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Sexual abuse victims can suffer psychological exploitation, too

Trust and power.

We centrally note those linked terms on a page of our victims' rights website devoted to child sexual abuse victims at the California Law Offices of Joseph C. George, Ph.D.

From our vantage point of providing diligent and compassionate legal representation to abuse victims from multiple law offices across the state, we sadly make this point regarding the above-connected words: Young people often and understandably give their trust freely and without reservations to criminally motivated adult figures they respect and often even love.

In return, those people -- often teachers, religious mentors, coaches, counselors and others who are looked up to -- make a mockery of that trust by committing horrific sexual acts.

Tellingly, stories also sometimes emerge that spotlight sexual wrongdoing committed by those who are perhaps trusted the most of all, namely, mental health care practitioners that victims completely depend upon in the wake of abuse they have suffered.

When such professionals (psychiatrists, psychologists and others) abuse a victim's trust, help that is desperately needed is denied in lieu of additionally inflicted harm.

Again, that harm can be grounded in further sexual contact that is wholly inappropriate. Additionally, though, it can owe to psychological scarring caused by manipulative and bad-faith treatment methods and other causes.

As we necessarily note on our website, sex abuse victims -- children, of course, but also those of every age -- are never at fault to any degree when taken advantage of by a sexual predator.

In the wake of such conduct, the proper focus for a victim should be on empowerment, ensuring accountability for a wrongdoer and moving ahead in life with resolve and real hope.

That can be done. We stress to individuals suffering from sexual abuse that "you have the power to do something about it and reclaim your life."

Our law firm proudly plays a role in helping victims achieve that goal.

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