It is shocking enough to see reports on the news that a teacher, school counselor or administrator has been accused of misconduct with a student, but when we imagine it happening to our own children, it can be especially incredulous. The Chicago sexual abuse attorneys of Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC are committed to protecting your children’s rights when they have been harmed by the people who are trusted to help them learn and grow into responsible adults. If your child has become the victim of abuse, we would like the opportunity to conduct an investigation and to pursue the justice you and your child deserve.
Alarming Abuse Rates
When considering the fear and shame that dissuades children from reporting sexual abuse to their parents or the authorities, it is alarming to know that there are 80,000 cases reported every year. This means that there are countless more cases that have gone unreported because the victims felt too ashamed or afraid to report the abuse. A report released in 2000 also revealed that nearly 10% of students will be subjected to some form of sexual abuse at some point throughout their education. This means that 4.5 million students in the country are at risk.
It is important to understand what can be considered sexual abuse, as it does not always require an actual physical act. Following are some of the actions that can be considered sexual abuse.
- Inappropriate sexual comments made by a teacher, counselor, coach or administrator. The comments can range from subtle come ons to blatant harassment.
- Exposing students to pornographic images or attempting to photograph students in the nude.
- Spying on students while they are changing or showering before or after gym class or following sports practice.
- Making sexual contact with students or performing sexual acts, regardless of whether the student has consented to such acts.
- Sexual assault such as groping, grabbing or forced intercourse.
- Blackmailing students using threats in order to coerce them into performing sexual acts or acting in an inappropriate manner.
Signs of Sexual Abuse
Our Illinois sexual abuse lawyers would like to point out that not all victims of sexual abuse come forward and in some instances, the student may be taking part in inappropriate activities willingly. This does not make it any more appropriate or legal. As parents, we worry about the safety of our children and may often feel that we are unable to protect them when they need it most. There are ways that you can detect the signs of abuse, however, so that you may launch an investigation to uncover any evidence of misconduct and seek justice from the person who is hurting your child. Here are some of the signs to look for.
- Suspicious and inappropriate text messages.
- Phone calls outside of school hours that seem inappropriate.
- Sudden behavior changes and withdrawal from social activities.
- Physical marks on your child’s body.
- Direct accusations of abuse.
Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC is committed to the aggressive pursuit of justice when a child has been sexually assaulted, molested or harassed by a member of his or her school’s staff. In addition to filing criminal charges against the offender, you may wish to hold the school itself liable for not taking the necessary measures to detect and prevent sexual abuse. If your child is the victim of this type of abuse, contact us to learn more about the legal options available to you during a free consultation.
It is important to send a clear and loud message that this type of behavior will not be tolerated, which is why our Chicago sexual abuse attorneys will work tirelessly to hold the school responsible for your child’s abuse. By seeking the maximum compensation allowed by law, we can ensure that schools will take more appropriate preventative measures in the future in order to avoid similar judgments. Our attorneys work entirely on consignment, so you are also assured that you will never owe us a thing unless we can and do collect compensation on your behalf.