Recognizing the Signs of Sexual Abuse
Every child in America has the right to a good education. We, as parents, trust that the teachers and staff at the schools our children attend have the best interests of our kids in mind. Almost always that is in fact the case.
Tragically, however, there are a few educators who violate this trust and have sexually assaulted children. When that occurs, not only must the teacher be held responsible but also the school needs to be held responsible if it allowed the abuse to occur. At Tremont Sheldon Robinson Mahoney P.C. in Bridgeport, we have settled a number of cases against private, parochial and public schools and are actively pursuing a case against a public high school.
Sexual abuse in schools is far more prevalent than people realize. If you have been abused, you are not alone and help is available. Call our office at 203-212-9075 to schedule a confidential consultation to discuss what happened.
Challenges With Reporting School Abuse
Victims frequently have difficulty reporting abuse because of the guilt and shame that they feel. It is not uncommon for some victims to doubt that abuse has even taken place because their abusers have groomed them into believing that they were in a consensual relationship or they somehow attracted this attention. Others may feel helpless because of fears that nobody will believe them.
A study referenced in The Boston Globe estimated that only six to 10 percent of students report abuse by teachers and other educators. Abuse can occur anywhere at any age, including:
- Private, public and boarding schools
- Nursery school through high school
- Colleges and universities
Protection From Retaliation
Even when students or other educators do report sexual abuse, they may face an uphill battle to obtain justice. Many students have been retaliated against by the schools. Retaliation efforts have included formal disciplinary action as well as expulsion.
New England private schools: The Globe Spotlight Team for The Boston Globe uncovered multiple instances of retaliation against students who were sexually abused or employees who reported the abuse. The following is a list of schools in Connecticut identified by the Globe Spotlight Team:
- Assumption Catholic School (Our Lady of Assumption School), Fairfield, Connecticut
- Brunswick School, Greenwich, Connecticut
- Choate Rosemary Hall, Wallingford, Connecticut
- Eagle Hill School, Greenwich, Connecticut
- Forman School in Litchfield, Connecticut
- The Glenholme School, Washington, Connecticut
- The Hotchkiss School, Lakeville, Connecticut
- Indian Mountain School, Lakeville, Connecticut
- The Loomis Chaffee School, Windsor, Connecticut
- Miss Porter’s School, Farmington, Connecticut
- Notre Dame Catholic High School, Fairfield, Connecticut
- Our Lady of Mount Carmel School, Waterbury, Connecticut
- Pomfret School, Pomfret Center, Connecticut
- St. Thomas More School, Montville, Connecticut
- St. Joseph’s School, Shelton, Connecticut
- St. Stanislaus, Meriden, Connecticut
- Taft School, Watertown, Connecticut
- The Academy at Mount Saint John, Deep River, Connecticut
- Westover School, Middlebury, Connecticut
Retaliation can be difficult to prove. Victims are often selected for vulnerabilities such as family problems or learning disabilities. Victims may develop substance abuse issues or have other psychological problems. When they act out, they are often disciplined by the school.
We are familiar with the retaliatory techniques used by the school, and our lawyers know what it takes to build a successful retaliation case.
Discreet Legal Counsel for Victims of Sexual Abuse at School
We understand the concerns of individuals and families about reporting sexual abuse. We are adept at protecting the privacy interests of our clients while holding abusers accountable. Our attorneys are experienced, compassionate and professional when representing our clients. We create an environment where clients can feel safe and confident in our ability to see that justice is done.