Many parents turn to their local YMCA to provide afterschool care for their children. From swimming to getting homework assistance, many children—from all ages and all walks of life—are at the YMCA to be watched, stay out of trouble, and stay safe. Unfortunately, some kids have been harmed at the very place that was supposed to provide them with safety and security.
While no one likes to talk about sexual abuse of children and the predators who hurt our children, it is important to get the message out there that children—including those very young to teenagers—are often the target of physical and sexual abuse. Sadly, innocent kids are all too often physically and sexually abused by older children or adults. These horrific acts can take place at any location, including the YMCA.
Although the YMCA promotes Darkness to Light, a sexual abuse awareness training program, that shines a light on child sexual abuse and attempts to keep children safe, abuse at some YMCA facilities has continued to occur. Some of the abuse that takes place includes:
- Kids beaten up by older children or gangs
- Children sexually abused by older children or adults
- Kids witnessing sexual abuse of other children
Because nothing is more important than keeping our children safe and out of danger, it is important that adults and parents of young children take action when child abuse is suspected. Knowing what to do can include:
- Learning how to spot child abuse. This can include knowing the signs of child abuse.
- Knowing who to call to report child abuse. This can include a phone call to the proper authorities and a lawyer who has experience in representing child abuse victims.
While the YMCA attempts to provide children with a great environment to learn and play, sometimes pedophiles pose as childcare operators, there is a lack of adults to supervise the children, or the staff is not trained properly—allowing child abuse to occur. Although the YMCA has a zero tolerance for child abuse, sometimes abuse occurs in the very environment where children are sent to learn and play.
If your child was a victim of YMCA child abuse in Sarasota, you need to contact an experienced attorney to find out about your rights and how to proceed. Even if you aren’t sure you have a case or if you need a lawyer, you should request a free copy of our book When the Unthinkable Happens: Your Guide to Florida Child Abuse Claims.