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Institutional Sexual Abuse: Programs For Special Needs And Disabled Children

Because crime statistic databases in the United States do not specifically identify child victims with disabilities, it is difficult to compare their risk for sexual abuse to that of other children. However, some studies have shown that children with all types of disabilities – including autism, deafness, blindness, and physical and mental disabilities – are abused at rates more than three times as high as their non-disabled peers. That’s why it is essential that parents and guardians of children with special needs or disabilities know the warning signs of child sexual abuse.

Children with disabilities are extremely vulnerable to abuse.  Children with disabilities may not report abuse because they might not fully understand what abuse is or what types of behavior constitute abuse. Some children with disabilities have trouble communicating or limited speaking abilities, so they have no way to talk about or report abuse. Moreover, adults may not understand how sexual abuse affects children with disabilities and the abuse may go undetected. 

Sadly, caregivers are often perpetrate sexual abuse against the disabled children they are charged with supervising. If you or someone you know suffers from a disability and was sexually abused by a caregiver, doctor, nurse, or other professional, the talented child molestation attorneys at Estey & Bomberger may be able to help. We represent victims of sexual abuse in civil lawsuits against the institutions where they were abused, including programs for the disabled, residential care facilities, hospitals, and therapy centers.

Sexual Abuse of Children with Disabilities

A study by the Vera Institute of Justice found that children with disabilities are at a higher risk of suffering childhood sexual abuse than children without disabilities. Their report on sexual abuse of children with disabilities suggests that the risk of sexual abuse is increased among disabled children because of the unique social and cultural dynamics related to disability and a lack of support for disabled children in general. The study also found that children with disabilities who are victims of sexual abuse are less likely to receive the services and support required to begin the healing process and seek justice.

Estey & Bomberger believes that all victims of sexual abuse deserve to be supported during the difficult healing process. Often, people who have suffered sexual abuse do not have the financial resources to pay for quality therapy and other professional support on the long road to recovery. By filing a civil lawsuit for money damages, victims of sexual abuse may be able to obtain the funds they need to start their restorative journey. To learn more about the healing benefits of seeking justice against abuse in civil court, click here.

Filing a Sexual Abuse Lawsuit Against an Institution

Estey & Bomberger represents victims of sexual abuse in civil lawsuits against the institutions where they were abused. For example, our firm may be able to represent a child who was sexually abused by a caregiver in a group home for disabled children in a lawsuit against the non-profit organization or corporate entity that runs the home. Estey & Bomberger does represent victims of sexual abuse in lawsuits against family members who committed abuse.

The compassionate sexual abuse attorneys at our firm represent victims of sexual abuse that occurred in the following institutions:

  • Group homes for disabled children
  • Nursing homes
  • Schools for disabled children
  • School programs for disabled children
  • Hospitals and medical centers
  • Treatment facilities
  • Therapy centers
  • Schools for the blind
  • Schools for deaf and hearing impaired children
  • Foster care

If you or someone you know has a disability and suffered sexual abuse in any of these institutions, call (800) 925-0723 to discuss your case or contact us online.