Thousands of Detained Immigrant Children Sexually Assaulted

A new report by the Office of Refugee Resettlement indicates that nearly 5,000 immigrant children detained at the southern U.S, border without parental guidance were sexually abused while in government custody. Due to the fear of deportation, the agency expects the number of abused children to be far greater.

About Immigrant Sexual Abuse

Social workers who work with immigrant populations report many undocumented children who have been sexually abused. This doesn’t just apply to those at the border, but children already living in the United States. Children or family often do not report or discuss the abuse. Sexual abuse does not have identifiable marks as physical abuse does. Plus, the language barrier adds another dimension of difficulty in reporting the crime. Even when a child does report, the fear of deportation is real. Then, the abuser uses this fear to protect themselves from exposure.

Report on Detained Immigrant Children Sexual Assaults

From October 2014 to July 2018, the Office of Refugee Resettlement, a part of the Health and Human Services Department that cares for unaccompanied minors received a total of 4,556 allegations of sexual abuse or sexual harassment. The department sent 1,303 complaints to the Justice Department. Nearly 200 cases involved adult staff members during the child’s detainment.

The records, however, do not have outcomes of every complaint. A majority showed a lack of evidence to prosecute or the investigation proved unfounded. Yet, there was a single case of a staff member at a Chicago detention facility charged with sexual abuse. In April 2015, an immigrant child accused the worker of fondling and kissing a child, but the report did not state whether that person had been found guilty.

Many are calling for more detailed investigations into these reports and better regulations at detainment facilities.

Get Legal Help

Survivors of sexual abuse can file civil suits against perpetrators and other responsible parties, regardless of the outcome or existence of criminal prosecution. Civil lawsuits can help a survivor seek monetary damages. This compensation can never change the abuse suffered but can help rebuild a life.

Plus, a civil suit can deter future abuse. This is why it is important if you or a loved one was the victim of sexual abuse to contact The Michael Brady Lynch Firm. We will provide a free consultation and instruct of any avenues available to you for civil litigation.

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