There is a hard truth in our society, and that is sexual abuse has become incredibly common, yet it remains seriously underreported. The truth is that one out of four girls is sexually abused before her eighteenth birthday. Girls between the ages of sixteen and nineteen are four more times more likely than the general population to experience an attempted rape, a completed rape, and sexual abuse. What is terrifying about these numbers is that even when you think you’ve done everything possible to keep your girl safe, she is still at risk. Even when you have enrolled her in what is thought of as a safe organization such as the Girl Scouts, she can still be sexually abused.
Girl Scouts and Sexual Abuse
There have been thousands of cases involving sexual abuse between the scouts and their leaders or adult volunteers. The Boy Scouts are a magnet for men who are looking for sexual relationships with young boys, and the Girl Scouts are just as dangerous for young girls. These organizations make it easy for adult sexual predators to appear as mentors as a means of working with their victims. Your girl scout could have been sexually abused during sleepovers, camping trips, as well as when they visited their leader’s home.
Youth organizations are created as a means of having a safe place for our children to go and learn new skills as they grow. These organizations are also places where unthinkable sexual abuse takes place against our children. If you suspect your child is a victim of girl scout sexual abuse, you need to contact Stop Sexual Abuse Law Firm.
Sexual abuse against children is a more significant problem than most people realize or even want to think about. Studies have shown that every ten seconds, a child is sexually abused, and some of this abuse comes from community leaders we have put our trust in, such as girl scout leaders. Most of the leaders within the girl scout organizations are adults who want to work with children as a means of giving back to their community. Some seek these forms of youth organizations as a means of having access to children, making it easier to target their victims. With the recent high-profile cases that have hit the media, we now know that children are not safe from abuse in an activity-oriented or educational setting.
Girl Scout Sexual Abuse History
Child sexual abuse is a very serious crime and carries severe criminal consequences. One abuser in the State of Washington was a volunteer in his local girl scout chapter. He received a three-year prison sentence for sexually abusing a teenager and asking another minor female to send him nude pictures of herself. The Girl Scouts issued a statement after this case, assuring the public they were doing everything in their power to protect the girl scouts; however, there is a pattern of this behavior showing up across the country with the girl scout organizations.
An incident out of Florida had a man molesting girl scouts placed under his protection. The girls were between the ages of 10 and 11, and he sexually abused them on a camping trip to Walt Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort. He was sentenced to 15 years in prison. Before he became a girl scout mentor, he was a substitute teacher in a local school district and had been asked not to return due to his inappropriate behavior with his students.
Across the nation, and in California, Girl Scout chapters, and other youth organizations state there are firm policies in place that do not allow for any form of neglect or child abuse. These organizations also say they have strict reporting policies in place if there is any suspected abuse occurring with their members. Employees and volunteers who think a child has been sexually abused or abused in any manner must immediately report it to the authorities.
If your child has been a victim of sexual abuse after putting her trust in the safety of becoming a girl scout, you need to seek justice for this unthinkable crime. These cases have both a criminal element and civil element, and by working with Stop Sexual Abuse Law Firm, your child may be entitled to benefits and financial compensation for this traumatic experience. California personal injury laws protect those who have been assaulted, abused, or molested, and are entitled to financial compensation for their injuries. This compensation includes covering injuries, both medically and psychologically.
Legal Rights for Girl Scouts Sexually Abused
If a girl scout is sexually abused, not only is her abuser responsible for the crime, the Girl Scout organization can also be held accountable. This responsibility involves failing to protect the children in their care from a sexual predator. There are legal options for victims and their families when a girl scout is sexually abused.
Responsible parties should and can be held liable for the negligence involved in allowing a sexual predator to have access to your child. When sexual abuse is involved with a minor, both civil and criminal justice can be sought, and you won’t have to wait for the criminal portion of the crime to receive a verdict before filing a civil suit against the abuser.
You are also able to seek justice against the girl scout organization as they are mandated to report sexual abuse, and if they failed to do so, they could be held accountable. You can also file a civil action allowing you and your child to receive compensation for physical pain and emotional distress the abuse has inflicted. You may also need compensation for psychiatric care and medical expenses. The abuser of a girl scout, or any minor, is responsible for any injuries even if the minor consented to a sexual act.
When a child is abused, it causes undue physical mental and emotional damage to both you as a parent, your entire family, and especially to your abused child. You cannot let the abuser walk away from this horrible crime, and they must be forced to face the consequences for their actions, or in some cases, their lack of effort. Talk with the Stop Sexual Abuse Law Firm, who has years of experience handling these awful crimes. We can help you and your family achieve the justice you deserve.
Girl Scout and All Child Sexual Abuse Reporting Times Changed
Governor Gavin Newsom signed a law to allow victims of girl scout sexual abuse, or any child sexually abused more time to report their abuse under a new California law. This law was introduced after there were allegations of minors being abused by Catholic priests and the conviction of Larry Nassar, who molested United States Olympic gymnastics.
The law protects victims who have been assaulted as a child, and their time ran out to file a claim against their abuser. Being sexually abused, especially by someone you trusted, often leaves a victim feeling they were at fault somehow. When a leader sexually abuses a girl scout, this person is someone she, her friends, her parents, everyone has put their trust in to be with children. It is typically a person well-liked, and people talk about how great they are to be donating so much of their time to help with the girls. This person may intimidate your child and make her believe that no one will listen to her pleas if she tells about the sex. Because of these fears, the abused girl scout may stay silent until she is an adult and realizes what the abuser has wrongly made her feel.
That someone can be assaulted by a community leader, such as a Girl Scout Leader, and then have the courts tell her she waited too long to file a claim against this crime is outrageous. For this reason, Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez, a Democrat from San Diego, created a bill that would allow adults who had been sexually abused as children more time to seek justice against their abuser. This bill would later be signed into law by Governor Newsom.
Survivors of abuse, and adults who at one time were a Girl Scout sexually abused by a trusted leader, have eight years after reaching adulthood to file a claim for compensation and justice against their abuser. She also has three years after the date she reached adulthood and discovers or reasonably should have discovered; they are suffering damages to file a personal injury claim against her abuser.
The new legislation signed by Governor Newsome will extend the statute of limitations for victims to report their childhood sexual abuse. The new limitations go from the age of 26 to age 40. It will also increase the time period for reasonable delayed discovery. This time will go from what was three years to five years.
This bill also addresses past claims that were turned down because of the statute of limitations running out. There is now a three-year window where those older cases that might have had expired can be brought forward for the victims to seek the justice they deserve. This law will help protect future children from becoming victims. When sexually abused adults come forward to speak out against a community leader, such as a Girl Scout Leader who has abused them, it can protect future girl scouts from suffering at the hands of this criminal.
The legislation has helped support gymnastic athletes who were victims of Larry Nassar. He had victims who had been suffering in silence for as far back as the early 1990s. Being able to come forward, these women and girls have been able to make Mr. Nassar accountable for years of sexual abuse.
The California Civil Liberties Advocacy opposed the new bill and argued that the law would negatively impact civil defendants. This reasoning was based on how reliability and availability of evidence diminish over time. They also stated that if the statute of limitations was extended, it would be more suited in favor of the plaintiff’s lawyers industry than that of the abuse survivors.
Other groups, such as the Victim Policy Institute, stated the current laws were letting too many abusers avoid facing their crimes and avoid accountability for their abuse. The good thing about recent scandals coming to light is that it has created an environment that encourages victims of childhood sexual abuse to come forward and find justice against their abusers.
California Laws and Types of Sexual Abuse
The term ‘sexual abuse’ covers a lot of different sexual behaviors. If you are a survivor, or your child is a survivor of girl scout sexual abuse, you may not understand exactly which crime was committed against you or your child. Stop Sexual Abuse Law Firm fights on behalf of all sexual abuse victims. Contact our office if your child has been abused by a trusted community leader or anyone else to learn what your legal recourse for justice will be.
Under California law, a sex crime involves any unwanted touching of a body part, including the genitals, breasts, anus, buttocks, and groin. How the contact was made will also define what a crime is and what it is not. If a person accidentally touches another’s private areas such as brushing a woman’s breast while in a crowd, it is not considered a crime or a sexual assault or abuse. If someone purposely reaches out to touch a private part, then it can be regarded as a sexual abuse action.
Sexual Abuse Versus Sexual Assault
Sexual abuse and sexual assault are both heinous offenses and leave victims feeling helpless and traumatized. As a victim of sexual abuse, you or your child can be severely impacted in the short term, but will also face psychological and emotional effects for years after the fact.
Sexual assault is a broad term, and the State of California does not have one sexual assault designation. Sexual assault can include threats, sodomy, rape, seduction, and much more. As a general term, sexual assault is any unwanted sexual contact on another person without their consent. Sexual assault also includes coercion and threats made to the victim.
Legal Action for Damages of Sexual Abuse for Girl Scouts and Other Children in California
Survivors of child sexual abuse, such as girl scouts, or other young girls may go decades in silence before they are able to acknowledge what happened to them as a child. For years as they grow up, they will experience powerful emotions such as anger and shame for what happened to them. These emotions will make it difficult for them to maintain personal relationships, and some have difficulty refraining from self-destructive behaviors. When a victim makes the connection of their behavior to the abuse, it puts them on the path to healing and reclaiming their lives.
Stop Sexual Abuse Law Firm will help you as a survivor of childhood sexual abuse. We will help you confront your abuser and the organization they work under who enabled the abuser’s contact with you. We are dedicated to helping sexual abuse victims find the justice they deserve and the compensation they need to heal.
Filing a personal injury claim against your abuser won’t make the memories go away, or change the past in any way, but it can change and improve your future. Filing a lawsuit and seeking justice can also improve your quality of life as you will be able to begin putting the past behind you and look towards the future, knowing you’ve made your abuser accountable. Other positive outcomes from filing a lawsuit will make a positive change in society by removing your abuser from the community leader status they hold and protect future victims from being harmed.
Why you should speak out if a girl scout leader or anyone has sexually abused your child:
- When you speak out and announce your abuser’s behavior to others, it stops them from hurting new victims
- Holding the girl scout organization, or other employers or organizations accountable, will make them scrutinize their volunteers and employees more closely
- Make the organization accountable if they did not follow their legal obligations to report suspected abuse cases and they are mandated to do under the law
- Receive the compensation you deserve from the abuser and the organization that has put you or your child in the abuser’s path
How to Know if your Girl Scout has been Sexually Abused
Sexual abuse is not only terrible; it is shameful. Children abused by someone they trusted, and their parents trusted, is horrifying, and they often suppress their emotional pain because they may feel they have done something wrong. Many times community leaders, such as girl scout leaders, have the respect of the parents who have enrolled their daughters in the group. This respect means they can make the girl scout feel as though she is trapped as no one will believe her over them. This intimidation can last for years after the abuse has occurred.
If the girl scout or any young female feels she will not be believed about the abuse, she will suffer in silence, and as she gets older, these scars may cause her to deal with the pain in a personally, harmful way. Victims suffer in silence and can begin relying on drugs and alcohol or other destructive activities to self-medicate themselves. It is critical for parents and those who spend time around young girls to understand the signs of sexual abuse suffered by the young. Parents, educators, and other authority figures should know how some signs displayed by young children are warning signs something traumatic has happened to them. Certain signs to watch for are:
- Avoiding physical contact is one sign you will noticeably see in a child that has experienced sexual abuse. They will no longer appreciate the act of hugging and kissing, as it will remind them of their terrible experience with their abuser.
- Withdrawing from you, or not trusting adults is another behavior often associated with sexually abused children. They may display rebellious attitudes or petty bitterness with certain adults that are out of typical character for them.
- Fear of going to bed or nightmares are other behavior change you will often see in children experiencing sexual abuse. When your child begins showing signs of sleeping problems, it could be a sign she or he is being sexually abused.
The California Department of Education has other signs or behaviors they state are common in children or teenagers that are victims of sexual abuse:
- You will notice a seductive manner in their behavior
- They run away from home
- They begin displaying a shyness of changing their clothes in front of others
- They contract a sexually transmitted disease
- They start questioning sexual acts or are interested in sexual acts not appropriate for their age
- They are unable to sit comfortably
- They decide they no longer want to participate in physical activities
If you notice any of these signs in your child and are concerned about possible sexual abuse, you should talk to your local authorities immediately. Talk with your local police department, a county probation department, or even the county welfare department about your suspicions. Your identity can be kept confidential while the investigation is being conducted, and it imperative you seek help for your child right away.
Where Can I Get Help For Girl Scout Sexual Abuse Near Me?
Sexual abuse is a terrifying and life-altering experience. When this horrific crime is committed against your innocent child by someone who has earned the title of a community leader, it is a life-shattering experience. As a girl scout, your child should be in the hands of people you can trust and will protect her wellbeing. Call Stop Sexual Abuse Law Firm at 310-359-9451 today and learn how you can seek justice against this awful individual and even the Girl Scout Organization who did not protect your daughter. We have decades of experience representing the sexually abused and will fight for you and your child until justice is served.