Palm Beach County Sex Assault Victim Attorneys
Do Not Delay. Call Today. 561-367-8777 or Statewide 866-608-5529
We proudly serve victims of rape, sexual battery, sexual assault and other sexual unwanted sexual events in Palm Beach County including Jupiter, Boca Raton, West Palm Beach, Boynton Beach, Delray Beach, Wellington, Florida Atlantic University, Keiser University, Lynn University, Nova Southeastern University, Palm Beach Atlantic University, Palm Beach State College, Saint Vincent de Paul Regional Seminary, and all other areas throughout Palm Beach County and South Florida.
Sexual Assault and Abuse has devastating effects on the lives of victims regardless of who committed the heinous acts. The physical, emotional, and psychological scars that are left behind after a teacher, family member, caretaker, mentor, or even a stranger commits an act of sexual abuse can last a lifetime. According to the Rape Abuse Incest National Network (RAINN), an American is the victim of a sexual assault every 73 seconds and every 9 minutes, the victim is a child.
Sexual abuse can happen to anyone at any point in their lives, but when this happens to vulnerable children and elderly adults, it is absolutely crucial to see to it that their abusers are brought to justice. Children and the elderly are at an extreme disadvantage—both physically and mentally—to protect themselves from a sexual predator. At Whittel & Melton, our Palm Beach County Sex Abuse Victim Lawyers understand how to help victims take the necessary steps towards holding their abusers accountable. Our goal is to make a positive impact on the lives of our clients as well as the Palm Beach County community.What is Sexual Abuse?
Sexual abuse falls under the umbrella of any type of unwanted sexual contact or actions that are inflicted upon an unwilling or non-consenting party. This can include touching or fondling that has sexual undertones, but also any of the following examples:
- Forcing or blackmailing someone for sex (also known as sextortion)
- Making a child or nonconsenting adult look at pornographic images or videos
- Creating or sharing child pornography
- Exposing oneself or masturbating in front of a child or non-consenting adult
- Any other type of unwanted sexual contact that is harmful to a victim’s physical, mental, or emotional well being
Anyone can be a perpetrator of sexual violence. It is generally believed that what causes someone to sexual abuse another is due to several factors, like societal and cultural messages regarding sexual violence commonly referred to as rape culture. There is no definitive answer on why someone commits sexual abuse, but the cycle of sexual abuse usually boils down to one keep component—power. With that said, the typical perpetrator of sexual violence is someone who:
- Has some level of power over their victim, such as a teacher to a student, a doctor to a patient, and parent to a child, a nurse aide to an elderly nursing home patient, etc.
- Has age on their side over their victim. An adult perpetrator may abuse a child whereas a younger person may abuse an elderly patient because the victims cannot defend themselves against their advances.
- Can physically overtake their victim. Having a physical advantage over their victim makes it less likely that they will fight back or be able to overtake them.
- Has the ability to persuade the victim into making up excuses for their abuse. Children and the elderly are easily manipulated, so perpetrators of sexual abuse will often coerce them into rationalizing the assault they are forced to endure.
It is very important for anyone reading this to understand that sexual abuse is never the fault of the victim. It is absolutely and 100% the fault of the abuser. If you or someone you love has been the victim of sexual violence, we urge you to come forward and pursue legal action against the abuser. We can walk you through the process and make sure you feel safe doing so.What are the Signs of Sexual Abuse?
Apart of physical injuries, sexual abuse can present many warning signs that are mental and emotional. Common signs that someone has been the victim of sexual trauma or is currently living through sexual abuse may include:
Signs of Sexual Abuse among Children:
- Having too much sexual knowledge for their age. This can include being obsessed with sex or constantly talking about it.
- Reverting back to child behaviors that were outgrown, like bedwetting, thumb sucking, etc.
- Being afraid to be alone at night or not wanting to be around certain caregivers. It is a huge red flag if a child no longer wants to see a certain caregiver.
- Not wanting to get undressed or bathe.
- Showing excessive fear and anxiety that was never exhibited before.
Signs of Sexual Abuse among Elderly:
- Having a sudden or unknown pelvic injury
- Experiencing a sudden onset of panic attacks
- Not wanting to be left alone
- Appearing agitated
- Withdrawing from others
- Suicide attempts
Signs of Sexual Abuse in any Victim:
- Having problems walking or sitting
- Unexplained bleeding, bruising, pain on or near the genitals, anus or inner thighs
- Developing an STD or STI
- Bloody, torn or stained underwear or bedding
Victims need to know that options do exist to help with their long road to recovery. We are here to help facilitate that and make sure that you have a safe place to tell your story and seek justice for your suffering. We know that many victims live in fear for a long-time suffering in silence because of the guilt and shame they are battling due to the abuse. We want to bring this abuse to light and hold the abuser liable for what they have done. If you or someone you love has been sexually abused, we want to help you get the justice you deserve so that you can have the support and financial means to move forward with your life. Your sexual abuser should be held accountable for their horrendous crimes.
At Whittel & Melton, our Palm Beach County Sex Abuse Victim Lawyers can offer you a free, no-obligation consultation to discuss the detail of your case and answer all of your questions. We can provide you with any resources you need during this difficult time and help you understand what the best legal recourse for your specific situation is. We welcome you to call us at 561-367-8777 or contact us online to learn more about how we may be able to help you.
We proudly serve clients in Palm Beach County including Jupiter, Boca, West Palm Beach, Boynton Beach, Delray Beach, Wellington, and all other areas throughout South Florida.