Maryland Child Sex Abuse Attorneys Representing Victims of Sexual Assault

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Sexual abuse of a minor is a serious issue throughout Maryland. As a survivor of sexual abuse, it is important to know that you are not alone. If you or someone you know has been the victim of child sex abuse, there are many resources available to support you. If the abuser is a person of authority, you have the right to pursue legal action through abuse lawsuits. As a child victim, you have the right to speak up and to seek justice. The state of Maryland is dedicated to supporting abuse victims and ensuring that justice is served. If you or your child has suffered abuse, you may now be left with many questions like:

  • Can I sue for child sexual abuse?
  • What is legally considered abuse?
  • What is my child abuse case worth?

Maryland Abuse Attorneys File Child Sexual Abuse Lawsuits

Our Maryland child sexual abuse lawyers are dedicated to helping victims of child sexual abuse throughout the state of Maryland. We understand the trauma and suffering that victims of child sex abuse are forced to endure and we are committed to providing them with the legal support and assistance they need. Our attorneys will fight for the justice and compensation that victims of child sex abuse deserve, and will work to hold perpetrators accountable for their actions. With our experienced and compassionate legal team on your side, you can have the support and confidence you need to take the necessary steps forward in your case.

What Are Maryland Laws Protecting Those Abused as a Minor?

Sexual abuse of a minor is a serious issue throughout Maryland. As a survivor of sexual abuse, it is important to know that you are not alone, even when the abuse occurred years ago. If you or someone you know has been the victim of abuse, there are many resources available to support you. If the abuser is a person of authority, you have the right to pursue legal action through abuse lawsuits. As a survivor, you have the right to speak up and to seek justice. The state of Maryland is dedicated to supporting abuse victims and ensuring that justice is served.

Maryland laws that protect minors who have been abused including:

  • The Maryland Child Protective Services Statute imposes a duty on any person who knows or has reasonable cause to believe that a child has been subjected to abuse or neglect to report it to the appropriate authorities.
  • The Maryland Safe Harbor Statute provides immunity to certain individuals who report child abuse or neglect.
  • The Maryland Abuse and Neglect Statute criminalizes certain forms of physical, sexual, and psychological abuse or neglect of minors.
  • The Maryland Child Abuse Reporting Statute requires certain individuals to report any suspected child abuse or neglect to the appropriate authorities.
  • The Maryland Domestic Violence Statute criminalizes certain forms of domestic violence, including the abuse of minors.
  • The Maryland Child Welfare Services Statute provides for the protection of children from abuse or neglect by requiring certain individuals to report any suspected child abuse or neglect to the appropriate authorities.

Criminal Vs Civil Lawsuit For Child Sexual Abuse Survivors

It is important to know that as a survivor of child abuse, you have options and there are people who are able to help you. Sexual assault victims may pursue a civil lawsuit for damages and be awarded financial compensation. A criminal court may also find the perpetrator guilty but victims may not receive compensation through the court.

After suffering sexual assault, reporting the crime to law enforcement should be your first step. Speaking with an experienced child abuse attorney should also happen quickly after as well. Experienced sexual abuse attorneys will be able to collect all the details and determine if a third party may be held responsible.

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What To Do After Experiencing Child Sex Abuse in Maryland?

If you discover that your child has been molested, raped, or any other act of sexual violence, the first thing to do is call 911 to file a report. Seek medical attention for any injuries the sexual assault may have caused, and be sure to do a forensic exam to collect any details from the crime.

If you are an adult and you have blocked the memory until now, it is important to speak with an attorney. Even if you had remembered the assault and are just now wanting to file a lawsuit, there are statutes of limitations around child sexual abuse, which means it is better to speak with an experienced attorney as soon as possible.

What Are Some Common Signs of Child Sexual Abuse?

While everyone is different, there are some common signs of sexual abuse in children. Both physical and inappropriate non-touching activities can be damaging to a child's development. It is especially important to notice these signs in young children who may not be able to vocalize what is happening. Remember, there is no act stronger than standing up to an abuser and holding them accountable. 

Some common psychological signs may include:

  • Playing with toys in a sexual nature
  • Nightmares or bed-wetting
  • Withdrawal from friends or family
  • Regression to younger behaviors
  • Emotional outbursts
  • Anxiety or fear of seeing certain people
  • Using adult words
  • Acting more mature specifically with regard to sex

Some physical signs of child abuse may include:

  • Pain, bruising or bleeding, especially around the genitals, anus or mouth
  • Blood in underwear
  • Difficulty sitting
  • Recurring pain during bowel movements
child abuse lawyer in maryland

Child Sexual Assault Statistics in Maryland

Often with child abuse cases, the perpetrator is often someone the victim knows. There are many places for child sexual abuse to occur, due to perpetrators taking a job in a position of authority while around minors. 

  • In the state of Maryland, it is estimated that 24% of children have been victims of sexual abuse. It is also estimated that just 12-30% of these are reported. Unfortunately, sexual assault, and especially abuse of children, is prevalent but many of these cases go unreported to the police.
  • According to the Maryland Department of Health, from 2009 to 2018, there were 9,312 cases of reported child sexual assault, with the majority of victims being between the ages of 11 and 17.
  • According to the Maryland Network Against Domestic Violence, in 2017, 60% of reported sexual assaults against children were committed by family members, while 40% were committed by non-family members.
  • In 2017, it was reported that 83% of the perpetrators of sexual assault against children were male and 17% were female, according to the Maryland Department of Health.

Typical places abuse takes place:

  • Schools
  • Churches
  • After-school programs
  • Camps
  • Sports
  • Other activities outside of school and home

Whether the abuse was a one time event, or was a repeated action, it is important to speak to law enforcement as well as an experienced child molestation lawyer.

Frequently Asked Questions Around Child Abuse in a Maryland Church

Maryland Attorney General's Office has been investigating cases of sexual abuse within the Baltimore Catholic Church, and many child victims have been allowed to sue the church for rape and sexual abuse. The church can be held liable and forced to pay damages if it is proven that church officials knew or should have known that a priest or other clergy member was likely to commit sexual offenses. Victims of sexual abuse in the state of Maryland have the right to file a lawsuit for sexual abuse, and the Maryland Attorney General's Office is committed to helping victims seek justice for their suffering. In Maryland, the limitation to allow victims to file civil lawsuits for sexual abuse is three years after the age of majority. 

What Does Maryland Sex Abuse Laws Say About Child Sex Abuse Cases?

In Maryland, the definition of sexual abuse is any unwanted or non-consensual sexual touching, regardless of whether the incident involved sexual abuse at school, home, or anywhere else. This includes sexual abuse that involves a child or any other person, as well as any unwanted sexual touching that occurs between two people without the consent of both parties. Maryland law has certain limitations to allow sex abuse victims to file a claim, even if the abuse occurred many years ago, victims can file sexual abuse claims. This means that victims of child sex abuse in Maryland are able to file a claim even if the abuse that occurred happened many years ago. Additionally, Maryland law allows victims of sex abuse to seek damages from the abuser or from any third parties who may have enabled the abuse to occur. This includes any entities that may have known about the abuse but failed to take action to protect the victim.

What Are Lasting Effects of Child Victims of Sexual Abuse?

Childhood sexual abuse can affect victims differently. Often the abuse can manifest in emotional damage, physical injury, or behavioral issues.

Common effects of childhood sex abuse:

  • Serious physical injury
  • Localized pain
  • Anxiety
  • Fear
  • Self-harm
  • Eating disorders
  • Substance addiction
  • Discipline issues
  • Family troubles
  • PTSD
  • and more
maryland child sexual assault lawyer

Can A Parent, Caregiver, or Organization Be Held Liable?

Yes, a third party may be held responsible if you or your child were sexually abused. The doctrine of negligence recognizes that institutions or individuals owe children a duty of care and protection from a sexual predator or sexual exploitation. Schools, religious communities, the Boy Scouts and medical facilities are all among different third-parties who may be found liable for the sexual offenses an employee or person on the property commits.

Are There Statutes of Limitation in Child Sexual Abuse in MD?

Yes, there are statutes of limitations for many types of crimes, including child sexual abuse. In Maryland, the amount of time you have to file a lawsuit will depend on if you were a child or adult at the time of the sexual assault. On March 16th, 2021, the Maryland Senate voted 10-1 to pass a bill eliminating the statute of limitations for victims of sexual abuse to file a civil lawsuit, removing the three-year restriction after the age of majority.

If you or your child was sexually abused under the age of 18, you have up to 20 years after turning 18 to file a case. This is due to a 2017 Maryland law that extended the statue of limitations for sex abuse lawsuits. The Child Victims Act of 2023 has set a new precedent for sex abuse lawsuits in Maryland, limiting the time period for survivors to bring a claim to age 38 and providing a three-year window for any survivor to bring a civil claim. The benefits of having passed the child victims act to ensure that victims of child sex abuse can seek justice no matter how long ago the abuse occurred.

Rather than waiting to speak with a law firm, it is important to contact an attorney as soon as possible after your child was assaulted or you have a recollection of abuse. The longer it takes to start a claim could make it more difficult to collect interviews or hold the perpetrator responsible.

Contact Our Maryland Child Sexual Assault Lawyers

Do not hesitate to reach out to one of our experienced child abuse lawyers. Our team is aggressive when facing the criminal defense team, fighting for you and the justice you deserve. We understand that securing compensation does not wipe the pain that the sexual violence has caused many of the victims but hope that by reaching a settlement, you are able to focus on healing without worrying. 

Our attorneys know the importance of building a trusting attorney-client relationship. Call today to speak directly with an attorney to learn more about filing a lawsuit. Sexual activity with a minor, such as clergy abuse, child molestation, or sexual contact, should never happen against a child, but victims of childhood sexual abuse deserve to seek compensation and justice. We believe you and your child's voice deserve to be heard. By speaking out against child molestation or abuse, you may help many child sex abuse victims who are afraid to speak or help protect future victims from having to experience the same trauma.

At Blank Kim Injury Law, we understand the traumatic experience of sexual abuse victims. Our Maryland sexual assault attorneys are committed to providing legal representation for victims of sexual assault and abuse. We are dedicated attorneys for victims of sexual assault and abuse, and are passionate about helping childhood sex abuse victims who have suffered from abuse. We specialize in sexual abuse civil cases, and are here to support victims of sexual assault or abuse who have had their rights violated by those who have committed the abuse. Our team is here to provide the legal guidance and support you need.

Continue to learn about our sex abuse services: Nursing Home Abuse Attorneys In Maryland

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This website is by Blank Kim P.C. d/b/a Blank Kim Injury Law. We have offices throughout Maryland with attorneys licensed to practice law in the state of  Maryland. Use of this site does not form an attorney-client relationship and information herein shall not be construed as legal advice. This website is to be considered as ATTORNEY ADVERTISING. Past settlement and verdict values are no guarantee of similar future outcomes. This firm may retain local counsel to prosecute cases. This website has not been approved by the Court of Appeals of Maryland or the Maryland State Bar. Cases may be co-counselled or referred to other firms for litigation.
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