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Oakland Personal Injury Lawyer / Blog / Neglect Abuse / Shocking Reports Of Sexual Abuse At Children’s Summer Camps

Shocking Reports Of Sexual Abuse At Children’s Summer Camps


Sending kids to summer camp is a way for parents to manage childcare, help expose children to enrichment and experiences, and socialize them during school break in California. While many day and overnight camps fulfill these functions, a CBS News investigation reveals shocking statistics on sexual abuse at some facilities. Reporters discovered hundreds of reports of misconduct at kids’ camps across the country, for a total of more than 500 reports of child victims dating back almost six decades. It is likely that the numbers are much higher, but young victims are often unwilling to speak up.

Sexual abuse of a child is horrific and obviously criminal, but you may have civil remedies under California personal injury laws. It is possible to recover compensation from a summer camp, even when it was an employee or volunteer that committed the offense. An Oakland abuse and neglect attorney can assist with your legal remedies, and an overview of your options is helpful.

Sexual Abuse of Children at Summer Camps

When you send your child to camp, you probably do not realize that this environment provides ample opportunities for predators. Consider the following points:

  • Camps often rely on inexperienced, poorly trained counselors to run activities and monitor children. They may not properly vet employees and volunteers.
  • Summer camps are not subject to the same regulations as schools, so the absence of standards and controls enables sexual abusers to persist.
  • Not all states require camps to conduct background checks on employees, a factor that some experts say encourages predators to apply for employment.
  • Sexual assault occurs more frequently in overnight camps, where children are isolated from parents and have minimal communication that enables abuse to continue.
  • Sexual abuse has been reported at many different types of camps, including Girl and Boy Scout facilities, religious focused camps, day and overnight camps, and publicly funded organizations.

Civil Remedies

As a parent, you certainly want to prevent your child from becoming a victim. It is important to educate children about inappropriate conduct, improper physical contact, and how to report sexual assault. You should also thoroughly investigate before sending your child to any camp.

However, if your child suffered from abuse, you do have legal remedies under California law. These options are separate from any criminal charges against the abuser and/or camp. You can exercise civil remedies by suing in court to recover compensation. You may be entitled to:

  • Costs for medical treatment and psychiatric care for your child;
  • Your lost wages, if you missed work to handle the comfort and needs of your child;
  • Pain and suffering;
  • Emotional distress; and,
  • Many other monetary damages.

Contact an Oakland Abuse and Neglect Lawyer Right Away 

For more information on your rights and remedies, please contact Venardi Zurada, LLP to schedule a no-cost case evaluation with a member of our team. We are happy to meet with you at our offices in Oakland, or Walnut Creek, CA. After reviewing your circumstances, an abuse and neglect attorney can advise you on next steps.



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