Reported sexual assaults are tragically becoming more prevalent in today’s society, as teenagers, middle school and even elementary school children are falling victim to these outrageous crimes.
Recent research and statistics show that the sexual abuse of children includes a wide-range of behaviors and actions made by the perpetrator, described alternately as either non-contact sexual abuse or contact sexual abuse.
A 2012 report shows that 1.8 million adolescents have been victims of sexual assault. Records shows that 35.8% of child and adolescent victims are between the ages of 12-17, 26% between the ages of 12-14 and 34% of child victims are under the age of 9 years old. Further, statistics indicate that females account for 82% of juvenile sexual assault victims and females between the ages of 16-19 years old are 3.5 times more likely than the average person to be victims of sexual assault, along with rape or attempted rape.
Children and teens of sexual abuse do not all display the same symptoms and reactions to sexual abuse. 40% of children are asymptomatic, while many other children experience long term effects. There is a wide-range of physical signs and behaviors expressed by children, including changes in their behavior that may be important indicators to pay attention to.
On September 19, 2014, the New York Times published an article written by Charles M. Blow in which he explains that he was a victim of sexual abuse when he was just 7 years old. This first-hand account demonstrates the consequences an individual faces after becoming a victim of sexual abuse. On September 1, 2015, The New York Times published another article written by Charles M. Blow, continuing on this issue touching on recent examples of child sexual abuse that had arose with the TLC Reality Show “19 Kids and Counting” and the former speaker of the House of Representatives, J. Dennis Hastert.
On July 24, 2016, The Boston Globe printed a story regarding private schools and sexual abuse claims in which the cases had collectively over 300 alleged victims. More recently, there have been more accounts of sexual abuse that have been told. On September 1, 2016 The Boston Globe reported the abuse that was uncovered occurring at an elite Rhode Island prep school by 61 alumnae. 51 alumnae stated that they were victims of sexual abuse by faculty and staff, while 10 alumnae stated that they fell victim to abuse by other students.
Sadly, child sexual abuse can arise in many different settings, resulting in different signs and symptoms. It is critically important to be educated about the prevalence of such crimes, as well as how best to protect our children, among the most vulnerable in our society. Swartz & Swartz, P.C. has been a leader in advising and representing families who have suffered as a result of such inexcusable acts. If you want more information about child or adolescent sexual abuse, please contact Swartz & Swartz, P.C. by email at [email protected], or call (617) 742-1900 in the Boston area, or toll-free at 1-800-545-3732.