The sexual abuse and molestation scandal in USA Gymnastics has exposed disgusting behavior by coaches, doctors, and those involved in the sport at the highest level. You are here because:
- You don't know what to do to get justice
- You want to know how both criminal and civil actions can be brought against perpetrators
- You want to find closure for your family so you can move on and heal
We can guide you through the process, and we will work hard on your behalf to get justice.
As parents, we trust these organizations to keep our children safe.
"Thank you." My husband and I didn't know where to turn. Brian and his team were a godsend!
Organized youth sports and after-school activities go a long way towards building character in our children. These activities teach our kids the value of discipline, hard work, and teamwork. They also create bonding experiences with teammates and allow for the potential to make new friends.
Over 100 Former Gymnasts File Sex Abuse Lawsuit
For most kids, participation in these programs is a positive experience. However, this is unfortunately not always true. As is the case with many youth programs, there are predators who use their positions of authority as a means to commit heinous crimes of child molestation and abuse.
Recently, the world of USA Gymnastics has been rocked by a tragic sexual abuse scandal. Over 100 women have come forward and joined lawsuits against former USA Gymnastics physician Larry Nassar. Most of these women are former elite gymnasts who allege that Nassar sexually abused them during medical appointments.
The first allegations against Nassar surfaced when two gymnasts made public accusations in September. As is often the case with serial sexual abusers, the bravery these first two women showed by coming forward eventually inspired over 100 other women to speak about their own traumatic sexual abuse.
How Respect & Power Protects Dangerous Abusers
Nassar was viewed as a highly prestigious figure and was highly respected in the gymnastics community. Many sexual predators rely on this type of relationship, knowing that their victims will be confused and afraid to accuse a prominent and revered person of such an evil crime. Catholic priests, former Penn State football coach Jerry Sandusky, and Bill Cosby have all used similar manipulation tactics in their sex crimes.
How Can We Prevent This Type Of Abuse?
In any activity involving adults supervising children, it's extremely important to make sure that these adults are trustworthy. Background checks help to filter out sex offenders and individuals with criminal histories, but this is not always enough. Like Dr. Nassar, many sexual predators lead seemingly normal, healthy, and well-adjusted lives.
However, there are some steps we can take towards protecting our children from sex offenders who are hiding in plain sight:
- Talk with your kids about consent - This may seem like a tough topic, but it doesn't have to be. Simply let your kids know that it's never okay for someone else to touch them if they don't want to be touched, and vice versa. Encourage them to speak up and let you know if an adult ever speaks to them or touches them in a way that makes them feel uncomfortable.
- Stay involved in your child's life - We probably don't need to tell you this, but make sure to continuously show interest in your child's life. Talk to them about their days and their experiences. If your child is in an after-school program, get to know the adults who are supervising, coaching, and interacting with your child.
- Know the warning signs of abuse - Familiarize yourself with the common warning signs of child sexual abuse. If you notice red flags in your child or another child, do not hesitate to step in to help.
Many of the gymnasts who were abused by Dr. Nassar said that they were too confused and scared to speak out. This is why we must educate our children on this sensitive subject and encourage them to speak with a trusted adult when something feels wrong.
Never Too Late To Come Forward
If you were abused as a child and are now an adult, you deserve justice too. It's never too late to speak out. Your bravery could inspire other victims to come forward and protect future victims from similar experiences.
How Can Victims Secure Justice?
When claims of child sexual abuse surface, it's imperative to hold the predator responsible for their actions. The criminal justice system helps to punish these offenders and puts them away in prison so that they are unable to harm future victims.
A conviction can also help to provide some sense of closure for current and past victims. Reporting these crimes to law enforcement is a vital first step for individuals who come forward about abuse.
The Civil Justice System
Additionally, a civil lawsuit can help provide victims with the financial compensation they need. These crimes often cause deep-rooted psychological trauma which could require years of therapy. While criminal trials do seek justice for victims, prosecutors are usually more concerned with getting a conviction. On the other hand, civil lawyers represent the interests of people affected by sexual abuse.
In many cases of child sex abuse, the perpetrator of the acts is not the only one to blame. Far too often, the organizations which employ these individuals don't do enough to prevent the abuse. They may not have properly vetted someone before hiring them or may not take accusations seriously.
When this is the case, it's important to hold complicit groups and individuals liable for their negligence. A lawsuit can protect other families in the community from similar abuse, provide much-needed compensation for victims, and encourage other organizations to do more to combat this serious problem.