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IL injury lawyerSexual 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:

  • Fondling
  • Sex trafficking
  • Send or ask for nude photos
  • Owning, producing, or sharing child porn
  • Oral sex
  • Masturbation
  • 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.

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IL injury lawyerAbuse as a negative effect on others no matter their age. However, due to children still learning and developing, sexual abuse especially can have long term effects on victims. Children cannot consent to sexual acts. In Illinois, if the offender has power over the minor, the age of consent is 18-years-old. The assault of a consenting adult is still a crime, but when the victim is a child, more is at stake.

More than four children die every day in the United States because of abuse. The majority of these children are under the age of three. When it comes to sexual abuse, one in three girls and one in five boys will be subject to sexual abuse before the age of 18. Incidents of strangers abusing children are more isolated, and 90% of all child sexual abuse is done by a known person to a child. The most likely offenders are family members.

There are many symptoms a person can face after being sexually abused as a child. Some of these effects can be seen right away, but others may manifest later in life and continue to impact a child victim. An adult who faced sexual abuse as a child may face these things in their life after the fact.

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IL injury lawyerA 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:

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