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Questions about Sexual Abuse Law

Sexual abuse is a serious crime – whether it is the sexual abuse of a child or of women. Many times, these crimes go unpunished — either because the signs of sexual abuse go undetected or because people are unaware of the laws on sexual abuse. Below are five sexual abuse questions that are answered frequently by the lawyers on JustAnswer.

How does a hospital check for signs of sexual abuse on a child?

Many hospitals have physicians that specialize in child abuse and can perform a number of tests to see if a child has been sexually abused. If they suspect sexual abuse of a child, they often take photos and conduct a physical examination. This can help determine whether the child has been sexually abused, and it also acts as documentary evidence. Usually, cultures are taken to test for sexually transmitted diseases, and a pelvic examination is done to check for manipulation or penetration. Social workers and psychologists can also be brought in for a mental examination. The age of the child is always taken into consideration when determining the types of tests to be performed.

Can a school be sued if they do not call authorities when a teacher is suspected of sexual abuse?

Whenever sexual abuse of a child is detected by the state or a government official, the law requires them to contact the authorities. If a school is aware of the abuse and does not take action to remove the child from an unsafe situation, it could be sufficient grounds for a lawsuit. Depending on the situation, the school could also be committing an offense and may be liable for the harm caused. These types of cases would typically require legal counsel to prove that the school was negligent and failed to follow proper procedures. If you suspect that a child has been physically or sexually abused, or have questions about your suspicions, you could ask a Family Lawyer on JustAnswer for expert insights on sexual abuse laws.

If a sexual abuse case has been dismissed against an ex-spouse, can the parent with legal custody leave the state?

If the court order does not prohibit the child from leaving the state, then the parent may not be in jeopardy or contempt of court by just taking the child out of the state. When a child custody order is passed, the custodial parent must obtain permission through the court before relocating or taking the children out of the state for extended periods. In most cases, the judge takes the best interest of the child into account when a relocation situation is presented in court. If the custodial parent does not follow this procedure, the opposing parent may file a motion for returning the children to the original state. The legal recourse available to you can depend on the state you live in, as well as your particular circumstances. Family Lawyers on JustAnswer can answer any questions you may have and help you determine the best legal course of action.

After losing custody of children due to sexual abuse, if a parent starts spreading rumors about the new custodial guardians, would this be a form of slander or harassment?

A situation like this could actually be a defamation of character and the victim may want to seek legal counsel. There are usually two types of defamation:

Libel: Defamation by printed word. This could be letters, newspaper articles or publications on the internet.
Slander: Defamation by spoken word.

Depending on the situation, the court may award punitive damages, attorney fees and court costs to the victim.

What are the legal rights of a person accused of sexual and physical abuse?

When accused of any crime, a person has a right to legal defense in court, with or without legal counsel. To prove that the allegations are incorrect, the accused may have to produce evidence at the court hearing. If the allegations and charges are dropped, depending on the particulars of the case, the accused may have grounds for a slander or defamation of character suit. It may be in the best interest of the accused to seek the services of a lawyer, because sexual abuse is considered a serious offense in most states.

While it is serious, sexual abuse can sometimes be difficult to prove. Many times, ignorance of the law prevents valid cases of sexual abuse from even being reported to the authorities. Many of the lawyers on JustAnswer specialize in such cases, and can provide valuable inputs to help you determine the exact legal implications of your particular situation.

Ask a Family Lawyer

Ely
Ely, Counselor at Law
Category: General
Satisfied Customers: 9380
Experience:  Private practice with focus on family, criminal, PI, consumer protection, and business consultation.
7286322
Type Your Family Law Question Here...
characters left:
Family Lawyers are Online Now

How JustAnswer Works:

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    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
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Family Lawyers are online & ready to help you now

Ely
Counselor at Law
Satisfied Customers: 8085
Private practice with focus on family, criminal, PI, consumer protection, and business consultation.
LawTalk
Attorney and Counselor at Law
Satisfied Customers: 6424
27+ years legal experience. I remain current in Family Law through regular continuing education.
FiveStarLaw
Lawyer
Satisfied Customers: 6336
25 years of experience helping people like you.

Recent Sexual Abuse Questions

  • I am a grandparent that had helped raise my granddaughter in

    I am a grandparent that had helped raise my granddaughter in my house for about 6 years. My daughter lost her rights and the father received custody, even though he seldom seen my granddaughter, Father is now facing his 3rd felon charge and could be facing 4-15 years he was caught with 11 grams of cocaine and he now has signed legal guardianship over to his Aunt. I have adopted her 3 half sisters. Do I have a good shot at getting her back to her sisters, getting him deemed unfit, having his rights taken away and vacating the legal guardianship. He only stepped up because he was tired of getting arrested for lack of child support. never paid a dime unless he was arrested and than the court gave my daughter his bond money.
  • 13 Years ago, I was falsely accused of abuse. The

    13 Years ago, I was falsely accused of sexual abuse. The investigation that ensued ended with no charges or prosecution. Missouri DFS at that time pursued an adjudication decision which I was not aware of. I received a letter from them but did not realize or understand what is was and ignored the letter. I had no plans to have anything further to do with DFS. Now, my daughter would like myself and my wife to become legal guardians of her children and DFS is blocking that due to the adjudication. My question is,
    how long can a decision like that with no evidence or prosecution be held against us and is there any legal recourse we can take?
  • I have temporary order of protection against my ex because

    I have temporary order of protection against my ex because he threatens to break into the house. Now we have agreed to settlement the case. My questions are:
    1. We don’t plan to hire expensive lawyer in handling the case, can it be done by ourselves without a lawyer?
    2. Is there a settlement format I should use? Should it be notarized when both party sign the document? Besides both parties’ name, should I also include judge’s signature line there for he/she to sign.
    3. Should I go the court to withdraw the case before the court date? Who should I talk to and how can it be done? Or should I wait till the court hearing date and present to the judge to withdraw?
    4. If my ex violates the settlement agreement, for example, I specifically indicate pick up / drop off kids away from my residence, if my ex violate that in the future, can I use this settlement against him?
    5. Our two son have attorney assigned by the court, when and what is the proper way to handle / notify my kids’ guardian attorney?
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