Texas Family Code 261.001 defines child sexual abuse as follows:
- Sexual conduct harmful to a child’s mental, emotional, or physical welfare, including conduct that constitutes the offense of continuous sexual abuse of a young child, indecency with a child, sexual assault, or aggravated sexual assault.
- Failure to make a reasonable effort to prevent sexual conduct harmful to a child.
- Compelling or encouraging the child to engage in sexual conduct, including conduct that constitutes an offense of trafficking of persons, prostitution, or compelling prostitution.
- Causing, permitting, encouraging, engaging in, or allowing the photographing, filming, or depicting of the child if the person knew or should have known that the resulting photograph, film, or depiction of the child is obscene or pornographic.
- Causing, permitting, encouraging, engaging in, or allowing a child to be trafficked in a manner punishable as an offense, or the failure to make a reasonable effort to prevent a child from being trafficked in a manner punishable as an offense.
What Are Some Examples of Child Sexual Abuse?
There are a number of actions that constitute child sexual abuse. Because of their age, children are unable to consent to any sexual activity. Here are some of the more common forms of child sexual abuse:
- Touching the child’s genitals or breasts
- Exposing oneself to a minor
- Forcing a minor to masturbate or doing so in the presence of a child
- Allowing or forcing a minor to watch a sexual act
- Obscene phone calls, texts, or emails
- Exposing a minor to sexual videos, games, or images
- Intercourse or any form of sex
- All sexual conduct that threatens a child’s mental, physical, or emotional health
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How Can You Identify When Child Sexual Abuse May Be Happening?
A parent’s worst nightmare is discovering that their child has been sexually abused. Sadly, many children may be too scared or too ashamed to come forward and tell anyone about any sexual abuse that is occurring. Therefore, it is imperative for adults to learn the different signs to look for in order to identify when sexual abuse may be taking place. Here is a non-exhaustive list of some of the more common signs:
- Refusing to return to certain places
- Refusing to be in the presence of certain people
- Unexplained pain when the child sits or walks
- Bleeding, swelling, or bruises in or around the child’s genitals
- Pain, itching, or burning in or around the minor’s genitals
- The child appears to be afraid of any physical contact
- The minor starts to exhibit unusual and unexplained emotional outbursts
- A sudden change in the child’s sleep habits
- The child regresses developmentally
- The child knows more about sexual topics than he or she should at that age
- The minor uses sexual language that he or she has no business knowing at that age
- An unusual interest in sexual subjects
- Recurring nightmares
- A sudden change in the minor’s bathing habits, such as bathing much more frequently or less frequently than before
What Is the Statute of Limitations Here in Texas?
Not only may the person who directly abused the child be held liable, but so may any staff or employees that were responsible for supervising the minor when the abuse took place. The statute of limitations for a civil lawsuit for child sexual abuse in Texas recently changed. It is now 30 years from the date that the child turns 18 years old, whereas it used to be 15 years from that date.
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You Need an Attorney to Fight for Your Rights
Sexual abuse of a child is unacceptable. The perpetrators need to be held accountable, and the victims need love and support. When child sexual abuse occurs, it turns the lives of the victim and the victim’s loved ones upside-down, but having the right sexual abuse victim lawyer on your side can help you achieve justice. Here at Crowe Arnold & Majors, LLP, our attorneys know the proper steps to take in order to hold the abuser liable, and we have the compassion, sensitivity, and caring approach that the child needs in this traumatic time.
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Our attorneys have recovered over $100 Million in jury verdicts and settlements on behalf of our clients. To discuss your child sexual abuse cases in Texas, call Crowe Arnold & Majors, LLP today for a free consultation. A qualified personal injury lawyer at our firm is ready to start working with you.
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