Fort Lauderdale Sexual Abuse Attorney
Sexual abuse is one of the most heinous offenses a person can commit. Sexual abuse against children at school, daycare, or at a private residence is every parent’s worst nightmare. Dealing with sexual abuse cases in Fort Lauderdale takes a team of aggressive attorneys and hard-hitting investigators. Our local personal injury firm has the resources and dedication to justice you need for these traumatic cases.
Signs of Sexual Abuse
The first step in putting an end to sexual abuse is discovering that it exists. There are signs you can look for as a parent that may point to sexual abuse at school, at a friend’s house, or during after-school activities. Detecting abuse can put a stop to it before it’s too late and prevent further harm to your child. If you notice one or more of these red flags, have a talk with your child about potential abuse:
- Depression or anxiety
- Sudden behavioral changes
- Dropped performance at school
- Loss of interest in regular hobbies or activities
- Loss of appetite
- Trouble sleeping or nightmares
- Reluctance to be around certain adults or teachers
- Lashing out with aggressive or erratic behaviors
- Suicidal thoughts or attempts
- Physical signs, such as bruising
- Overly mature sexual knowledge
- Obscene, sexual language
- Unplanned pregnancy
- Strange gifts from strangers
Potential signs of sexual abuse will vary depending on your child’s age and the type of abuse. Look for clues or hints that your child is dropping during conversations that he/she wants to talk about an abusive experience. Your child might provoke a conversation about sexual issues or give “what if” scenarios. Always express to your child that you will listen to him or her and that you will believe allegations of sexual abuse. This can open the floor to discussions about sexual abuse and your legal options against the offender.
Criminal vs. Civil Charges for Sexual Abuse
Sexual abuse is a criminal act as well as a civil wrongdoing. As such, abuse victims have the right to file both types of charges in Fort Lauderdale. If the victim is a minor child, parents can file for him or her. In Fort Lauderdale, one can file a civil claim against an abuser while a criminal case is still pending or ongoing. There is no need to wait until the criminal case ends or the courts convict the abuser. A civil case focuses on compensating the victim and his/her family for harms that occurred due to the abuse. A criminal case aims to indict the abuser and punish him or her for the wrongful act.
Pursuing a civil claim for sexual abuse can do a lot for the victim. It can result in monetary recovery for any related medical bills, physical pain, emotional suffering, mental anguish, and trauma the sexual abuse caused. The Fort Lauderdale courts may also award punitive damages for the offender’s egregious acts. Florida places a cap on punitive damages of three times the amount of compensatory damages or $500,000, whichever is greater.
With the right team of attorneys, a civil lawsuit for sexual abuse doesn’t have to be further trauma. It can be a light at the end of the tunnel. Jason and Debi Chalik want to hear your story. Call the Law Offices of Chalik & Chalik for a free, no obligation consultation today.