Sexual abuse is a terrible crime that goes unanswered far too often. In fact, only five of every 1,000 perpetrators will ever be sentenced to jail time through the criminal justice system.
One way that you can help ensure that more perpetrators see justice is knowing how to identify and report sexual abuse.
The Warning Signs of Sexual Abuse
While sexual abuse can happen to anyone, it most often happens to vulnerable individuals who cannot always communicate that they are being abused. These individuals often include children, the elderly, and the disabled.
Due to this possible communication barrier, it’s important for you to know how to identify sexual abuse without the victim telling you it’s happening.
The common warning signs of sexual abuse may include the following:
Sexually transmitted infections
Signs of trauma to the genital area
Not wanting to be left alone with certain people
Not wanting to remove clothes to get dressed or bathe
Anxiety, depression, withdrawal, or regressive behaviors
Reporting Sexual Abuse
Certain individuals are required by law to report sexual abuse when they suspect or witness it. These individuals include the following:
Teachers, principals, and other school personnel
Physicians, nurses, and other health-care workers
Counselors, therapists, and other mental health professionals
Child care providers
Medical examiners or coroners
Law enforcement officers
The process to report sexual abuse varies from state to state. In California, the aforementioned individuals must report the abuse to any police department or sheriff’s department, the county probation department, or the county welfare department.
Experienced Sexual Abuse? We’re Here to Help
At Greene Broillet & Wheeler, LLP, we strive to ensure that sexual predators do not avoid justice forever. California’s recent extension to the statute of limitations for sexual abuse claims gives survivors more time to come forward, and more time for us to hold perpetrators accountable for their actions.
We encourage you to contact us today at (866) 634-4525 to schedule a free, confidential consultation with our team.