening is healthy, or may be threatened into silence. Without getting help, the trauma can manifest into emotional turmoil as an adult. Sexual abuse often traps the victim in a cloud of guilt. A child, or adult that faced sexual advances as a child, may feel like what happened to them is their fault. These feelings can develop into Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, anxiety, depression, and other mental health issues. Counseling can help ease the pain and manage the symptoms of child sexual abuse, but it will follow a child for the rest of his or her life.
Contact a Kane County Attorney for Victims of Sexual Abuse
Child sexual predators are criminals no matter their status or relationship to the child. To keep an abuser accountable, contact an Aurora child sexual abuse attorney today. Although monetary compensation will not heal a child victim, it can begin the road to recovery to sustain a happy and healthy future. Call our office at 630-907-0909 to schedule a free consultation.