Abuse, Neglect of Care, and Failure to Provide Reasonable Security


Somewhere in America, a woman is sexually assaulted every two minutes, according to the U.S. Department of Justice. One of every four rapes takes place in a public area or in a parking garage often as a result of inadequate security. A report of child abuse is made every ten seconds, and frequently occurs in settings where the child was entrusted to be cared for such as schools, daycare centers, recreation programs, and churches. Persons with developmental disabilities, including mental retardation, autism, cerebral palsy, and severe learning disabilities are eleven times more likely to suffer from sexual abuse.

Abuse and exploitation come in many forms. Frequently, these soul-robbing injuries could have been prevented by caretakers, property owners and businesses who failed to provide reasonable precautions against abuse and neglect. Lance Block has represented more than one hundred clients who have suffered from such unforgivable negligence.

The consequences of sexual and physical abuse for the victims can be devastating and, without intervention, can lead to long term psychiatric and addictive illnesses. Statistics reveal the following:

  • About 80% of adults that were abused as children met criteria for at least one psychological disorder.
  • 36% percent of women in prison in the United States were abused as children, and 14% of all men in prison were abused as children.
  • Children who experience child abuse & neglect are 59% more likely to be arrested as a juvenile, 28% more likely to be arrested as an adult, and 30% more likely to commit violent crime.
  • Over 60% of people in drug and alcohol rehabilitation centers report being abused or neglected as a child.
  • Children who have been sexually abused are 2.5 times more likely to abuse alcohol, and are 3.8 times more likely to develop substance abuse addictions.
  • Abused children are 25% more likely to experience teen pregnancy.
  • Without treatment, about 30% of abused and neglected children will later abuse their own children or someone else’s child, continuing the horrible cycle of abuse.

Conclusion: sexual and physical abuse requires intervention and treatment. However, one of the most startling aspects of abuse related crimes is how many go unreported and untreated. The most common reason given for not reporting these crimes is guilt and shame. Sadly, the vast majority of victims who do not report abuse do not seek treatment, either.

The reality is that victims who report such crimes to the authorities and bring civil actions against those who failed to protect them are more likely to be empowered by their decisions to seek justice, and far more able to afford the help they deserve.

In addition to representing more than one hundred clients who have been abused or neglected, as Chairman of the Governor’s Commission on Disabilities, Lance Block spearheaded legislation to strengthen legal protections against abuse and neglect of the developmentally disabled. Block wrote changes to Florida Statute 393.13, which were enacted during the 2010 Florida Legislative session. The new law broadens protections from abuse, neglect, and exploitation for persons with developmental disabilities who live and work in their communities.

Lance Block has a wealth of experience and a record of success representing clients who have suffered from abuse, neglect, and failure to reasonably protect the innocent.