Pennsylvania Child Care Sexual Abuse Lawyers
Babysitters, summer camps, daycare centers, and other child care providers are supposed to keep children safe. Unfortunately, despite background checks, strict child protection policies, and supervision, child sex abuse can occur in child care settings. Often, these cases happen because the child care provider cut corners or ignored signs of abuse. If you or a loved one has suffered child care sexual abuse, Cordisco & Saile LLC can help. Our compassionate and tenacious Pennsylvania child care abuse lawyers can help you seek justice and financial compensation.
Child care providers such as foster homes, babysitters, daycare centers, and summer camps are legally obligated to protect children from sexual predators. Therefore, most child care providers have background checks, supervision, and child protection policies. Unfortunately, some abusers slip through the cracks, putting children at risk. In 2021 alone, 1,588 instances of suspected child abuse were reported in child care settings. Eight percent of these cases—134—were substantiated.
If you or a loved one has suffered child care sexual abuse, Cordisco & Saile LLC’s Pennsylvania personal injury and child sex abuse lawyers are here for you. Our experienced child sex abuse attorneys can help you file lawsuits to hold child care providers responsible for their crimes.
What Constitutes Child Care Sexual Abuse?
Child care sexual abuse is child sexual abuse that happens at a child care facility or provider, such as a daycare center or summer camp. The National Child Traumatic Stress Network defines child sexual abuse as any interaction between an adult and a child or between two children in which the child is being used to sexually stimulate the perpetrator or an observer. It can include the following:
- Touching behaviors, such as groping and intercourse
- Non-touching behaviors, such as voyeurism
- Exposing the child to pornography
Signs of Child Care Sexual Abuse
Children victimized by sexual abuse often display various emotional and behavioral reactions, including:
- Changes in behavior: Victims of child sexual assault may become withdrawn, shy, depressed, and show signs of guilt or shame for small misdeeds. Conversely, they may become aggressive and verbally and physically attack others.
- Unexplained fears: Victims may exhibit excessive crying, anger, clinginess, and fear of being dropped off at summer camp or daycare may be signs of abuse.
- An increase in sleeping problems, such as nightmares: These children may experience difficulties sleeping at night due to insomnia or nightmares.
- Not wanting to be left alone with a certain individual: Child victims of sexual abuse may be particularly adverse to spending time with certain individuals who participated in or observed their abuse, such as summer camp counselors or babysitters.
- Sexual behaviors, language, or knowledge inappropriate for the child’s age: Young children may suddenly display age-inappropriate knowledge and interest in sexual behaviors. This is because the abuser exposed them to sexual behaviors.
- Talking about parts of their body negatively: Young children who have been sexually abused may not fully understand what has happened to them. As such, they may describe parts of their body—usually sexual organs—as “hurt” or “dirty.”
- Enacting certain aspects of the experience: Young children may act out aspects of the experience, such as running away from a “bad man.”
- Substance abuse and high-risk behavior: Teens who have been sexually abused may engage in drug and alcohol abuse and other high-risk behaviors, such as promiscuity.
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Common Places Where Child Care Sex Abuse Happens
Child care sex abuse can happen in a range of places, including:
- Day care: Also known as child care, day care provides care and supervision of preschool-aged children. Day care employees and other children may sexually abuse children.
- Summer camp: Summer camps should be safe for children to enjoy. Unfortunately, children are sometimes sexually abused by staff, other children, and volunteers.
- Foster homes: Foster care is designed to protect children removed from homes due to neglect or abuse. Sadly, some foster parents sexually abuse or enable the sexual abuse of children in their care.
- Babysitting services: Babysitters are supposed to look after children on behalf of busy parents, but some use their position to sexually abuse children or enable their abuse.
Sex abuse happens too often in child care settings because providers fail to conduct proper background checks, supervise staff adequately, and implement sufficient child protection policies. Frequently, these failures result from cost-cutting measures. In addition, they may shrug off reports or ignore signs of abuse.
How Do I File a Civil Lawsuit for Child Care Sex Abuse in Pennsylvania?
You can file a child care sex abuse civil lawsuit by contacting the right Pennsylvania child sex abuse lawyer. They will assess your case, determine your eligibility for filing a child care sex abuse lawsuit, and discuss your legal options. If you are eligible to file suit, your lawyer will do the following:
- Build a strong case: Your lawyer will work to build a strong case proving the sexual abuse happened. They will investigate and gather relevant evidence to build your case. Relevant evidence may include day care reports, child care staff training and licensing policies and procedures, receipts, medical records, foster care records, babysitter recordings, and other documentation for establishing harm and liability. Your attorney will also ensure that you understand your rights as a victim.
- File your paperwork as soon as possible: Pennsylvania requires child sexual abuse victims to file a lawsuit within 37 years of the date the victim turns 18. Thus, a victim of child sex abuse has until their 55th birthday to file suit. If you miss this deadline—known as a statute of limitations—you will lose the opportunity to file a lawsuit for child care sex abuse. Although the statute of limitations is lengthy, you should file your paperwork immediately. The longer you wait, the harder it can be to prove your case. Witnesses’ memory may become cloudy, and evidence bolstering your suit can disappear. A trusted Pennsylvania child care sex abuse lawyer can help you file your paperwork as soon as possible.
- Consult with third-party experts: Your lawyer may also consult third-party expert witnesses, such as medical professionals and social workers, to determine how much harm you suffered due to the child care sex abuse.
- Negotiate with opposing parties: Child care sex abuse can cause long-lasting trauma, such as depression and post-traumatic stress disorder. It can also cause problematic behaviors, such as anxiety, depression, suicidal behavior, and substance abuse, leading to the loss of educational and career opportunities. Your lawyer can negotiate with the opposition to secure maximum compensation for these losses.
- Represent you at trial: If the opposition refuses to pay the compensation you’re entitled to, your lawyer can try your case. Your attorney will use their extensive trial experience to give you and your family the justice and financial compensation you deserve.
Why Hire a Child Care Sexual Abuse Lawyer with Cordisco & Saile LLC?
Parents entrust child care services, such as daycare centers and summer camps, with the care and safety of their children. Despite stringent background checks and safety regulations, sexual predators can slip through the cracks, especially when child care providers cut corners or ignore signs of abuse.
If you or a loved one suffered child care sexual abuse, Cordisco & Saile LLC’s empathetic Pennsylvania child sex abuse lawyers are here to help. We have the resources, expertise, and knowledge to seek justice and hold child care services responsible for their actions. Our award-winning team of Pennsylvania personal injury lawyers has an impressive track record and thousands of satisfied clients across Bucks County, the Lehigh Valley, Montgomery County, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and beyond.
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