My Child Was Sexually Abused at School: What Can I Do?

sexual abuse at school

Child sexual abuse at school occurs at an alarming rate. Sexual abuse can occur between students, or between a teacher or administrator and a student. Regardless of who was perpetrating the sexual abuse, the effects can be devastating.

Many children suffer severe emotional distress due to sexual abuse at school. While some speak out about it, many remain silent.

That’s why it is important that parents, teachers, and friends recognize the signs of sexual abuse and know how to address it.

At Robenalt Law, we are committed to helping victims of child sexual abuse at school. We fight to identify the perpetrators and hold them accountable for the harm they have caused.

Signs of Child Sexual Abuse

Sexual abuse of any kind should not be tolerated. But it is particularly disturbing when it happens to children at school. Children need to feel safe and protected in an educational setting. Teachers and others in a position of authority have been entrusted with their care and well-being, and need to take steps to protect children from sexual abuse and report it when it occurs.

Common signs of child sexual abuse include:

  • A sudden and uncharacteristic decline in academic performance
  • Reluctance to attend school or extra-curricular activities
  • Self-destructive behavior
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Withdrawal and fear
  • Changes in eating habits
  • Disciplinary issues
  • Drug or alcohol abuse
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Creating violent or sexually explicit artwork
  • Suicidal thoughts

What To Do When Sexual Abuse Occurs at School

There are steps you can take to investigate child sexual abuse at school and to seek justice if it has occurred.

If you suspect child sexual abuse has occurred at school, begin by reporting the abuse to a teacher, coach, or another faculty member. But be advised that these individuals are “mandatory reporters” and are legally required to report the allegations of child sexual abuse to school administrators.

You may also consider reporting the sexual abuse to local law enforcement. Reporting the abuse might lead to a criminal investigation.

You should also contact an experienced child sex abuse attorney like Tom Robenalt. At Robenalt Law, our attorneys will help you navigate the complex landscape of child sexual abuse claims. We will provide legal advice, protect your rights, and act as your advocate as you seek justice.

Liability for Child Sexual Assault at School

Ohio law recognizes sexual abuse of children as a civil cause of action. The perpetrator does not need to be found guilty of a crime to be held civilly liable. You can also seek to hold a school liable for child sexual abuse under Title IX and for general negligence.

Title IX

If your child’s school receives federal funding, you can file a complaint under Title IX. Sexual abuse at school is considered a form of sex discrimination, and the victim is denied the right to free and equal access to education. The protections afforded by Title IX can help correct the discrimination experienced by a victim of child sexual assault.

Negligence

A school can also be held liable for child sexual abuse under simple negligence. The school had a duty to keep the child safe, the school breached that duty, and the child suffered harm as a result.

Holding Schools Liable for Child Sexual Abuse

Parents are shocked when they learn their child was sexually abused at school. Their shock is compounded when school districts put their own liability and reputation ahead of that of the child. Families often feel confused and powerless when the school district denies the sexual abuse. But an experienced child sexual abuse attorney like Tom Robenalt can cut through this bureaucratic red tape and get to the heart of the issue.

Tom Robenalt has extensive experience investigating and litigating claims of child sexual abuse against teachers and others in positions of power. He knows how to investigate these claims, identify the educational institutions and their employees who have engaged in child sexual abuse, and hold them accountable.

Of course, no amount of money will make up for the harm caused by child sexual abuse. But it can be used to pay for the cost of medical and psychological treatment, and to compensate victims of child sexual abuse for damage to relationships with family members, psychological injuries, emotional trauma, and pain and suffering.

If you or your child were a victim of child sexual abuse at school, attorney Tom Robenalt can help. To learn more, contact Robenalt Law today to schedule a free, confidential consultation to discuss your situation and how we can help.

Categories: Sexual Abuse