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Negligent Security Seminar | March 2015

Florida personal injury lawyers



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    Should I Bring a Case if I Have Been Sexually Assaulted or Abused?

    Unfortunately, according to Darkness to Light, a non-profit organization committed to empowering adults to prevent child abuse, as many as 25% of all children may be victims of either assault or sexual abuse in their lifetime. With these staggering numbers, it’s important that parents and educators, as well as all of America, are aware of how to prevent this terrifying abuse. Ultimately, by keeping silent, the perpetrators benefit from it as it becomes a confidential and secret problem. Having candid conversations and teaching our children how to prevent this type of abuse will bring the issues into the open which will deter it from continuing.

    Tips to Prevent Child Abuse

    By taking the time to teach children skills to prevent sexual abuse, we can help to lower incidences, resulting in protection of children as a whole. Here are some suggestions that parents can take to keep their child from becoming a victim of sexual abuse.

    1. Strangers are not the biggest threat. Most children are abused by those that you know. It is important that children know this danger can occur with someone they love and trust.
    2. Make sure you explain to your child the difference between appropriate touching and inappropriate touching.
    3. Teach your children to say “No” and to use their voice when they don’t want to touch someone or be touched.
    4. Define secrets to your kids. Explain that some are okay, and others aren’t, including touching and violence.
    5. Establish a relationship of both faith and trust with your children. This allows your children to never to be afraid to tell you anything. As a parent or caregiver, believe your children when they approach you with something that has caused them to feel uncomfortable.
    6. Be aware of red flags that may exist in the lives of the adults who have access to your child. These can include an adult whose home is filled with toys (when there are no children in the home) or one who has few adult friends.
    7. Know your child’s friends and the parents of those friends.
    8. Be aware of situations where your child may be with only one other adult. There should be more than one adult chaperone for events and field trips.
    9. Children should not be singled out by another adult. Be suspicious when your child is called “special” or given special treatment by someone.
    10. Trust your instincts. If you’re feeling uncomfortable leaving your child with someone, don’t do it.

    Child abuse is one of the most under-reported crimes in the country. Often, this is because the child is afraid, shameful, and feels that the incident may happen again if they tell. The fact that the perpetrator is sometimes a family friend, family member or trusted educator complicates the victim’s desire to report the incident. When it is reported, the victim has feelings of self-blame and shame. The strongest weapon an abuse victim has is to persecute their abuser. Bringing abusers to justice is the best way to bring an end to child sexual abuse.

    John Leighton, Esq., is a board certified personal injury trial lawyer and managing partner of Leighton Panoff Law with offices in Miami and Orlando. He represents seriously injured victims of negligence, sexual abuse, medical malpractice, violent crime, defective products and resort, travel, and vacation accidents. He is the past President of the National Crime Victim Bar Association and current Chairman of the Inadequate Security Litigation Group for the American Association for Justice (American Trial Lawyers). His lifelong passion is helping people who have had the worst thing happen in their lives.


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