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Washington, DC Sexual Abuse Lawyer

The physical and psychological consequences of sexual abuse can last a lifetime. Children who are sexually abused often suffer complex and devastating long-term effects well into adulthood. Chronic pain, severe depression, anxiety, and inability to have lasting relationships are just a few obstacles sexual abuse victims face.

There are many misconceptions regarding sexual abuse. The most important thing to remember is that sexual abuse is never the victim’s fault. If your child was a victim of sexual abuse, the best thing you can do is create a safe, judgment-free environment for them to express anger, grief, sadness, and any other emotion they may be feeling. As they process what they’ve been through, make sure your messaging is clear, both in words and actions: they are loved; what happened to them is not their fault, and you will do everything you can to keep them safe.

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The Regan Zambri Long sexual abuse lawyers are here to walk beside you through this extremely difficult journey.

Our personal injury attorneys understand the delicate nature of sexual abuse cases and will work to maintain your child’s privacy. You can rest assured your family will be treated with the utmost compassion and respect. Below are a sample of some of the verdicts and settlements we have achieved on behalf of our clients.

$77M Wrongful Death Settlement

$20M Brain Injury Verdict

$19.5M Wrongful Death Verdict

$16M Premises Liability Settlement

$15.2M Wrongful Death Settlement

$15.2M Wrongful Death Verdict

$14M Personal Injury Settlement

$14M Car Accident Settlement

$11M Medical Malpractice Settlement

The Regan Zambri Long attorneys know that seeing justice served can be a step toward healing for a sexual abuse victim – it is exactly why they practice law.

Contact Regan Zambri Long PLLC today for a free consultation to discuss your legal options that will help your child close this chapter and move forward with their life.

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What Are the Warning Signs that a Child Has Been Sexually Abused?

Though there are several warning signs that a child is being abused, they are not always clearly seen or understood. Gut instincts are real and you should trust them. If you see any of the following signs and suspect abuse, the best thing you can do is talk to your child and continue to look for these warning signs:

  • Physical warning signs of sexual abuse
  • Sexually transmitted infections
  • Trauma in the genital area, including bleeding or bruising
  • Behavioral signs of sexual abuse
  • Excessive talk or knowledge about sexual topics
  • Isolation, not speaking as much as usual and spending an unusual amount of time alone
  • Suddenly afraid to be away from primary caregivers
  • Not wanting to be left alone with certain people
  • Regressive behaviors, such as bedwetting or thumb sucking
  • Overly compliant behavior
  • Inappropriate sexual behavior
  • Avoiding removal of clothing to change or bathe
  • Emotional signs of sexual abuse
  • Change in eating habits
  • Change in mood or personality, including increased aggression or becoming more reclusive
  • Decreased confidence, self-image, and self-esteem
  • Excessive worry, anxiety, or fearfulness
  • Unexplained health problems, like headaches and stomach aches
  • Loss or decrease in interest in school, activities, and friends
  • Nightmares
  • Fear of being alone at night
  • Self-harm
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Washington DC Child Sexual Abuse Statistics

The terms sexual assault and sexual abuse are often used interchangeably when describing sexual misconduct of any kind. However, while sexual assault is most closely connected with sexual violence committed against adults, sexual abuse is sexual violence committed against children. We will refer to sexual abuse as sexual crimes committed against children and lay out what their parents can do to prevent, detect, and defend their loved ones from sexual abuse.

The age of consent is the minimum age at which an individual is considered legally old enough to consent to participation in sexual activity. In Washington DC, the age of consent is 16 years old. According to the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation, adolescents who are sexually active at a young age were more likely to be coerced into sexual intercourse. Almost 60% of women who had sex before the age of 15 reported having a forced sexual experience.

About 1 in 4 girls and 1 in 13 boys experience child sexual abuse across the United States, mostly by someone the child knows. The national financial burden of child sexual abuse was at least $9.3 billion in 2015 alone. Costs include health care, child welfare, violence/crime, special education, productivity loss, and suicide death costs. If your child is a sexual abuse victim, then you understand the financial stress sexual abuse can cause a family. Medical visits, hospital stays, psychological evaluations, and therapy are extremely expensive. The Regan Zambri Long sexual abuse lawyers will work to recover the maximum financial compensation for your child so you can focus on recovery rather than crippling expenses.

What Are the Washington, DC Laws on Child Sexual Abuse?

Chapter 30 of the Code of the District of Columbia breaks down the four separate degrees of child sexual abuse laws and their consequences:

What Are the Long-Term Effects of Child Sexual Abuse?

Symptoms from child sexual abuse can manifest differently in every victim. However, a common thread is that children often carry these scars into adulthood. Adult manifestations of child sexual abuse include:

  • Fear, shame, humiliation, guilt and self-blame of the abuse.
  • Depression and anxiety.
  • Posttraumatic stress disorder, including recurring thoughts of the abuse, nightmares, and flashbacks.
  • Belief that they caused the abuse and therefore deserved to be abused.
  • Chronic pain, especially in the abdominal or pelvic region.
  • Eating disorders.
  • Alcohol and drug abuse.
  • Obesity.
  • Sexual dysfunction.
  • Sexual promiscuity.
  • Higher risk of contracted sexual transmitted infections.
  • Gynecological problems.
  • More likely to be victimized again.
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Frequently Asked Questions About Child Sexual Abuse in Washington, DC

Q: What should I do if I suspect an adult is harming a child?

RAINN outlines several warning signs that adult sexual predators display with a child they are victimizing. They include, but are not limited to:

If you see these warning signs and are uneasy with the adult’s behavior toward the child, it is important to take action immediately. This is not always an easy decision – many times the perpetrators are members of our own families. However, in order to protect the child, drastic actions must sometimes be taken. The best thing you can do is talk to your child and give your child a safe space to talk to you about what is going on.

Q: How can I help a child who is being sexually abused?

There are many reasons why a child fails to report sexual abuse to a trusted adult. In some cases, the child doesn’t understand why what happened to them is wrong. In other cases, they simply don’t have the language to tell an adult about the abuse. Children are taught to respect authority figures and adults around them. Explanation of boundaries and limits to obedience are not always fully explained.

If you suspect your child has suffered sexual abuse, it is essential for you to create a safe, blame-free environment for them to discuss what happened. If your child discloses sexual abuse, the following responses may be helpful:

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Have you or your loved one sustained injuries in Washington DC, Maryland or Virginia? Regan Zambri Long PLLC has the best lawyers in the country to analyze your case and answer the questions you may have.

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