Sexual abuse, molestation, and misconduct is unfortunately common throughout Michigan. At Buckfire & Buckfire, P.C., our attorneys understand both the severe impact of this trauma on a victim, as well as the laws which govern civil lawsuits taken against a perpetrator. Therefore, if you or a loved one suffered abuse as a minor, contacting a lawyer who handles child sexual abuse cases in Michigan is crucial.

A legal professional who understands the sensitive nature of a case, how trying a lawsuit can be, and the importance of maintaining client confidentiality can help to mitigate the stresses and challenges of pursuing a civil lawsuit during this difficult time.

Child Sexual Abuse Cases in Michigan

Statistics for Sexual Misconduct with Minors

The extent and prevalence of child sexual abuse can be difficult to accurately determine because it often goes unreported. Furthermore, abuse is also not uniformly defined, which means statistics may vary depending upon who conducts the study. With this in mind, the following statistics represent some of the research conducted on the abuse of minors:

  • 1 in 5 girls and 1 in 20 boys is a victim of sexual abuse or misconduct
  • 20% of adult females and 5-10% of adult males recall a childhood abuse incident that was sexual in nature
  • Over the course of their lifetime, 28% of American youth ages 14 to 17 had been sexually victimized
  • 3 out of 4 adolescents who have been sexually assaulted were victimized by someone they knew well
  • Children who experienced rape or attempted rape in their adolescent years were 13.7 times more likely to experience rape or attempted rape in their first year of college

Signs of Minor Abuse

In some cases, instances of sexual abuse and mistreatment remain unreported because children have a difficult time communicating their experience to adults who can help them. Some children will not tell a parent or adult because they feel shame, guilt, or embarrassment. In some cases, children can be confronted with threats from the abuser. There are certain signs of sex abuse that can indicate a child has been through a traumatic experience that can lead to a valid case in Michigan with the help of a lawyer. These include:

  • Changes in behavior, such as extreme mood swings, withdrawal, fearfulness, or excessive crying
  • Bed-wetting, nightmares, fear of going to bed, or other sleep disturbances
  • Acting out inappropriate sexual activity or showing an unusual interest in sexual matters
  • A sudden acting out of aggressive or rebellious behavior
  • Regression to infantile behavior, like clinging to a parent
  • Behavioral problems in school
  • Changes in toilet-training habits
  • A fear of certain places, people, or activities
  • Multiple or poorly explained injuries, like bruises, rashes, cuts, or limping
  • Pain, itching, bleeding, fluid, or rawness in the private areas

It is essential that parents and loved ones be attentive and spot these or other troubling signs. A knowledgeable lawyer who is familiar with the circumstances surrounding sexual abuse cases can be helpful in determining if a child was the subject of mistreatment.

Pursuing a Civil Sex Abuse Case for Children

The damages and injuries caused by abuse are often far-reaching and can even last a lifetime. These can include physical injuries, as well as severe psychological damage, such as post-traumatic stress disorder and mental anguish. The lingering effects of abuse can hurt a victim’s self-esteem, their ability to form relationships, and their ability to obtain or maintain gainful employment.

However, victims of sexual abuse as minors in Michigan have legal rights to take action against their abusers in the form of a civil case. They can also take action against those who negligently permitted the abuse to occur. Through a claim, requests might be made for recovery of the numerous damages a claimant has suffered, including emotional trauma, medical bills, and other financial burdens brought on by abuse.

However, calculating the extent of a person’s losses is often confusing, especially when the estimation of non-economic damages can be subjective and nuanced. This is why it is important to retain someone who has experience handling child sexual abuse cases can help to fully assess and present a claimant’s losses.

Filing a Timely Claim in Michigan

Anyone looking to pursue a case on the basis of child sexual abuse either for an underage loved one or for an incident involving their own past should be aware of the statute of limitations for filing a claim in Michigan. Essentially, anyone who was the victim of sexual misconduct, molestation, or other sexually-based abuse while they were under the age of 18 can pursue a claim on for before their 28th birthday.

Due to the importance of this deadline, hiring an experienced lawyer for help can be beneficial. While exceptions might exist, filing a timely claim that satisfies the statute of limitations provide a claimant with the opportunity to have their case heard in court.

Seek Legal Help with Filing a Child Sexual Abuse Case in Michigan

If your child has suffered sexual abuse, you are likely to be overwhelmed and have numerous unanswered questions regarding how to proceed with helping your loved one. Navigating the claims process alone is often difficult, especially if there is an intersection between a criminal procedure and a civil claim.

A skillful lawyer at Buckfire & Buckfire, P.C. who is familiar with the state-specific laws can work to pursue a child sexual abuse case in Michigan on your behalf. To learn more, schedule a consultation with a legal professional today.

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