While daycare abuse is still a very serious problem in the US, the vast majority of incidents are simply being ignored or swept under the rug. As a parent, you have a responsibility become involved. Not only to your own child’s sake, but for every child at that particular daycare facility.
Many daycare-aged children are often too young to realize that they are being abused, or they’re too scared to talk about it. Many parents fail to understand this dynamic, and often ignore the sometime-subtle changes in personality that hint at serious emotional distress.
If you’ve noticed a change in your child’s behavior (e.g., a regression into infantile behavior, a sudden interest in sexual matters, frequent tantrums or misbehavior, etc.), it’s important to address it as soon as possible. Open a daily line of dialogue with your child about what they did at daycare, what specifically they enjoyed, as well as what they did not like.
Make sure they understand that they will never get in trouble for “tattling” on a teacher, and that no adult is allowed to be mean to them, hit them, inappropriately touch them, or make them feel uncomfortable. If you suspect abuse may have occurred (even if it’s just a hunch), it’s vitally important that you make an official report so that the matter is investigated.
What Should a Family Do If They Suspect Their Child Is Being Abused?
Abuse can be physical, sexual, or emotional. It is important for parents to understand the warning signs of daycare abuse so as to facilitate earlier detection. If you suspect abuse, remove your child immediately and make an official report with the state’s licensing agency. If your child suffered injuries or suspected sexual abuse, report your suspicions to the local police department immediately as well.
While it is up to police whether or not any criminal charges are ultimately pursued, if it’s determined that your child was abused, your family may also be owed compensation through a civil claim or lawsuit.
If your family has suffered damages as a result (e.g., medical bills, counseling, therapy, alternative childcare arrangements, etc.), you deserve to be compensated. These types of claims can be contentious and complex in terms of liability, but with the help of a daycare abuse attorney, you can have them pursue a claim on your family’s behalf on a no-win, no-fee basis. But it’s important to act quickly.
Statute of Limitations on Daycare Abuse
The statute of limitations is a “deadline” of sorts for pursuing your claim. The time limit varies by state, but is generally one or two years from the date of the incident. If you fail to file a lawsuit before the statute runs, you are legally barred from pursuing any compensation related to the incident.
An experienced attorney can provide this information to you free of charge during your initial consultation, and explain the options available to you and your family moving forward. Even if you’re in no danger of missing the statute of limitations, the sooner you act, the better the chances you have at a successful case. As time passes, evidence disappears, memories fade, potential witnesses move away, and it becomes much harder to prove your case.
Your child’s health and safety comes before everything. If you suspect that your child has been abused, be their champion. Your actions may help not only your child, but other children at that facility who may be going through the same horrible experience.