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Boarding School Abuse illustrates a series of criminal and improper activities often committed on students by school faculty members, administrators or employees involving sexual assault of varying degrees. The attack might be a one-time, non-consensual encounter or it can include numerous assaults during an continuing interaction. For example, an ongoing intimate relationship with a student, created by the predatory actions of a faculty member, school administrator or employee and whether leading to physical agreed sex acts or not, is a form of abuse. Student-on-student sexual assault is an additional form of abuse, which may be compounded by the school’s failure to provide a safe environment that enabled the attack to occur. Inside the school community are students of different ages, maturity and experiences. Younger students may be subjected to the predatory actions of older, more experienced students. Their intent, coupled with peer-pressure exerted to both the predator and the targeted victim, may lead to varying types of abuse including sexual assault of varying degrees. In all reported Boarding School Abuse situations, a school administration’s failure to fully, immediately report the crime to law enforcement and other authorities, or its further failure to research, address and deal completely with the matter increases the effects on the abuse survivor, the school population and potentially others. Recent Boarding School Abuse cases reported in the press highlight these failures, including times when the attacker quietly leaves the campus merely to assume working elsewhere in a school environment. Predatory Behavior Most boarding schools pride themselves on their small, personal communities inside a well-defined and safe campus. In

https://www.meneolawgroup.com/personal-injury/boarding-school-abuse/stat... , faculty, administrators and staff are frequently much nearer and familiar with students than would be expected in a non-boarding school setting. This may provide both opportunity and cover for the would-be attacker and for the predatory behavior. In some matters, the abuser might be a likeable and popular individual, generally considered to be a enhancement to the school community. A targeted student may feel flattered that a well-liked superior in the school community has expressed special interest in him or her. Because of this popularity and involvement into the school community, attack accusations against these attackers are often met with distrust, non-belief, and resistance by the community. Often, abusers have boundary and judgment problems which turn into unusually friendly relationships with students that are past what are normally anticipated. This provides a predatory path and opportunity for the abuse. Most abusers, to differing degrees, employ predatory methods that are generally known 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 significant part of a predator’s ploy. In a boarding school setting, a predator usually works closely with small amounts of students, understanding each student’s needs and weaknesses. Once a victim is located and selected, these vulnerabilities – like being lonely, low self-esteem, emotional neediness, or attention seeking behavior, could be systematically exploited in the following ways: Trust A predator might first work to gain the student’s trust. This step is most difficult to see as private school communities are usually tight-knit and personal engagement is commonplace. Here, the attacker is likely part of a group of staff who are genuinely interested in the student’s wellbeing and success at the school. Reliance As a predator establishes a trusting relationship with the potential student-victim, the student will start to count on 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 comfortable with the relationship. Additionally to attention and kindness, the potential victim might receive gifts from the predator, including valuable, gifts such as the promise of high marks, or a college recommendation letter. The reliance step is usually where the predatory behavior is noticeable from well-meaning collegial behavior. Isolation As the grooming continues, the predator will work to isolate the student. At school, this may mean late get togethers, tutoring sessions, meetings in the dorm , 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 touching, caressing and other actions that lead to sexual interaction. This might begin with breaching the physical-touch barrier, or communicating, with suggestive messages to gauge the victim’s response to the advancement. This might escalate until the relationship transforms to one of a physical, sexual nature. Maintenance Once the sexual relationship is established, the predator may work to keep control over the student and the continuing interaction. The predator will probably seek to manipulate the student by introducing feelings of shame, or even threats, or use the opposite tactic of continuing to have the victim feel special and desired. In any event, the predator may keep trying to exploit the victim by whatever means available to maintain the inappropriate physical relationship. Legacy on Abuse Survivors When the grooming increases as planned by the predator, the victim, being made to feel special, will likely respond affirmatively to the actions. The predator, from these well-thought-out and performed grooming behaviors and activities, tries to re-work and reduce the moral boundaries 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, after the abuse has been reported, victims of private school abuse are frequently subjected to discreet social pressure and intimidation, like bullying, isolation from their peers, or revenge from staff. Especially at boarding schools, where education is rigorous, competition can be fierce and social circles small, survivors of abuse may be readily isolated and socially persecuted. Subjected to those reactions, many private school abuse survivors who have reported the abuse leave school. Others, fighting with the prospect of the isolation and social persecution, report the abuse decades later. In either case, the legacy can be significant and life-altering. Some abuse survivors suffer from long-term effects of the abuse that include depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress, low self-esteem, suicidal feelings, substance abuse, disturbed sleeping and eating patterns, and difficulty creating and keeping healthy relationships. Individual therapy and support groups could help victims overcome those effects. Legally, a survivor of boarding school abuse may recover 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 method 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 review your story and learn of your legal options at no cost or obligation, we are prepared 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 responsible for the abuse to justice.

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by Dr. Radut.