Child sexual abuse accusations should always be taken seriously. This is because statistics show that these allegations are more often true than not (1). Child sexual abuse can be a complicated and delicate situation, with survivors of the abuse often struggling with long-term memory, cognitive function, and developmental regression. This can make these allegations difficult to recall, or make survivors feel in doubt about their experience.
If you suspect you are the victim of childhood sexual abuse and are uncertain of next steps to take, you may find helpful resources by calling a sexual assault hotline. The Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network (RAINN) has proven to be a leader in resources for survivors of sexual assault and abuse. Another option is consulting with a mental health professional, such as a counselor or a therapist.
Many survivors decide that justice and compensation for the abuse they survived is necessary. Sexual abuse can incur many costs related to health and medical services, relocation costs, and impact on quality of life as a result of the abuse. A child sexual abuse lawyer may be able to represent you in your case, and help you find the closure you need.
Navigating the legal waters with a child sexual abuse lawsuit can be intimidating or feel overwhelming. In this article, we explore the definition of child sexual abuse allegations and types of child sexual abuse crimes that may qualify for your case.
Definition of Child Sexual Abuse Accusations
Child sexual abuse accusations occur when an individual or a group of people make allegations about another individual or group relating to actions that legally constitute sexual abuse against a minor.
This type of accusation may include sexual physical contact or intercourse, attempted sexual contact or intercourse, and more. It’s important to note that minors and children, by law, cannot consent to any sexual act, contact, or behaviors, which makes the scope of what constitutes a valid accusation much wider than it may be for adults.
Types of Child Sexual Abuse Crimes
Despite what many think, physical touch is not required in order for an action or behavior to constitute sexual abuse. In the South Carolina Children’s Law Center, sexual abuse crimes against children fall into two main categories: crimes that involve touching or attempted touching (physical contact) and crimes involving no physical touching (solicitation or involvement of media).
Crimes Involving Physical Contact
In South Carolina, there are two types of crimes that involve physical touch: penetration and non-penetration offenses. In South Carolina, the most serious offense in child sexual abuse crimes is Criminal Sexual Conduct (CSC) with a minor.
‘CSC’ is a term that encompasses when the perpetrator commits sexual battery (including multiple types of intercourse, mouth-to-genital contact, or any intrusion of any part of a minor’s body except for medically recognized treatment or diagnosis) on a child.
These crimes are divided into subcategories based on the age and relationship between the perpetrator and the survivor. For example, South Carolina recognizes child sex abuse crimes where the survivor was under the age of eleven as a First Degree CSC Type One, and sexual battery with a student as Second Degree CSC Type One.
Crimes Without Physical Contact
These crimes prohibit solicitation and child pornography. This can include coercing a minor to make, view, or distribute child pornography. The state of South Carolina recognizes the intricacies of these cases, making its definition of what constitutes solicitation quite broad. It can be an offense to:
- Communicate or attempt to communicate with a minor under the age of eighteen for the purpose of coercing or persuading them to engage in any sort of sexual activity
- Photograph or videotape minors engaging in sexual activity, particularly when it comes to real or simulated sexual activity
With such broad definitions of what constitutes child sexual abuse in South Carolina, it’s important to discuss your options with a mental health professional and legal representation to determine your options for next steps.
Seek Representation at Strom Law
At Strom Law, our team understands these sensitive cases should be handled with empathy and be survivor-focused. Surviving child sexual abuse can impact your life in ways that make it difficult to heal or meet your goals in life. If you are a survivor, you may be able to receive justice or financial compensation for any expenses you’ve incurred as a result of sexual abuse.
For more information, contact the law offices of Strom Law today.
- Cyr M, Bruneau G. False allegations of child sexual abuse. In: St-Yves M, Tanguay M, eds. The Psychology of Criminal Investigations: The Search for the Truth; 2008:199-228.