Fighting For Important Causes In State And Federal Courts
Participating in youth sports, whether at the local, high school, or college level, provides many benefits to the young athletes involved. In addition to the obvious physical benefits, youth athletics teach accountability, corporation, and build self-confidence. Coaches take on a special role, often providing instruction, guidance, and counsel. Unfortunately, some coaches misuse their position of trust and authority to sexually abuse the children and young adults in their charge.
Sexual abuse is a horrendous crime that impacts the victim, their families, and friends. If you believe a coach or other adult is abusing your child, contact our attorney for victims of sexual abuse by a coach in North Carolina. The Law Office of Andrew Shubin is committed to holding predators and the institutions that allowed the abuse to occur financially liable. Call (814) 826-3586 to schedule a confidential and free appointment.
Sexual Abuse in Youth Sports in North Carolina
Sexual abuse in sports has come under media scrutiny over the last few years. The most prominent case being against the United States Olympic Gymnastics team. To help protect young athletes, the United States Congress passed the Safe Sport Authorization Act (SSAA). However, this law does not mean that parents and youth sports administrators should not be vigilant in protecting children and young adults from predatory coaches and others in authority.
There are steps that schools and youth organizations in North Carolina should take to protect their young athletes. For instance, organizations should regulate the contact between children and coaches, especially prohibiting private practices. Furthermore, these same institutions must also conduct thorough background checks on the coaches and assistants that are hired. Without comprehensive protective protocols in place, these institutions could be held liable in civil court for allowing sexual abuse to occur. Similarly, safeguards, such as mandating at least two coaches for road trips or away games, should be in place to protect children. Our North Carolina sexual abuse attorney will investigate the practices of an institution that allowed abuse to happen.
Signs of Sexual Abuse by a Coach in North Carolina
It is often difficult for a young athlete who is being sexually abused to come forward. Reporting a problem and holding a predator accountable usually requires an attentive parent or adult. There are some potential red flags to be aware of if your child engages in sports at any level.
You might notice some changes in behavior, attitude, or habits. For example, some young athletes might shy away from being alone with a particular coach. Additionally, a once engaged child might express a sudden disinterest in their favorite activities. Other symptoms are more troubling, including anxiety, depression, or regressive behavior. There are also physical signs of abuse, including unexplained bruises, especially around the genital area.
Signs of sexual abuse are not limited to the victim. A coach’s behavior could also be an indication of abuse. For instance, a coach might not respect your child’s boundaries, for example, giving them expensive presents or trying to be a more significant part of their lives. Other inappropriate behavior is more overt, such as suggestive texts or sharing explicit photographs and videos.
If you think your child or young adult is a victim of sexual abuse, you should also speak to them. Be attentive to clues your child is saying. Because many victims experience fear, shame, and guilt, they struggle with directly saying what they are going through. Believing their story will not be believed is one of the primary reasons victims stay silent.
The relationship between a sports coach and a young athlete is often special, but it does have limits. If you suspect that your child is a victim of abuse, contact your local law enforcement and call an experienced North Carolina sexual abuse attorney.
The Statute of Limitations for Cases Involving Sexual Abuse by a Coach in North Carolina
The time you have to file a civil lawsuit in a North Carolina court is controlled by the statute of limitations. In North Carolina, if you wanted to file a civil claim against a coach who sexually abused your child athlete, you had only until three years after the child turned 18 to do so. This short period did not accommodate the thousands of survivors who struggled to come forward with allegations of their abuse. Many states in the union, including North Carolina, have reevaluated their deadlines concerning sexual abuse cases.
In 2019, North Carolina passed the SAFE Child Act. Under this new law, the statute of limitations extended the three-year deadline to ten years. Now, a victim of childhood sexual abuse has until their turn 28 to file a civil lawsuit. More importantly, the new law provides a two-year lookback window that allows anyone who was abused as a child, including youth athletes, to file a lawsuit – even if North Carolina’s old law previously barred them. The window is only open until December 31, 2021, so it is critical to speak with an experienced North Carolina sexual abuse attorney if you are a survivor of abuse.
Call Our Experienced Attorney for Victims of Sexual Abuse by a Coach in North Carolina for a Free Consultation
Parents are usually proud when their children participate in athletics. They also trust that coaches are caring adults who want to mentor and teach their children. When a predatory coach shatters this trust, the victim and their parents or guardians often feel hopeless. If you believe your young athlete is a victim, contact the police and our attorney for victims of sexual abuse by a coach in North Carolina. The attorneys and staff at The Law Office of Andrew Shubin are compassionated and committed to helping survivors. Call (814) 826-3586 for a free and confidential appointment.