Over 40 million kids play organized sports. Three out of every four American families with school-aged kids have at least one of their children playing sports. Sexual abuse occurs in every sport including football, baseball, softball, basketball, soccer, swimming, volleyball, track and field and tennis.
Kids and their parents trust coaches to train, mentor and supervise their children. Coaches have very specific responsibilities and duties. The leagues and clubs also have duties and responsibilities. Little League, Pop Warner football, Junior Olympic Track and Field, Volleyball and Gymnastics, high school basketball, baseball and basketball and all other sporting events involve adults in close and often isolated proximity to children. Grooming and abuse can occur in school situations or unaffiliated athletic clubs.
How Abuse May Occur
Coaches and kids come into close contact and may be alone during practices, overnight trips, team-building events, traveling and award ceremonies. Because of these realities, administrators and coaches have a high duty of care. Child sexual predators often put themselves in these situations with the specific intent of grooming or abusing children. Red flags or warning signs like sharing hotel rooms with players, driving players home after practice, discouraging parents from attending practices or games are often missed or ignored. The results can be tragic.
Children are often reluctant to report abuse. Coaches instill a mentality in players of supporting the team at all costs. A victim may believe that reporting abuse may hurt other players on the team. Abusers may be especially skillful at telling their victims of the negative repercussions of reporting abuse.
Seeking Legal Representation
If your child has been abused by a coach or parent in Los Angeles or Pasadena, please call us or fill out our online form for a free consultation. Your child has rights. The abuser should be held accountable.