Epidemic of Child Sex Abuse
Over the last month, the public watched as over 150 women came forward to share their accounts of the horrific child sexual abuse they endured under former USA Gymnastics team doctor, Larry Nassar. These accounts were difficult to hear and even harder to process. But the brave women who came forward shared their stories in an attempt to heal, to seek justice, and to shed light on the epidemic of child sex abuse. As a result, Larry Nassar was sentenced to up to 175 years in prison for sexually abusing more than 150 women and girls over his 25 years as a medical doctor.
In response to the Larry Nassar sex abuse scandal, the U.S. House of Representatives passed legislation to require governing bodies for amateur athletics to promptly report abuse claims to law enforcement. This move was widely supported by both Chambers of Congress. The Senate must now approve the Bill before it will go to President Donald Trump for his signature.
Child Sex Abuse in Philadelphia is Real Problem
These national stories may make headlines – and they should. However, child sex abuse occurs in every corner of Pennsylvania, from the rich and wealthy neighborhoods of the Main Line to the rural Pennsylvania farmlands.
In 2017, there were 3,318 reported cases of child sex abuse in Philadelphia alone. These children received coordinated care from the Department of Human Services, the Special Victims’ Unit of the Philadelphia Police Department, and the Philadelphia Children’s Alliance. These agencies provide forensic interviews, investigate these crimes, and provide mental health services to the children in their care. Over the last year, more than 1,900 forensic interviews were conducted with children.
The Vast Majority of Sex Abuse Incidents are Never Reported
Sadly, these children are just a fraction of those minors who suffer sexual abuse every year. In fact, the vast majority of sex abuse incidents are never reported at all. In the state of Pennsylvania, a person who has suffered child sex abuse must file a civil lawsuit before the age of 30. Pennsylvania residents have until the age of 50 to file criminal charges against an abuser. In New Jersey, a person who has suffered child sex abuse must file a civil lawsuit before the age of 20. There are, however, some exceptions to this statute.
Due to the intricacies associated with child sex abuse lawsuits, it is important to speak to an experienced Pennsylvania / New Jersey child sex abuse lawyer immediately to protect your rights and seek justice. At McLaughlin & Lauricella, we have been staunch legal advocates for child sex abuse survivors for decades. We believe in helping survivors of child sex abuse find the justice they deserve so that they can begin rebuilding their lives. We know that holding abusers accountable isn’t always easy. That’s why we offer compassionate legal assistance every step of the way.