If you suspect your child is being or has been sexually abused at daycare, taking immediate action is key. Criminal charges will be likely be filed, but a daycare abuse lawyer can help you file a civil claim for monetary damages.
What Are Some of the Signs of Sexual Abuse at Daycare?
Parents who have suspicions of sexual abuse at daycare should be alert for the following signs:
- Unusual interest in sexual matters. Often children experiencing sexual abuse will start to act out inappropriate sexual behavior. Some children might have knowledge about sexual matters well beyond what they should know.
- Infections or soreness around the genital area. If your child has a urinary tract infection, yeast infection, or signs of a sexually transmitted disease, these are clear signs that abuse could be taking place.
- Anxiety or fear about daycare. A child who is being sexually abused at daycare might fake an illness to get out of going or express anxiety or fear about being dropped at daycare. If this seems to be a recurring pattern, it could mean daycare abuse has occurred.
- Sudden changes in behavior. Young children in particular often start to act out when they are experiencing abuse. If your normally even-tempered child suddenly starts to show aggressive behavior, this could mean there is daycare abuse. Some children will regress instead; for example, a child who is potty trained might suddenly start wetting or soiling their pants.
- Recurring nightmares. When your child suddenly starts having bad dreams or difficulty sleeping, this might mean something is happening at daycare.
Some of these can be explained as normal childhood behavior, but parents know what is normal for their child and what is not. It’s important to trust your instincts. Talk to your child if they are old enough, but be careful not to ask questions that lead to a particular answer that is not true.
What Are Some Misconceptions About Sexual Abuse at Daycare?
Many people believe that sexual abuse usually occurs when the predator and the victim are alone, but this is not the case. Sexual abuse can occur at daycare even when there are other children or workers nearby. Pedophiles often groom their victims ahead of time, paying special attention to the child and trying to earn their trust. Often the child feels like they are an accomplice to the crime, and if they tell anyone, they fear they will get into trouble.
Other parents worry about “stranger danger” when it comes to their children, but the truth is that more often than not, sexual abuse happens with a person of trust.
What Should You Do if You Suspect Your Child Suffered Sexual Abuse at Daycare?
Suspecting your child has experienced sexual abuse in a setting where you expected them to be safe is one of a parent’s worst nightmares. You should immediately report your concerns and any evidence you have gathered to the police as well as to the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services. You can file your report online or on the phone at any time.
How Can The Button Law Firm Help?
If you believe your child has experienced sexual abuse at daycare, contact our daycare abuse attorney. We can help you file a civil claim to recover medical expenses and to compensate you and your child for mental anguish and other damages. Even if there is not enough evidence to gain a conviction in a criminal case, the lower burden of proof in a civil claim means you may still have a viable case. Schedule a free, no-obligation initial consultation today to learn more.