Children are truly precious gifts that need to be protected in every way. While most parents are attentive, caring, nurturing and do their very best to provide everything that is needed for their children to flourish and develop into adults who are upstanding citizens, sadly there are still times when harm is done.
Perhaps the most shocking and sickening harm that is done to children is sexual abuse. Sometimes this happens at the hands of a parent or step parent, and other times it comes from people who children trust and look to for guidance and support.
Unfortunately, there appear to be three institutions that seem to abuse innocent children more than any others. These three have attracted the anger of court systems, the public and even government. They are as follows:
Church Officials: The high ranking members of the church who have abused children have not only sickened the public, but have also been the target of a number of criminal charges and lawsuits in recent years.
Charities for Boys and Girls: Charities such as boys and girls homes are designed to give children a safe place to go when they are at risk. The main purpose of these organizations is to provide guidance so that children can escape abusive situations at home. Unfortunately, these homes often abuse the very children they promised to protect.
Foster Homes: Foster homes are put in place by local and state governments to provide a residence and place of security for children who have no parents or guardians to watch over them. Cases of sexual abuse and other forms of abuse have continued to rise in foster homes over the last several years.
To help you understand just how heinous these crimes against children are, let’s take a deeper look into what each of the above mentioned entities is, and how they have taken advantage of their situation.
Those who have any type of religious background understand from an early age that those who deliver the “good word” are good people who can be trusted and obeyed, without any hesitation. This has led some members of the church to abuse this privilege and use their position for harm rather than good. Throughout the early portion of the twenty first century the reports of sexual misconduct on behalf of church officials skyrocketed. While many different religions came under fire, the most talked about cases came from the Catholic Church. It is difficult to gather firm statistics on the number of victims, since many have yet to come forward, what we do know to this point is staggering. One report estimates that there have been at least ten thousand victims of abuse by church officials in the last half century, with at least four thousand members of the church being guilty of abuse. This report is one that dared to put a number on the crimes; however it is believed the numbers are actually much higher.
If you or someone you know has been harmed at the hands of a church official your legal rights have been violated, and you may have grounds for a lawsuit. A personal injury attorney can help you assess your case and help you proceed.
Charities for Boys and Girls
Unfortunately, due to many different reasons and circumstances, many children are overlooked and suffer in silence. This can be because of trouble at home, broken homes, or even because a child ran away. In an effort to assist with this problem, society has come up with charities for boys and girls as a way to help protect these youth. Boys and girls homes are meant to be a haven for those who have nowhere else to go, and no one to turn to. That being said, a number of these charities have turned into many children’s worst nightmares.
These charities have become a focal point for investigations because of an alarming number of reports of sexual abuse. Since most of the homes are non-profit, and have very tight budgets, they often recruit volunteers to work with the children. These volunteers are not usually screened, and as a result children are becoming victims at a time when they are most fragile.
Because the psychological damage that can result from these attacks can be so severe, it is important to seek help immediately. A personal injury attorney can help you with your case if you or someone you know has been the victim of a charity for boys and girls.
As sad as it is, not all children are wanted and welcomed into warm loving homes. In fact, there are a large number of children who are born into homes that are dangerous, and unsafe. Drug use, criminal activity, neglect, financial problems, and abuse are just a few reasons that a child may be removed from a home and placed into foster care. These homes are meant to protect children and provide them with a safe home to live in so that their childhood can be as normal as possible.
Foster homes are overseen by local and state governments, and the people that agree to take in children to their homes are usually offered financial compensation to assist with the cost of raising the child. Unfortunately, some foster parents abuse the system, hurt the children they have vowed to protect, and do so just for the money. The issue of sexual abuse in foster homes is on the rise, and true statistics cannot be gathered because many children suffer in silence and never report the abuse.
No matter what the true number of victims is, one victim is one too many. If you or someone you know has been harmed while in a foster home, be sure to contact a personal injury attorney right away. Not only will you be able to seek compensation for your physical and psychological harm, you may also be taking positive steps to help prevent other children from being harmed in the future.
Sexual abuse that occurs in any of the above mentioned ways, or in any other way, is truly devastating for the victim. The emotional and psychological harm that is done is some that can never be erased, and can lead to long term issues with trust, and relationships. The physical harm that is done may heal in time, but it will never be forgotten.
It is for these reasons that it is imperative you seek help from a personal injury attorney who specializes in this area of the law as quickly as possible. You must never forget that you have rights, and you are entitled to enforce those rights in the legal system.