It’s estimated that approximately one in nine girls and one in twenty boys under the age of eighteen will suffer from sexual abuse at the hands of an adult abuser.
There are many reasons that a child might not tell anyone about the abuse that they may be going through. As an adult, you may be in a better place with less vulnerability and feel that you need to get justice for the childhood trauma that you were put through by the actions of your abuser.
Continue reading to learn what you need to know about filing child sexual abuse charges as an adult.
Keep Tabs on Changes in Child Sexual Abuse Laws
You want to make sure that you keep tabs on changes in the law when you are planning on pressing charges against your childhood abuser even many years later. In New Jersey, the statute of limitations has changed, extending the amount of time that you can file charges against or sue the individual who caused you harm.
Know that those who protected your abuser can also be held accountable for looking the other way while you were being assaulted by a member of their organization. This includes religious institutions, youth organizations, and schools.
Seek Legal Counsel
There is help out there. Before you begin the traumatic journey of reliving your childhood abuse, seek out legal counsel. Try to find a lawyer that specializes in these cases. They will be able to help you through every step of the legal process.
Hiring a lawyer will help you to solidify your case. They will know what to look for and what evidence you need to compile to strengthen the case against your abuser.
Understand Your Options
From filing a lawsuit to pressing for criminal charges, you have options when it comes to pinning your childhood abuser with their crimes. It is important to do your part to have your abuser held accountable for their actions while preventing them from harming anyone else.
Criminal charges begin with reporting the crime to the police. Once the statement is given to the police, an investigation will take place. Law enforcement needs to determine if there is any evidence pointing to a crime being committed. From there, actions will be taken to get your abuser behind bars where they can no longer hurt anyone.
Civil Action lawsuits not only punish the abuser but also compensate the survivor for any long-term effects that the abuse may have caused them. This compensation can cover anything from medical expenses to counseling, punitive damages, and pain and suffering.
Know That You’re Not Alone
No matter how you might feel as the individual who went through child sexual abuse, you’re not alone. It’s never too late to get justice for the abuse you endured in your childhood. There are lawyers and child advocates out there that will be able to help you build your case and seek out justice against your abuser.
If you found this post to be helpful, check out our other content for more legal information.