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Private School Abuse

por Alton Madera (2019-08-29)


Private School Abuse presents a range of illegal and lurid acts frequently committed against students by school faculty members, administrators or employees involving sexual assault of varying degrees. The attack may be a one-time, non-consensual encounter or it might involve several assaults during an continuing interaction. For example, an ongoing intimate encounter with a student, created by the predatory behavior of a faculty member, school administrator or staff and whether leading to physical consensual sex acts or not, is a form of abuse.

Student-on-student sexual assault is an additional form of abuse, which might be compounded by the school’s negligence to provide a safe environment that allowed the assault to happen. Inside the school community are students of varying ages, maturity and experiences. Immature students may be subjected to the predatory behavior of older, more experienced students. This actions, coupled with peer-pressure applied to both the attacker and the targeted victim, can lead to different types of abuse that includes sexual assault of varying degrees.

In all reported Boarding School Assault matters, a school administration’s failure to entirely, adequately report the crime to law enforcement and other authorities, or its additional negligence to research, address and deal completely with the situation amplifies the effects on the abuse survivor, the school community and potentially others. Recent Boarding School Abuse issues reported in the media highlight these failures, including matters when the perpetrator quietly departs the school only to assume working elsewhere in a school environment.

Predatory Behavior
Most boarding schools pride themselves on their small, personal communities within a well-defined and secure campus. In that environment, faculty, administrators and staff are often much closer and familiar with students than would be expected in a non-boarding school situation. This may provide both opportunity and cover for the would-be abuser and for the predatory behavior.

In some matters, the attacker might be a personable and popular person, generally considered to be a enhancement to the school community. A targeted student could feel flattered that a well-liked superior in the school community has expressed special attention in him or her. Because of this popularity and involvement into the school community, attack allegations against these criminals are frequently met with distrust, non-belief, and resistance by the community. Frequesntly, abusers have boundary and judgment issues which turn into oddly friendly relationships with students that are past what are normally anticipated. This provides a predatory pathway and opportunity for the attack.

Most abusers, to varying degrees, use predatory tactics that are generally known as "grooming," or targeting a possible abuse victim. Below is a compilation of grooming behaviors exhibited by predators that are in a position of authority in relation to the student.

Grooming
Grooming is a major part of a predator’s ploy. In a boarding school situation, a predator often works closely with small amounts of students, realizing every student’s needs and weaknesses. Once a victim is located and selected, these vulnerabilities – such as being lonely, low self-esteem, emotional neediness, or attention seeking behavior, can be systematically leveraged in the following manners:

Trust

A predator will initially work to get the student’s trust. This step is most difficult to realize as boarding school communities are usually tight-knit and personal engagement is commonplace. Here, the attacker is usually part of a group of staff who are genuinely interested in the student’s wellness and achievement at the school.
Reliance
As a predator creates a trusting engagement with the potential student-victim, the student will begin to rely more and more on the predator for any need it is that the predator is leveraging and fulfilling. The victim will spend more time with the predator, feeling more and more comfortable with the relationship. Additionally to attention and affection, the potential victim might receive gifts from the predator, which may include valuable, presents like the guarantee of high marks, or a university recommendation letter. The reliance step is mainly when the predatory behavior is noticeable from well-meaning collegial behavior.

Isolation

As the grooming progresses, the predator might try to isolate the student. At school, this may mean late meetings, tutoring sessions, encounters in the dormitory , one-on-one sports training sessions, or various other such circumstances.
Sexualization
The predator will start to desensitize the possible victim from reacting negatively to contact, caressing and other actions that lead to sexual interaction. This might start with breaching the physical-touch barrier, or communicating, with suggestive language to determine the victim’s reaction to the advancement. This might increase until the relationship transforms to one of a physical, sexual nature.
Maintenance
As the sexual relationship is established, the predator will try to keep control over the student and the continuing abuse. The predator will probably seek to manipulate the student by introducing feelings of shame, or even threats, or employ the opposite strategy of continuing to make the victim feel special and desired. Regardless, the predator may continue to exploit the victim by whatever means necessary to keep the immoral physical relationship.

Impacts on Abuse Survivors

While the grooming escalates as planned by the predator, the victim, being made to feel special, will probably respond affirmatively to the behaviors. The predator, through these well planned and performed grooming behaviors and activities, seeks to re-work and reduce the moral confines of the victim. Since the victim participated in this re-calibration, he frequently has deep feelings of guilt, initially blaming himself for the incident and likely not to report it.

Furthermore, beyond the abuse has been revealed, survivors of private school abuse are often subjected to discreet social pressure and intimidation, such as bullying, isolation from their peers, or retaliation from teachers. Particularly at private schools, where education is stringent, competition can be fierce and social circles small, survivors of abuse could be quickly isolated and socially persecuted. Exposed to those reactions, many private school abuse victims that have revealed the abuse leave school. Others, faced with the prospect of the isolation and social abuse, report the abuse years later. In either case, the impact can be significant and lasting.

Some abuse survivors deal with from long-term effects of the abuse that include depression, anxiety, ptsd, low self-esteem, suicidal thoughts, substance abuse, restless sleeping and eating patterns, and difficulty establishing and maintaining healthy relationships. Individual therapy and support groups might assist survivors get past those effects.

Legally, a victim of boarding school abuse could win financial compensation from the abuser and more frequently, from the school for its negligence to protect the student from the abuse, as well as failures or negligence in its process of reviewing and replying to the survivor’s report of the abuse. If you are a survivor of boarding school abuse and would like to confidentially discuss your situation and learn of your legal options at no cost or obligation, we are ready to speak with you. It is important for a survivor to remember that experiencing assault is not your fault. The attorneys at Meneo Law Group are committed to bringing those who committed the the assault to justice.