The Role of Schools In Child Sexual Abuse

School systems have been in the media way too often in recent years for lawsuits filed against them for the sexual harming of students by their teachers and other school staff members. Reports of sexual abuse occurring at schools in California and the rest of the nation are increasing at an alarming rate.

blog

School systems have been in the media way too often in recent years for lawsuits filed against them for the sexual harming of students by their teachers and other school staff members. Reports of sexual abuse occurring at schools in California and the rest of the nation are increasing at an alarming rate.

Schools are social institutions outside their family with which nearly all children have consistent, ongoing contact. As such, it is imperative to identify endangered children, including those who have been sexually harmed.

When a child is sexually abused or harmed in school, the perpetrator can be criminally liable. The school system that hired the perpetrator can also be civilly liable to the victim

Holding the School District Liable

Every child is required by law to receive an education. This means that most parents have very little choice but to put their trust in public school districts whose employees essentially act as “substitute parents” throughout the school day. This is a very big responsibility that carries with it the duty of school district administrators to supervise their teachers and staff and provide a safe environment for the children that is free from any type of abuse.

Under California law, and the laws of most other states, public school districts may not be directly civilly liable for damages caused by the illegal acts of their employees, including sexual abuse and harm. However, a 2012 California Supreme Court held that school administrators have a duty to protect students from harm, which includes the school district to exercise great care when hiring, supervising and firing school staff members. The Court further held that if a school district hires a known child molester or fails to provide adequate training, supervision, or termination when face with ongoing sexual misconduct, the district can be held civilly liable to the victim.

Call Us

If you suspect that your child or a loved one has been abused or sexually harmed while in school, you should immediately contact an attorney to protect the legal rights of your loved one.

At the Law Offices of Michael S. Carrillo, our sexual abuse lawyers can help you better understand your legal rights and options. Our experienced legal team will provide you with a comfortable atmosphere that will promote an honest exchange of information. For more information or to schedule a complimentary consultation with one of our knowledgeable attorneys, please call us at 626-799-9379.

Recognizing The Signs of Sexual Abuse In Children v. Adult

blog-1Sexual abuse is a devastating experience, regardless of how old the victim is. Unfortunately, the majority of sexual abuse cases go unreported. According to the U.S. Department of Justice, approximately only 30% of sexual assault and abuse cases are reported to authorities. The reason is that most victims are ashamed to discuss what happened to them and believe that they are somehow at fault for the sexual abuse.

One of the important steps we can take to reduce sexual abuse is to recognize the signs of sexual harm and help loved ones that we suspect have been abused to report it to the authorities in order to prevent it from happening to others. The first step in recognizing the signs of sexual abuse is to understand that these signs often differ between adults and children.

Warning Signs Of Sexual Abuse In Adults

Adult victims of sexual abuse and assault experience many different reactions and emotions. For these types of traumatic events, it is important to realize that there is not one “standard” pattern of reaction to the extreme stress of traumatic experiences. The impact of sexual abuse differs from one person to the next and can occur on different levels.

Below is a list of common warning signs to help identify possible sexual abuse in adults:

  • Fear responses to reminders of the assault
  • Imminent sense of anxiety about feeling safe
  • Nightmares
  • Loss of interest in sex
  • Depression
  • Anger
  • Disruptions in close relationship
  • Developing a negative self-image or feeling “dirty” inside or out
  • Guilty feelings

Indicators Of Sexual Abuse In Children

A parent’s worse nightmare is to find out his or her child has been sexually harmed. Although you may not be able to prevent this horrific event from happening, you can proactively handle the situation by recognizing the following common indicators of sexual abuse in children:

  • Self-injury (cutting, burning)
  • Inadequate personal hygiene
  • Drug and alcohol abuse
  • Sexual promiscuity
  • Running away from home
  • Suicide attempts
  • Fear of intimacy or closeness
  • Compulsive eating or dieting

Most sexually abused children may not readily disclose what happened to them. It is up to attentive adults to recognize hints. If you suspect that a loved one, regardless of age, has been sexually harmed, it is imperative to report it to the authorities and seek legal help.

Call Us

If you suspect that a loved one has been abused or sexually harmed, you should immediately contact an attorney to protect the legal rights of your loved one.

At the Law Offices of Michael S. Carrillo, our sexual abuse lawyers can help you better understand your legal rights and options. Our experienced legal team will provide you with a comfortable atmosphere that will promote an honest exchange of information. For more information or to schedule a complimentary consultation with one of our knowledgeable attorneys, please call us at 626-799-9379.

What To Do If You Suspect Your Child Is Being Sexually Harmed

blog-3We do whatever it takes to protect our children – especially from the nightmare of sexual abuse and assault. If you are concerned or suspect that your child is a victim of sexual abuse, it is only natural to want to take every step to help him or her. However, as eager as you may be to help your child, you may also not be sure what to do or how to respond.

Child sexual abuse and assault is a type of crime that often goes undetected. Regardless of what your role may be – mother, father, grandparent, coach, teacher, religious leader or caretaker – you have the power to make a positive difference in your child’s life.

Below are some tips to consider if you suspect that your child is being sexually harmed.

1. Recognize the Signs of Sexual Abuse

The signs of sexual abuse are not always obvious. As such, it is important for you to learn the warning signs of child sexual abuse in order to save your loved one’s life. Some common warning signs of sexual abuse in young children include:

  • Behavioral signs: These signs include shying away from or seeming threatened by physical contact, regressive behavior like wetting the bed, changing hygiene routines such as refusing to take showers, engaging age-inappropriate sexual behaviors, nightmares.
  • Verbal signs: These signs include using words that are obviously “too adult” for the child’s age, suddenly becoming less verbal or becoming alarming silence.
  • Physical signs: These signs include bruising and swelling around the genital area, blood on undergarments or scars.

2. Communicated With Your Child

If you suspect that your child is being sexually harmed, it is very important to keep lines of communication open with your child. When talking to your child, you should consider:

  • Choosing a time and place that your child feels comfortable
  • Using a tone that makes your child feel comfortable enough to open up to you
  • Using vocabulary that your child clearly understands and comprehends
  • Listening and following up on your conversation
  • Never blaming or becoming judgmental of your child
  • Being patient

3. Report The Sexual Abuse

Once your child opens up and admits that he or she has been sexually harmed, you need to report it. This is not an easy task, and can be emotionally draining. Nevertheless, as your child’s guardian, you need to take this important and mandatory step in order to get your child the help he or she needs and prevent the abuse from happening to another innocent child.

Call Us

If you suspect that your child or a loved one has been abused or molested, it is important to immediately contact an attorney to protect the legal rights of your loved one.

At the Law Offices of Michael S. Carrillo, our sexual abuse lawyers can help you better understand your legal rights and options. Our experienced legal team will provide you with a comfortable atmosphere that will promote an honest exchange of information. For more information or to schedule a complimentary consultation with one of our knowledgeable attorneys, please call us at 626-799-9379.