April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month and Child Abuse Prevention Month

Let’s start with some statistics that will both sadden and anger you:

Child Abuse

  • Each year, 3 million reports of child abuse are made in the United States. The abuse can consist of physical abuse, sexual abuse, emotional abuse, physical neglect, emotional neglect.
  • Every ten seconds a report of child abuse is made.
  • Child abuse is an underreported crime.
  • Amongst industrialized nations, the United States’ record on child abuse is one of the worst.

Sexual Assault

  • Every 107 seconds, another person in the United States is a victim of sexual assault.
  • Sexual assault is an underreported crime with 68% not reported.
  • Roughly 2/3 of sexual assaults are perpetrated by someone known to the victim.
  • One in four college women will be the victim of rape or attempted rape

Child abuse and sexual assault can have serious, long-term effects for the victim.  While physical wounds eventually heal, the emotional wounds from these violent crimes can linger a life-time and can require psychological counseling to help the victim deal with depression, anxiety and other effects of the crime.

Of course, the criminal justice system is designed to deal with the perpetrator.  But who will help the victim?  At the Law Offices of John Day, we are dedicated to helping the victim by using the civil justice system.  In fact, at a recent conference by the National Center for Victims of Crime, John Day was asked to speak to crime victims’ advocates about how to help victims recover money for their physical and emotional injuries.  If the perpetrator owns a home, a boat, a car, a motorcycle or has any other assets, those assets can be used to help compensate the victim after a successful civil suit.

And it may not just be the perpetrator who is responsible for the abuse or assault.  Under Tennessee law, landowners have a duty to take reasonable steps to make sure their business (including the parking lot) are reasonably safe for their customers.  So, for example, if a rape occurs in a parking lot without good lighting or security and a history of a lot of violent crime, the landowner could be responsible for the victim’s injuries.

Likewise, schools, daycares and other businesses are under a duty to hire workers who do not present a risk to children or others.  And, businesses are under a duty to reasonably investigate suspicious activity.  So, for instance, daycares should do background checks on potential employees to confirm they do not have history of child abuse or sex offenses. Or, if a church receives numerous complaints about a particular worker acting inappropriately around children, the church has a duty to investigate and take reasonable steps to ensure the children are not being subjected to abuse or assault.  If they fail to do so, they should and could be held liable for their lack of action in protecting the child from the worker.

At the Law Offices of John, our award-winning attorneys are proud of the work they have done in helping victims of crime.  If you would like to discuss a case in a confidential consultation, please give us a call.  The initial consultation is always free and without obligation.  We will simply review your case and advise you of your legal rights.  If we think we can help you and you want to hire us, we handle all crime victims cases on a contingency basis so we only get paid if we recover money for you.  Call us any time at 615-742-4880 (Nashville) or 615-867-9900 (Murfreesboro) or 866-812-8787 (toll-free)