Many parents are forced to hire babysitters because they are not able to provide full-time care to their children while also working to support them. As a result, a parent may leave their child with a babysitter they believed they could trust. Unfortunately, some babysitters may use their position to hide their true intentions to sexually abuse a child. If your child was a victim of molestation, contact an experienced Florida attorney for victims of molestation by babysitters.
At Sullivan & Galleshaw, LLP, we understand the trauma that a child can experience due to sexual abuse, and we are here for you and your family. To schedule a free legal consultation, contact Sullivan & Galleshaw, LLP at (305) 694-2676. You may also use our short submission form to contact us online.
Types of Child Molestation in Florida
The molestation of a child occurs when an offender coerces or forces a child to engage in some type of physical activity. For example, fondling the genitals of a child or an offender forcing a child to touch their private parts is considered child molestation. Other forms of child molestation include:
- Intercourse with a child (e.g., vaginal, anal, oral)
- Masturbation in front of a minor or forcing a minor to masturbate
- Recording a child performing sexual acts
- Forcing a child to consume pornographic material
It is important to note that it is irrelevant whether a child gave consent to another person for a sexual act as the law states that children cannot consent to a sexual act. Under Florida law, minors under the age of 16 and the age of 12 are protected by laws against child molestation. While it is true that many cases of child molestation are carried out by an adult, it is possible for a child to be molested by another minor.
Warning Signs of Child Molestation
If you believe that your babysitter sexually abused your child, you should be aware of the warning signs that may indicate a child is being abused. For example, if a child has unexplained bruises or they complain of burning or itching in their genital area, this could be a sign they were molested. Other warning signs of sexual abuse include:
- Pulling away from physical contact
- Showing signs of depression or PTSD
- Speaking about sexual knowledge, they should not possess
- Communicating suicidal thoughts
- Exhibiting a sudden urge to protect younger siblings
This is not an exhaustive list. There are many signs and symptoms that a parent may notice to help determine whether their child was sexually abused. To learn more about filing a lawsuit against a babysitter that abused your child, continue reading and speak with an experienced Florida sexual assault lawyer today.
When to File a Molestation Claim Against a Baby Sitter in Florida
If your child’s babysitter forced them to engage in sexual acts, you should not only pursue a civil claim against the babysitter, but you should also pursue criminal charges.
Litigating a sexual abuse claim can be difficult because it requires the victim to relive all the vile acts that were committed against them. As a result, many victims of sexual abuse may avoid confronting their abusers or may even repress memories of the abuse entirely. In some cases, a victim of molestation may not even be aware that they were sexually abused likely because it was done by a person the child trusted.
Fortunately, Florida acknowledges the hurdles faced by victims of abuse and have adopted a statute of limitations that is not too stringent on sexual abuse claims. The statute of limitations determines the amount of time that a plaintiff has to file a lawsuit against a defendant. If a defendant does not file their case within the time limit, there is a possibility that the court may bar their claim.
In Florida, the statute of limitations for sexual abuse civil claims can vary depending on the circumstances of the case. For example, if a victim was molested as a child, they have seven years after they reach the age of 18 to file their lawsuit.
Another possibility is that a victim was being abused by a person they were dependent on. Under Florida law, a victim would have four years from the date they left the dependency of the abuser to file a claim.
In cases where a victim repressed memories of the abuse, the victim will have four years from the time they discovered the injury and the cause of the injury.
Finally, if an offender commits a sexual battery of a child that is under the age of 16, there is no statute of limitations for the claim.
If you are concerned about how the statute of limitations may affect your case, you should speak with an experienced attorney as soon as possible. We are here to help you stand against your abuser or an individual that abused your child.
Contact Our Experienced Florida Lawyer for Victims of Molestation by Baby Sitters
If your child was molested by a babysitter that was in charge of their care, consult with an experienced Florida child molestation injury attorney. At Sullivan & Galleshaw, LLP, our legal team possesses decades of combined legal experience, and we would be honored to help you fight against a molester that harmed your child. To schedule a free case evaluation to discuss your claim, contact Sullivan & Galleshaw, LLP at (305) 694-2676.