Santa Clara Youth Organization Sexual Assault & Abuse Lawyers
Pursuing justice for childhood victims of sexual assault and abuse in the Bay Area
Sending your child off to the Boys & Girls Clubs, or even a youth summer camp should be exciting for both you and your child. You each get a little freedom and your child gets an opportunity to have new experiences. Some of the experiences your child may have are not the kind you ever wanted him or her to relive for the rest of time, but sexual assault in youth organizations has become a burgeoning problem.
Once an allegation comes to the surface – sometimes decades later – the flood gates tend to eventually open and you discover that your child may have been a victim of an organization slated with the responsibility of protecting your him or her while in their care. The childhood sexual abuse lawyers of Taylor & Ring understand how difficult it can be to bring your child’s abuser to justice and will be there every step of the way. We fight for survivors in San Jose, Santa Clara, and across the state.
Organizations with histories of sexual abuse and assault
Boy Scouts: The organization is claimed to have hidden hundreds of reports of sexual abuse by children during the 1970s that have started to surface through a Pennsylvania lawsuit. Abuse allegations have come to light in many other states dating back decades.
Girl Scouts: In 1997 a male counselor was sentenced to 15 years after molesting girls during a Girl Scouts trip to Walt Disney World. The counselor was a former school bus driver and substitute teacher earlier in the 1990s who was not rehired out of concerns that he seemed too close to the female students.
Boys & Girls Clubs of America: As of August 2019, Hearst Connecticut Media located 250 victims across the country who had been sexually molested by staff, volunteers, and other children at the clubs they participated in as children.
Swimming USA: The organization, which has over 400,000 members nation-wide, provides opportunities for children up through adults who want to compete in the sport at every level from local swim teams up through becoming a member of the Olympic team. The organization has a sordid history of children athletes experiencing abuse by coaches and suit was filed by a victim in Stockton, California for allegations as recent as 2017 involving an 8th grade child. Today, the organization has a list of at least 150 permanently banned coaches – most for sexual misconduct.
Who perpetrates the sexual abuse?
How are you, or your child supposed to recover from a sexual assault? As their parent you may feel as though you have failed them, and you hold onto that guilt because you think somehow you should have known what was happening. Your child has to cope with the anger, shame, and guilt of feeling like he or she is to blame, when the reality is that the only parties at fault are the perpetrator and the organization that placed him or her on a collision course with your child.
The individuals who abuse children in youth organizations are sometimes surprising. You might jump to the conclusion that typically, camp counselors are the abusers since they are in constant contact with your child. Sometimes that is the case, but other times it is the person you thought you could trust the most.
A former Boys & Girls Club official in Sonoma Valley was recently sentenced to 150 years to life in prison for abusing underage boys at his home. While the abuse did not take place at the club, the organization served as a hunting ground for the athletic director to choose his victims.
Types of abuse that have occurred at Bay Area youth organizations
Unfortunately, there are many instances of sexual abuse and assault in these organizations, having occurred with both boys and girls alike.
- Fondling: This is the inappropriate touching of a child in a sexual manner.
- Rape: any penetration of any body part with a sexual organ, and/or the invasion of the genital or anal opening of a child with any object or body part.
- Sexual exploitation: The sexual abuse of a child through exchanging sex or sexual acts for drugs, food, shelter, protection, other necessities of life, or money.
- Sexual assault: Sexual activity with a child that may be committed by other means than force or violence, and does not necessarily involve penetration.
- Child pornography: Any visual depiction of sexually explicit conduct involving a minor. This category includes what has become known as “sexting,” which is the sending of inappropriate images via text message when they involve children.
Prevention of sexual abuse and assault in Santa Clara is paramount
While you can provide the proper training tools to help prevent sexual abuse and assault, it is not a fool-proof method for stopping the behavior. Nobody can predict what someone’s intentions are regardless of how much training he or she is provided. The responsibility still falls onto these organizations to monitor their employees and volunteers to ensure your children don’t come to any avoidable harm.
If you have been abused as a child, the first step to preventing it from continuing to happen to you or anyone else, is to report it to an adult whom you feel safe disclosing your abuse to. If you are an adult who was abused as a child, you should report the crime to law enforcement.
Anyone who has been sexually abused or assaulted as a child should seek counseling and understand that you are not to blame for what happened to you.
In Santa Clara and San Josem there are resources to help you through your ordeal whether you are a child or an adult living with childhood assault.
To file a report:
- Contact the Santa Clara Police Department Investigations Division at (408) 615-4700. They are located at 601 El Camino Real, Santa Clara, CA 95050.
- Contact the San Jose Police Department Sexual Assaults Investigation Unit at (408) 277-4102. They are located at 201 W. Mission Street, San Jose, CA 95110.
- YWCA of Silicon Valley offers a 24 hour support hotline for victims of sexual assault.
- Bill Wilson Center provides a safe haven for abused children and counseling services.
- Silicon Valley Faces is an organization that provides support to victims and witness of violence.
- Santa Clara County Public Health offers numerous other avenues for help and support for victims and their families.
Making the protection and healing of Bay Area children our number one priority
Children who attend youth organizations and organized activities expect to spend their time making new friends and having fun in a safe environment. Parents expect their children to be watched by adults and teenagers in a professional manner designed to protect them. Taylor & Ring understands the importance of beginning the long process of healing, which starts with seeking justice for yourself. Speak to our sexual assault lawyers serving San Jose and Santa Clara today at 310-776-6390 or complete our contact form to schedule a consultation.