Youth organizations provide an environment where youths can interact, engage in fun activities, and learn. However, they are also an easy target for child sexual molesters; indeed, many child molesters have taken jobs at youth organizations as an excuse to be near and to sexually abuse children. Hence, it is vital that youth organizations create a culture where child sexual abuse is discussed, addressed, and prevented.
Parents trust these organizations to create a safe and caring environment. Most, if not all, youth organizations are mandatory reporters as required by law; if they suspect inappropriate sexual conduct, they must report it to law enforcement. It is critical that youth organizations respond to inappropriate behavior, violations of policies, and allegations and suspicions of child sexual abuse in a quick and decisive manner.
According to the CDC, the prevention of child sexual abuse in youth organizations starts with the screening, selection, and training of employees and volunteers. Businesses must create training guidelines for their staff concerning interactions between individuals, monitoring behavior, and responding to inappropriate behavior.
How to Prevent Sexual Abuse in Youth Organizations
The question remains: after Jerry Sandusky and the Penn State sex scandal, what have we learned about preventing childhood molestation?
Parents can do their part by determining if youth organizations have strong child sexual abuse prevention practices in place. Do these organizations encourage two adults to be present at all times when supervising children? In situations where children must shower or change clothes, does the organization take steps to ensure that they have privacy? Are adequate monitoring and accountability procedures in place?
Youth organizations must create safe environments for youth, employees, and volunteers, so that kids can grow, learn, and have fun. As stated earlier, it is imperative that youth organizations create a culture where they discuss and prevent child sexual abuse.
If you or a loved one has been sexually abused while in the care of a youth organization, please contact the law firm of Corsiglia, McMahon & Allard. Allow our experience in these difficult times to guide you or a loved one.