What Should You Do If Your Child Was Sexually Abused at Daycare?

Daycare sexual lawsuit

Attorney Adam Horowitz has many years of experience representing children who have been sexually abused or otherwise neglected at daycares and pre-school. Horowitz Law has obtained justice in lawsuits against large national companies and local daycares and pre-schools. In some cases, we have represented multiple victims of the same perpetrator. It is often the case that after one child comes forward with an account of abuse that additional victims of the same perpetrator gain the courage and strength to come forward as well. There is strength in numbers and having the courage to expose a perpetrator may provide support to other child victims in telling their story.

Child sex abuse cases involving abuse in a daycare are heartbreaking, emotional cases which require a legal team who has experience handling these cases. There is a complex web of regulations from the Department of Children & Families which apply to every aspect of daycare including adult supervision, licensing requirements, staff: child ratios, nap times, and a variety of safety rules. In addition to contacting a civil attorney to find out your family’s rights, there are others to whom you should report a sexual assault of a child at daycare or pre-school:

  1. Notify the police department or other law enforcement agency in the city where the sexual assault occurred.It is important that you report the assault in full detail to civil authorities so that the perpetrator can be exposed and held criminally responsible where appropriate.
  2. Notify the Department of Children & Families in the state where the daycare or pre-school is located.You should submit a report in writing which details all inappropriate contact. Remember — it is not you or child’s fault that the perpetrator touched your child in a sexual manner and it is not your child’s fault if the child did not immediately stop the perpetrator or report the misconduct. Sexual abuse is a frightening and confusing experience for a child, particularly when it is committed by an adult authority figure trusted by the child’s parents. The Department of Children & Families is authorized to impose a variety of sanctions against Daycare facilities, ranging from removing a license to monetary fines to public reprimand. Sanctions against a Daycare facility may become a public record and you can protect other children from being exposed to a potential sexual trauma by reporting an assault to the Department of Children & Families.  There are several large national Daycare Centers in the United States including Top of the World Preschool, Challenger School, KinderCare Learning Centers, La Petite Academy, and Bright Horizons Child Care Centers.  Because of the sheer volume of children under their supervision, it is especially critical that these large businesses make child safety the highest priority and adopt policies and procedures to ensure that everything that can possibly be done is done to eliminate the risk of sexual misconduct at one of their facilities.
  3. Contact a therapist. After a traumatic event, it is typical for children to have feelings of anxiety, guilt, stress, intrusive thoughts, nightmares, depression, restlessness or fear, making it difficult to adjust or cope for some time afterwards. You may also witness a child sexually acting out or having sexual boundary issues with other children or adults. Survivors of sexual trauma may also experience severe feelings of anxiety, stress, or fear, known as Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). As important as it is to notify an attorney and civil authorities about a sexual trauma, there is no substitute for also receiving therapy from a trained professional.

If your child or someone you know has been a victim of sexual assault in a daycare or pre-school, please contact our law firm at (954) 641-2100 or send an e-mail to attorney Adam Horowitz at adam@adamhorowitzlaw.com