Children should be promised safety and security when joining a youth organization or mentoring program. This includes protection from any potential harm caused by an adult, leadership figure, another member, or another individual somehow involved within the organization.
Youth clubs and programs have a duty to take preventative measures against sexual predators by ensuring they conduct proper background checks and screenings of all adults that are expected to interact with the children in these organizations.
These organizations are intended to be resources for children, giving them the opportunity to develop and get involved in their community. However, sexual predators are well aware of this and will use their positions as a guise to take advantage of children.
These youth organizations and programs can include:
- Group and Foster Homes
When a lack of proper screening takes place, children can face abusive or predatory adults in group and foster homes. Caretakers are entrusted with precious lives, yet some sexual predators may use their authority and the child’s vulnerable position to take advantage of them.
- Big Brothers/Big Sisters Programs
These youth-serving organizations generally allow for mentorship between a child and adult to occur on a one-to-one basis. Unfortunately, this has led to an increased risk of children facing sexual abuse. For decades, Big Brothers and Big Sisters were not adequately screened.
- Boy/Girl Scouts
An LA Times report and database revealed that nearly 5,000 men (and several women) had been expelled from the Boys Scouts of America between 1947 and January 2005 on suspicion of sexual abuse. The numbers are likely to be higher, as often, children do not report their abuse until years – or even decades – after the incident take place.
Other organizations can include school-related or religious-related organizations.
Sexual abuse can be carried out in any number of places including where the youth organization activities were carried out, in the home of the abuser, during social events away from the child’s home, or other sites.
Because allegations are not adequately investigated by these organizations in order to protect their image, you may need to seek legal support from the qualified attorneys at Hach & Rose, LLP. We will work aggressively to bring these charges to light, to prevent future incidents from occurring, and to hold all parties accountable.
Contact us today at (646) 685-8045 for a FREE case evaluation.
Sexual abuse among young people in sports is often perpetrated by men who are usually the coach. The frequent interactions with the child, their status within the community, and their reputation with parents often mean these individuals are able to take advantage of this trust and sexually abuse their victim.
Research has shown that survivors of sexual abuse in youth sports often are dealing with low self-esteem, strained relationships with their parents, and eating disorders, while also being high-performance athletes.
The following are common sports teams where abuse occurs:
- Little League basketball and football
- Volleyball and basketball leagues
- Dance studios
- Gymnastics clubs
- Swim clubs
- High school sports leagues
It is important to note that sexual abuse can happen across all sports and at all levels of competition. From youth sports to the university setting (and even at the Olympic level), sexual abuse is a very real issue that athletes face.
If a child faces sexual assault, rape or violence in a youth organization or youth sports league, they can suffer lifelong physical, emotional, and psychological trauma. It can be very difficult for children to speak out against their abuse out of fear of repercussions, being silenced, or being too young to fully understand the gravity of their situation.
The lifelong effects of sexual abuse on young athletes are generally similar to those suffered by other individuals of sexual abuse, including but not limited to:
- Psychological issues (i.e. depression)
- Self-destructive behavior
- Impact on relationships with family and friends
- Lowered self-esteem
- Alcohol and drug use
- Eating and slipping disorders
- Decline in interest and performance
If your child discloses to you that they have been the victim of sexual abuse, reassure and support them. Then make sure to call the authorities and seek professional help for your loved one immediately.
“Stan was the perfect attorney to walk beside me on my journey to find justice. Having him beside me, I found the strength to do the impossible, and in the end we were successful.” – Amy, AVVO
Those that witness any signs of sexual wrongdoings in youth sports leagues, clubs, or organizations, should immediately report it to the authorities. Parents or guardians of child victims should take legal action.
Victims of child sexual abuse and their families can pursue a criminal lawsuit against the perpetrator. Third-parties can also be held liable if covering the tracks of abuse or if they failed to offer the proper protection to the victim.
No child should face such traumatic exploitation of their mind and body. Our sexual abuse attorneys work diligently to prevent future crimes amongst youth organizations and youth sports leagues.