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Sexual Abuse FAQs

On behalf of The Johnston Law Firm, P.C. posted in Sex Abuse on December 15, 2015

While sexual abuse is something that many people would prefer not to talk or even think about, the fact is that it is a crime that affects hundreds of thousands of men, women, and children throughout the United States each year. Victims of sexual abuse are often traumatized by their experience, and by not sharing what happened to them, they too often are denied from getting the help they need to recover. Children in particular are targeted by abusers, who think they can bully and frighten the child into not telling what is happening to them. In an effort to raise awareness and dispel myths about sexual abuse, we have assembled a list of some frequently asked questions, and consulted with experts in the field to get the answers you need about this important issue.  

Facts About Sexual Abuse

According to the Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network (RAINN), close to 300,000 people will become victims of sexual abuse this year in the United States. Despite the heavy toll it takes on victims, sexual abuse is often a crime that goes unpunished. According to RAINN, almost 70 percent of sexual assaults are never reported to police, and an alarming 98 percent of abusers never spend a day in jail. A sexual assault occurs in this country every 107 minutes, and the effects of abuse can last a lifetime. By working together to raise awareness, we can protect our children and loved one from being victims of this terrible crime. We have consulted with the trauma experts at Mary Bridge Children’s Hospital in Washington to answer your frequently asked questions about sexual abuse.

Is sexual abuse something I need to be concerned about with my children? Yes, all parents should be concerned about the alarming rates of abuse of young boys and girls. Mary Bridge reports that one out of every three girls and one out of every eight boys will be sexually abused by the age of 18.

Are people who commit sexual abuse usually strangers? No. Shockingly, 80 to 90 of abusers are family members, friends, or someone familiar to your family.

Does sexual abuse happen as a one-time event? No. Sexual abuse can occur over a period of years without anyone being aware of it.

Is it only men who are sexual abusers? No. While men are the primary abusers, there are women who are sexual offenders as well.

Can a sex offender ever be ‘cured’? The majority of sex offenders will commit this crime as long as they are able. Sex offender treatment can temporarily stop them, but a former offender should never be allowed to be around children.

How do sexual offenders gain a child’s trust? People who commit sex crimes often build up slowly to the actual act of abuse, starting with befriending both the parents as well as the child. Once they have earned the family’s trust, they will begin spending more and more time with the children, and may begin giving the child back rubs, hugging, and telling sexual jokes. They may move on to exposing the child to pornography, while gauging the child to ensure they can be intimidated into not telling.

How can I protect my child from sexual abuse? You can teach your child to stand up for themselves, to resist any inappropriate behavior or touching, and by letting them know you will listen to them and that they should come to you if there is a problem, no matter who it is. Offenders look for quiet, non-assertive children who will be afraid to tell a grown up if they are abused. The best thing you can do to protect your child is to teach them to not be afraid to speak up for themselves.  

Reach Out to a Portland Sex Abuse Attorney Today

If you or someone you know is the victim of sexual abuse, contact an experienced Portland child abuse attorney immediately. At the Johnston Law Firm, P.C., we understand the pain and trauma abuse victims suffer. We offer compassionate, caring legal service, and can assist you in bringing your perpetrator to justice. We are on your side, and will diligently defend your interests while assisting you in getting the compensation you need to recover from your injuries. Contact our Portland personal injury attorney today for a free and confidential review of your case.

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