Experienced Molestation Attorneys Serving Sacramento, California
Individuals who are the victims of child molestation are often left to deal with serious emotional and psychological wounds, even decades after the abuse. While the criminal justice system may or may not punish the offender, it does little for the scarred individuals left behind. At Winer, Burritt & Scott, LLP, our skilled and compassionate team of Sacramento molestation lawyers is dedicated to the victims of child abuse and their families. We hold those who have abused and traumatized innocent victims accountable for their actions through a civil lawsuit, enabling victims to get the critical financial resources they need for their recovery and healing.
The Child Molesters Among Us
Today we know that the typical child molester is usually not the shadowy figure lurking in the dark corners of humanity. We know that it is the neighbor, the priest, the doctor that your child trusted, only to be intimidated and used for that individual’s personal needs.
We also know that the molester does not work in a vacuum but is often protected by institutions that could keep the innocent child safe – and failed to do so.
Child molesters are often people with authority or emotional or physical control over the child. They come in all shapes and sizes, with the most unsuspecting among us the worst perpetrators. These can include:
- Teachers, aides, and school administrators
- Sports coaches
- Camp counselors and other staff members
- Scout leaders
- Law enforcement officers
- Foster parents
- Family members
Not only do child molesters look familiar, but they are also often very familiar to their victims. Studies show that as many as 93 percent of child molesters are well known to their victims.
Childhood Sexual Abuse and Manipulation
Although childhood sexual offenders are often thought of as impulsive and unable to control themselves, research tells us that is not always true. A study from 2012 entitled “Sexual Predators and Prey: A Comparative Study of the Hunting Behavior of Rapists and Child Molesters” revealed that many of these predators are not only fully in control of their desires but also make very specific decisions about who to prey on.
While the research revealed three types of abusers – opportunistic, coercive, and manipulative – most molesters were more likely to be manipulative, specifically targeting victims they knew and had a relationship with.
Molesters are adept manipulators, keeping their victims silent and complicit, often trying to convince them that their behavior is normal or out of “love.” Consequently, child molestation is not only a physical violation but a mental and emotional violation of safety and trust.
If you or your child has been victimized by a molester in Sacramento, you deserve to hold them accountable for their actions. At Winer, Burritt & Scott, LLP, we can seek justice for their actions through a civil lawsuit, recovering compensation for the damages that you or your child suffered.
How A Civil Lawsuit Differs From A Criminal Lawsuit
While there are many laws in California that can hold a molester criminally accountable for what they have done, there is little that a criminal lawsuit will do for the victim that suffered at the hands of the perpetrator. A civil lawsuit can hold that individual accountable even if they are not convicted of a crime.
For those who have suffered at the hands of child molestation, that sexual abuse may have caused untold issues, including:
- A propensity toward addiction or self-medication
- Ongoing aggression and acting out
- Trust issues
- Years of therapy to deal with and understand the aftereffects of childhood sexual abuse.
The costs are not only mental and emotional but often result in long-term financial burdens for the victim and their family. A civil lawsuit seeks to compensate the victim for those financial and emotional costs in ways that a criminal conviction never can.
Holding The Organizations That Enable Molesters Accountable
Many perpetrators of childhood sexual abuse are enabled by institutions and organizations that not only make their behavior possible but also attempt to cover up the behavior and shield the abuser. We have seen some of these organizations as part of ongoing media reports.
These organizations and institutions may also be held accountable if they choose to ignore or hide information that would have shed light on the behavior of the abuser. These are:
- The Catholic church
- The Boy Scouts of America
- Athletic associations
- After school programs
Many of these institutions fail victims by not putting hiring and screening practices into place, failing to train and educate employees about sexual abuse, and failing to follow up on abuse allegations and take appropriate steps. But other organizations actually go out of their way to hide the abuse. Fortunately, these organizations can be held liable for the sexual abuse that results from their behaviors and lack of oversight.
Getting Critical Legal Assistance
At Winer, Burritt & Scott, our experienced Sacramento molestation lawyers understand the sensitivity and care that is required in these cases. We come to each client with a compassionate understanding of what they have gone through and take all precautions to protect the victim and their family.
If you or your child has been the victim of childhood sexual abuse, call us or contact us online to schedule a confidential, no-cost consultation.