child sexual abuse victim

Childhood sex abuse incidents are deeply traumatic experiences that can leave permanent scars on the body and mind. If you are carrying the weight of such an experience, know that what happened was not your fault and that you are not alone.

At Bayuk Pratt, we stand with survivors of child sexual abuse in Atlanta and throughout Georgia. Our team has over 50 years of combined legal experience and a commitment to securing compensation and accountability for those we represent. We have recovered more than $300 million for our clients over the years, reflecting our dedication to righting wrongs and helping victims heal.

Let us be a part of your journey toward recovery and justice. Reach out to Bayuk Pratt today for a free, confidential consultation with an Atlanta child sexual abuse victim lawyer. We’ll listen to your story, answer your questions, and discuss how we can help you move forward.

Why You Need a Lawyer for Your Child Sex Abuse Claim

If you decide to seek justice for child sex abuse, having a trusted lawyer by your side matters. A child sexual abuse victim lawyer in Atlanta knows the legal steps you must take and can guide you through each one. The right attorney will have experience with cases like yours and understand how to present your story to the court in a clear and convincing way.

Throughout the legal process, your lawyer will fight for your rights. They will work to demand accountability and fair compensation for the harm you have suffered. Facing those responsible for the abuse can be tough, but your lawyer will stand up for you to ensure that your voice is heard and respected.

What Constitutes Child Sexual Abuse in Atlanta?

So, what is considered sexual abuse in Atlanta and across Georgia? Under state law, child sexual abuse includes any sexual act or behavior with a person under the age of 18. This includes unwanted touching, sexual assault, and exploiting a child through photography or digital media for sexual purposes. It also covers actions where an adult forces a child to observe sexual acts or exposes them to inappropriate content.

Even if the child seems to agree or does not say no, the law recognizes that children cannot give consent to these actions. This means any sexual activity involving a minor falls under the category of abuse. Georgia law takes these actions seriously because they harm children physically and emotionally.

Who May Be Financially Liable for Child Sexual Abuse?

In cases of child sexual abuse, the person or people who commit the abuse, as well as others who could have stopped it but didn’t, might have to pay money to the victim. This includes individuals directly involved in the abuse as well as organizations like schools, churches, or sports clubs that failed to protect the child. If these groups knew about the risk and didn’t act to prevent the abuse, they might be ordered to provide compensation. This means if someone had the power to keep you or your loved one safe from harm and did nothing, they can be held responsible for their part in the wrongdoing.

What Damages Can I Recover?

If you file a civil child sex abuse claim, you can seek damages (money) for the financial and emotional impacts of the abuse. This could include money for:

  • Medical expenses
  • Counseling and therapy costs
  • Future medical care expenses
  • Lost wages
  • Loss of earning capacity
  • Pain and suffering
  • Emotional distress
  • Loss of enjoyment of life
  • Legal fees

What Are Signs of Sexual Abuse?

Here are several signs to watch for that could hint that a child has suffered from sexual abuse:

  • Unexplained Physical Injuries – Finding bruises or injuries, especially in private areas of the body
  • Knowledge of Sexual Acts – The child’s knowledge of sexual activities that are not age-appropriate
  • Avoidance of People or Places – Fear or reluctance to be near specific individuals or locations
  • Changes in Behavior – Sudden shifts from being outgoing to withdrawn, or vice versa
  • Difficulty with Sleeping – Trouble sleeping, having nightmares, or expressing fear of going to bed
  • Regression – Reverting to previously outgrown behaviors such as bed-wetting or thumb-sucking
  • Avoiding Nudity – Sudden need for privacy or reluctance to change clothes in front of others
  • Fear of Physical Contact – Apprehension or discomfort with physical affection
  • Running Away – Attempts to run away from home to escape abusive situations or environments

What Places Does Child Sexual Abuse Typically Occur?

Sadly, child sex abuse can occur anywhere children are, from private settings to public spaces. Common places where child sexual abuse occurs include:

  • Homes
  • Schools
  • Sports facilities
  • Gyms and locker rooms
  • Hotels and vacation rentals
  • Shopping malls
  • Online platforms
  • Daycare centers
  • Overnight camps
  • Public restrooms
  • Playgrounds and parks
  • Movie theaters
  • Public transportation
  • Youth groups and clubs
  • Religious buildings and events
  • Hospitals or medical offices
  • Recreational centers
  • Festivals and fairs
  • Zoos and museums
  • Beaches and pools
  • Amusement parks

Who Is Required to Report Child Abuse?

In Georgia, the law requires certain people to report any suspicions of child abuse. This includes teachers, doctors, nurses, counselors, and other healthcare workers. Police officers, social workers, and childcare providers must also report if they think a child is being harmed. These professionals often work closely with children, so they are in a good position to notice if something seems wrong.

If any of these individuals suspect that a child is being abused, they must tell the authorities right away. This report can go to the police or child protective services. The purpose of this requirement is to make sure that experts can check on the child’s safety and offer help if necessary.