Despite laws requiring people to report suspected child sexual abuse, USA Gymnastics failed to do in multiple cases. Sadly, the organization’s mishandling of these incidents resulted in the abuse of more young girls when these coaches kept working.
A recent investigation by the Indianapolis Star highlights four instances of abuse by gymnastics coaches that were reported to USA Gymnastics (the governing body of gymnastics in America). USAG did not pursue the allegations, however. The four coaches mentioned in the report continued to coach young girls and abused at least 14 additional girls after parents made reports and complaints of the abuse.
Children are at risk in many situations
This is, unfortunately, a pattern of covering up sexual abuse that is all too common in many organizations. Child sexual abuse is an issue in organizations such as:
- Day care facilities
- Youth organizations
- Volunteer organizations
- Doctors and medical practices
Child sexual abuse survivors face a long recovery. They may lose trust in authority figures, experience post-traumatic stress syndrome (PTSD), feel isolated from their peers and withdraw from everyday activities. Those who were photographed by their abuser live in fear that the photos will reappear online or elsewhere. Typically, sexual abuse survivors need specialized counseling to help them move forward.
Some parents in the Indianapolis Star’s report filed lawsuits against USAG. This may be an option in cases involving a liable party that did not take necessary action to protect children. An attorney can discuss your case and explain your options. Even if the abuse occurred years ago, you may still have options to hold the abuser accountable.