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Private School Abuse illustrates a wide-range of illegal and lurid acts frequently committed on students by school faculty members, administrators or staff involving sexual assault of varying degrees. The assault might be a one-time, non-consensual attack or it might involve many assaults within an ongoing interaction. For example, an ongoing intimate relationship with a student, created by the predatory behavior of a faculty member, school administrator or staff and whether heading to physical consensual sex acts or not, is a form of abuse. Student on student sexual assault is another type of abuse, that might be compounded by the school’s failure to offer a safe environment that allowed the attack to occur. Within the school population are students of varying ages, maturity and experiences. Immature students might be exposed to the predatory actions of older, more experienced students. This intent, coupled with peer-pressure exerted on both the attacker and the targeted victim, may lead to varying types of abuse that includes sexual assault of varying degrees. In all reported Boarding School Abuse matters, a school administration’s failure to fully, adequately report the assault to police and other authorities, or its further negligence to investigate, address and deal completely with the matter increases the effects on the victim, the school community and possibly others. Recent Boarding School Abuse issues reported in the media exemplify these failures, including matters where the perpetrator quietly leaves the school merely to assume employment somewhere else 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 frequently much closer and familiar with students than might be expected in a non-boarding school setting. This can provide both opportunity and cover for the possible attacker and for the predatory behavior. In some matters, the abuser could be a personable and popular individual, generally thought to be a positive addition to the school community. A targeted victim may feel flattered that a well-liked superior in the school community is expressing special attention in him or her. Because of this popularity and involvement in the school community, attack accusations against these predators are frequently met with distrust, non-belief, and resistance from the community. Frequesntly, abusers have distance and morality problems which manifest themselves in unusually friendly relationships with students that are beyond what are normally anticipated. This provides a predatory pathway and opportunity for the abuse. Most abusers, to differing amounts, employ predatory tactics that are generally referred to as “grooming,” or targeting a potential abuse victim. Following is a list of grooming methods exhibited by predators who are in a position of authority in relation to the subordinate student. Grooming Grooming is a major part of a predator’s ploy. In a boarding school setting, a predator usually works closely with small amounts of students, realizing every student’s needs and vulnerabilities. Once a target is identified and chosen, these vulnerabilities – like loneliness, low self-esteem, emotional neediness, or attention seeking behavior, could be systematically exploited in the following manners: Trust A predator will initially work to gain the student’s trust. This step is most difficult to realize as boarding school communities are often tight-knit and personal interaction is commonplace. Here, the predator is likely part of a group of staff who are genuinely interested in the student’s wellness and success at the school. Reliance As a predator creates a trusting engagement with the potential student-victim, the student may start to rely more and more on the predator for whatever need it is that the predator is leveraging and fulfilling. The student might spend more time with the predator, feeling more comfortable with the relationship. In addition to attention and kindness, the potential victim may receive gifts from the predator, which may include valuable, presents like the promise of higher marks, or a university recommendation letter. The reliance step is mainly when the predatory behavior is noticeable from well-meaning collegial behavior. Isolation While the grooming continues, the predator may work to isolate the potential victim. At school, this might mean late get togethers, tutoring sessions, encounters in the dormitory , one-on-one sports training sessions, or various other such circumstances. Sexualization The predator will begin to de-sensitize the student from reacting negatively to contact, caressing and other behaviors that lead to sexual interaction. This might start with breaking the physical-touch barrier, or speaking, with suggestive messages to determine the victim’s response to the progression. This could escalate until the relationship advances to one of a physical, sexual nature. Maintenance As the sexual relationship is created, the predator will try to maintain control of the victim and the continuing interaction. The predator will likely seek to manipulate the student by inducing feelings of shame, or possibly threats, or use the opposite tactic of continuing to have the victim feel special and desired. Regardless, the predator might continue to exploit the victim by whatever means necessary to keep the immoral physical relationship. Impacts on Abuse Victims While the grooming escalates as intended by the predator, the victim, being made to feel special, will likely respond positively to the behaviors. The predator, from these well planned and performed grooming behaviors and activities, seeks to re-work and reduce the moral confines of the targeted student. Because the victim participated in this re-calibration, she frequently has deep feelings of guilt, initially blaming himself for the incident and hesitant to report it. Furthermore, beyond the abuse has been revealed, survivors of private school abuse are often subjected to discreet social pressure and intimidation, like being bullied, alienation from their peers, or retaliation from administrators. Particularly at private schools, where education is stringent, competition can be fierce and social circles small, survivors of abuse might be readily isolated and socially persecuted. Subjected to those reactions, many

https://meneolawgroup.com survivors who have reported the abuse leave school. Others, fighting with the prospect of such isolation and social persecution, report the abuse a while later. In either case, the impact can be severe and lasting. Some abuse victims deal with from long-term effects of the abuse that include depression, anxiety, ptsd, low self-esteem, suicidal thoughts, substance abuse, disturbed sleeping and eating patterns, and difficulty establishing and keeping healthy relationships. Individualized therapy and support groups can assist survivors overcome these effects. Legally, a victim of boarding school abuse may win financial compensation from the predator and more frequently, from the school for its negligence to protect the student from the abuse, as well as failures or deficiencies in its method 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 share your situation and learn of your legal options at no cost or obligation, we are ready to speak with you. It’s important for a survivor to realize that being a victim is not your fault. The lawyers at Meneo Law Group are committed to bringing those who committed the the abuse to justice.

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by Dr. Radut.