New Lawsuit Alleges San Diego Catholic Diocese Fraudulently Transferred Real Estate Assets to Avoid Child Sexual Abuse Claims. Click Here for Complaint

Child Sex Abuse Attorneys  Representing Survivors Nationwide

Child Sex Abuse Attorneys

Millions Recovered for Survivors Nationwide

The Zalkin Law Firm is a national leader in litigating civil claims over child sexual abuse. Comprised of caring, compassionate, and highly respected trial lawyers, our team has advocated for hundreds of survivors across the country, and has successfully taken on some of the nation’s most powerful institutions – from religious organizations and non-profits to universities and foster care systems.

Our child sex abuse attorneys leverage decades of experience, the support of professional experts, and unwavering determination to make victims’ voices heard, and unearth the truth.

With a record of proven results, we have demonstrated our ability to effectively guide survivors toward justice and healing,

If you or someone you love have been abused as a child, you are not alone – and you do have rights. Support for survivors has grown, affording them critical protections when levying complaints, as well as legal pathways through which they can seek justice and financial compensation for their damages. Surviving childhood sexual abuse is not something you must do alone.

In some states, new legislation has also opened the door to claims from adult survivors abused as children that were previously barred by statutes of limitations. This includes California AB 218 and the New York Child Victims Act.

We're here when you're ready. Speak with a sexual abuse attorney today by calling 800-477-2989

Helping Our Clients Get Closure

Millions Recovered on Behalf of Our Clients
  • Clergy Sexual Abuse

    Irwin Zalkin was one of the lead trial lawyers and part of the trial team prepared to commence a 14 victim trial against the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Los Angeles, the day a global settlement was reached in the amount of $660,000,000.

  • Clergy Sexual Abuse

    Irwin Zalkin was appointed Mediation Liaison Counsel and a lead negotiator by United States Magistrate Judge Leo S. Papas on behalf of over 144 victims of childhood sexual abuse against the Roman Catholic Bishop of San Diego.

  • Clergy Sexual Abuse

    Irwin Zalkin was part of the team of lawyers representing clergy sexual abuse survivors in the Diocese of Orange, California who recently helped to negotiate the first $100,000,000 global settlement in the country involving childhood sexual abuse by members of the Catholic clergy.

  • Clergy Sexual Abuse

    Multi-victim case against religious group home.

  • Clergy Sexual Abuse

    Multi-victim case against a religious leader and institution.

  • Lohse v. Lakeland Village HOA (Oakland, CA) $8,000,000

    An $8 Million judgment against a resort facility after a six-week jury trial for a woman who was rendered a paraplegic following a fall off of an unguarded pier.

  • Child Sexual Abuse
    Single Victim

    $4.25 Million paid to single sexual abuse Plaintiff.

  • Clergy Sexual Abuse

    Three survivors abused as minors by priests associated with a Northern California Diocese.

  • Child Sexual Abuse
    Single Victim

    $4.15 Million paid to single sexual abuse Plaintiff.

  • Child Sexual Abuse
    Single Victim

    $4 Million paid to single sexual abuse Plaintiff.

Helping Victims of Child Sexual Abuse Find Justice

By making civil sexual abuse and assault litigation a hallmark of our practice, The Zalkin Law Firm has become known as a leader in these complex claims.

Our sexual abuse attorneys have worked with survivors and fellow law firms on high-profile cases across the country, and have cultivated a reputation for successfully taking on some of the nation’s oldest and most powerful institutions.

The Zalkin Law Firm proudly serves abuse survivors nationwide in cases involving all types of entities and institutions, including:

Clergy Abuse

The Zalkin Law Firm has successfully represented hundreds of clergy sexual abuse survivors across the U.S. As more information comes to light about the scope of child sex abuse within the Catholic Church and other Christian institutions, more survivors who have kept silent for years have stepped forward.

Their stories reveal not only the profound pain and suffering caused by abuse, but also the systemic failures of religious institutions to adequately investigate priests and clergy, and protect victims

The following parties may potentially be held liable for clergy abuse:

  • Individual Clergy Members: The abusive clergy member can be held personally liable for their abusive actions. They may face criminal charges, including sexual assault or child endangerment, and may also be subject to civil lawsuits filed by the survivors of the abuse.
  • Religious Institutions: The religious institutions that employ the abusive clergy member can be held liable for clergy abuse by negligence, vicarious liability, or failure to report.
  • Religious Superiors or Bishops: In hierarchical religious organizations, such as the Catholic Church, higher-ranking clergy, including bishops or archbishops, may be held accountable for their role in transferring or reassigning abusive clergy to other parishes or failing to take appropriate action when allegations of abuse arise.
  • Other Members of the Religious Community: Individuals within the religious community who were aware of the abuse but failed to report it or took actions to cover it up may also face legal liability in some cases.

Find more information about clergy abuse.

Jehovah’s Witness Abuse

For members of close-knit religious groups, reporting a crime is difficult if not nearly impossible. That is precisely the case for Jehovah’s Witnesses, which often insulate survivors from reporting or resolving problems outside of the church.

Highly restrictive and archaic policies within the Jehovah’s Witness serve to shield the church and its image more than survivors and victims. The “two witness” rule, for example, often keeps abuse allegations within the church by requiring that any accusation be supported by at least two witnesses.

Although DNA or scientific evidence may serve as one witness, this evidence alone is not enough to prompt reasonable action or enforcement against alleged wrongdoers, who may simply be placed under monitoring, or limited in their privileges.

Many members of the Jehovah’s Witness never report their abuse, and those who do rarely have their cases turned over to law enforcement. This not only leaves victims vulnerable, it often allows offenders to go unpunished and free to abuse again.

Find more information about Jehovah’s Witness abuse.

Boy Scout Abuse

Sexual abuse within the Boy Scouts can involve adults in leadership positions, such as Scoutmasters or volunteers, who exploit their authority and trust to engage in inappropriate or illegal sexual conduct with scouts. This can include sexual molestation, harassment, or even rape.

The Boy Scouts of America has a decades-long history of unreported sexual abuse committed by boy scouts and troop leaders. A recent release of private records also revealed the organization allowed sexually abusive and suspected sexually abusive scout leaders to remain in its ranks at alarming rates.

In response to allegations and lawsuits, the BSA filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in February 2020, which allowed it to set up a compensation fund for survivors of abuse while protecting the organization from the potentially crippling financial impact of lawsuits.

Given the Boy Scouts’ persistent failure to adequately handle sexual abuse claims and protect its members, many former Boy Scouts have filed suit against the organization.

The BSA has faced calls for increased accountability and reform to ensure the safety of its members. As part of its bankruptcy proceedings, the BSA has made efforts to address past abuse claims and establish new safeguards to prevent future abuse.

Find more information about Boy Scout Abuse.

Foster Care Abuse

Foster care systems are designed to offer safety to vulnerable children. The unfortunate reality, however, is that many foster children are subjected to the trauma of sexual abuse and assault, have few options for stepping forward, and find few caring advocates they can turn to for help. A system that keeps information private only serves to give abuse an environment in which to thrive.

Child welfare agencies and authorities are responsible for monitoring the well-being of children in foster care and investigating any allegations of abuse. Child welfare agencies and authorities are responsible for monitoring the well-being of children in foster care and investigating any allegations of abuse.

Find more information about Foster Care Abuse.

We Handle All Cases of Child Sex Abuse

What Is Child Sex Abuse?

Child sex abuse can take many forms, and occur in many different settings. It may involve no physical contact at all, such as indecent exposure or exposure to pornography, or may involve nearly any type of unlawful contact, including inappropriate touching, molestation, sexual assault, and rape.

Whether abuse involved a single isolated incident or occurred multiple times, victims have the right to seek justice, hold wrongdoers accountable, and seek compensation from individuals and entities in positions of power that failed to properly handle allegations and keep victims safe, or took steps to willfully shield and conceal the accused.

The Zalkin Law Firm handles all types of cases involving child sexual abuse, including, among others:

Common Signs of Child Sex Abuse

Child sexual abuse is a sensitive and serious issue that can have profound and lasting effects on a child's physical and emotional well-being. Recognizing the signs of child sexual abuse is crucial in order to protect the child and provide them with the support and help they need. It's important to remember that these signs can vary widely from one child to another, and not all abused children will exhibit the same behaviors.

However, common signs of child sexual abuse can include:

  • Behavioral changes:

    • Sudden and significant changes in behavior, such as withdrawal, aggression, mood swings, or regression to earlier developmental stages.

    • Unusual fear or discomfort around a specific person, especially an adult.

    • Sleep disturbances, nightmares, or night terrors.

  • Sexual knowledge and behavior:

    • Age-inappropriate knowledge of sexual acts or explicit language.

    • Engaging in sexual play with toys, peers, or younger children that is beyond their developmental stage.

    • Demonstrating sexual behaviors or precocious sexual interest.

  • Emotional signs:

    • Sudden and unexplained mood swings or emotional instability.

    • Depression, anxiety, self-harm, or suicidal thoughts.

    • Emotional numbness or dissociation.

  • Changes in relationships:

    • Difficulty forming or maintaining relationships, particularly with adults.

    • Avoidance of physical contact, such as hugging or being touched, even by trusted individuals.

  • Regression:

    • Reverting to younger behaviors, such as bedwetting or thumb-sucking, which they had previously outgrown.

  • Aggressive or self-destructive behavior:

    • Displaying aggression towards themselves or others.

    • Engaging in self-harming behaviors, like cutting or burning.

  • Changes in academic performance:

    • A sudden decline in school performance or a loss of interest in academic activities.

  • Physical symptoms:

    • Unexplained pain, bleeding, or discomfort in the genital or anal areas.

    • Frequent urinary tract infections or sexually transmitted infections.

  • Fear or avoidance of certain places or activities:

    • Fear of being left alone with specific individuals or reluctance to attend certain locations or events.

  • Eating disturbances:

    • Changes in eating habits, such as overeating or under-eating.

    • Significant weight loss or gain.

It's important to note that while these signs can indicate child sexual abuse, they can also be associated with other issues or challenges a child may face. If you suspect a child may be a victim of sexual abuse, it is crucial to approach the situation with sensitivity and caution. Contacting the appropriate authorities and professionals, such as child protective services or law enforcement, is essential for ensuring the child's safety and well-being. Additionally, supportive and therapeutic resources should be made available to help the child and their family cope with the trauma.

How Child Sex Abuse Attorneys Can Help

Survivors of childhood sex abuse often suffer profound and life-altering consequences that follow them well into their adult years. Studies have repeatedly shown survivors are at greater risk of suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, anxiety, and other serious physical and psychological health problems.

As child sexual abuse lawyers, our team at The Zalkin Law Firm helps victims as they venture into what can be complex and emotionally turbulent civil legal claims. Backed by experience and resources, we help victims evaluate their options and pursue the justice they deserve through the most appropriate means. This often means a civil lawsuit against wrongdoers and / or the institutions which so shamefully failed to uphold their legal obligations for handling serious claims, and protecting their most vulnerable members.

Claims filed in the civil justice system are not criminal charges. They do not concern criminal guilt or innocence, do not use the same burden of proof, and do not have to be filed against an individual abuser – some can be filed against the responsible institutions, especially if perpetrators are deceased. Criminal cases, as well as administrative proceedings for that matter, also offer little in terms of compensating victims for their pain and suffering than civil claims.

What civil child sex abuse lawsuits accomplish can be vast. They can help reveal inexcusable conduct committed by private individuals or individuals who hold a position of trust within an organization, and they can expose unforgiveable practices within organizations that have failed to protect children, or willfully chose to protect the accused instead.

This alone can be invaluable in raising red flags that bring others forward, and help prompt needed changes to protect others from becoming victims in the future.

Civil sex abuse claims also allow survivors to recover financial compensation for their damages. This includes both the economic and non-economic damages arising from their abuse, including their pain and suffering, emotional anguish, and expenses for medical or psychological treatment.

As advocates, sex abuse attorneys protect victims’ rights and confidentiality as they navigate the civil justice system. They can provide the resources needed to heal, and the insight to investigate and gather evidence that supports their claims. Skilled attorneys can also advocate to ensure at-fault parties do not prevail in their attempts to evade liability or pay victims less than they deserve.

Speak Confidentially With a Lawyer

At The Zalkin Law Firm, we know it takes tremendous courage to step forward as a survivor – and are grateful for the trust so many survivors, families, and fellow lawyers have placed in our firm by choosing our team to guide them through these challenging cases.

With numerous million and multi-million dollar verdicts and settlements for survivors, The Zalkin Law Firm has helped clients prevail in child sex abuse claims against Catholic Dioceses, the Jehovah’s Witnesses, foreign exchange programs, and entities that who childhood sexual abuse within their organizations and allowed it to continue over a period of years.

Helping You Rebuild & Move Forward

For decades, our team at The Zalkin Law Firm has been representing survivors of sexual abuse throughout the country. Even if abuse had happened decades ago, we can help you get the justice and closure that you deserve. To get started, please reach out to our team today.

Your Story Deserves to Be Heard

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