We send our children off to school with hopes that they are in a safe and comfortable place, but sexual abuse at the hands of those they trust the most—teachers and school staff—is an all too common occurrence.
It is difficult enough for a child to come forward and tell a parent or other adult about abuse, but when that abuse is at the hands of a trusted figure of authority, it is even worse. There is a greater fear of not being believed, facing retribution by the abuser and backlash by the community.
If you suspect your child is being abused, here are some signs to look for:
- Changes in behavior, including withdrawal, fearfulness and discipline issues
- Change in eating habits
- Difficulty sleeping and nightmares
- Regressive behavior, such as thumb-sucking, bed-wetting, excessive crying and clinginess
- Problems at school and change in academic performance
- Cutting the class with that teacher and general fear of going to school
- Self-destructive behavior
- Genital discomfort, bleeding, irritation, redness, discharge or signs of a sexually transmitted disease
- Depression, anxiety and thoughts of suicide.
- Inappropriate sexual development or behavior
- Anger and control issues
- Substance abuse
The horrifying memories of sexual assault often follow a student into adulthood and prevent a student from forming healthy relationships with others. In a recent YouTube video, a woman confronted a middle school teacher that had allegedly abused her back when she was in middle school. In the video she shares the years of pain and the affects the abuse still has on her.
“What should I do if I suspect sexual abuse?”
It is devastating to imagine an innocent child as the victim of sexual abuse, especially at the hands of a trusted school figure. If your child confides in you, let them know that you believe them, that they did the right thing in telling you and that you are going to do everything you can to get him or her. Report the crime immediately. There are support groups here on Long Island that may also provide help. When you are ready, an experienced lawyer can help you get justice as well as compensation you might need for medical bills and needed counseling.
How We Can Help
At Goldstein & Bashner, our New York and Long Island sexual abuse lawyers have extensive experience in dealing these cases and are sensitive to the fear, confusion, embarrassment and pain young victims are experiencing. We have helped work with the entire family as both a close companion and as competent legal advisers. We put all our efforts in collecting the compensation deserved for the physical and emotional injuries these young, innocent victims have suffered. Contact us for a free, private consultation. We will answer all your questions, discuss your case and let you know what you can expect from the legal process.