Child Abuse and Sexual Assault
Mental Health Treatment Facilities | Churches and Religious Institutions | Health Clubs
Summer Camps | After School Programs | Youth-Based Programs
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Unfortunately, child abuse and sexual assault have become an epidemic in the United States. There are more than 320,000 cases of sexual assault each year, with most of the victims being children. Many cases of sexual abuse are never reported to authorities, and others, for a variety of reasons, are reported many years after the incidents. Often, children avoid telling of the abuse until they are adults because they are afraid of the dramatic consequences that follow – from authorities, their abusers – and a whole host of other negative consequences.
We have seen our social services being taxed to the breaking point, and as a result, children, who are the most vulnerable, slip through the cracks. Children are often placed in foster homes where adequate screening is not done and they are further abused. Moreover, we have seen cases of neglect and abuse by the agencies that are responsible for the care of these children. Due to cuts in social services, our firm is now seeing abuse cases grow at alarming proportions
Victims of physical assault and sexual assault have legal rights in the criminal justice system as well as the civil justice system. The criminal justice system is used to punish the perpetrator of the crime and charges are usually filed by the local prosecutor. However, in the civil justice system, our firm acts as YOUR advocate to get you justice for the harms your cild or you suffered, usually through financial compensation.
Child Abuse and Sexual Assaults are not limited to schools or foster homes. We have seen many cases where these abuses occur at:
- mental health treatment facilities
- churches and religious institutions
- health clubs
- summer camps
- after school programs
- youth-based programs
Experts on Retainer
At Shaffer & Gaier we are proud that we have several experts on retainer to help in assisting us with your case. We have a Board-Certified Forensic Psychiatrist, Licensed Master of Social Work and a Board-Certified Behavioral Specialist all on retainer at our firm. These experts have decades of expertise and experience that we can rely upon as they have worked with abused children and adults and know the ins and outs of the system. Their knowledge of the inner working of the systems has been an invaluable recourse in litigating these cases. We will leave no stone unturned in taking the most aggressive approach to holding those responsible for causing harm and abuse your child and you.
Statute of Limitations in Sexual/Physical Abuse Lawsuits
It is important to contact an attorney as soon as possible in any sexual/physical abuse case. In Pennsylvania and New Jersey, the Statute of Limitations is two years. However, for a minor, the Statute of Limitations does not begin to run until the minor turns 18 years of age. However, since memories fade and witnesses often move, it is important for us to start our investigation as soon as possible to start our claims as soon as possible.