Institutional Child Sexual Abuse Continues Despite High-Profile Cases
Although many people are quick to believe that recent, well-publicized cases of child sexual abuse in schools and religious communities across the nation have reduced the amount of abuse that goes on in these kinds of institutions, the truth is that sexual abuse is still a risk. More people are now aware of the issue in light of major cases covered in the media, such as the allegations against the Catholic Church, but this new awareness has not stopped children from being sexually abused by adult authority figures in schools, afterschool activities, and community groups. In fact, the response to this greater awareness may make it even more difficult to report and pursue cases of potential sexual abuse.
Institutional Policies on Child Sexual Abuse Create Bigger Problems
While highly publicized cases of child sex abuse have not stopped abuse from happening, they have meant that institutions that work with children are being more careful about putting policies in place that protect their image if allegations do come up. It hasn’t been unusual in the past for suspected abusers to be moved to another facility or for claims of child sexual abuse to be quietly settled with families away from the public eye. While many families do hope to avoid publicity when sexual abuse is involved, these kinds of actions can:
- Hide abuse from public sight
- Open the potential for other children to be abused
- Help abusers avoid accountability for devastating abuse
Additionally, even employees of these institutions who try to report suspected abuse may be deterred from taking their complaints further or making the issue public. Companies and organizations may make it difficult for adults to report suspected sexual abuse of a child to the appropriate authorities, especially when there is very little evidence against the abuser.
Getting Help If Your Child Has Been Abused by an Adult Authority Figure
Whether the potential abuser is a teacher, coach, pastor, or employee of a childcare facility, parents can take legal action to hold sexual abusers responsible for emotionally and physically hurting a child. For more information about your family’s rights after allegations of sex abuse, or to make contact with an experienced attorney who can answer your questions confidentially, call our Chicago office today at 312-332-1400 or use the Live Chat button on this page.