Sexual Abuse in Youth Sports Leagues

Sexual Abuse in Youth Sports Leagues

Abuse in Youth Sports Takes Many Different Forms.

However, the pain of emotional or physical injury is no less real. You do not have to face this battle alone. We are tireless legal advocates for victims of rape and sexual assault in the civil justice system.

Today, sexual abuse spans the gamut of youth and teen sports, from football to gymnastics to wrestling, we’ve all paid witness to several well-known (and loved) coaches face life-altering allegations of molestation.

As we’ve chronicled in other areas on this site, children are taught to trust adults, allowing predators to prey upon these young persons. Sexual abuse can happen to both individual and team athletes.

The term child sexual abuse includes a gamut of improper behaviors, including unwanted, groomed, or forced involvement in sexual activities; additionally, threats and intimidations are part and parcel for this type of this crime.

Grooming the Child Athlete

Especially egregious is “grooming”, a process where predators will target, abuse, and silence their victims.

Targeting vulnerable victims, an abuser will strike up a close friendship that tests the athlete who can “keep a secret.” Trust is gained thru gift giving and the building of a bond. Sometimes an abuser will “bargain” with a victim, you need to do this because I did that.

Next, the predator will isolate, control, and build loyalty with the victim. After isolating the athlete, often thru the demeaning of loved ones, an abuser will initiate sexual abuse. The abuser will use threats and guilt, suggest the abuser won’t be believed, and in the case of organized sports, the predator will frequently threaten their victims with being dropped from the team or not being able to compete.

Detecting Sexual Abuse in Child Athletes

As there are no conclusive predator profiles and few accurate behavior indicators, sexual abuse can be tough to detect. If you are concerned your child athlete has been subjected to abuse, pay attention to:

  • Displaying adult-like sexual behaviors, language, and knowledge.
  • Frequent nightmares or inability to sleep
  • Loss of appetite or refusal to eat
  • Dramatic mood swings Periods of intense rage, anxiety, anger, fear, or withdrawal

Our experienced attorneys are ready to help if you think you have a claim. Please contact us for a free consultation to explore your options.

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