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Do You Need a School Sexual Abuse Lawyer?

Woman sitting at desk with lawyer | school sexual abuse | Vinkler Law Offices

As Chicago personal injury attorneys with expertise in sexual abuse, we often receive questions regarding students dealing with the heart-wrenching aftermath of sexual abuse, assault, and harassment. School sexual abuse can happen in a variety of school and educational-related settings, and victims may be entitled to seek damages and compensation through sexual abuse lawsuits.

Whether the abuse occurred at a Chicago public school, a private school, or a daycare center, seeking advice from a school sexual abuse lawyer is an important step to holding abusers accountable.

What is School Sexual Abuse?

School sexual abuse refers to when someone at a school, typically a person in a position of authority but sometimes a peer, sexually abuses a student. Often, the abuser is a teacher, coach, or another faculty member. In these cases, the adult abuser uses their authority to prey on students. When the student is a minor, in grades kindergarten through 12th, it’s considered child sexual abuse.

Sexual abuse at schools can take many forms, and it generally refers to an adult (teacher, school staff, or other administrators) touching children for sexual gratification, making the children watch them take part in sexual acts, or forcing them to engage in sexual behavior.

Daycare Centers May Also Be Liable

Daycare centers are responsible for the safety of the children in their care. While the daycare center where your child attends is a safe place to learn and play. It’s also a place where your child may be at risk for sexual abuse.

If a child is sexually abused at daycare, they may be liable for any injuries or damages that result, including sexual abuse.

There are some signs to look out for if your child has been sexually abused at daycare. Your child may present with some of these symptoms:

  • Behavior changes, such as extreme fear or anxiety around certain people or places
  • Bedwetting, nightmares, or sleep disturbances
  • Refusal to go to school or daycare
  • Acting out in school or other inappropriate sexual behavior

While you should always talk to your child about any potential abuse, it’s important to remember that some children may not understand what they experienced or even how to express their feelings about it.

Survivors Are Often Afraid to Report Their Abuse

Many school sexual abuse survivors are hesitant to report their abuse, and this is because they are often afraid of the risks associated with doing so.
First, many school sexual abuse survivors are young, which means that they may not have the ability to articulate the abuse in a way that is understandable by adults. This can make it difficult for adults to understand what happened and why they should take action.

Additionally, many school sexual abuse survivors fear that if they report their abuser, they will be punished for something they have no control over. This fear can lead to survivors remaining silent about their experiences for years or even decades.

Finally, many school sexual abuse survivors feel as though there is nothing anyone can do about what happened to them. This lack of confidence in authority figures makes them reluctant to seek help from teachers or other adults at school who could potentially help them heal from their trauma.

The Effects of School Sexual Abuse

The effects of school sexual abuse can be devastating for victims and those who witness it happening. Victims often experience depression and anxiety as well as physical symptoms such as headaches and stomachaches. They may also feel guilty about what happened or blame themselves for being victimized by someone they trusted. They may fear that others will find out what happened and not want them around anymore. These feelings can lead to problems at school or home that affect learning performance and socialization skills, among other things.

Seek Legal Advice from an Experienced Chicago Sexual Abuse Attorney

If your child comes home from school showing any signs of sexual abuse, it is critical that you seek legal advice and guidance from an experienced sexual abuse attorney. At Vinkler Law, our sexual abuse attorneys have extensive experience helping victims and their families seek compensation for damages caused by the perpetrator. To learn more about the legal options available to you and your child, contact us today for a free consultation.

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