Is Counseling or Therapy Required to Prove Emotional Damages Caused by the Molestation or Abuse of a Child?

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When a child is abused or neglected or molested, the case of claim can be pursued against the defendant and possibly others including but not limited to schools, day care centers, camps, sports organization others. One of the elements of a legal case or claim is that damages. This refers to the injuries past, present, and future that are related to the attack, abuse, or molestation. Often times, it is helpful for the child to receive counseling or therapy following a traumatic incident of being abused or molested. The need for counseling or therapy depends on a number of factors including the following:

the age of the child;
the recollection by the child of the events;
availability of the payment source for the counseling;
availability of health insurance;
willingness of the parents to have the child have counseling or therapy; and
willingness of the child to undergo counseling or therapy.

It should be noted that counseling or therapy is not required to prove emotional damages related to abuse the abuse or molestation emotional damages. Evidence or proof of emotional damages or harm can include the following:

Statements / testimony of family members;
Statements / testimony of friends of the child and family;
Statements / testimony of teachers, coaches, and other mentors of the child;
Statements / testimony of counselors / therapists;
School and educational records;
Counseling / therapy records;
Photographs and videos of the child before and after the time frame of the incident;
Other evidence.

While counselors and therapists can help put a diagnosis to the emotional damages caused by the abuse, molestation or attack, counseling and therapy are not required in order to prove past, present, or future damages. In some instances, the horrors and offensiveness of the acts of abuse and molestation may speak for themselves as to the expected effect on the child. In other instances, it may be necessary from a practical standpoint to have a therapist or counselor explain how the incidents had and continue to have a traumatic effect on the child.