One of the most atrocious acts anyone can involve themselves in is intentionally harming a child. And this is especially true when it comes to any form of sexual abuse, an atrocity that can profoundly impact their young life. That said, sexual abuse cases in the U.S., especially in California, are not exactly new.
What is new, however, is the growing incident rates of sexual abuse cases substantiated by child protective services and other agencies, including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), which revealed that 1 in 4 girls and 1 in 13 boys in the U.S. are victims of sexual abuse. To add insult to injury, the people doing the victimizing are teachers, coaches, family members, and others who children often trust the most.
When Schools Fail Our Kids: What Parents Should Know About School Sexual Abuse in America’s Public Schools
Most of us believe our children are in good hands when we drop them off at school, but a recent study proves we should probably think otherwise. According to a study published by the Independent Institute, a non-profit, non-partisan, public-policy research and educational organization, public schools might very well be one of the worse places we, as parents, can send our children.
This is especially true if we care anything about protecting their innocence. To understand why that is the case, we need only refer back to the Independent Institute study, which revealed that around 10% or roughly 4.5 million children are victims of sexual abuse or sexual misconduct by school employees.
Such sexual abuse or misconduct can increase a child’s chances of contracting a sexually transmitted disease (STI). It can also leave them suffering from a variety of psychological symptoms, some of which include the following:
- Suicidal ideations
- Sexual dysfunction
- Eating disorders
- Substance use disorders
How Prevalent Is Sexual Abuse in California Schools?
Like the rest of the nation, sexual abuse is a problem in many of California’s public schools, with 79% of schoolchildren experiencing sexual abuse that consists of direct contact. Meanwhile, 14% are victims of non-contact sexual abuse, which is usually in the form of lude texts and emails. Lastly, 8% of schoolchildren are on the receiving end of both.
More than 53% of sexual abuse happens on school premises, and 19% of it occurs online. While we are on the topic, it is worth noting that 56% of students in California public schools who are victims of sexual abuse are girls. And the average age of boys and girls who are victims of sexual abuse is 15. Lastly, 49% of all victims, irrespective of gender, are minorities.
Sexual Abuse Compensation: Holding California’s Public Schools and School Employees Accountable
According to an article published by Forbes, psychotherapy in the U.S. is between $100 and $200 per session. And this is the type of therapy children will need if they’ve been the victim of sexual abuse.
Failing to partake in such treatments with a licensed therapist can increase a child’s chances of struggling with the long-term effects of abuse, such as an unyielding desire to engage in risky sexual behavior, intimacy issues, self-harm, suicidal ideations, substance abuse, and much more.
Therapy can help keep all of these long-term effects at bay, but it doesn’t come cheap. For this reason, many parents of children victimized in California public schools are filing compensation claims. A public school sexual abuse lawyer can help victims seek justice.
Who Is Eligible to Make a Claim for Compensation?
Parents of children enrolled in a California public school can file a civil lawsuit against not only the abuser but also the school district and other parties involved if their child was a victim of sexual abuse.
That said, making a claim for compensation and receiving a favorable verdict is not easy. However, it is not impossible either, especially with the right public school sexual abuse lawyer in your corner.