Daycares and Sexual Assault: What Every Parent Should Know
Stephanie E. Grana—July 2, 2019
It’s difficult to think about, but one of the most common locations where sexual assault occurs is in daycares. In fact, child sexual assault is reported roughly 80,000 times each year. With the addition of unreported incidents, the true amount at which this heinous act occurs is unknown.
While those responsible for child sexual assault cases vary greatly, daycares are particularly dangerous and the stats show as such. Roughly one in 10 children will suffer from sexual assault before the age of 18. It is more common for girls than boys, but regardless of gender, these acts have significant mental and physical impacts on the survivor.
As a parent, it’s imperative to recognize the signs of daycare sexual assault and know what to do should you encounter the situation.
Signs Your Child May Exhibit
All parents must take caution when sending their child to daycare. There are certain signs that can be used to identify whether your child is a victim of sexual assault. The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children identifies some of the potential indicators, including but not limited to:
- Extreme mood swings and behavioral changes
- Acting up in school—displaying troubled behavior
- Regressing in specific behavior, including clinging, wetting the bed, displaying fear of sleeping, and having trouble going to bed
- Fear of people or places
- Rebellious behavior and acting out
- Displaying sexual activity in an inappropriate manner
It’s easy for children to fear the person who is assaulting them, as well as being unable to report their abuser out of fear. Make sure you are making it clear to your child that they can speak with you about anything.
Preventing Daycare Sexual Assault
One of the most important things that a parent can do to prevent their child from sexual assault is to pick a quality provider. Many of the daycare centers and employees undergo stringent background checks. You can ask the director of the center how they screen potential care providers and address any concerns.
Parents must keep informing their children that they are okay to tell someone no if they feel uncomfortable in a situation. Let your child know that if anyone tries to touch them or say something inappropriate to them, they should report it to you immediately and tell them no.
Your children should also know that while they should listen to the teacher or caregiver during many situations, but if the situations makes your children feel uncomfortable in anyway, they should say no or seek another adult.
At Breit Cantor Grana Buckner, we know that children may be vulnerable to sexual assault because those who perpetrate the act feel the children may not report it or that people won’t believe them. Our Virginia sexual assault attorneys are here for these children, and we give them the voice to hold the guilty party accountable.
For more than 26 years, Stephanie Grana has fought for individuals and families in Virginia suffering from catastrophic injury and wrongful death as a top Richmond personal injury lawyer. She has recovered more than 45 verdicts and settlements of over $1 million.