Daycare Sexual Assault Issues
With approximately 62% of Texas moms in the paid labor force, and 59% of Texas children in families with two working parents, daycare is necessary to watch little ones while parents are at work. Parents have the right to feel like they can trust the daycare to keep their children safe.
Unfortunately, our Dallas injury lawyer says, sometimes children can experience sexual abuse at daycare facilities that can have long-lasting trauma.
The nonprofit Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network (RAINN) estimates as many as 60,000 children are victims of sexual abuse every year. That is why we provide daycare safety resources for parents so they can protect their children as much as possible when in the care of Texas childcare facilities.
In this article, we are shedding light on horrific incidents like sexual abuse in daycares—how it happens, what signs to look for, and what to do if you suspect your child has been abused or molested while at a Texas daycare.
How Sexual Abuse Can Happen in Daycare Centers
Sexual abuse can occur at daycare by a worker or even other children at the facility. Many people believe that sexual abuse usually occurs when the predator and the victim are alone, but this is not the case. These incidents can happen when other children or workers are 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.
Many parents worry about “stranger danger” when it comes to their children, but the truth is sexual abuse often happens with a person they know and trust.
How Texas Daycares Can Prevent Sexual Abuse Incidents
Parents in Texas pay a lot of money for childcare and expect the daycare to provide a safe environment for their children. Horrific incidents of sexual abuse are preventable when daycares follow the state’s minimum care guidelines. Simple steps that Texas daycare owners and directors can take include:
- Running background checks and thoroughly vetting employees before hiring them
- Properly monitoring all employees and children to ensure the children in their care are safe
Our expert Texas daycare injury lawyers have created a free guide to help parents, like you, find a safe daycare for their children.
Common Signs of Sexual Abuse in Texas Daycares
The potential signs of child sexual abuse in daycare are not always obvious, but parents may notice the following physical and behavioral changes in their children that raise concerns:
- Infections or soreness around the genital area—including urinary tract infections, yeast infections, or signs of a sexually transmitted disease
- Bleeding, bruising, and swelling around the genital area
- Bloody, torn, or stained clothing
- Difficulty walking or sitting
- Unusual interest in sexual matters. Often children who have experienced sexual abuse will start to act out inappropriate sexual behavior. Some children might have knowledge about sexual matters well beyond what they should know at a certain age.
- 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 off at daycare. If this seems to be a recurring pattern, it could mean 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. Children who are abused may also exhibit symptoms of depression or post-traumatic stress disorder.
- Recurring nightmares. When your child suddenly starts having bad dreams or difficulty sleeping, this might mean something is happening at daycare.
It’s possible for some of these behaviors to be part of normal childhood behavior, but parents know their children and know what is and isn’t normal.
Steps to Take If Your Child Was Sexually Abused at Daycare
If you believe your child has been abused, talk to your child and follow these key steps:
- Seek medical attention
- Report it immediately to the police
- File a report online or by phone with the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services
- Contact the compassionate and knowledgeable daycare abuse attorneys at The Button Law Firm