SANTA BARBARA CHILD SEXUAL ABUSE ATTORNEY
MICHAEL REHM - (800) 978-0754
Providing representation to victims of School/Teacher/Counselor/Coach sexual assault, Clergy/Pastor/Priest childhood sexual abuse, Boy Scouts sexual abuse, and other institutional abuse matters in Santa Barbara, Santa Maria, Goleta, and Lompoc CA.
New charges of child sexual assault were recently lodged against the Franciscan Friars of California, the Old Mission Santa Barbara, and the San Roque Catholic Church. The allegations relate to the sexual abuse in Santa Barbara of a fifth-grade choir member in 1989.
A new California law allows civil lawsuits based on the sexual abuse of a child to be filed regardless of when the abuse occurred. That law will expire at the end of 2022. Beginning in 2023, survivors of sexual assault will be able to sue until they reach the age of 40, although some victims will be allowed additional time to commence legal action.
Sexual abuse in the Santa Barbara area is not limited to the clergy. While any predator with access to a child can commit a sexual assault, institutions and organizations often enable sexual abuse by employing people who groom their young victims. California law permits survivors to pursue compensation from institutions that have care or custody of children when they fail to take reasonable precautions to protect children from sexual abuse.
Sexual Abuse in Santa Barbara Institutions
Churches and religious organizations are among the institutions that enable the sexual abuse of minors. Any institution or group that assumes the care and custody of children has a responsibility to protect those children from harm.
The Santa Barbara institutions that have a duty to protect children in their care include:
- Schools (when they have custody of children during school hours)
- School sports programs that children attend after school
- School sponsored extra-curricular programs, such as band and theater
- Social organizations, such as Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts
- Recreational organizations, such as Little League and Youth Soccer
- Churches that invite children to participate in religious activities or study
- Summer camps for children
- Day care programs
- Group homes
If a reasonably prudent person in charge of an institution should foresee a significant risk of sexual abuse, the institution has a duty to take reasonable steps to mitigate that risk. The responsibility to protect children includes exercising reasonable care to supervise people who contact with the children, to conduct background checks of employees and volunteers who will work with children, and to investigate reports of suspicious or inappropriate contact with children.
Responding to Sexual Abuse in Santa Barbara Institutions
We urge all survivors of childhood sexual abuse to obtain treatment and counseling that will help them cope with their trauma. The North County Rape Crisis and Child Protection Center provides services to abused children, while a number of local organizations offer therapy to adult survivors who are living with the consequences of childhood sexual abuse.
Santa Barbara child sexual abuse Lawyer Michael Rehm can help survivors obtain compensation to fund their treatment. Institutions that fail to protect children from sexual abuse often have financial resources that allow them to pay significant settlements or jury verdicts. In addition to funding therapy and treatment, compensation recognizes the emotional consequences of sexual abuse, including depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress, loss of enjoyment of life, and other manifestations of emotional distress. School sexual abuse Attorney Michael Rehm can advise survivors about the compensation they might receive by bringing a claim against an institution that contributed to their emotional suffering.
If you are a victim of Institutional Childhood Sexual Abuse, call Attorney Rehm to find out what options you have, and how to move forward in the legal process from this point forward. Consultations are free and confidential and are available at (800) 978-0754 .