Lawyers for Child Victims of Sexual Abuse by a Teacher, Teacher’s Aide, or Coach
A parent should not be fearful of their child’s safety when they send them off to school. Teachers, teaching assistants, coaches, and administrative staff are entrusted with the welfare of all the children who attend the school. When one of these people acts in an inappropriate way, the emotional and physical well-being of the child is compromised and can be severely damaged. Sexual abuse and assault that is perpetrated by teachers or other school employees can cause life-long trauma to developing children and adolescents.
No amount of sexual abuse is okay. Even one person’s suffering is one too many. Yet, today, there are many instances of reported sexual abuse occurring in schools. Our school sexual abuse lawyer can help you if you have been the victim.
You are not alone. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention note that 1 in 4 girls and 1 in 13 boys in the U.S. experience some type of sexual abuse. Of those that do, 91% of them knew their perpetrator, and that includes teachers or school officials that are often trusted by families and students themselves.
Additional statistics reported by RAINN include these:
- Of all victims under the age of 18, 2 out of every 3 are between the ages of 12 and 17.
- 82% of all victims of sexual abuse are female.
The National Education Association makes it clear that abuses like these happen in schools. From 2017 to 2018, 14,938 incidents of some type of sexual violence were reported in the U.S. in K-12. That is a 55% increase from 2015 to 2016. This includes sexual assault, rape, and other claims.
You are not alone in this type of loss. Our school sexual abuse lawyer can help you to take action and protect your future. Contact Cohen & Malad, LLP today.
Passing the Trash
“Passing the Trash” has become a term synonymous with teacher-related sexual abuse of students. The concept is devastating. It occurs when school administrators learn of sexual misconduct in some way and then dismiss the individual teacher or individual, but often without acknowledgment of the problem. In some situations, this is often due to the terms of a separation agreement. The result is that no one knows what’s occurred, and that person is then rehired by another school to continue the abuse.
Federal laws in the U.S. are supposed to prevent this, yet it often does not. If you feel that this has occurred in your child’s school, take immediate action. Contact our school sexual abuse lawyer to discuss your case.
Abuse by Teachers and Peers
Sexual abuse in schools can occur in various forms. In some situations, it occurs when a teacher, administrator, or other adult makes some type of action of a sexual nature against a minor.
While adult-child-related sexual abuse may seem the most common, it is also possible for child-to-child abuse to occur. Peer-related abuse occurs when one student abuses another in some way. These abusive relationships may have the potential to be recurring.
Signs of Abuse
As parents or other adults, it can be very difficult to recognize the signs of abuse occurring in a school setting. Often, children are taught to respect and listen to their teachers, and that often leads to instances in which a person may not be able to report the abuses they feel. Other times, parents may be in denial or unable to recognize what’s occurring because of how disturbing it can be.
If you notice any of these signs of sexual abuse in your child, get them mental health support and medical attention immediately. Then, reach out to our school sexual abuse lawyer for immediate help. These signs may include:
- Is quieter, more distant, or withdrawn more so than normal
- Displays instances of anger or aggression that seem to come out of nowhere
- Crying for no obvious reason
- Starts to wet the bed or their clothing
- Complaints of stomach pain, headaches, or illness but does not know why
- Has nightmares
- Is clingy and no longer wants to go to school
- No longer wants to play with specific people or children
- Is struggling with sleep
- May no longer be doing well in school, and that’s unexplained
- May be talking about or displaying problematic sexual behavior
- Swelling or redness in the genital area
- Difficulty walking, sitting, or standing still
- Pain or discomfort when going to the bathroom
- Urinary tract infection development
- Bruises on any areas of the body
- Sexually transmitted infections
Types of Abuse
Though difficult for any parent, the signs of sexual abuse in a child related to school exposure can be complex and hard to notice. Yet, there are many instances that could qualify here.
- Verbal abuse, including either written or spoken words of a sexual nature
- Covert abuse occurs when the person does not know they are being abused due to photographing, stalking, or harassing online
- Visual abuse involves the use of sexually charged or explicit videos, photos, or other content, including sexting, flashing, nudity, and performing sexual acts
- Physical abuse involves touching, physical restraint, kissing, tickling, intercourse, sodomy, oral sex, urinating on, stalking, and other forms of physical contact
- Ritualistic is often related to spiritual or ritual-based activities, which have been linked to some private schools
Effects of Childhood Sexual Abuse
Victims of childhood sexual abuse can experience depression, anxiety, nightmares, fear of other people, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). These mental health issues need to be addressed to help a child heal. Psychiatric professionals provide a variety of therapies to help victims of sexual abuse. Through therapy a child can learn methods to cope with the trauma that was inflicted on them and find positive ways to build relationships with people throughout their life. It’s important to note that sexual abuse includes sexual contact with a child and can also include sharing obscene images with a child, taking inappropriate photos or videos of a child, or exposing oneself to a child. All of these behaviors are considered sexual abuse.
Summary of a Sexual Abuse Case at a School
A student at an Indianapolis-area elementary school was seduced and repeatedly sexually assaulted by a teacher’s aide. The aide used social media to groom the child for the abuse. Grooming includes selecting a victim based on their vulnerability, gaining the victim’s trust by identifying a need and meeting it—with words or gifts, separating the victim from their peers to create a one-on-one relationship, and ultimately engaging in a sexual act. This teacher’s aide systematically victimized the child and inflicted serious psychological trauma. Cohen & Malad, LLP attorneys were hired to bring a civil case against the school for failing to protect the child from this abuse and to get compensation for the victim to pay for ongoing psychiatric treatment for the trauma of the sexual abuse.
Resources for Survivors
Other Types Of Sexual Abuse Cases We Handle
We are proud to help families heal through the legal pursuit of sexual abuse claims. Here are a few examples of when we can help.
- Adult on child sexual abuse
- Daycare sexual abuse
- Child-on-child sexual abuse
- Church sexual abuse
- Nursing home sexual abuse
- Residential treatment center sexual abuse
- Youth Sports Sexual Abuse
- UCLA gynecologist sexual abuse
The claims process in a case like this is often dependent on what evidence may be gathered regarding the abuse. That is often difficult to do but critical. In civil cases like this, our goal is to help show that the abuse occurred but also to address all of those who may be responsible for it, including the teacher or school official, as well as the school district that didn’t take action.
Bringing a case like this to court is an option, though our team often works to try to settle it with the appropriate parties. Having a school sexual abuse lawyer by your side is critical throughout this process.
Explanation of Damages
The damages you or your child suffers as a result of a claim like this can be hard to understand. These damages may include:
- Medical costs related to the abuse
- Psychological counseling costs related to the abuse
- Lost income or earning capacity related to the abuse
- Emotional distress claims
- Loss of life enjoyment
- Depression, anxiety, and the onset of other mental health disorders
School Sexual Abuse Attorneys
If you, your child, or someone else you know is a victim of sexual abuse or assault by a trusted advisor, contact us. Our attorneys have been trained by mental health professionals so as to not revictimize the Plaintiff when telling his or her story. Our attorneys have experience handling sexual abuse claims against schools and organizations and can help your family on the path to healing. We understand the sensitive nature of this type of lawsuit and prioritize our clients’ privacy and trust while fighting to get them the compensation they need to assist them in healing and coping with sexual abuse.