The Christian Youth Theater or CYT San Diego — a popular youth arts and drama program — has closed its doors indefinitely after dozens of child sexual abuse allegations surfaced against the organization last week. Sexual assault attorney Jessica Pride of The Pride Law Firm is currently representing victims who say they were abused for years and ignored by leadership when they tried to report it.
CYT San Diego’s squeaky-clean image immediately began to tarnish as multiple alumni spoke out about the program’s dark side. Victims continue to come forward, with several claiming the abuse went on for years and began as early as the 1980s.
“CYT knew of the abuse for years and they created an environment that not only fostered it but allowed for it to happen and then brushed it under the rug,” said Pride in an interview with NBC7 San Diego.
Instead of reporting the acts to local authorities, CYT encouraged victims to “forgive” their perpetrators and give them a second chance. This tactic for evading legal and criminal responsibility is common with abuse in religious organizations. Victims are left to carry the burden of shame and guilt while offenders go free, all in the name of religious duty.
Not only is failing to report suspected child abuse punishable by law, but it also allows predators to have uninterrupted access to vulnerable children. This negligence perpetuates the cycle and puts hundreds of more children at risk.
So far, those speaking out against CYT San Diego are adults who were abused as minors years ago. Under normal circumstances, none of them would be able to seek justice for the crimes committed against them.
However, a California law known as AB 218 signed into effect January 2020 allows all victims of childhood sexual abuse to file a civil lawsuit against their perpetrator, regardless of when it happened. This time limit for filing a lawsuit is known as the statute of limitations.
The average age for when victims report childhood sex abuse is 52 years old. - Monadnock Center for Violence Prevention
California’s previous law only allowed childhood sex abuse victims until the age of 26 to take legal action or three years from the time the abuse was discovered. With this law lifted, any person who suffered sex crimes as a child is free to take civil action against their offender.
If you were sexually abused at CYT San Diego and want to learn more about your rights, you are encouraged to contact The Pride Law Firm as soon as possible at 619-516-8166. Your phone call is free, private, and without obligation.
Attorney Jessica Pride has more than ten years of experience working with survivors of sexual assault. She is intimately acquainted with how childhood trauma can impact a person for life. The long-term effects can interfere with daily living, relationships, and even the ability to provide for oneself.
A civil lawsuit allows a survivor to collect valuable financial assistance to help in a host of different areas. These can include:
In cases of systemic abuse, like that at CYT San Diego, a survivor can also gain confidence from holding the liable parties responsible and stopping the cycle of abuse. Your actions can help prevent another child or family from suffering again.
The Pride Law Firm is actively representing victims of the CYT San Diego abuse scandal. If you were abused, please reach out to us today. We hold your information in strict confidence, and your call is completely complimentary (free).
We also accept any and all calls for survivors of abuse unrelated to the events at CYT San Diego. Our caring staff is here to ensure you understand your available options.
As part of our commitment to our clients, we are the first civil law firm to provide an on-site survivor advocate. Survivor advocates are professionally trained in helping victims cope with trauma, while also assisting them in navigating the legal process and acting as emotional support.
Call Jessica Pride of The Pride Law Firm today at 619-516-8166, or fill out the brief form on this page.
If you have been a victim of sexual assault, child sexual abuse, or workplace sexual harassment we are here to answer your questions, provide a free and confidential case evaluation, and connect you to resources. By contacting us, you consent to receive marketing communications and other advertisements from The Pride Law Firm.
The Pride Law Firm
2831 Camino Del Rio S., Suite 104
San Diego, CA 92108
Hours. M-F 8:30am - 5:00pm PST
Fax. (619) 785-3414