Allegations of child sexual abuse have rocked many sports organizations across the United States, including some here in California. Youth sports should be a safe haven for children, not places for predators to sexually abuse victims. At Walkup, Melodia, Kelly & Schoenberger, our California sexual abuse attorneys are here to help if you or a loved one have been sexually abused while participating in youth sports.
Youth Sports Sexual Abuse Is Abhorrent
Sexual abuse of kids and teenagers in youth sports happens all the time. Nationally, news has centered on USA Gymnastics and USA Swimming, as well as sexual abuse within the YMCA. However, abuse allegations have also centered on the American Youth Soccer Organization (AYSO) and the Amateur Athletic Association (AAU).
Sexual abuse within youth sports organizations is often perpetrated by coaches, physical trainers, athletic trainers, and volunteers. A youth sports organization allows perpetrators of child sexual abuse to groom their victims over longer periods of time. According to the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN), approximately one out of every 10 people under the age of 18 will become the victims of sexual abuse. Approximately 90% of children who are victims of sexual abuse know the perpetrators of their abuse. In many cases, this abuse is perpetrated by a coach or sports mentor.
How Will AB 218 help victims?
As of January 1, 2020, victims of child sexual abuse in California now have expanded options to seek justice from the perpetrators of their abuse. Assembly Bill 218 allows victims of child sexual abuse until the age of 40 or up to five years after they discover the adult psychological injury caused by the abuse to file civil lawsuits against the perpetrators as well as anybody who covered up the abuse.
AB 218 also allows for victims of child sexual abuse to pursue “treble damages” against any organization that covered up the abuse, expanding their ability to recover compensation. Anyone who was previously barred from filing a sexual abuse lawsuit due to time limitations now has three years to do so.
Why Do You Need an Attorney to Help?
It is vital that victims of child sexual abuse seek help from an attorney with vast experience handling these types of cases. A skilled attorney will have the resources and legal experience necessary to properly investigate every aspect of your claim. This will include gathering all evidence necessary to prove that sexual abuse took place as well as working to uncover instances of sexual abuse cover-ups by the youth sports organization.
An attorney will also work to ensure sexual abuse victims receive the counseling they need to properly process what happened to them. Above all else, a child sexual abuse attorney will diligently negotiate with all parties involved to ensure that the victim receives the compensation they are entitled to.
Let Us Get to Work Immediately
If you or somebody you love has been the victim of child sexual abuse while participating in a youth sports organization in California, contact a skilled attorney immediately. The team at Walkup, Melodia, Kelly & Schoenberger has vast experience helping victims with these cases, and we want to ensure that you secure the compensation you are entitled to. This can include compensation for pain and suffering, any counseling that is necessary, as well as punitive damages against those who perpetrated or covered up the abuse. Call us today at (415) 981-7210 or send us a message online for a free consultation of your case.