The school sexual abuse lawyers in Chicago, Illinois at the Dinizulu Law Group work with families who have been devastated by school sexual abuse. Nothing can be more horrible than learning that your child has been sexually abused, and to learn that it took place at school can be even more terrifying and infuriating. The Dinizulu Law Group is a school sexual abuse law firm in Chicago, Illinois that helps families seek justice and compensation when a loved one has been sexually abused or molested at school.
According to the Washington Post, school sexual assaults are on the rise. Between 2015 and 2016, there were 9,600 reported school sexual assaults. This figure rose to nearly 15,000 sexual assaults between 2017 and 2018. School sexual abuse can happen in elementary schools, middle schools, and high schools, and in this case they are also often child molestation cases. In some cases, sexual abuse may involve an adult and child, or it may involve a student harassing or molesting another student.
However, school sexual abuse can also involve sexual abuse that happens on college campuses. School sexual abuse can involve a teacher abusing a student, or student-on-student sexual abuse. In either case, victims of school sexual abuse may have the right to pursue a lawsuit against the offending person and against the school for negligence or failure to take steps to prevent the abuse from happening.
Unfortunately, many K-12 schools are unprepared and don’t have plans in place about what to do if a student or parent suspects that a student has been sexually abused. School administrators may not always know what they need to do. This can lead to delays in stopping the abuse, teachers being kept on the job and in contact with students, and can lead to ongoing sexual abuse. There have even been cases where students faced retaliation when they reported sexual assault or accused a teacher of sexual abuse. In one instance, a student was even suspended for accusing a teacher of sexual abuse.
If you suspect your child has suffered school sexual abuse, it is important to report it right away. Seek help for your child. The wounds of school sexual abuse can be visible and invisible, with sexual abuse victims being at greater risk of anxiety, depression, PTSD, suicidal ideation, self-harming behaviors, and more. Take steps to protect your child and seek help, and then consider reaching out to the school sexual abuse lawyers in Chicago, Illinois at the Dinizulu Law Group. Our lawyers may be able to help you and your family seek justice and hold schools and school districts accountable if your child was sexually abused at school.
What is School Sexual Abuse?
School sexual abuse can take on many forms. It can include sexual harassment or sexual comments made by a teacher toward a student, or can include a teacher or administration’s failure to stop sexual harassment or sexual comments between two students when the comments are unwanted. School sexual abuse can include exposing students to pornography or trying to create pornography using a child. School sexual abuse can also involve other crimes, like watching children change in the locker room before sports activities, or watching them while they shower. It can also include rape, sexual acts, groping, and inappropriate touching, or exposure. School sexual abuse can include a school or college’s failure to properly investigate reports of sexual assault or rape on campus, and can even include situations where the school covers up these allegations to protect teachers, certain students, or others in power.
Unfortunately school sexual abuse may not always leave signs or marks on a child. If you suspect that your child might have been a victim of school sexual abuse, talk to your child and seek help as soon as possible. The Dinizulu Law Group is a school sexual abuse law firm in Chicago, Illinois that works with individuals and families who have suffered due to school sexual abuse.
Signs of School Sexual Abuse
School sexual abuse can sometimes be difficult to identify. Short of a child speaking up about sexual abuse, parents may not always know what their child or college student is going through. Yet, there are some signs that your child or college student may be suffering from sexual abuse. Here are some red flags:
- Sudden changes in your child’s behavior, including social withdrawal, or a wish to not return to school or other school activities.
- Inappropriate relationships with teachers or other authority figures, including relationships that involve extracurricular activities not sanctioned by the school.
- Problems sleeping, or nightmares.
- Not speaking as much, or keeping secrets.
- Shows knowledge of sexual behavior or sexuality that isn’t appropriate for his or her age group.
- Sexually transmitted diseases.
- Injuries to the body or genital area.
Signs of school sexual behavior in teens and college age individuals may be different. Signs can include alcohol or drug use, self-harming, changes in appearance, changes in eating habits, avoiding people, places, and former friends, or a sudden change in desire to participate in activities he or she once enjoyed, sexually transmitted diseases, injuries, and pregnancy. Of course, these symptoms can also be experienced by children not suffering sexual abuse, so parents are wise to listen to their gut and keep lines of communication open.
If your child has suffered any of these injuries or shows any of these signs, you may want to speak to him or her, or seek immediate medical attention. Children may not always know that they are being sexually abused. Talking to your child about appropriate and inappropriate touching and possibly seeking professional help if your gut tells you something is off is a good idea.
There are many long-lasting effects of sexual abuse that can impact victims for years. Victims may be more at risk of suffering from depression, anxiety, or PTSD. They may be more at risk of self-harming behaviors or suicidal ideation. They may be more likely to abuse drugs or alcohol. They may have trouble sleeping or suffer from panic attacks or flashbacks. Others may end up with sexually transmitted diseases or unwanted pregnancy. Medical care and costs can be ongoing. Sexual abuse can impact interpersonal relationships, lead to lost opportunities, and increased costs for victims and families. If you or someone you love was sexually abused at school, you and your family may be entitled to seek damages for medical care, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other losses. The Dinizulu Law Group is a school sexual abuse law firm in Chicago, Illinois that may be able to help.
Learning that your child has been sexually abused at school can be devastating. Yet, you are not alone and you have the right to take action to protect your child and to protect other children. The school sexual abuse lawyers in Chicago, Illinois at the Dinizulu Law Group work with families and victims to help them seek justice. The wounds of school sexual abuse may be visible or invisible, and may require counseling, therapy, medical care, and can affect a child and family for life. The Dinizulu Law Group is a school sexual abuse law firm in Chicago, Illinois that helps families seek compensation to cover these expenses, and holds schools and individuals accountable for their actions.
When we take sexual abuse out of the shadows and hold people and institutions accountable, we not only protect our children, but all children who may be in contact with a potential abuser. Schools sometimes have a monetary or reputational interest to cover up allegations of sexual abuse. Sometimes the school may be protecting a teacher or person in power, and sometimes the school wants to protect its reputation. Other times there may be outright denial. This can further harm a child and a family suffering from abuse. There have been cases where schools failed to take actions to follow up on allegations of rape or sexual abuse on campus. Some students even suffered retaliation for speaking up.
When victims fight back, they hold individuals and institutions accountable. If you or someone you love was a victim of school sexual abuse, the Dinizulu Law Group is a school sexual abuse law firm in Chicago, Illinois that may be able to help. Our lawyers can take the time to compassionately review your case, identify negligent parties, and fight to help you and your family seek the justice you may deserve. In some cases, families pursue a claim against a teacher or administrator, but in most cases, families pursue claims against the school itself. Schools have a responsibility to have plans in place to handle allegations of school sexual abuse. Unfortunately, not all schools do.
School sexual abuse can be devastating to victims and families, but you are not alone. The Dinizulu Law Group is a school sexual abuse law firm in Chicago, Illinois that may be able to help you seek justice and compensation for your losses. Contact us today to learn more.