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Mandatory Reporters of Child Abuse and Neglect
Illinois Compiled Statutes Ch. 325, § 5/4 sets forth a long list of professionals required to report suspected child abuse and neglect (including sexual abuse) to authorities. These professionals include medical care professionals, school personnel, social workers, law enforcement officers, licensed counselors and therapists, day care personnel, members of the clergy, and film and photo processors.
Any other person who has reasonable cause to believe that a child is abused or neglected may also report.
Reports must be made immediately. Failure to report is a misdemeanor (and in some circumstances, a felony).
Sexual Abuse and Exploitation
Illinois Comp. Stat. Ch. 325, § 5/3 provides that an “abused child” includes a child whose parent, immediate family member, person responsible for the child’s welfare, individual residing in the same home as the child, or paramour of the child’s parent commits or allows to be committed any sex offense against the child.
Representing Victims of Sexual Abuse in Illinois
Child sexual abuse can be highly traumatic and leave victims with deep scars. At Estey Bomberger, we work with victims to help them become strong survivors. We work to hold those responsible accountable for their actions in court. When abuse happens inside an institution, whether it is a school, church, day care, or even a foster care agency, the institution or parent corporation may be responsible. We realize the limits of civil justice and that no amount of financial compensation can take away the pain of an event, or undo its effects. However, the civil justice system does allow survivors to seek closure, and provides financial resources for lifelong therapy and counseling.
Types of Sexual Abuse Cases We Handle
As attorneys, we provide our clients – survivors and family members – with legal guidance and advocacy. Our goal is always twofold: we want justice for our clients and we want to prevent future acts of abuse. Our team handles sexual abuse claims from a wide variety of settings, including:
- Foster care abuse: Government agencies have a responsibility to protect children. However, vulnerable children placed in group homes or with foster families are often failed by “the system”. Statistically, children in foster care are 7-8 times more likely to be abused, 3 times more likely to be put on psychotropic drugs, and 7 times more likely to develop an eating disorder. When children are abused in foster care settings, multiple institutions may be held accountable.
- Religious institution / clergy abuse: Church leaders and volunteers sometimes use their positions of power or respect to psychologically or spiritually manipulate young, vulnerable people. These predators are often given unquestioned access to children.
- Schools: From pre-school to high school, private and public institutions, as well as school districts, students may be taken advantage of or abused by teachers, aids, coaches, and administrative staff. We have handled abuse cases involving numerous schools, including public schools and private organizations.
We handle cases throughout the United States and in Illinois, including the cities of Chicago, Aurora, Rockford, Joliet, Naperville, Springfield, Peoria, Elgin and Waukegan. If you or a loved one has suffered from sexual abuse in an institutional setting, contact us today to discuss our rights and legal options. As part of our contingency fee agreement, we are only paid for our services if we recover compensation for you.