Sexual Abuse Lawyer2019-06-18T11:09:29-04:00

Sexual Abuse Lawyer

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Sexual Abuse Lawyer

INJURED?
Call Now for a
FREE CONSULTATION
(727) 381-2300

Or click the button below for a

FREE CASE EVALUATION

Sexual Abuse

Sexual abuse is sadly far more common in our society than people believe. Studies show that 20% of adult females and 5-10% of adult males were sexually assaulted or sexually abused as a child. Due to the shocking nature of the crimes and the power that abusers hold over their victims, many cases don’t get reported. If you or your child has been a victim of sexual abuse, you can pursue justice with the support of a St Petersburg sexual abuse lawyer.

A sexual abuse attorney will be able to assist you through this emotionally tough time and provide full support from legal assistance to mental health expert recommendations.

Child Sexual Abuse Lawyer

As parents or caregivers, we spend every day of our lives making sure our children are safe and in environments where they can flourish. But sometimes, our trust is broken in tragic circumstances. If your child is a victim, then contact child sexual abuse lawyers McQuaid & Douglas today for a free consultation.

Sexual Abuse Lawyer

What Is Considered Child Sexual Abuse in St Petersburg, FL?

Any sexual activity involving a minor is a form of child abuse. A child cannot legally consent to sexual activity. An abuser who engages, forces, or coerces a child into a sexual act is committing a serious crime that typically has long-lasting effects for the victim. It is important to note that child sex abuse includes non-physical contact acts also.

Consent Definitions Under Florida Law:

  • A person under 16 cannot legally consent to sex under any circumstances.
  • A person 24 or older, or a person in a familial or custodial position of authority cannot receive consent from minors aged 16 and 17.

Common Forms of Child Sexual Abuse Include:

  • Exhibitionism (Exposing their body to a minor)
  • Fondling of a child’s body
  • Forcing a minor into a sexual act
  • Phone calls, text messages or online interaction
  • Owning, sharing or producing pornographic media of children
  • Sex of any kind with a minor
  • Sex trafficking
  • Any other sexual act that is damaging to a child’s mental, emotional, or physical welfare

Places Where Child Sexual Abuse Commonly Occurs:

  • Family Home
  • Preschool
  • School
  • Day-care Centers
  • Churches and other religious facilities
  • Sports Clubs
  • Foster Care
  • Medical Facilities
  • Boyscouts
  • Boys and Girls Clubs

Common Defendants in Child Sexual Abuse Lawsuits:

  • After school/recreational programs: Organizations that have custody of your child have a responsibility to keep them safe. When this duty is breached, there is liability.
  • Churches/Clergy: Child sexual abuse in the Catholic Church has been well documented, worldwide. But still, thousands of cases go unreported. The Church has reportedly paid around $3 billion in settlements to victims of sexual abuse from its members.
  • Schools/Teachers: Shockingly, teachers are among the most frequently accused sexual abusers. Should a lawsuit be filed against them, they will be named both individually and as an employee for the school they worked at when the abuse occurred.
  • Sports Organizations/Coaches: Sports coaches are often looked up to and trusted by their students, but there are still hundreds of sexual abuse cases. The most high profile being Larry Nassar at Michigan State University.
  • Doctors: Doctors can easily exploit their power to manipulate their clients.
  • Foster Parents: Heartbreakingly, there are many cases of foster parents abusing children. In these cases, both the foster parents and the foster care agencies will have lawsuits against them.
  • Youth Groups: The Boy Scouts of America and many other large youth groups in the U.S. have gained a negative reputation following some high profile sexual abuse cases. They have paid out millions in settlements, including one that reached $18.5 million.

How Can Mental Health Experts Help If My Child Is a Victim of Sexual Abuse?

As St Petersburg sexual abuse lawyers, we can refer you to some highly skilled and trusted psychiatrists, psychologists and therapists who can help your child with the trauma of the abuse.

The use of mental health experts can also prove very valuable during a legal case, as their full understanding of the impact of abuse can be better articulated than solely the words of a minor. Most therapist that we work with will treat you or your child on a letter of protection. This means that their bill will be paid out of the settlement and you do not owe anything out of pocket as the case proceeds.

What Are the Legal Options If You Were Sexual Abused as a Child?

If you were sexually abused as a child, you may be able to file a lawsuit against the abuser or against the place where the abuser was employed. Sometimes, even if many years have passed since the incident(s), you may be able to claim financial compensation for the damages you’ve endured. If you would like to discuss the matters with a sexual abuse lawyer confidentially, then contact us today for a free consultation.

Warning Signs of Child Sexual AbuseThe Warning Signs of Child Sexual Abuse:

  • Sudden changes in behavior – Such as aggression, withdrawn, excessively clingy, or bed wetting.
  • Avoiding the abuser, or location of abuse – If the child seems to be afraid of a person, or being alone with that person, or returning to a specific place.
  • Physical Problems – Bruising, bleeding, infections, or discomfort in genital areas.
  • Changes in school behavior – A sudden decline in their work ethic, grades, or punctuality.
  • Inappropriate sexual behavior – If they begin to act in sexually inappropriate ways, use with sexually explicit language.
  • Dropping hints – A child may try to drop clues and hints about sexual abuse, without stating it obviously.

What Is the Difference Between a Civil and Criminal Lawsuit?

In a civil case, the defendants are pursued for money damages. In a criminal case, the case is brought by the state and the defendant faces imprisonment and sex offender designations.

If you wish to bring a claim for a sexual abuse case, contact a sexual abuse lawyer. Most sexual abuse lawyers will monitor and assist you with the criminal case until the time is right to bring the civil claim.

The Effects of Sexual Abuse

Sexual abuse can cause severe physical and psychological damage to the victims. The road to a full recovery can be long and require extensive help from mental health experts.

In the short term, victims may suffer health problems such as physical injuries, pregnancies and STIs. They are also likely to suffer severe mental trauma that affects their daily life, including a loss of self-esteem and anxiety.

In the long term, victims are likely to suffer from mental illnesses such as depression, anxiety, PTSD and eating disorders. There are also signs that self-harm, criminal behavior, drug abuse, alcohol abuse and suicide are linked to sexual abuse as a child. Victims also may suffer trouble with intimacy and physical contact in later life.

Compared to non-victims, sexually abused victims are:

  • 4 times more likely to develop symptoms of drug abuse.
  • 4 times more likely to suffer from PTSD in later life.
  • 3 times more likely to suffer from a major depressive episode in later life.

The damage caused by sexual abuse can be long-lasting. Speak with a sexual abuse lawyer to help shine a guiding light on the next steps.

Sexual Abuse Lawyer for Elders in St Petersburg, FL

Adults who are elderly or physically or mentally unable to protect themselves from abusers are also often at risk of sexual abuse. Across the country, there are examples of nursing homes or assisted living facilities exploiting their clients. These victims are often vulnerable due to their physical limitations and cognitive ability to report the abuse.

Common signs of sexual abuse in elderly victims include:

  • Physical Symptoms – Bruising and cuts around the body and particularly their genital areas, or sexually transmitted infections.
  • Emotional Trauma – Depression, withdrawal and fears of being alone with care workers are often big warning signs. Especially if they are unusually fearful of being physically cared for.
  • Behavioral Changes – Anger, anxiety, sleep disturbances or any other sudden behavioral changes may be related to sexual abuse.

If you’ve noticed any of the mentioned symptoms, or believe your loved one has been sexually abused then contact a sexual abuse attorney. Their legal expertise, combined with a compassionate understanding, can bring your family justice.

More Sexual Abuse Statistics

  • It is estimated that every 92 seconds someone is sexually assaulted in the United States.
  • 1 in 9 girls and 1 in 53 boys, younger than 18 are sexually abused or assaulted by an adult.
  • 82% of sexual abuse victims under 18 are female.
  • Females aged 16-19 are four times more likely to be sexually abused than the rest of the population.
  • Every 9 minutes, child protective services find evidence for a child sexual abuse case.
  • 1 out of every 6 American women has experienced attempted rape or a completed rape in their life.

More statistics about sexual abuse can be read here. The statistics, in most cases, do not take into account unreported cases.

Hire a Sexual Abuse Attorney in St Petersburg, FL

Sexual abuse lawyers Sean McQuaid and Jonathon Douglas as highly respected and trusted lawyers in St. Petersburg. If you or a family member have been the victim of sexual abuse, then contact us today for a free consultation. We can answer any of your questions with total privacy and get started on bringing you the justice you deserve.

Testimonials

I was involved in an accident in Bradenton, not even the St. Pete area! I was hit by a large truck, injured and my truck totaled! Mr. McQuaid was extremely helpful, from everything to follow ups, keeping me informed, making sure I had what I needed. He definitely looks out for his clients and has their best interest in mind! He made me feel very comfortable, and was genuinely concerned with my health and well being! He even went over and above a few times to help me! His staff is just as professional and helpful as he was! I give him and his staff a standing ovation! Thank you for all your help and everything you did to help and take care of me and my case! I know who I'm calling with any future issues that I need handled in a prompt and professional manor! Thank you again for all your help!read more
Sister Sara
15:15 19 Sep 19
I am happy to recommend Sean McQuaid to others who are looking for a car accident attorney. My family and I were injured in a car accident when visiting St. Petersburg. Mr. McQuaid was extremely knowledgeable and assisted us with every step along the way. We were very pleased with the results given the circumstances.
Chester Fun
23:06 02 Sep 19
I'm very happy that I chose Mr. McQuaid to represent me after the car accident. This was my first time dealing with this sort of problem and didn't know exactly where to start, but Mr. McQuaid stepped in and pointed me in the right direction. He set me up with all the necessary medical appointments and got the ball rolling. He handled all the paperwork and kept me updated. He is very professional and I highly advise anyone who needs a great Attorney to choose Mr. McQuaid.
Richard Drude
16:31 27 Aug 19
I love mcquaid hes been my attorney for years now. He is great with solving cases and hes good with working with his client's best interests hes a real deal big dog!!! I love them and I would refer everyone that needs a criminal or personal injury lawyer to mcquaid!!
Hynita Mitchell
13:52 26 Aug 19
I was injured in a car accident a couple of years ago. The woman who rear-ended me had minimal insurance coverage, so it was not enough to cover the costs of care I needed due to my injures. I had a severe neck injury and injured both of my TM joints. I suffered from major headaches and neck pain. Despite my treating doctors indicating that I have permanent injures, my own auto insurer refused the demand for my own underinsured motorist coverage. As a result of the denial by my insurance company, Mr. Douglas filed suit on my behalf. He and his staff were wonderful to work with. They were super responsive and walked me through the entire process. He was able to obtain a good settlement for me. I would highly recommend Mr. Douglas, and his law firm.read more
Laurel Harris
21:14 03 Aug 19
Great experience as always, Sean expedited my settlement with speed and professionalism while keeping me informed the whole time couldn't ask for anything more I highly recommend their services
Daniel Huddleson
20:02 26 Jun 19
Sean and his whole team are great! Very knowledgeable, professional, and most of all honest. This was my first time being in a situation like this and I wasn’t sure exactly what to expect. Once hired, I was at ease throughout the whole process knowing Sean was in my corner and fighting for me. Always keeping me in the loop of what was going on as well as being a straight shooter, with tons of experience and insight, allowed me to be able to make the best decisions for me and my family. Would definitely recommend!
Kevin Frye
20:32 12 May 19
Thank You Sean McQuaid, Suzanne Sanchez and Sandy Calvert for being so professional and personal. It felt like I was going to talk to a family member. You have a Top Notch Firm. My everyone be BLESSED.
Lorraine Johnsommitchell
04:33 09 May 19
My attorneys Sean McQuaid and Jonathon Douglas were always the most professional, caring, and compassionate legal team to me. They represented me impeccably because they got to know me personally, thus they were able to relay my injuries and truly speak on my behalf and all that I had been through. I would highly recommend them.
Julia Withrow
20:10 24 Mar 19
I could honestly say with confidence that this is the best law firm in Saint Petersburg! Sean and his firm work as a team to make sure they take care of you personally, and financially. They where very accommodating from the first day. They consistently kept me updated through the process and answered any questions I had either same day or the next. In addition, they where able to cut hospital and doctors bills nearly in half creating more money for my pocket. 10/10!
Mazen Khalil
15:46 12 Mar 19
I would like to thank Johnathon Douglas, Suzanne Sanchez and Sandy Calvert for their outstanding work on my recent auto accident case. I was so impressed with their attention to every detail to make sure there was the very best possible outcome in the case. They were always so quick to respond to every email containing my list of questions and recommended excellent physicians for my care. I highly recommend this firm if you ever need any type of legal assistance. They are all top notch people and wonderful to have on your side!
Laura Guest
02:47 05 Mar 19
Sean McQuaid and his paralegal Suzanne Sanchez handled my personal injury case with compassion, expertise and excellence. I was more than pleased with the outcome and couldn’t have had a more competent team! I recommend Sean and Suzanne for anyone that is looking for personal injury legal assistance. Thank you, Sean and Susanne!
Leslie Driscoll
22:43 12 Feb 19
Sean McQuaid is the best. I'm able to sleep at night anytime he's handling any one of my legal matters. He answers your questions and returns phone calls promptly (once while he was on vacation with his family). Thank you Sean.
Marilyn Lewis
23:08 31 Jan 19
Seasoned professionals capable of handling any level of business/personal endeavor to their client's satisfaction. The ONLY law firm I call or recommend. Sean McQuaid is our go-to lawyer for all of my family's needs over the past two decades - he gets results.
jay johnson
22:58 31 Jan 19
I recently was involved in a motorcycle accident and I immediately contacted Johnathan Douglas . He was very prompt and moved quikly to set up medical advisors that were able to help me. Johnathan was there every step of the way, sometimes on a daily basis. Johnathan is very passionate about his work and is second to none and is very professional. He was able to reach a settlement in my case that I was vey pleased with. I would highly recommend Johnathan to anyone that needs the best representation for your particular needs and he deserves a 5 star rating for sure. Trust me Johnathan will not disappoint.read more
Gene Maxwell
19:37 27 Jan 19
We would like to thank McQuaid & Douglas for the best possible settlement in my husband's Personal Injury case.During this difficult time Sean and Suzanne were there for us through every step of the process. Anytime we had questions or needed updates on the case they quickly responded. We highly recommend them!
Jennifer Rice
16:23 13 Dec 18
Iam very satisfied with my lawyer, Sean McQuaid. He was well informed and smart. He was also helpful and kind. I highly recommend him!
Lubna Hameed
20:13 03 Nov 18
Awesome attorney! Sean McQuaid had my charge dropped. He was on top of every detail. Great experience. Will definetly go to him in a heartbeat if I ever have any legal matters. Will recommend to family/friends.
Brittany 8189
19:58 16 Oct 18
Jonathon Douglas is an amazing attorney. There is no question that Jonathon and his team deserve a 5 star rating. They worked tirelessly to get a great result for me.
Joshua Hale
18:08 07 Sep 18
Jonathon Douglas was there for me and my family in our time of need. If you are looking for an attorney who gets results, look no further. I highly recommend Jonathon.
Bjorn Erickson
18:06 07 Sep 18
Attorney Jonathon Douglas has always been a valuable resource to all things legal for me and my family. However, legal expertise is not the only attribute that defines this lawyer. He has that additional quality of a humane perspective that isn't taught or learned, it's innate. You can find any attorney on the web or TV, but few will cut to the core of your needs as adeptly and compassionately as Jonathon.
ben boyle
15:18 05 Sep 18
I was recently in a car accident and contacted St Petersburg Personal Injury Attorney Jonathon Douglas. The very next day, he got things rolling and put me in touch with medical providers who really helped me. Jonathon was able to quickly move my case forward and reach a settlement that I was very happy with. I would recommend Jonathon Douglas to anyone and everyone.
Scott James
20:54 24 Aug 18
Definitely A five star attorney and very professional Randy M Harris
Randy Harris
20:21 29 Jul 18
If you want and need a great attorney that knows and cares, Sean McQuaid would be the person you want on your side. He shoots straight from the hip with no guessing games. Gets the job done in your favor! Thank you Mr McQuaid!
McMillan's Appliance Plus LLC
17:35 06 Jul 18
If you're looking for a excellent attorney look no further, Sean is hands down the BEST. I've used him several times he has ALWAYS exceeded my expectations. He's very well known and respected amongst the Pinellas country courts, Sean will truly go to bat for you when it matters. Most importantly he's a lawyer with honesty and integrity would HIGHLY recommend to anybody in need.
Dan Tellone
15:44 25 Jun 18
He did a great job I would use him as my lawyer in the future if needed and I would definitely recommend him to my family and friends. Thanks for everything you did for me I appreciate everything! King
Carrie King
03:19 17 Feb 18
Sean McQuaid is an amazing attorney. He has worked with me on 2 cases. Both of which I was extremely satisfied with the outcome. During the entire process, he always kept me up to date and was easy to get ahold of. If I had questions, he would always get back to me right away. He made going through a difficult time much less stressful. And for that I am truly grateful.
Alicia Liberatore
04:58 08 Dec 17
Sean McQuaid and his team where extremely professional and very forthcoming. His response time to requests is impeccable. He is fair, very compassionate and very thorough. He was very protective of myself and my care. He followed through weekly and often daily with my physicians to ensure I received the best care. Thank you, Sean for such an amazing outcome to what was a very difficult time in my life.
Jennifer Fintz
15:51 17 Nov 17
St Petersburg Personal Injury Attorneys McQuaid & Douglas
5858 Central Ave suite a, St Petersburg, FL (727) 381-2300
5 out of 5 based on 22 reviews

Sean McQuaid and Jonathon Douglas were voted best personal injury attorneys in Saint Petersburg, Florida for 2019.

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