By Jessica pride
Published on
June 29, 2023
Last Updated
April 5, 2024

Summer Camp Sexual Assault: Are Your Kids Safe?

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When the joy of summer camp is destroyed by a sexual assault, it is a deeply traumatic experience that can leave long-lasting scars on a child's physical, emotional, and psychological well-being. A child sexual assault attorney can help your family heal and secure justice through a lawsuit.

Families expect their children to be protected and nurtured by the counselors, staff, and owners of a summer camp. If a child is harmed by sexual abuse or assault on their watch, that duty of care has been violated. Jessica Pride and the legal team at The Pride Law Firm are here to support those who have been affected by sexual assault, and hold accountable those who have failed or harmed your child. 

Our proven history of helping children and families recover includes holding public, private, and boarding schools accountable, as well as organizations that engage with children like youth groups and churches. We work closely with support networks, therapists, and advocates to ensure that survivors have access to the comprehensive care they need to heal from the long-term effects of childhood sexual abuse. 

Our compassionate approach seeks to empower survivors, giving them a voice and helping them reclaim their sense of security and trust. If you or a loved one has been a victim of sexual assault at a children's summer camp, we encourage you to reach out to us at (619) 516-8166 for a free and confidential consultation. 

Remember, you are not alone, and together we can work towards a world where every child's innocence is protected.

Are Summer Camps Dangerous for Children and Teens?

While the majority of summer camps prioritize the well-being and protection of their campers, it is also necessary to address the potential risks and concerns associated with these settings:

  1. Summer camps bring together large groups of children and teenagers, often in unfamiliar surroundings, creating an environment where vulnerability can arise. 
  2. Sexual assault can occur between unsupervised children, between teen counselors and the children in their care, between young adult counselors, or between management and any individual enrolled in or employed by the camp.
  3. Factors such as inadequate supervision, lack of proper policies and protocols, insufficient background checks on staff, and a failure to address and prevent potential dangers can increase the risk of sexual assault incidents.

It is important to note that the occurrence of sexual assault in summer camps is relatively rare compared to the vast number of children who attend camps each year. Nevertheless, even a single instance of sexual assault is one too many. 

An experienced child sexual abuse lawyer can help your whole family process what has happened and take positive, healing steps forward. Contact Jessica Pride at (619) 516-8166 to discuss how legal action can help improve your future.

What Are the Dangers of Summer Camp Sexual Assault? (Numbers)

Here are some unsettling recent numbers related to reports of children’s summer camp sexual assault from CBS News:

  • Hundreds of reports indicate that sexual abuse has occurred at children’s camps across the United States. 
  • More than 500 victims were allegedly sexually abused at children’s camps over the past 55 years. 
  • Survivor advocates state the real number of abuse cases is likely far higher, because many instances are never reported.

Another report by Crime Stoppers of Houston CEO Rania Mankarious says sexual abuse at camps is a disturbing trend that some have compared to the Boy Scouts scandal. “We’ve found over 1,000 victims of sexual assault, just sexual assault, at camps across the country, spanning over the last 10 to 15 years,” Mankarious said.

The Long-Term Cost of Childhood Sexual Assault
The long-term effects of childhood sexual abuse can include higher levels of depression, guilt, shame, self-blame, eating disorders, sleep problems, anxiety, dissociative patterns, repression, denial, and later-in-life sexual and relationship issues. 

To prevent or treat these conditions, your family may need funds to afford specialized counseling, medical therapy, or other forms of enrichment to help your child both survive and thrive. A summer camp sexual assault lawsuit can address these financial needs.

The Responsibilities of Summer and Sleepaway Camps

Summer and sleepaway camps should have comprehensive policies and procedures in place to prevent and respond to incidents of sexual assault, such as: 

  • Thorough staff training on child protection and abuse prevention
  • Background checks for all employees and volunteers 
  • Clear mandatory reporting mechanisms for campers and staff 

Implementing these measures along with robust oversight and supervision practices can significantly reduce the risks of sexual assault. These actions contribute to a safer environment for children and teenagers attending summer camps. The absence of such safety measures could be seen as a failure to protect children and a liability under the law.

Contact Lawyers for Summer Camp Child Sexual Assault

While sexual contact with a minor is a crime, the criminal prosecution handled by the police may not do enough to ensure justice for your family, or keep other children safe. 

One mother interviewed anonymously by CBS was appalled that the adult who molested her son at summer camp accepted a plea deal and was set free with ten years' probation. The family later settled a lawsuit with the summer camp for an undisclosed amount, to help provide relief not otherwise available in only a criminal proceeding.

By filing a child sexual abuse lawsuit, a settlement or verdict may be reached that can help fund therapeutic help for your child. Additionally, a lawsuit can incentivize better safeguards for vulnerable kids in the camp’s care. This type of personal injury lawsuit can also help you regain control over such a horrifying incident, and see that your child’s injuries, needs, and losses are fully considered in court.

Contact Jessica Pride and her compassionate team trained in trauma-informed care to discuss what happened in a free, fully confidential consultation. Located in California, we can be reached online or by phone at (619) 516-8166 to hear your story, evaluate your options, and help you choose the best path forward for you and your child.

Ready For Your Free Consultation?