Klitgaard Lutz posted an update 1 week, 3 days ago
Private School Abuse illustrates a series of criminal and lurid actions often perpetrated on students by school faculty members, administrators or employees regarding sexual assault of varying degrees. The attack can be a one-time, non-consensual attack or it may include numerous assaults within an ongoing interaction. For example, an ongoing intimate relationship with a student, formed by the predatory behavior of a faculty member, school administrator or employee and whether leading to physical consensual sex acts or not, is a form of abuse.
Student-on-student sexual assault is an additional type of abuse, which might be compounded by the school’s failure to offer a safe environment that allowed the assault to happen. Within the school community are students of different ages, maturity and experiences. Younger students may be exposed to the predatory actions of older, more experienced students. Their actions, coupled with peer-pressure applied to both the attacker and the targeted victim, might lead to different forms of abuse that includes sexual assault of varying degrees.
In all reported Boarding School Abuse situations, a school administration’s megligence to completely, adequately report the crime to law enforcement and other authorities, or its further negligence to research, address and deal fully with the situation increases the effects on the victim, the school population and potentially others. Recent Boarding School Abuse issues reported in the press highlight these failures, including times when the perpetrator quietly leaves the campus only to assume working elsewhere in a school environment.
Many private schools pride themselves on their tiny, personal communities within a well-defined and secure campus. In this environment, faculty, administrators and staff are often much closer and familiar with students than might be expected in a non-boarding school situation. This can provide both opportunity and cover for the possible attacker and for the predatory behavior.
In some matters, the abuser may be a likeable and popular individual, generally considered to be a enhancement to the school community. A targeted victim might feel flattered that a popular superior in the school community is expressing special attention in him or her. Because of this popularity and integration in the school community, attack accusations against these predators are frequently met with doubt, non-belief, and resistance from the community. Often, abusers have boundary and morality issues which turn into unusually friendly relationships with students that are past what are normally expected. This provides a predatory pathway and opportunity for the attack.
Most abusers, to varying amounts, employ predatory methods that are generally referred to as “grooming,” or targeting a potential abuse victim. Below is a compilation of grooming methods used by predators who are in a position of authority in relation to the subordinate student.
abuse in boarding schools is a main part of a predator’s method. In a boarding school setting, a predator often works closely with small amounts of students, realizing each student’s needs and vulnerabilities. Once a victim is identified and chosen, these vulnerabilities – such as being lonely, low self-esteem, emotional neediness, or attention seeking behavior, can be systematically exploited in the following ways:
A predator may first work to gain the student’s trust. This step is the most difficult to see as boarding school communities are often tight-knit and personal interaction is commonplace. Here, the attacker is likely part of a group of staff who are genuinely interested in the student’s wellness and achievement at the school.
As a predator creates a trusting engagement with the potential student-victim, the student will begin to count on more and more on the predator for any need it is that the predator is exploiting and fulfilling. The student will spend more time with the predator, feeling more comfortable with the relationship. In addition to attention and kindness, the possible victim may receive gifts from the predator, which may include valuable, presents such as the guarantee of high marks, or a university recommendation letter. The reliance stage is usually where the predatory behavior is distinguishable from well-meaning collegial behavior.
While the grooming progresses, the predator will try to isolate the potential victim. At school, this may mean late get togethers, tutoring sessions, meetings in the dormitory , one-on-one athletic practice sessions, or various other such circumstances.
The predator will start to desensitize the student from reacting negatively to contact, caressing and other actions that lead to sexual interaction. This could start with breaking the physical-touch barrier, or verbally, with suggestive messages to gauge the victim’s reaction to the advancement. This could increase until the relationship advances to one of a physical, sexual nature.
As the sexual relationship is established, the predator may work to keep control of the student and the continuing abuse. The predator will likely seek to manipulate the student by inducing emotions of guilt, or even threats, or use the opposite tactic of continuing to make the victim feel special and desired. Regardless, the predator might keep trying to exploit the victim by whatever means necessary to keep the immoral physical relationship.
Legacy on Abuse Survivors
When the grooming increases as planned by the predator, the targeted student, being made to feel special, will probably respond affirmatively to the behaviors. The predator, from these well-thought-out and executed grooming behaviors and activities, tries to re-calibrate and remove the moral boundaries of the victim. Since the abuse survivor participated in the re-calibration, she frequently experiences deep feelings of shame, initially blaming herself for the incident and likely not to report it.
Furthermore, beyond the abuse has been revealed, victims of private school abuse are often subjected to discreet social pressure and intimidation, like bullying, alienation from their peers, or revenge from teachers. Particularly at boarding schools, where education is stringent, competition can be intense and social circles small, victims of abuse could be rapidly isolated and socially abused. Subjected to those reactions, many private school abuse survivors that have revealed the abuse leave school. Others, fighting with the prospect of the isolation and social abuse, report the abuse decades later. In either case, the legacy can be significant and lasting.
Some abuse survivors suffer 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. Individualized therapy and support groups could help victims get past those effects.
Legally, a victim of boarding school abuse could win financial compensation from the predator and more commonly, from the school for its negligence to protect the student from the predator, as well as failures or negligence in its process of reviewing and responding to the survivor’s report of the abuse. If you are a survivor of boarding school abuse and would like to confidentially discuss your story and learn of your legal options at no cost or obligation, we are ready to talk with you. It is important for a survivor to remember that experiencing assault is not your fault. The lawyers at Meneo Law Group are committed to bringing those who committed the the assault to justice.