Preventing Sexual Abuse of Children in Youth Sports

Many people have never considered the possibility of sexual abuse of children in youth sports. However, when the story of Lawrence Gerard Nassar, a former doctor for USA Gymnastics, swept across the nation, it shined some light on this very real issue. According to Childhelp® Speak Up Be Safe studies, between 2-8% of minor athletes report experiencing some form of sexual abuse in sports. As parents, it is natural to want your child to be safe at all times. For this reason, it is important to know what you can do to decrease the risk of your child being victimized.

Steps To Take To Protect Your Children

There are several things you can do to help protect your child from the possibility of sexual abuse.

Ask About Background Checks

Prior to signing your child up with the team, find out if the club requires background checks on the coaches. Find out if their references were checked or if there is ongoing monitoring or evaluations performed.

Ask About Certifications and Associations

Find out if the coaches are certified or if they are active members of any coaching association that maintains a code of ethics. This can help determine if they are trustworthy or have a strong history of coaching.

Maintain Open Communication

You should maintain an open line of communication with the coach. If any issues arise, you should be able to communicate with the coach. It is important to speak out if things are concerning.

Teach Your Child To Say No

Telling your child to always do everything the coach says, no matter what, can put them at risk of danger. It is important for your children to understand that they can set personal boundaries. They should feel comfortable telling their coaches no if they do something that makes them uncomfortable.

Recognizing Possible Signs of Abuse

Children who are being sexually abused, whether by coaches, teammates, or other parties involved in their sporting events, may exhibit various signs. These include:

  • Sudden changes in their mood, including developing depression or anxiety
  • Changes in their eating habits
  • A sudden loss of interest in sports
  • Missing practices
  • Unexplained injuries or physical illness
  • Being withdrawn from family and friends
  • A decline in academic performance

If your child is displaying these symptoms,, it can be challenging to know where to turn. However, it is important to talk to your child to find out what is going on. If there is sexual abuse taking place, you should consult with a sexual abuse lawyer right away.

Contact Our Irvine, CA Sexual Abuse Lawyers Now

Learning that your child has suffered sexual abuse can be extremely frightening and upsetting. However, with the right legal guidance, you can achieve justice. As one of the nation’s top attorneys for personal injury litigation, Tom Cifarelli at the Cifarelli Law Firm can help guide you through the legal process.

Our legal team focuses extensively on taking action against individuals, especially adults who are in positions of authority, who sexually abuse children. As legal advocates with extensive experience in child abuse litigation, the Cifarelli Law Firm’s legal team has your back. To schedule a consultation at our Irvine, CA, office, contact the Cifarelli Law Firm by calling 949-502-8600.

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