SANTA CRUZ CHILD SEXUAL ABUSE ATTORNEY
MICHAEL REHM - (831) 431-0986
Providing representation to victims of School/Teacher/Counselor/Coach sexual assault, clergy/pastor childhood sexual abuse, Boy Scouts sexual abuse, and other institutional actor abuse matters in Santa Cruz County CA.
Sexual abuse of children is a tragedy that occurs far too often. The good news is that substantiated reports of child abuse in Santa Cruz have decreased substantially since 2015. Unfortunately, not all child abuse is reported and not all truthful reports are substantiated.
Most child abuse reports in Santa Cruz County involve neglect, but more than 10% involve sexual abuse. While sexual abuse often occurs within the family, it is also prevalent in institutions that parents should be able to trust.
Institutional Liability for Child Sexual Abuse in Santa Cruz
Institutions that have a history of placing children at risk include:
- Schools and school-sponsored activities
- Athletic programs, such as Little League
- Youth organizations, such as the Boy Scouts
- Religious organizations
- Daycare centers
- Group homes and residential treatment facilities
California law imposes a duty on institutions to protect children from harm when the institution has a “special relationship” with the child. Schools have historically been regarded as substitute parents when children are in their care, creating the kind of special relationship that imposes a duty to protect children from harm.
In addition to schools, any institution that has “custody and control” of children will generally have the kind of “special relationship” that imposes a duty to keep them safe. That duty requires the institution to screen employees and volunteers to weed out potential child molesters, to supervise staff and volunteers when they are interacting with children, and to monitor the behavior of other children and adults to assure the safety of children who have been entrusted to the institution's care.
Help for Child Sexual Abuse Victims in Santa Cruz
Parents of abused children should alert the police when they suspect that their child has been victimized. Parents should also make sure that their children receive appropriate support and counseling.
The nonprofit Survivor’s Healing Center in downtown Santa Cruz is one of several local organizations that can provide information about healing and therapy for sexual abuse survivors. The Parents Center in Santa Cruz can provide counseling or referrals as well as information about helping child sexual assault victims stay safe.
Legal Remedies for Child Sexual Abuse Victims in Santa Cruz
Attorney Michael Rehm represents child sexual abuse victims in Santa Cruz and pursues legal remedies against institutional abusers. Children who have been sexually abused will often need lifetime therapy to overcome feelings of anxiety and guilt. Victims often suffer from depression, low self-esteem, an inability to trust, and post-traumatic stress disorder. Sexual abuse settlements can provide compensation to pay for needed treatment, lost wages and to help victims obtain closure.
Sexual abuse lawsuits are a first step on the road to recovery. While time limits restrict the ability to bring claims, those limits are not necessarily a barrier to legal relief. Victims can sue until they reach the age of 40. In addition, the California legislature has given all victims until the end of 2022 to file suit for cases of child sexual abuse, regardless of when they occurred.
Santa Cruz School Sexual Abuse Lawyer Michael Rehm can help victims and their families recover compensation for pain, suffering, humiliation, anxiety, and the past and future cost of therapy and other mental health treatment. We protect the rights of child sexual abuse survivors in Santa Cruz, Watsonville, Capitola, Aptos and all throughout Santa Cruz County.