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Child Sexual & Physical Abuse Victims Lawyer

Unfortunately, child abuse victims comes in many different forms such as: child molestation, sexual child abuse, physical child abuse, verbal child abuse and emotional child abuse.

Child molestation is any sexual act including incest between an adult and an individual under the age of 18. Adults may target children because they may be too weak to fight back or afraid to say anything for fear that other adults won’t believe them. Whatever the cause, child molestation can cause wide ranging psychological trauma that may result in a child no longer trusting any adult or having other social issues. If you believe that your child has been the victim of child molestation, please contact Hirsch & Lyon Accident Law for help today by calling (602) 535-1900.

Read the topics below to learn details about what to do and some common issues we have seen in regards to child abuse:

If You or Someone You Know is a Victim of Sexual Child Abuse or Physical Child Abuse
Contact Us Immediately.

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How to React When a Child Claims to Be a Victim of Child Abuse

Child abuse victims lawyerIf your child says that he or she was touched inappropriately or forced to watch something inappropriate, you should take the claim seriously. You should immediately to contact the police, an official at your child’s school or any other party that can take action. You can also contact Hirsch & Lyon Accident Law to assist you with reporting the abuse to authorities. By taking the claim seriously and taking action to make sure inappropriate behavior stops, it reinforces the idea that adults are here to keep children safe and that they can be trusted. You may also want to consider removing your child from any programs or activities that would put your child in close proximity to the person who allegedly committed the abuse.


Who Could Be a Child Molester?

It is commonly believed that only strangers molest children. However, this is rarely the case. In fact, a child or the child’s parents may have a relationship with the child’s abuser. Teachers, daycare staff or even a child’s doctor could be the perpetrator of sexual abuse on a child. There have also been cases of priests abusing young boys, which means that anyone can be a predator regardless of their role within society.

It is even possible that a law enforcement officer could molest a child or that someone could pose as a police officer as a ruse to commit abuse. It is important for children to know or for adult abuse victims to understand that it is never alright for anyone to touch them without their consent regardless of who is doing the touching. Many abusers will use fear and intimidation tactics to keep their victims quiet and themselves out of legal trouble.


Public and Private Schools

Sexual predators who prey on children can take on many roles. The trust and authority placed in counselors, volunteers, coaches and even teachers can put individuals who wish to do harm in positions of power. It is important to understand that molestation is often an act that predators work up to as they engage in a process called “grooming”. This involves slowly gaining the trust of a child and engaging them in a way that will forge a bond in order to get close enough to initiate inappropriate sexual contact. School abuse does not have age limits and has been seen everywhere from preschools to high schools.

There are a number of reasons why, despite the legal requirements placed on those caring for children in a school environment, predatory sexual behavior still persists. Most people are aware of the plight of our nation’s public schools, which face a serious financial deficit and are often woefully understaffed. It can be easy for busy teachers and officials to turn a blind eye to a problematic situation, especially one in which a predator creates an image in which they are lovingly helping or mentoring a child. Background checks are sometimes foregone because of the school’s lack of funding, and proper training to deal with the threat of institutionalized sexual crimes is not given. When a minor student has a history of sexual offenses, the information parents need to provide to school officials about the incident is minimal. This creates an environment where children are at significant risk.

In Arizona, affected families may file a civil case against both the sexual predator and any third party individual they feel has been negligent in a way that led to a child’s molestation. A suit of this type is beneficial, in that it can help families recoup wages they’ve lost as well as the ongoing expenses of medical care and counseling and the emotional damage caused by the incident. As child abuse attorneys, the Hirsch & Lyon Accident Law team has represented children of a spectrum of ages who have suffered predatory behavior at the hands of adults they thought they could trust, such as teachers, coaches or adult volunteers.

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Day Care Child Abuse

When choosing a day care facility, parents aim to choose somewhere that their little one will be safest from harm. It can be simple for a day care facility to gloss over serious issues by presenting images and information that depict security cameras, spacious play areas, fun crafts and a safe environment. This does not mean a facility is safe for children. Stories of day care facilities failing to meet basic safety standards and being neglectful toward children abound in the news on an undeniable level. When a facility fails to perform thorough background checks on new employees, sexual predators slip through the cracks and have access to innocent young children. Children with behavioral problems may be accepted with very little information about said problems being shared with the parents or teacher.

At Hirsch & Lyon Accident Law, our experience representing child abuse cases extends to physical child abuse and sexual child abuse visited upon children in a day care setting. This abuse may come at the hands of a caregiver or another child. In our legal career, we have had success in handling claims against day care facilities for causal issues related to negligence in the hiring of employees and supervision of children leading to sexual abuse situations.


Residential Care Facilities

Facilities that provide residential care for disabled children and adults in group home settings are legally liable for physical or sexual abuse or assault that takes place within the facility. This liability ensures that people living at the facility are legally protected against abuse from both their caregivers and other residents who may become aggressive or abusive. In the case of home health care aides that perpetrate abusive situations, the hiring agency can also be held legally responsible.  Hirsch & Lyon Accident Law offers representation to disabled adults and children as well as their families against residential care facilities and home health care agencies that have allowed abusive situations to occur.

We have experience in successfully handling cases filed against group homes and residential care facilities who have been negligent in hiring help and supervising patients causing abusive incidents to take place.


Residential Camps, Summer Camps and Day Camps

When children are attending camp, whether it’s daytime only or a stay lasting weeks or months, the owners of the camp are legally responsible for making sure that the attending children remain safe from threats of harm. This means that camps should be thoroughly vetting any and all new employees that wish to join the program. Often, however, a camper who has regularly attended for years is offered a counseling position without offering proper and complete training on spotting physical abuse or sexual abuse signs, preventing situations where it may occur and handling allegations appropriately. In addition, the lack of background check could afford a predatory individual a position of power that they did not have previously, endangering kids.

Summer camps must be very careful to train and supervise every employee, counselor and volunteer that wishes to participate in a program. Employees with limited training can easily overlook a predatory sexual situation. In addition, limiting background checks to save funding can result in the employment of sexual predators. These are situations for which the camp can be held liable in a court of law.

Hirsch & Lyon Accident Law can prove helpful in these situations by preparing victims and their parents to file a civil suit against the offender or institution at which the offense took place. The suit can help families and victims to recoup lost wages and handle medical and counseling fees related to the case. We have experience in successfully handling cases against offenders and negligent facilities at which offenses occur, and can bring legal claims for negligent hiring and poor supervision of children leading to abusive situations.

Speak with an experienced Child Abuse Attorney Today!
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Foster Care / Foster Homes

Tragically, it’s not news that our nation’s foster care system is severely broken. Devastating reports of young children being removed from a bad situation only to be placed in a worse one fill the headlines on a regular basis. Unfortunately, it is a system that is severely underfunded. The lack of pay and difficult emotional nature of the job makes turnover rates for social workers astronomical. State mandated social workers or officials are required to screen foster parents thoroughly and check in on placed children regularly, and often, this requirement is not met. This is known by many abusers, who take the opportunity to prey on these vulnerable kids.

When incidents of sexual abuse occur in foster care situations, Arizona or the employees it contracts may be liable. This is especially true when signs of physical, sexual or emotional abuse are directly ignored by social workers. In these situations, victims and advocates may consider use of the Hirsch & Lyon Accident Law team to file a civil suit against an abuser or a state mandated employee who did not provide thorough care and attention, resulting in abuse.

A suit of this type can help a victim who has already suffered significantly to regain a sense of power. It can help to fund counseling and deal with medical and living expenses, especially when no other family exists for the victim. We have experience in successfully bringing claims against Child Protective Services for negligence in supervising children in foster care


Youth Sports Leagues

There are hundreds of youth sports leagues all over the country that many kids of all ages participate in regularly. These leagues often involve a great deal of time in which the safety of children is ensured to coaches, volunteers and parents working with the team. Often, significant alone time with groups of children is afforded by practices, team building exercises and overnight trips to away games. It is important for both adults involved with the team and parents of team participants to be aware that this creates an environment where sexual abuse and assault can be present. If a coach, volunteer or parent is singling out a child or spending excessive alone time with children one on one, alarm bells should sound for parents and other adults.

Ignoring alarming situations like these can lead to tragic physical abuse or sexual abuse for children and teens ranging from ages 5 to 17. The children often feel as though they’ll be punished, will be taken away from their friends, won’t be allowed to play their favorite sport and will disappoint the person preying on them, which is often a familiar person in whom they had placed their trust. If rules and guidelines put in place to protect children are not followed, third parties such as leagues and coaches who failed to provide a safe environment have the potential to be held liable from a legal standpoint.

Hirsch & Lyon Accident Law offers victims and their families the financial opportunity to pursue a civil suit against a perpetrator or negligent third party in order to cover lost wages, medical bills, counseling and emotional hardship. We have used great finesse in successfully handling cases involving sexual abuse in Arizona’s youth sports leagues.


Boy Scouts of America

As the largest youth organization in the country, the Boy Scouts see many hundreds of thousands of children pass through their ranks. However, a lack of thorough vetting of scout leaders and volunteers has led to rampant physical abuse or sexual abuse, with thousands of reported cases across the United States. The nature of the program often presents the opportunity for scout leaders and volunteers to groom victims through one on one time on the organization’s famed camp outs and sleepovers. Visits to the scout leader’s home sans supervision from other adults and any secretive “initiation” practices should always be cause for concern.
The poor screening of adult scout leaders and volunteers is widely blamed for the spate of sexual abuse within the organization nationwide. Unfortunately, some scout leaders are removed from positions after accusations or convictions, only to reappear somewhere else attempting to lead another troop.

Speak with an experienced Child Abuse Attorney Today!
Free 30 Minute Consultation with a Lawyer
– Click Here to Schedule –


Clergy Members

A great deal of media attention has been given in recent years to sexual abuse perpetrated by members of the clergy. More and more accusations leading to convictions arise nationwide, with some cases dating back 50 years or more. Child victims of sexual assault by a minister, priest or pastor are put in a deeply vulnerable position in which they have been violated by a person who, in the eyes of their community, is beyond reproach. Predators in a clergy position are all too aware of the opportunities afforded to them by their position of public trust. Since a person in this position is expected to provide compassion and kindness rather than abuse, this can be particularly damaging to a faithful child who may have sought help from someone in the clergy only to wind up being groomed for abuse.

Arizona offers victims and their families the opportunity to pursue a civil suit against a predatory member of the clergy or a third party individual who may have ignored or facilitated abuse. A lawsuit filed by Hirsch & Lyon Accident Law can allow a victim and their family to heal without struggling to make up lost wages, pay medical bills or afford counseling. We have seen the skillful and successful handling of sexual abuse cases involving clergy in a number of denominations throughout the state.


Child Molestation and Arizona Criminal Statutes

Arizona state law makes it a felony for an adult to commit an indecent act with anyone who is under the age of 18. Furthermore, it is also illegal to commit an act while a child under the age of 18 watches if the intent is to arouse either the child or the adult. Individuals who are convicted for a first-offense of sexual conduct with a minor under the age of 15 years old may spend anywhere from 13 to 27 years in prison.

However, if an indecent act causes injury to a child under the age of 13 years old, the charge may be upgraded to aggravated sexual conduct with a minor. This could result in a more severe penalty for those who are found guilty of the charge. Penalties could include life in prison, a $250,000 fine or both depending on the facts in the case. Those who commit abuse could also be forced to pay punitive damages and other restitution as part of a civil case regardless of whether or not there is a criminal conviction.


Schedule a Free Consultation with a Child Abuse Attorney from Hirsch & Lyon Accident Law

If you know, or have reason to believe that your child has been the victim of child molestation, you should contact one of our child abuse attorneys immediately by phone (602) 535-1900 or by our Confidential Contact Form. The same is true if you were an adult who was molested as a child and wish to hold that person responsible for what he or she did. At Hirsch & Lyon Accident Law, we will offer an aggressive, yet sensitive, representation that will take your needs into account while also doing whatever it takes to get justice for the victims of child molestation. While statutes of limitations are broad when it comes to child sexual abuse victims, filing a case now ensures that your rights are protected.

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