In recent years, disturbing reports of child sexual abuse have surfaced at private camps. Unfortunately, predators have been employed at such facilities and preyed on young kids. You are here because:
Our experienced child molestation law firm can help you through this difficult time. We have handled many cases in this area and can put our experience to work for you and your family.
For millions of American families, camp is a staple of summer. When school lets out, summer camps are meant to provide our kids with a fun, positive environment where they can learn new things and make new friends. Parents with full-time jobs rely on these camps to give our kids someplace to go during working hours.
Continue reading: YMCA Sex Abuse & Molestation: Legal Options For Survivors
Any parent knows how easy it is to worry when you're frequently away from your child. Whether they're going to a day camp at a local park or at an overnight summer camp, every parent wants to rest assured that the adults taking care of their kids are trustworthy people. Unfortunately, this is not always the case. In any position which involves working with kids, there is a risk of encountering sexual predators.
Well-run summer camps provide many benefits for both children and parents. However, jobs and volunteer positions with youth programs frequently attract sexual predators who intend to use their positions to hurt children.
In certain fields, such as teaching, there is a vigorous screening process. Many summer camps similarly screen applicants, but others may be more lackadaisical and allow potential predators to slip through.
In some states, there are legal loopholes which exempt summer camps from licenses or regulations that day cares are required to have. These states include:
Even licensed and regulated camps are not immune to the threat of sexual abuse. Many offenders may not have records if no victims have come forward. Additionally, abuse between young children and older children is not uncommon. Abuse can happen at any type of camp, even ones which are run by organizations you would expect to trust, such as the Boy Scouts or your family's church.
If you have reason to suspect that your child may have been abused at camp, you shouldn't hesitate to contact the police and a victim's rights lawyer to discuss what to do next.
Every parent should be aware of the common signs of child sexual abuse. These days, it seems like there's a major child sex abuse scandal in the headlines at least once every year. Nearly every case involves either an abusive family member or an authority figure who was trusted to take care of the victim. Common warning signs of abuse include:
It's important to remember that one of these symptoms in and of itself may not be cause for concern. But if you notice multiple warning signs, you should ask your child some questions and consider seeking professional help.
In addition to knowing the signs, parents should talk to their kids about the unfortunate realities of the world. Talk with them about the concept of private body parts, use the proper names for these parts, and let them know that it's never okay for someone else to touch them there, look there, or show their own private parts.
If someone ever does touch them inappropriately or makes them feel uncomfortable, they should report it to you or another trusted adult. Additionally, teach them that they should never feel obligated to touch or be touched by someone else, even in comparatively benign ways such as hugs or handshakes.
There is no way to prepare yourself for the shock of realizing your child has been sexually abused. Every parent is aware of how dangerous the world can be for our kids, but it's impossible not to be blindsided. If you're in this situation, it's extremely important to get the help you need as soon as possible.
There are many resources available for victims and their families. We recommend taking the following steps if you suspect abuse:
Prosecutors fulfill a necessary role by punishing the perpetrators of these vicious crimes. However, a victim's rights lawyer is necessary for many families. Especially in cases of organizational abuse, it's important to provide compensation for the various damages these families face. The emotional anguish experienced by both victims and their families can be just as serious as any physical injury.
Additionally, it's important to make an example out of negligent parties who haven't done enough to prevent the risk of abuse. This way, other youth organizations will take notice and do more to keep kids safe, which means fewer victims traumatized by sexual abuse. Filing a civil lawsuit isn't just seeking justice for your child - it's seeking justice for all children.