New York Camp Sex Abuse Attorneys
If your child was sexually abused at camp, or you yourself were a victim of camp sexual abuse, you deserve compensation and justice from both the perpetrator and the institution that enabled their abuse. The New York camp sex abuse attorneys at Hach & Rose, LLP can help you pursue litigation against the people who harmed you. We understand that no amount of money can make up for the pain and trauma that accompanies abuse, but we believe it can provide a measure of justice and relieve the financial burden of mental health care costs, medical expenses, and other losses you have suffered.
Our attorneys are prepared to guide you through every step of the legal process and help you understand your rights. Contact us at (212) 779-0057 for a free consultation to find out how we can help.
What is Child Sex Abuse?
Child sex abuse occurs when an adult initiates sexual contact or interactions with a minor. Although physical sexual contact is often a component of sex abuse, it can happen even without physical touching. Anyone who is younger than 17 cannot legally consent to any sexual interaction in New York.
Common examples of child sex abuse include:
- Attempted rape
- Masturbating in the presence of a minor
- Indecent exposure to a minor
- Creating child pornography
- Forcing a minor to engage in sex acts
- Sex trafficking of minors
- Digital penetration
- Inappropriate touching
Many people have preconceived notions about the people who commit sexual abuse and the places it is likely to occur. Sadly, they are often mistaken. Sex abuse is a tragically universal problem that occurs in urban and rural areas, regardless of cultural background and socioeconomic status.
Child Abuse at Camp
Sadly, sex abuse is tragically common at summer camps. According to recent reporting by CBS News, more than 500 victims reported being sexually abused at camp over the past half-century, more than 20 in one recent year alone. However, because children often do not report sex abuse that happens at camp, the true number of victims could be much higher.
Some of the common red flags of camp sex abuse include:
- Difficulty sleeping
- Substance abuse
- Unwillingness to return to camp
- Suicidal ideation
- Reluctance to undress
- Avoidance behaviors
- Hostility and aggression
If you are a parent and your child displays any of the above warning signs upon their return from camp, consider having an open and honest discussion with them. If you discover that abuse has occurred, it is crucial to emphasize to your child that they did not cause the abuse and that you are proud of them for their honesty. Your child will need your love and support now more than ever.
Who is Liable for Camp Sex Abuse?
Camp sex abuse can be perpetrated by camp counselors, staffers, and peers. Counselors, staff, and others who sexually abuse minors can be held criminally and civilly responsible for their actions.
If you or your child was a victim of child sex abuse while at a camp, you might also be able to hold the camp responsible if the institution’s negligence led to the abuse. Examples of negligee could include failure to properly screen new hires, provide training on the issue of sexual abuse, or implement a reporting policy.
After reporting the incident, the police and the local district attorney will handle the criminal charges against the perpetrator. At the same time, you have the opportunity to bring a civil case against the individual and/or the camp. During a civil trial, a judge or jury may award you compensation for the losses that you or your child suffered due to the abuse.
Pursuing Compensation for Camp Sex Abuse
By pursuing a civil lawsuit against the parties who committed abuse against you or your child, you could obtain compensation for:
- Mental health expenses
- Medical bills
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional trauma
- Mental anguish
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
Survivors of child sex abuse may also be entitled to receive punitive damages. Punitive damages are designed to “punish” the abuser and deter future similar behavior rather than to compensate the plaintiff for any specific losses.
The Statute of Limitations for Camp Sex Abuse Claims
In the state of New York, victims of child sexual abuse committed before January 28, 2019 have five years from their 18th birthday in which to file a civil suit against the perpetrators of that abuse. Legislation enacted on that date extended the statute of limitations from the claimant’s 23rd birthday to their 55th birthday. However, this revised statute of limitations applies only to cases that had not already been time-barred under the previous statute.
The relevant statutes of limitations can be confusing, which is why it’s a good idea to discuss your case with an experienced attorney who can explain which one applies to you.
Contact a New York Child Sex Abuse Lawyer Today
If you or your child suffered sex abuse in a camp setting, contact the New York camp sex abuse lawyers at Hach & Rose, LLP today. We can help you demand compensation for the physical and psychological harm you or your child endured as a result of the abuse.
Camps have a responsibility to conduct thorough background checks on new hires, to properly supervise and monitor all staff members, and to investigate reports of sexual assault or harassment. If camp staff failed to protect you or your child from sex abuse, our experienced trial lawyers can help you hold the perpetrator and the institution accountable for their negligence.
Contact Hach & Rose, LLP at (212) 779-0057 to discuss your case and review your legal rights. Out compassionate lawyers have extensive experience working with and supporting survivors of sexual assault. We offer free, no-risk case evaluations to all potential clients, so there’s no cost to learning more about your options for pursuing justice.