Fighting For Important Causes In State And Federal Courts
Sports is an important building block in the life of a child or young adult. Youth athletes engage in physical activity while learning essential life lessons such as teamwork, self-confidence, winning, and losing. Parents who allow their children to participate place a significant amount of trust in the adults that run youth athletic leagues. Coaches play a vital role in a young athlete’s life, serving as mentors and counselors. Unfortunately, some coaches abuse their positions of trust and power.
If you or your child were a victim of sexual misconduct, contact our experienced attorney for victims of sexual abuse by a coach in Arizona. The attorneys and staff at The Law Office of Andrew Shubin handle cases of sexual abuse with delicacy and compassion without sacrificing the aggressiveness necessary to hold predators financially accountable for their actions. Call our office at (814) 826-3586 to schedule a confidential and free appointment.
Warning Signs of Sexual Abuse by a Coach in Arizona
Unfortunately, when a child or young adult is a victim of sexual abuse, they will require an adult advocate. Many victims of abuse will not report or acknowledge the abuse for a variety of reasons, including shame, guilt, or a misguided belief that they will endanger or harm their teammates, school, or organization. Therefore, adults need to be aware of signs and symptoms of sexual abuse.
It is very rare for a victim of sexual abuse by a coach not to demonstrate changes in behavior or mood. Unfortunately, many of these signs are also associated with the ordinary mood changes that many children, teenagers, or young adults exhibit. However, if you notice more than one of the common signs, it should be a red flag and you should discuss it with your child. If you believe your young athlete is a victim of abuse, report your suspicion to the organization or school’s administration and contact our skilled Arizona attorney for sexual abuse victims. In some cases, you should also contact your local law enforcement.
Some common warning signs include a sudden disinterest in the sport or an unwillingness to go to practice and games. Your child also might actively avoid being alone with the coach. This could also manifest itself in a noticeable discomfort when talking about the coach or sport. An unusual closeness with the coach might also be a sign, such as odd text messages at night, expensive gifts, or secrets that your child is unwilling to share.
In some situations, the apparent signs are not directly associated with the sport, such as a sudden drop in grades, nightmares, mood swings, or a significant appetite change. Victims of abuse will also suffer from anxiety, depression, anger, and suicidal thoughts.
As stated above, many of these signs are typical symptoms of growing up. However, if you notice a combination of the above, you should discuss it with your child or a professional, including our compassionate Arizona attorney for sexual abuse victims.
Holding Schools, Organizations, or Institutions Responsible for Sexual Abuse by a Coach
Victims of sexual abuse could find justice through both the criminal system and the civil court. By holding a predator financially liable for the harm they caused, a survivor could obtain the resources their need to move forward. Unfortunately, a coach might lack the assets to pay a significant court award. However, there are situations where a victim could hold the school or organization that administered the athletic or sports program.
A school or organization might have had an indication that the sexual abuse was occurring. If it failed to investigate or report allegations of abuse, the organization could be held accountable for any harm that occurred. In some cases, a school could actively hide or cover-up accusations of sexual misconduct. Failing to conduct a thorough background check on a coach before hiring them could open a school or organization to liability.
Statute of Limitations in Arizona for Sexual Abuse by a Coach
The time someone has to file a criminal charge or civil claim is governed by Arizona’s statutes of limitations. If someone was an adult when a coach sexually abused them, they must file a civil lawsuit within two years of the incident. In cases where the victim was a minor, Arizona’s statute of limitations used to require that a civil claim was filed within two years of the victim’s eighteenth birthday. Fortunately, Arizona has recently taken a closer look at its laws surrounding childhood survivors of sexual abuse.
In May 2019, Arizona amended its statute of limitations regarding child sexual abuse. In reaction to advocates for victims’ rights and a change in prevailing attitudes and understanding, Arizona extended the time frame to file a lawsuit to twelve years after a survivor’s eighteenth birthday. Therefore, our Arizona attorney for sexual abuse victims is able to file a lawsuit for a survivor until they turn thirty. This allows many victims who struggle to come forward with allegations of sexual abuse the time necessary to acknowledge and report the harm they experienced.
Contact Our Attorney for Victims of Sexual Abuse by a Coach in Arizona for a Free Consultation
Participating in youth sports should be a fantastic experience. Unfortunately, some sexual predators make it a nightmare that lasts long after the abuse stops. Athletes who are sexually abused by their coach could experience a lifetime of emotional trauma. Our attorneys for victims of sexual abuse by a coach in Arizona understand that these types of cases require a combination of delicate and aggressive representation. Call the Law Office of Andrew Shubin at (814) 826-3586 to schedule an appointment. Our consultations are free and confidential.