Child molestation and abuse is often the unspoken type of abuse plaguing our communities. Each year, thousands of children in Hawaii are abused, often by people they should be able to trust. It goes without saying that child sex abuse is illegal, but what can you do as a victim or the parent of a victim? You have the right to protect your loved one and those responsible for their suffering.
At Davis Levin Livingston, we encourage you to contact our Hawaii child sex abuse attorneys to discuss your case. As experienced attorneys, we will work closely with you to learn more about your legal options. We serve clients in Honolulu, throughout Oahu, and on all the Hawaiian Islands.
Contact us online or call (808) 740-0633 for a free, confidential consultation.
Who Is Responsible for Child Sex Abuse?
There is never an excuse for child sex abuse to occur, but it does. It occurs in various locations. While many claims are domestic incidents, others occur in public areas. This includes molestation in churches, schools, recreation centers, and sports programs. These abuses range in severity and often leave individuals facing years of recovery.
If you believe sexual abuse of a minor is occurring, report it to the police as a first step. Remove your child from that environment and contact the police for immediate assistance. The removal of the abuser is essential to protect the minor, as well as other minors in the area.
However, in some situations, the abuse could be the result of negligent actions or inaction on behalf of the school or another organization that was tasked with and trusted with caring for your child. If these organizations or companies did not act in the best interests of your child, they could be negligent. The only way to ensure this does not happen again to another child is to seek out legal action against these organizations.
What Constitutes As Child Sexual Abuse?
Child abuse can be defined in several ways. Generally, it puts a child at risk of mental or physical (or both) types of trauma. It can include any type of sexual act with a child, watching a child, or in the presence of a child. This includes actions between adults and a child such as sexual videos, games, images, exhibitionism, or forced viewing of sexual acts. It can also include other lewd behavior. In some situations, it is coupled with traumatic injury or physical abuse as well.
Additionally, there is responsibility for a caregiver to ensure that the child is always safe when he or she is monitoring the child. For example, if a child is exposed to any type of sexual trauma or abuse including molestation as a result of not being properly monitored by those responsible for caring for the child, that individual or organization could be liable for the incident.
Key Areas of Concern
Abuse can occur in the home. There is no doubt this is an area of key concern. However, other forms of sexual abuse can occur as well.
This may include:
- Abuse by clergy or priests: No religion allows for clergy or any member of the organization to abuse a child in a sexual or non-sexual manner. This is a significant violation of trust and the innocence of the child. There is no situation in which this is legally allowable.
- Abuse by teachers: Another key area where abuse can occur is in school. Children can be abused in any type of public or private school by teachers who hone in on their innocence. Note that other adults working in a school can also be risk factors.
- Abuse by coaches and others: Any interaction that a child has with adults in a one-on-one occurrence can be a risky situation. Coaches, including youth counselors, programs sponsored by schools or the city, or coaches and directors from local and regional sporting programs can also be areas of concern.
If your child is ever alone in the presence of an adult or older minor, there is a risk that abuse can occur. The level and severity of that abuse can differ, but it is possible.
How Can a Victim Receive Compensation for Child Sex Abuse Losses?
In some situations, personal injury as a result of child sex abuse can be brought to court. It may be possible to file charges against the school, religious organization, sports program, or another organization or individual who facilitated this type of abuse. Though these individuals may not have physically been a part of it or even known about it, parents trust that these organization will provide a safe, secure environment.
When this expectation is present and it does not occur, there is reason to believe you can be compensated for these losses. And, in doing so, you may prevent this type of incident from occurring to another child. Hiring a personal injury attorney can help you determine if someone is responsible.
Schedule a free consultation with Davis Levin Livingston to discuss your situation. Our Honolulu, Hawaii child sex abuse attorneys are available to provide you with information about each of your options. Please do not hesitate to contact our offices today.
We can be reached online or by phone at (808) 740-0633.