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Parents in Vermont understand that sports positively influence the life of a child or young adult. They also trust that when their children are practicing after school or are involved with a local youth sports association, the people in charge are providing a safe environment. Coaches are often a combination of counselor and mentor. Unfortunately, some coaches abuse their position of trust and power to commit horrendous acts of sexual abuse against those in their care.
If your child or teenager is showing signs of sexual abuse, it is imperative to speak with an experienced attorney for victims of sexual abuse by a coach in Vermont. Predators should not only be criminally charged, but they should also be held civilly liable in court. The impact of sexual abuse often lasts a lifetime. While financial compensation will not take away the harm, it could allow a survivor to get the help and support they need. Call The Law Office of Andrew Shubin at (814) 826-3586 to schedule a free, confidential, and compassionate appointment.
Potential Signs of Sexual Abuse by a Coach in Vermont
Few parents believe their child will be a victim of sexual abuse. Because of this, it is not uncommon for potential signs of abuse to be missed by unsuspecting parents. Additionally, the symptoms of sexual abuse by a coach are not easy to recognize and could be related to an unrelated cause. Nonetheless, there are some typical types of behaviors victims of abuse exhibit.
Again, it is important to note that these symptoms do not mean your child is a victim of abuse. However, if they are experiencing a combination of any of these behaviors, you should investigate the matter. A list of common symptoms follows below.
- Unable to sleep, unusual sleep disturbances, nightmares
- Sudden and irradicate changes in behavior and mood
- Mood swings
- Mimicking adult sexual conduct
- Physical symptoms including unusual/unexplained bruising, pain, or urinary tract infections
These are only a small selection of possible symptoms. There are also other behaviors on the part of the coach that could be signs of sexual abuse.
Suspicious Conduct by Coaches and Other Adults Involved in Youth Sports in Vermont
Unfortunately, sexual predators rarely fit into the stereotypical mold that is prevalent on television and other media. In most cases, it is hard for a parent to imagine that a hardworking and dedicated coach is capable of harming their children.
Sexual predators, including coaches, will work to silence and shame their victims. Coaches develop relationships with the young athletes in their charge. Part of this relationship requires young athletes to do what a coach tells them. Therefore, it is challenging to know when that relationship has crossed a dangerous or harmful line. However, in addition to the behaviors exhibited by your child, there are a number of signs that a coach or other predator is grooming or has control over an abused child.
Practice is essential in any sport. However, if a coach is making an effort to schedule unsupervised or private practices with one or a couple of players, it could be a signal of questionable conduct. Most sports rely on a level of physical contact but exhibiting unnecessary touching that is not necessary for instruction could be an indication of other unwanted behaviors.
Your child should not be receiving expensive gifts or special attention from a coach. Other conduct to be aware of includes inappropriate sexual joking or the sharing of explicit materials.
If you are aware of any of these types of conduct, especially if coupled with changes in your child’s behavior, you should report it to the administrators of the respective school or youth sports association. Additionally, you should contact an experienced Vermont sexual abuse attorney.
Vermont’s Statute of Limitations for Sexual Abuse by a Coach
Vermont, like every other state, has a statute of limitations that sets forth the deadlines for filing criminal and civil cases. The law used to require a survivor of sexual abuse to file a civil lawsuit within six years of the abuse. If the victim was a minor, this deadline was especially short given the difficulty many survivors have in acknowledging and coming forward with abuse allegations.
Fortunately, in 2019, Vermont amended its statute of limitations, eliminating any deadline for civil lawsuits for childhood sexual abuse. This is one of the most progressive legislative actions taken by a state. Some states have increased the time to file a civil case and even instituted short lookback windows that allowed previously barred claims to be filed. Vermont took it another step forward and made its new law retroactive. This means that any survivor who was sexual abused by a coach and was barred by the previous statute of limitations is now free to move forward with a civil claim. Therefore, even if you were a victim of abuse decades ago, you should still contact our Vermont sexual abuse attorney. While your case could be challenging, it might still be possible to hold the predator and the institution that allowed the abuse to happen accountable for the harm you suffered.
Call Our Compassionate Vermont Sexual Abuse Attorney for a Confidential Consultation
When a coach sexually abuses a young athlete, they are scarring a person for life. Survivors of sexual abuse struggle with relationships, self-confidence, and experience other forms of emotional distress. Our sympathetic attorneys and staff at The Law Office of Andrew Shubin offer compassionate and professional legal assistance to survivors and their families. If a coach harmed you or a loved one, contact our attorney for sexual abuse by a coach in Vermont. Call (814) 826-3586 to schedule a legal consultation. All our appointements are completely confidential.