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Illinois Sexual Abuse Lawyer

Injury Lawyer Team > Sexual Abuse Lawyer > Illinois Sexual Abuse Lawyer
sexual assault lawyer

Illinois Sexual Abuse Lawyer

One in ten children experiences sexual abuse before reaching the age of 18, resulting in nearly 293,319 sexual abuse survivors annually. In Illinois, signs of sexual abuse include unexplained injuries, urinary tract infections, behavior changes such as withdrawal, depression, or fear, and inappropriate sexual knowledge or conduct for the victim’s age.

Sexual abuse survivors have the right to seek compensation for the physical and emotional trauma and the difficulties they face in personal relationships. If you have experienced sexual misconduct of any kind, contact Chicago sexual abuse lawyers to initiate a legal case against the offenders.

Schedule a free consultation with a sexual abuse attorney from the Injury Lawyer Team. Our compassionate legal experts are dedicated to helping Illinois sex abuse victims get rightful justice and ensure their financial recovery. 

Contact our Illinois sexual abuse lawyers to schedule a free consultation. All confidential or sensitive information shared with your Illinois sexual abuse lawyer remains private through an attorney-client relationship.

statute of limitations for sexual assault

Statistics of Sexual Abuse Cases in Illinois 

According to statistics from the Rape Abuse Incest National Network (RAINN), nearly 293,000 cases of sexual abuse occur annually in the United States, with 68% of these cases going unreported to the police. 

The Illinois Coalition Against Sexual Assault reports that roughly 1 in 3 women and 1 in 6 men will experience some form of sexual violence during their lifetimes. 

A study in Illinois estimated that over 930,000 survivors of severe sexual violence were living in the state. 

Today, there are likely to be 222 reports of sex abuse in Illinois alone.

The Chicago Public Schools department responsible for investigating sexual misconduct received 470 complaints in 2022, and over the past four years, it has opened 1,735 cases of sexual misconduct.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that more than half of women and nearly 1 in 3 men have experienced sexual violence involving physical contact in their lifetimes. Additionally, 1 in 4 women and 1 in 26 men have experienced completed or attempted rape.

What Do You Mean By “Sexual Abuse” in Illinois? 

Sexual abuse involves unwanted sexual acts or behaviors imposed by one individual on another. This can occur through force, coercion, or sex abuse of authority, such as a teacher or religious figure exploiting their position. Sexual abuse can lead to long-term physical and emotional harm, including medical expenses, therapy costs, missed work, and pain and suffering.

Personal injury attorneys handle sexual abuse cases because they fall under tort law. Sexual abuse often occurs repeatedly over a period of time, while sexual assault refers to a singular, forceful sexual incident. Seeking legal representation can help victims pursue justice and compensation for their injuries.

What is the Difference Between Sexual Abuse and Sexual Assault?

Sexual abuse and sexual assault both entail non-consensual sexual activities, but they are distinct in their legal interpretations. Here’s how Illinois law defines them: 

Sexual abuse typically encompasses inappropriate sexual behavior, especially involving minors or individuals who cannot consent. Examples include grooming, exposing minors to explicit material, or any form of sexual exploitation.

Sexual assault, as defined by Illinois law, involves unwanted sexual contact such as rape or unwanted touching. It often includes factors like force, lack of consent, or misuse of authority.

Both sexual abuse and assault can have common offences, such as molesting minors, displaying explicit content to them, or abusing an intimate partner. 

Victims should seek guidance from a qualified Illinois sexual abuse lawyer for legal advice and representation.

sexual abuse victim in Illinois

What are the Common Forms of Sexual Abuse in Illinois? 

Sexual abuse in Illinois encompasses a variety of actions involving non-consensual sexual contact, often leading to personal injury claims for victims. In 2018, Illinois reported 34,561 child sexual abuse cases, with 1 in 10 children facing sexual abuse before turning 18, equating to around 293,319 children in the state. 

Here are some common types of sexual abuse that can result in legal action in Illinois:

Sexual Assault: This includes any non-consensual sexual intercourse, and perpetrators may face legal consequences in both criminal and civil courts.

Sexual Exploitation of Minors: Often involving trusted institutions such as religious organizations or schools, any sexual contact with a minor is illegal and punishable by law.

Inappropriate Touching: This refers to any sexual touching without consent, which can lead to both civil and criminal proceedings.

Drug-Facilitated Sexual Assault: Known as “date rape,” this form of assault occurs when substances are used to incapacitate a victim.

Partner or Spousal Sexual Abuse: Abuse within intimate relationships, including forced sexual acts, is a serious violation that can result in criminal and civil actions.

Sexual Abuse of Elderly Individuals: This form of abuse often occurs in nursing homes, typically involving staff members misusing their power over elderly residents.

If you or your loved one are a sexual abuse victim who experienced these sexual violence types, consult with a sexual abuse attorney to discuss your legal options and rights for pursuing justice and compensation.

Who Can Be Held Responsible in Illinois Sexual Abuse Lawsuits? 

Sexual abuse in Illinois can happen in many different environments, involving either individuals or larger entities that directly cause harm or allow it to occur through negligence. While perpetrators bear direct responsibility, organizations may also be held accountable if they fail to supervise, neglect to act on known abuse, or attempt to cover it up.

Here are some organizations and individuals you might hold responsible in a sexual abuse lawsuit or claim: 

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  • Offenders: The person committing the abuse such as a family member, neighbor, or friend is directly responsible for their actions.
  • Employer of the Offender: Employers may be liable if they knew about the abuser’s actions and failed to intervene.
  • Religious Organizations and Clergy: Churches and religious leaders can be held accountable for abuse by clergy members or religious leaders within the institution.
  • Educational Institutions: Schools may face liability if abuse occurs due to staff actions or negligence.
  • Youth Groups and Sports Teams: Organizations responsible for supervising minors can be held accountable for abuse within their programs.
  • Nursing Homes and Care Facilities: Nursing staff and caregivers of the disabled or the elderly population may be liable for abuse by staff or other residents.
  • Medical Facilities: Hospitals and clinics can be held accountable for abuse committed by medical staff.
  • Government Entities: Government agencies such as child protective services and juvenile detention centers may be responsible if they fail to protect individuals from abuse by their employees or within their jurisdiction.

A recent report found that 451 clergy members abused at least 1,997 children between 1950 and 2019.

If you suspect sexual abuse, consult with an Illinois sexual abuse attorney who will investigate the case thoroughly, gather evidence, and determine liability to seek justice and compensation for victims of sexual abuse.

How Long Do I Have to File a Sexual Abuse Claim in Illinois? 

Illinois statute of limitations for civil sexual abuse lawsuits varies depending on the age of the victim at the time of the abuse. For survivors of childhood sexual abuse (abuse occurring when the victim was under 18), there is no statute of limitations for those born on or after June 24, 1983.

For survivors of sexual abuse as adults, the statute of limitations under Illinois Compiled Statutes Section 13-202 typically follows Illinois personal injury law, with a two-year window from the date of injury to file a related personal injury claim. Exceptions may apply based on the circumstances of the case.

Consulting an experienced Illinois sexual abuse lawyer can provide clarity on specific cases.

Difference Between Criminal and Civil Court for Sexual Abuse Cases in Illinois

In Illinois, criminal and civil court handles sexual abuse cases differently. Let’s understand their key differences. 

Criminal Court Handling a Sexual Abuse Lawsuit

In criminal court, the focus is on determining the guilt of the accused and imposing penalties such as imprisonment or fines. However, these fines do not provide financial compensation to the victim. Criminal trials require proof of guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

Civil Court Handling Sexual Abuse Claims

Civil court, on the other hand, prioritizes the victim’s harm and seeks to compensate them for medical expenses, therapy costs, lost wages, and other damages. Civil cases require proof by a preponderance of the evidence, showing it is more likely than not that the abuse occurred. Civil lawsuits also allow victims of sexual abuse to hold employers or supervisors accountable for negligence. 

An Illinois sexual abuse lawyer can aggressively gather evidence to support a victim’s civil claim.

Illinois Sexual Abuse Lawyer

What is the Compensation for Sexual Assault Victims in Illinois? 

Sexual abuse can lead to significant physical, emotional, and financial challenges. Victims may face medical expenses, therapy costs, and loss of income due to the assault. The emotional impact can affect various aspects of life and may persist indefinitely.

According to the CDC, the lifetime cost of rape is estimated at $122,461 per survivor, covering medical expenses, lost productivity, criminal justice activities, and other related costs.

Victims may seek compensation through a civil lawsuit with the help of an Illinois sexual assault lawyer for:

  • Present and future medical expenses
  • Physical therapy and rehabilitation
  • Emotional and psychological therapy treatment
  • Lost wages and income
  • Pain and suffering
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, and anxiety
  • Loss of consortium and scarring
  • Damage to reputation and embarrassment
  • Loss of enjoyment of life

Compensatory damages aim to help sexual abuse victims recover these losses. In some cases, punitive damages may be awarded if the defendant’s actions were intentional, reckless, or grossly negligent, to punish the defendant and deter similar conduct.

How Lawyers at the Injury Lawyer Team Help Sexual Abuse Victims Get Justice 

Illinois sexual abuse lawyers at the Injury Lawyer Team assist victims through a comprehensive approach. 

  • They begin with a free consultation to evaluate the sexual assault claim and understand the victim’s situation. 
  • Next, they gather evidence such as medical records, police reports, and witness testimonies to build a strong case. 
  • The sexual abuse attorneys develop a personalized legal strategy, including identifying liable parties and potential damages. 
  • They file civil claims against abusers and any responsible institutions, such as schools or employers. 
  • If a fair settlement cannot be reached, the team is prepared to take the case to trial. 

Time is Limited to File a Claim. Get Legal Representation Now!

Throughout the process, the Illinois sexual abuse lawyers provide support and advocacy, ensuring victims receive justice and compensation for their suffering.

Hire an Experienced Sexual Abuse Attorney in Illinois Today 

Sexual abuse can result in physical injuries such as bruising, cuts, or other harm, as well as emotional issues like anxiety, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and challenges with trust and relationships. If you or someone you know have been a victim of sexual violence, pursuing legal action should be the first step.

Our personal injury lawyers at the Injury Lawyer Team, sponsored by Rosenfeld Law Offices, understand the life-altering impact that sexual assault or misconduct can have on survivors. We have been serving victims in Chicago, Illinois as a compassionate legal counsel and representation in their battle for achieving justice and fair compensation for sexual offenders.

Contact our law firm today at (888) 424-5757 for a free case evaluation. All confidential or sensitive information you share with our Chicago sexual abuse attorneys will remain private under an attorney-client relationship.