Survivors of childhood sexual abuse endure unimaginable trauma that can continue to impact them for the rest of their lives. If you or a loved one has experienced childhood sexual abuse, it is critical to get meaningful support to help navigate the difficult road ahead.
It is not your fault, and you have the right to seek justice and compensation through the Maryland legal system. An experienced child sex abuse lawyer can walk you through the process and provide compassionate representation.
At Baird Mandalas Brockstedt & Federico, we understand the gravity of sensitive cases like yours, and we are here to listen and guide you according to your goals and desired outcomes.
To get started, please contact us today.
Maryland Sexual Abuse Statute of Limitations
It can take a long time for survivors to come to terms with what they have experienced. One study reported that the average age that people make a report of sexual abuse is 52.
In many circumstances, this is long past the time in which the abuse occurred. Fortunately, in 2023, Maryland abolished the statute of limitations for civil sexual abuse cases.
As a result, if you or a loved one has experienced childhood sexual abuse, you may still bring a claim against the perpetrator and other responsible parties, regardless of how much time has passed.
Your child sex abuse lawyer can help you build your case. Our team can help you determine the best path forward.
Prevalence of Child Sexual Abuse
Sadly, child sexual abuse is not uncommon. According to RAINN, a child is sexually assaulted every nine minutes in the United States.
Predators take advantage of their power and size differential to cause physical and long-lasting emotional harm, which carries over throughout survivors’ lives.
In 2021, the Children’s Advocacy Centers investigated 249,879 cases involving sexual abuse, accounting for approximately 65% of all cases handled by the organization. Reporting child sexual abuse is the first step in fully understanding and beginning to control the problem.
For many survivors, stepping forward and reaching out to a child sex abuse lawyer is the first step in taking back the power that was taken from them by their abuser.
Who Can Be Liable for Childhood Sexual Abuse in Maryland?
Though child sexual abuse may be perpetrated by a stranger, far more often these acts are carried out by a trusted adult, such as a teacher, group leader, clergy member, or caregiver.
Depending on the nature of the acts, the perpetrator could face both criminal and civil charges. Those charges are not dependent on one another.
In some cases, a civil lawsuit is brought against third parties who have some degree of responsibility for the abuse due to negligence on their behalf. Your child sex abuse lawyer can help you understand the differences between the two court systems and what to expect.
Can You File a Lawsuit Against a School for Sexual Abuse?
School authorities at all levels of education must ensure that students and staff are supervised and safe. Most school employees in Maryland are mandated reporters, which means if they suspect sexual abuse has or could occur, they must report it to the authorities.
The School leadership must also make sure there are rules and safeguards in place on campuses to deter sexual abuse. Sometimes, the school district, school board, or individual staff member could be liable for negligence.
For example, a school district that failed to properly screen an employee before hiring them could be liable for their negligence if the employee subsequently commits child abuse. These liability claims may fall under the theory of “negligent hiring” or “negligent supervision.”
Sexual Abuse at Summer Camps
Summer camps allow children to have new, healthy experiences while making friends and memories. When parents or guardians send their children to summer camps, they should not have to worry about sexual abuse or the safety and well-being of their children.
Unfortunately, child sexual abuse perpetrated by summer camp counselors and volunteers is not uncommon.
If this happens to you or your child, not only should the individual perpetrator be held responsible, but the camp or organization running the camp that could have prevented the abuse with reasonable vetting and monitoring of their employees should be held liable as well.
Sexual Abuse in the Boy Scouts
In many youth activities, trust is placed in coaches, teammates, and leaders to behave appropriately. In recent years, there have been multiple public allegations against organizations like the Boy Scouts of America for failing to protect young members.
The organization faced so many civil lawsuits that it filed Chapter 11 bankruptcy to fund the payouts to child sexual abuse survivors. In 2021, there were nearly 1,000 claims against the Boy Scouts organization in Maryland.
If you or a loved one were abused as a Boy Scout, there may still be a legal path forward. Contact our experienced team to learn more.
Sexual Abuse in the Juvenile Justice System
According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, in 2018, juvenile justice administrators reported 2,467 allegations of sexual victimization. There were 107 allegations of sexual victimization per 1,000 youth in state juvenile systems and 33.4 per 1,000 youth in private and local juvenile facilities.
These sexual abuse survivors have the legal right to bring their abuser to justice. In addition to seeking criminal punishment for their abuser, victims may also be able to pursue civil claims against the juvenile facilities.
Juvenile facilities have a responsibility to keep the children under their care safe and should be held liable when they fail to do so.
Damages for Childhood Sexual Abuse
No amount of monetary compensation can ever erase the trauma of childhood sexual abuse. What it can do is restore power to the victims and punish abusers for their actions.
Damages may cover medical expenses, therapy related to the trauma, pain and suffering, post-traumatic stress, and more. The unique circumstances of each case determine compensation.
Our skilled team of attorneys can evaluate the facts of your case and help you understand how much you are entitled to and the best strategy to receive maximum compensation.
Choosing a Child Sex Abuse Lawyer
For decades, Baird Mandalas Brockstedt & Federico’s attorneys have represented survivors of sexual abuse and have secured awards against individual perpetrators and organizations for hundreds of millions.
We believe you, and we believe wrongdoers should be held accountable. Contact us to schedule your free case consultation.
- Learn about BMBF partner Phil Federico’s service on Survivors Advisory Board
- Press Release – March 22, 2023 | Jenner Law, Baird Mandalas Brockstedt & Federico, and Grant & Eisenhofer launch alliance leveraging decades of mass tort experience
- The Daily Record: These law firms are teaming up to represent abuse survivors ahead of archdiocese report’s release
- Church sex abuse report gives voice to survivors: ‘I just want the darkness … to finally come to light’
- Maryland Gov. Wes Moore makes minimum wage increase, tax credits, Child Victims Act first bills signed into law
- BMBF’s Phil Federico featured in CNN, New York Times, and Washington Post Discussing Baltimore Archdiocese Bankruptcy
Survivor & Advocate Stories
An Advocate For Survivors
Mary Beth Diaz:
Family Member of Survivor