Santa Barbara Juvenile Sex Abuse Attorneys
Sexual abuse of juveniles is an especially heinous transgression. Children are the most vulnerable among us, which makes them prime targets for sexual abusers. When the abuse takes place in a juvenile facility, it is even more alarming.
These children must count on those in charge to provide them with the care they need, and when they are, instead, abused by someone within this group, it is a tragedy that will almost certainly resonate throughout their lives. If your child has been harmed in such a way, a compassionate California sexual abuse victim attorney – serving both Santa Barbara and Ventura – can help.
Signs that Sexual Abuse May Be an Issue
Children often lack the maturity and powers of communication to express the trauma they’ve experienced (or continue to experience). They can even lack the understanding to know that they are the victims of abuse to begin with. There are, however, several signs that can be indicative of sexual abuse:
- Exhibiting an abrupt and/or unexplained change in behavior, mood, personality, eating habits, or affect
- Suddenly wetting the bed (or continuing to wet the bed later into childhood)
- Attempting to run away or actually running away
- Experiencing sleep disturbances, such as night terrors or nightmares
- Withdrawing from interactions with others or becoming overly clingy with others
- Exhibiting a sudden dependence on a newly minted imaginary friend
- Exhibiting physical signs of abuse, such as unexplained bruising, tearing, or anything else
- Exhibiting signs of undue stress, anxiety, or trauma
The Problem Is Very Real
Unfortunately, the problem of sexual abuse in juvenile facilities is all too real. A report summarized in the 2018 paper entitled Sexual Abuse of Juveniles in Correctional Facilities: A Violation of the Prison Rape Elimination Act finds that the rate of formal sexual abuse allegations brought against staff members in state juvenile justice facilities doubled between the years of 2007 and 2012. This was despite the decreased number of juveniles who entered the system during that time.
To make things that much more difficult, among the young victims, six out of seven endured multiple abusive incidents. Juveniles are in need of heightened protections to begin with, and the fact that sexual abuse continues in juvenile facilities as a matter of course is tragic.
The Law Addresses the Matter
The law recognizes that children are not well equipped to call out their abusers – or even to let their parents know – which is why the statute of limitations is extended for these cases (perhaps longer than you realize). Further, while you have little control over whether the prosecution will charge your child’s abuser in criminal court, you do have the power to bring a civil suit in pursuit of just compensation for the damages your child has endured.
It’s Time to Consult with an Experienced California Sexual Abuse Victim Attorney
The formidable California sexual abuse victim attorneys at The Law Offices of Bamieh & De Smeth, PLC – serving both Santa Barbara and Ventura – dedicate their practice to fiercely protecting the rights of juvenile victims. To learn more about how we can help you, please don’t wait to contact us online or call us at 805-643-5555 today.