Child sexual abuse often leaves victims with psychological trauma that can have lifelong effects. Taking legal action against the sexual predator can provide a sense of validation and empowerment, allowing survivors to confront their abusers and seek justice with the assistance of a dedicated Jacksonville child sexual abuse lawyer for the harm done.
Pursuing legal action not only holds perpetrators accountable but can also help prevent future abuse by removing dangerous people from society. It sends a powerful message that child sexual abuse will not be tolerated and encourages others to report these crimes
Steinger, Greene & Feiner is committed to standing up against sexual predators and alongside innocent victims. While justice and compensation can’t undo what’s already been done, it can reduce a threat to society and give victims a sense of closure. Whenever you’re ready to fight back, our designated child abuse lawyers will be there to help.
Understanding Child Sexual Abuse
What It Is
Child sexual abuse is defined as any non-consensual sexual activity involving a minor (under the age of 18). It involves various abusive behaviors, including molestation, fondling, sexual assault, incest, child pornography, and grooming. These acts can occur within the family, by trusted adults, or by strangers and can be physical, verbal, or psychological in nature. Child sexual abuse is a criminal offense that has severe legal consequences. Depending on the severity of the case and the judge making the ruling, child sexual abuse perpetrators in Florida can face the death penalty.
The Different Types
Here’s a breakdown of the different types of child sexual abuse.
- Physical Sexual Abuse: This involves any physical contact or sexual acts forced upon a child, such as fondling, penetration, or oral sex.
- Non-Contact Sexual Abuse: This form of abuse doesn’t involve direct physical contact but includes acts like voyeurism (spying on the child while undressing), exhibitionism (exposing genitals to the child), or forcing the child to engage in sexual activities with others while observing.
- Child Pornography: The creation, distribution, or possession of sexually explicit images or videos of minors is a form of child sexual abuse. This includes both producing and viewing such material involving children.
- Grooming: Grooming involves an adult who earns a child’s trust to manipulate and exploit them sexually. Groomers often gain the child’s confidence and gradually desensitize them to inappropriate sexual behaviors.
- Incest: Incest involves sexual abuse within the family, typically between close relatives, such as a parent, sibling, or cousin. It is a particularly devastating form of child sexual abuse due to the violation of trust and familial bonds.
- Child Prostitution or Trafficking: Forcing or coercing children into prostitution or human trafficking for sexual purposes is another form of child sexual abuse, often associated with organized criminal activity.
- Child Sexual Exploitation Online (CSEOL): With the advent of the internet, child sexual abuse has extended to online spaces. This includes online grooming, sexting, and coercing children into sharing explicit images or engaging in sexual activities via the internet.
The Lasting Effects on Victims
Childhood sexual abuse can have profound and enduring effects on survivors. These effects can present themselves in various ways, including through emotional and psychological trauma, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression, anxiety, low self-esteem, self-destructive behaviors, and trouble forming healthy relationships. The emotional and psychological trauma often follows victims into adulthood, affecting their day-to-day lives.
Recognizing and Addressing Warning Signs
Identifying and addressing warning signs of child sexual abuse is essential for the early detection and prevention of such heinous acts. Warning signs can include changes in a child’s behavior, withdrawal, fearfulness, sexualized behavior beyond their age, secrecy, or regression in developmental milestones.
Caregivers, educators, and community members must be vigilant and take any concerns seriously. Reporting suspicions to the appropriate authorities can help protect potential victims, hold perpetrators accountable, and provide necessary support to survivors. Early intervention can help prevent further abuse and assist survivors in their healing process.
Why Choose a Jacksonville Child Sexual Abuse Lawyer?
These are the top three reasons why Jacksonville parents trust Steinger, Greene & Feiner to represent their children’s sexual abuse cases.
- Expertise in Local Laws and Regulations: Our Jacksonville child sexual abuse lawyers have in-depth knowledge of Florida’s laws and regulations related to child sexual abuse cases. We understand the complexities of these sensitive cases and how to navigate them. Our level of expertise is essential for building a strong legal strategy that ensures the best possible outcome for the child victim.
- Familiarity with Jacksonville Courts and Legal Processes: Our lawyers have a deep understanding of the Jacksonville court system and the legal processes involved in child sexual abuse cases. We’re familiar with the judges, prosecutors, and other professionals involved in these cases, which can be invaluable when navigating the legal system and advocating for the child’s rights.
- Dedication to Child Abuse Cases and Understanding of the Sensitive Nature: Child sexual abuse cases are highly sensitive and emotionally charged. We specialize in handling these types of cases and have the compassion and sensitivity required to support child victims and their families throughout the legal process. Our team will work tirelessly to ensure your voice is heard and your child’s rights are protected in the future.
Hear From Satisfied Clients
“I had the best experience with my attorney, Josh. He was always available to answer any questions I had. He is kind and thoughtful even if a question I had was silly. He always reassured me everything was going to be alright, and it was. I will be referring him and your Law Firm to anyone who needs an excellent Personal Injury Attorney.”
– Denise Morales
“Steinger, Greene & Feiner is the firm you will truly be happy with. They kept me informed of my case every step of the way & in a very timely manner. They made me feel confident and treated me with such kindness. I am a very happy & satisfied customer.”
– Jennifer Ellison
“From beginning to end my attorney Alison Davis was so attentive and on top of every detail of the process. It isn’t something that you can do on your own, and Steinger, Greene, and Feiner is a great option. I hope I don’t need to but would definitely use them again. Very happy with my settlement, and as they say “I love my attorney!”
– Ross Lappin
“This is one of the best attorneys I have ever used. They kept me informed on what they were doing and how they did it. To all who are looking for a good attorney, this is the one to use. You won’t regret it. They are the best. He will be my attorney from now on when I need him.”
– Rodney Shuemake
“I went to one attorney with my case and I didn’t hear anything from them via text, phone, or email—nothing. Within a couple of hours, I got a text letting me know the lawyers were working on my case and would be in touch with me. I love that because you need to know what’s going on with your case without you having to call them and see what’s going on.”
– Sheila Stokes
“They all really exceeded all my expectations! They handled my case in a very professional and timely manner. I never had to worry or handle anything! If it wasn’t for this team of professionals, I fear the insurance company would’ve beaten me out of the care and money I deserved. I highly recommend this law office. They’re dedicated to getting you the money and care you deserve after a life-changing experience like the car accident I was in. Thanks so much!!”
– April Scarffol
“I was hurt and scared at the beginning of my ordeal. Mostly confused and didn’t know where to turn for a lawyer to help me navigate my case. My attorneys have been an absolute pleasure! I couldn’t have asked for a less painless process. They worked so hard and took all the guesswork out of my case. What truly stood out above everything was how nice, sweet, polite, and understanding they both were. If I ever need representation in the future, I will definitely be reaching out to the SGF team. Thank you for everything! It has been a pleasure to get to work with you. I couldn’t be happier with how things turned out.”
– Dawn Cheek
The Legal Process: What to Expect
The legal process when handling a child sexual abuse case involves three main steps.
- Initial Consultation: Every case starts with a free, no-obligation evaluation. You can opt to meet with a lawyer in person or speak with them over the phone. We’ll review the details of your case, explain your rights and legal options, and strategize for next steps.
- Investigation: We’ll conduct a thorough investigation of your case. This process includes interviewing witnesses, gathering evidence, and consulting with medical and other specialists. We leave no stone unturned to build the strongest case possible.
- Filing and Representation: We’ll file a claim against the perpetrator demanding financial compensation to help alleviate the harm done. You can either settle with the perpetrator or take your case to court. If a settlement can’t be reached, we’ll file a lawsuit on your behalf and represent you in all legal proceedings.
Possible Outcomes and Compensation
If your case is successful, you’ll receive compensation on behalf of your child to cover economic and non-economic damages. Economic damages are monetary losses like medical bills and therapy costs. Non-economic damages are psychological losses like PTSD and reduced quality of life. In certain cases, the judge overseeing the case may award punitive damages to penalize the perpetrator or institution responsible for the abuse.
The Role of Institutions in Child Sexual Abuse Cases
Institutions like churches, schools, and youth organizations have a fundamental duty to safeguard the well-being of children in their care. This responsibility includes implementing stringent policies and procedures to prevent abuse, conducting thorough background checks on staff and volunteers, and providing education and training to help staff and volunteers recognize and report any signs of abuse.
When institutions fail to uphold this responsibility and allow child sexual abuse to occur, they must be held accountable—whether the abuse occurred due to willful action or negligence. Holding institutions accountable is essential not only to secure justice for victims but also to send a powerful message to predators that child abuse is unacceptable. It promotes transparency, encourages proactive measures to prevent abuse, and helps protect vulnerable children from future harm within these institutions.
Statute of Limitations: Why Act Now
Florida’s statute of limitations for personal injury cases generally is four years if the event occurred on or before 03/23/2023 and two years if it occurred after 03/23/2023. However, cases involving child sexual abuse have some exceptions.
When a minor alleges sexual abuse, they can file a claim against the perpetrator.
- Seven years after their 18th birthday
- Four years after becoming independent from their abuser
- Four years after discovering the injuries and their causation
When a minor under age 16 alleges sexual abuse, no statute of limitations applies.
1. How much does it cost to hire a child sexual abuse lawyer?
The cost of hiring a child sexual abuse lawyer varies depending on what firm you choose to handle your case. With Steinger, Greene & Feiner, you get a free case evaluation to discuss your case and understand your legal options. Plus, you don’t pay any legal fees until we win your case, thanks to our contingency fee basis.
2. What compensation can victims expect?
Compensation fluctuates based on the length and severity of the abuse and what damages the victim suffered. You can seek both economic and non-economic damages on your child’s behalf. Steinger, Greene & Feiner will fight for maximum compensation.
3. How long does the legal process take?
The main factor impacting the length of child sexual abuse cases is whether you choose to settle or take the case to court. The settlement process can wrap up in as little as a few weeks, whereas litigation can take up to a few years. Your lawyer will help you decide which option is better for you and your child.
Seek Justice by Reaching Out to Our Jacksonville Child Sexual Abuse Lawyers Today
Your child deserves justice and fair compensation for the abuse they suffered. Our sexual abuse attorneys will provide legal advice and emotional support every step of the way. You can trust us to handle your child’s case confidentially and with great sensitivity. We’ll do everything we can to get the results you deserve. Contact us today for a free case evaluation.