Sexual abuse is common at daycare and in schools

On Behalf of | Dec 5, 2023 | Day Cares, Preschools & Child Care, Schools & Universities

Although many Florida parents entrust their children to schools and organizations that will keep them safe, often the opposite occurs. The very people who your children trust may end up abusing them, often sexually. Child sexual abuse victims are frequently afraid to talk about their experiences. Here is how you can help them.

Frequency and forms of child sexual abuse

Child sexual abuse is more common than most people think. In 2016, Child Protective Services (CPS) found 57,329 children were victims. This figure includes children who suffered sexual abuse at daycare, preschool and childcare facilities. Furthermore, one in nine girls and one in 53 boys under age 18 have suffered some form of sexual abuse. Over 90% of victims know their perpetrator.

Some children, especially younger ones, may not know or be unable to tell you, so you’ll need to look for the signs of abuse. Once you realize that abuse has occurred, reassure your child in the following ways:

  • Acknowledge that there is no “right” reaction
  • Manage your own emotions
  • Be a safe place for your child
  • Thank them for telling you
  • Emphasize that it’s not their fault
  • Get counseling for them to help them recover

Daycare abuse is opportunistic

Because parents rely on daycare so they can work, children often spend many hours at these facilities, and the perpetrators generally know when they can take advantage of children. Abuse typically involves multiple victims, so your child will most likely not be the only one.

Daycare centers, schools and other organizations that take care of children are responsible for keeping their charges safe. Babies and toddlers are the most vulnerable. Sexual abuse is a punishable offense. Parents of victims can press suit against their children’s perpetrators and seek justice for the actions against them.