Are Athletic Organizations Required to Report Sexual Abuse?

September 30, 2021

Sexual abuse is a crime that should be reported to the authorities. Cases of sexual harassment and abuse are often swept under the rug in various industries, but it's important for organizations with athletes to take these crimes seriously.

The recent #MeToo campaign has brought awareness to how prevalent sexual assault is around the world, but many people don't comply with laws requiring athletic organizations to report cases of sexual abuse. If you were a victim, you should discuss the matter with an experienced Santa Barbara sexual abuse attorney right away.

What is the CANRA Act?

One piece of legislation that applies to many athletic organizations is the US Congress's Child Abuse and Neglect Reporting Act (CANRA), which was passed in 1990. CANRA requires any organization, such as schools or sports teams, that comes into contact with a child under 18 years old to report suspected cases of abuse within 24 hours.

Why Does Reporting Matter?

People who commit sexual crimes are often repeat offenders, and this is only one reason why it's so important for all organizations with children to take reports seriously. According to the Child Welfare Information Gateway, "A study by researchers at Johns Hopkins University found that out of 373 perpetrators who were charged with abusing one child, 264 had been previously accused of assaulting another child."

If you suspect someone close to your organization may have committed these types of offenses, contact local authorities immediately. Your decision can help save lives.

What is the Statute of Limitations for Sexual Abuse Claims in California?

Another important question is whether or not there's a deadline for bringing injury claims for sexual abuse in California. Such claims allow victims to recover for their physical and emotional injuries due to the abuse.

There are statutes of limitations that might impact some sexual abuse cases, though these time limits have been extended in recent years. Child sex abuse victims have until age 40 to file a claim, though there is a three-year window (that began January 1, 2020) that allows former child victims to bring claims that would otherwise be barred.

What Should You Do as a Parent?

If you believe your child has been sexually abused, or if they disclose that someone hurt them in this way, it's best to speak with a pediatrician as soon as possible. Pediatricians have special training and can help determine whether the abuse is recent or happened some time ago. They also often know the appropriate agencies to contact for reporting sexual offenses involving children. It's also important to call the police and hire a lawyer immediately.

Contact a Santa Barbara Sexual Abuse Injury Attorney Today

Athletic organizations are required by law to report sexual abuse claims within 24 hours to the police. If you have determined that this terrible event has happened to your child, then our team at Bamieh & de Smeth, PLC, can provide the help you need. Contact us today to receive a free case evaluation.