Youth Sports League Sex Abuse Attorney
One of every three girls and one of every six boys will be victims of sexual abuse by the time they are 18. Youth sports leagues such as soccer, baseball, and Pee Wee football all play an important role in children’s lives. Unfortunately one of the places that children are vulnerable and abused is in youth sports.
It is every parent’s nightmare that their child might be a victim of a sexual predator while participating in youth sports. Unfortunately sexual abuse of young players has occurred in youth sports leagues of all kinds, as well as with individual coaches in individual youth sports. Sexual predators, pedophiles, and child sex abusers love to lurk at sports practices, camps, and events looking for children to groom and opportunities to be alone with them. Many kids have the worst memories of their lives attributed to being sexually abused during athletic camps or while participating in youth sports leagues.
Youth sports often provide predators easy access to children in an environment where abuse could go undetected. Young athletes spend significant amounts of time with coaches or team volunteers on the playing field or traveling to tournaments or taking part in camps. And, unfortunately, rarely does this happen with close parental supervision.
Some signs of coach abuse may include:
- Special attention given to your child as opposed to other teammates
- Signs of separation of your child from you, the child’s friends, other athletes and other authority figures
- Gifts given exclusively to your child and not other members of the team
- Secretive meetings between your child and the coach
- Sudden hesitance to engage in after school activities or quitting of a team
- Sudden interest in sexual activity that is not appropriate for the child’s age
- Changes in academic performance, appetite, sleep habits or behavior such as aggression or depression
Many sports leagues now require that all adults involved in youth sports pass a background check. Performing background checks on all volunteers is a powerful tool for protecting each player in the league. This safety measure is so important it needs to be required in all youth sports leagues. Background checks are effective to the extent that most sexual predators are not willing to have their background checked. Unfortunately, background checks do not solve the entire problem. They do not show information about a person who has moved from state to state.
There are numerous steps a parent can take to protect their child from sexual predators. The most important step is to make sure your child is never alone with the coach. A two adult rule should be instituted. This is good because it protects the child. A child is vulnerable to sexual abuse by a coach because he or she inherently trusts the coach and may be unable and unwilling to accept an abuse of that trust. This also is good because it protects the coach. This protects the coach from accusation or innuendo that something could have gone wrong. These two steps are simple but powerful protection for all people involved.
Any act of child sexual abuse occurring within a youth sports league needs to be dealt with immediately. If your loved one is a victim of such abuse, contact your local police immediately. It is important to contact an experienced youth sports league sexual abuse attorney at The Law Offices of Eugene K. Hollander to discuss your legal rights. Our attorneys are well acquainted with the difficulties that a victim faces when they wish to complain of sexual abuse, and when necessary, can retain the appropriate experts to provide therapy. Call us today at 312-425-9100 for a free legal consultation.