Recent years have seen a huge increase in the number of children participating in extracurricular sporting activities. Whether the draw is rec league basketball, club volleyball, travel baseball, competitive dance squads, etc., the industry is booming. Leagues and teams form through schools, community centers, national organizations, and a variety of other sources. The youth in America are engaged in more and more activities where they are coached and mentored by a wide variety of adult figures. Any organization where children are present will draw a host of dedicated mentors with children’s best interests in mind, and sadly, these organizations will also draw a handful of perpetrators with their own deviant agendas.
Most reputable sporting clubs, teams, and camps have guidelines in place for dealing with suspected or known occurrences of sexual abuse. The need to have such protocols speaks to the fact that a problem exists. One of the main goals of participating in sports is to build a sense of trust and community, or team spirit. Players and coaches spend countless hours, evenings, and weekends perfecting skills, participating in games/competitions, and traveling to various events (sometimes involving overnight stays). When individuals take advantage of the relationships that are formed from so much interaction, an unsuspecting child can fall victim to the life-altering effects of sexual abuse. At The Fitch Law Firm our compassionate and experienced team is prepared to work with the victims and their families in holding these perpetrators accountable for their actions.
Breaking the Silence
When children of any age are involved in sporting leagues and programs, they want to be successful and receive positive accolades. Coaches see players at their best and at their worst and know how to influence and motivate them to achieve optimal performance levels. Sexual abusers use this knowledge and influence to prey on their innocent charges. The guilt, shame, and self-blame that victims often experience play major roles in keeping some abused players silent. When these complex emotions are coupled with a fear of letting down teammates and/or a misguided perception of betraying a respected member of the community, too many victims suffer silently and alone. It is time for these perpetrators who are falsely viewed as pillars of the community to fall.
While nothing can restore the innocence and sense of security that is lost when a child falls victim to sexual abuse, contacting The Fitch Law Firm can be the first step in the healing process and seeking any compensations that may be available. Many adults will identify a coach or mentor from their youth as the person who had the biggest impact and influence on their lives. When that impact is a negative one due to sexual abuse, the effects can be interminable and devastating. A once loved sport or activity becomes a reminder of a heinous victimization. Being sexually abused by a trusted figure within a sporting organization steals a child’s innocence and interests. The perpetrators of these crimes against children must be held accountable.
If you or a loved one were sexually abused by a coach, mentor, or volunteer from a sports team, club, or camp, contact The Fitch Law Firm toll-free at (855) 529-6446 for a free consultation, and let our team lead you on the path toward restitution and justice.