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Boarding School Abuse presents a wide-range of criminal and improper actions often committed on students by school faculty members, administrators or employees involving sexual assault of varying degrees. The assault may be a one-time, non-consensual abuse or it may include numerous assaults during an continuing interaction. For example, an continuing intimate encounter with a student, created by the predatory behavior 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 might be made worse by the school’s negligence to offer a safe environment that allowed the assault to happen. Within the school population are students of varying ages, maturity and experiences. Younger students may be subjected to the predatory actions of older, more experienced students. Their actions, along with peer-pressure exerted on both the predator and the targeted victim, can lead to different types of abuse including sexual assault of varying degrees. In all alleged Boarding School Assault matters, a school administration’s megligence to entirely, immediately report the crime to law enforcement and other authorities, or its additional negligence to investigate, address and deal fully with the matter increases the effects on the victim, the school population and potentially others. Recent Boarding School Abuse issues reported in the media exemplify these failures, including times when the attacker quietly departs the campus only to assume employment somewhere else in a school environment. Predatory Behavior Most boarding schools pride themselves on their tiny, 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 to the possible abuser and for the predatory behavior. In

https://www.meneolawgroup.com/personal-injury/boarding-school-abuse/stat... , the attacker 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 popular superior in the school community has expressed special interest in him or her. Because of this popularity and integration in the school community, attack allegations against these criminals are frequently met with distrust, disbelief, and resistance from the community. Frequesntly, abusers have distance and morality problems which turn into unusually friendly relationships with students that are beyond what are normally anticipated. This provides a predatory pathway and opportunity for the abuse. All abusers, to differing degrees, use predatory methods that are generally referred to as “grooming,” or targeting a potential abuse victim. Below is a list of grooming behaviors used by predators that are in a position of authority in relation to the subordinate student. Grooming Grooming is a major part of a predator’s method. In a boarding school setting, a predator often works closely with small numbers of students, realizing each student’s needs and vulnerabilities. Once a victim is identified and chosen, these vulnerabilities – like being lonely, low self-esteem, emotional neediness, or attention seeking behavior, may be systematically exploited in the following manners: Trust A predator could initially work to gain the student’s trust. This step is most difficult to realize as private school communities are usually 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 success at the school. Reliance As a predator creates a trusting relationship with the potential student-victim, the student might start to rely more and more on the predator for whatever 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. In addition to attention and kindness, the possible victim may receive gifts from the predator, which may include valuable, presents such as the promise of high marks, or a university recommendation letter. The reliance stage is usually where the predatory behavior is distinguishable from well-meaning collegial behavior. Isolation While the grooming continues, the predator will work to isolate the student. At school, this could mean late meetings, tutoring sessions, meetings in the dormitory , one-on-one sports training sessions, or various other such circumstances. Sexualization The predator will start to de-sensitize the possible victim from reacting negatively to contact, caressing and other behaviors which lead to sexual interaction. This may start with breaching the physical-touch barrier, or speaking, with suggestive language to determine the victim’s response to the progression. This might escalate until the relationship advances to one of a physical, sexual nature. Maintenance As the sexual relationship is established, the predator may try to maintain control over the student and the continuing interaction. The predator will likely seek to manipulate the victim by introducing emotions of guilt, or possibly threats, or use the opposite strategy of continuing to make the victim feel special and desired. In any event, the predator might keep trying to exploit the victim with means necessary to maintain the immoral physical relationship. Impacts on Abuse Victims While the grooming increases as planned by the predator, the victim, being made to feel special, will likely respond positively to the behaviors. The predator, through these well planned and performed grooming behaviors and activities, seeks to re-calibrate and reduce the moral confines of the victim. Since the victim participated in the re-calibration, he often experiences deep feelings of shame, initially blaming herself for the incident and hesitant to report it. Additionally, beyond the abuse has been reported, victims of private school abuse are often exposed to discreet social pressure and intimidation, such as being bullied, alienation from their peers, or revenge from teachers. Especially at boarding schools, where education is rigorous, competition can be intense and social circles small, victims of abuse can be rapidly isolated and socially persecuted. Subjected to those reactions, many private school abuse victims that have revealed the abuse leave school. Others, fighting with the prospect of the isolation and social persecution, report the abuse years later. In either case, the legacy can be significant and lasting. Some abuse victims suffer 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 trouble creating and maintaining healthy relationships. Individual therapy and support groups may help survivors overcome these effects. Legally, a victim of boarding school abuse could receive financial compensation from the abuser and more commonly, from the school for its failure to protect the student from the predator, as well as failures or deficiencies in its process of reviewing and replying to the victim’s report of the abuse. If you are a survivor of boarding school abuse and would like to confidentially share your story and learn of your legal options at no cost or obligation, we are prepared to talk with you. It is important for a victim 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.

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by Dr. Radut.