April – Sexual Assault Awareness Month

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April is Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month

I’m Ed Smith, a Sacramento Sexual Assault Lawyer. It’s no secret that sexual assault has occupied a prominent position in the spotlight of the national media and appropriately so. With President Trump declaring April sexual assault awareness and prevention month, just as his predecessors did, it is important for people to be aware of the various forms that sexual assault can take and how to prevent it from happening.

Sexual Assault can Happen in Schools

Unfortunately, school sexual assault is a reality. Teachers are in a position of authority and power, often one of the most trusted figures in the lives of children. When they abuse this power, this betrayer of trust must be held accountable. Parents should be aware that children who suffer sexual molestation at school may be reluctant to come forward with allegations. Some signs of sexual abuse at school include dropping grades, a reluctance to go to school, and mood swings that are greater than normal. Even preschool sexual assault can occur. Kids who are victims of sexual molestations in this age range may experience a regression in behavior, such as a return to bedwetting or an inability to sleep through the night if they were previously able to do so.

Assault is Often Perpetrated by Someone Known to the Victim

Everyone should note that most cases of sexual abuse are perpetrated by someone the victim knows. For example, there have been cases of therapist sexual assault. These cases may be prominent because people who are seeing a therapist may have problems that they’re struggling with, making them vulnerable. If people already struggle with mental illness, it may make them less believable to any outcry witnesses or law enforcement personnel. With this in mind, people need to know that the first step in preventing abuse is to believe the victim. If the victim doesn’t feel believed, they will be less likely to come forward.

Abuse Occurs with Elderly Individuals

At the opposite end of the spectrum, residential care facility sexual assault is a major problem. Elderly people, particularly those who struggle with mental illness, are easy targets for abusers because they feel like elderly individuals don’t have the mental capacity to report allegations or the physical ability to fight back. Because of this, it is vital for people to know how to spot nursing home abuse. Signs of abuse in elderly individuals include the development of sexually transmitted diseases, becoming socially withdrawn, asking to leave the facility without reason, and a sudden decrease in appetite. It is also important to remember that sexual abuse often goes along with emotional and physical abuse as well.

Contact an Experienced Sacramento Sexual Assault Lawyer

I’m Ed Smith, a Sacramento Sexual Assault Lawyer. The first step in preventing sexual assault is acknowledging that it exists. If you, or a loved one has suffered a sexual assault, please call me immediately at (916) 921-6400 for friendly, free advice. Anyone who is calling from outside the local area can use my toll-free line at (800) 404-5400.

I belong to Million Dollar Advocates Forum in California. This distinguished group of trial lawyers have obtained verdicts and settlements in excess of $1 Million Dollars.

Some of my results are available on my past verdicts and settlements page.

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Photo: Sacramento Sexual Assault Lawyer, Ed Smith

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