Nothing is more important than the safety of children.
Child abuse and neglect can occur through coercion or exploitation by a biological parent, foster parent, caregiver, day care worker, teacher, counselor, doctor, therapist, or even another child. Oftentimes the abuse is caused by persons in positions of trust.
In instances of abuse by those who work for organizations, such as a school, church, or daycare, the organization can be held liable in certain circumstances such as being aware of the abuse and taking no action, failing to conduct a background check or failing to adequately supervise.
In some instances, the Oregon Department of Human Services (DHS) through its child protective services workers or foster parents fail to protect a foster child or other children in their care from child abuse or sex abuse. There also may be a failure to report or investigate child abuse while in foster care.
The law cannot undo all of the effects of sex abuse. Victims may, however, be able to take control by exercising their legal rights. In the case of a minor child or minor children, the most important step is to remove the child from further risk of abuse or molestation.
A victim may have a secondary goal of obtaining compensation from the abuser or those who allowed the abuser to cause harm. Compensation can be used to obtain counseling to begin to heal the psychological injuries caused by sex abuse. A victim may also seek punitive damages to punish the wrongdoer and deter others from sex abuse.