Child sex abuse is a huge problem, not only in this country, but around the world. The unique problem of child sex abuse is that it is usually enveloped in a culture of silence. Whether it occurs within a family, at school or at church, those who either intentionally or negligently protect and shield child sex abusers do so at their own peril. Under the laws of Pennsylvania and New Jersey, anyone with a duty to protect a child can be held liable in a civil court of law for failing to report a child sex abuser to law enforcement.
Child sex abuse within families occurs more often than most people realize. The majority of sex abusers are people who are familiar with the child. An extended relative, such as a grandparent, aunt, uncle or cousin may be guilty of molesting a child. A parent, a parent’s spouse, or a stepparent may also be guilty of committing sex abuse. In many cases, another family member – someone with the power to stop the abuse – learns about the abuse, yet does nothing. That inaction may subject the individual to civil liability.
Example – Stepparent Liable for Failing to Report Child Sex Abuse
For example, a stepparent who learns that their stepchild is being abused by another family member and does nothing may be held liable for failing to stop the abuse. The theory is that the stepparent owed the child a duty of ordinary, reasonable care and breached that duty by failing to take reasonable steps to protect the child from known or reasonably suspected child sex abuse. In addition, because of that failure, the child suffered continued sex abuse.
The Benefit of Filing a Civil Child Sex Abuse Lawsuit
Filing a lawsuit is a way to obtain justice. Those who perpetrated the abuse and those who silently allowed the abuse to continue can be held to account for their actions and inactions. Fear of being sued is a strong motivator. By increasing the media exposure in these kinds of cases, we can send a clear message to all, that child sex abuse will not be tolerated. If you know a child who is being abused and you do nothing, you may ultimately be liable for failing to do anything about it.
Filing a civil child sex abuse lawsuit is a very important decision that is entirely up the victim. Every person and case of child sex abuse is different. Each and every victim must make the choice for themselves.
Get a Free Consultation with Brian Kent, Former Sex Crimes Unit Prosecutor and Now Civil Sex Abuse Lawyer
Sex abuse victims deserve justice, and former prosecutor, Brian Kent, fights tirelessly on behalf of his clients. For more information, contact Brian Kent. Brian offers free consultations to victims of child sex abuse and child molestation.
**This website does not provide legal advice. Every case is unique and it is crucial to get a qualified, expert legal opinion prior to making any decisions about your case. See the full disclaimer at the bottom of this page.