That is why child sexual abuse is so horrifying. Instead of a positive, nurturing environment, children must spend years coping with the wrongs inflicted upon them.
As a law firm that focuses on child sexual assault cases around the country, we see all too often that institutions charged with taking care of children do not do enough to protect children from sexual predators. Unfortunately, the most common examples also occur to in our most trusted institutions: churches, sports programs and schools.
Another recent example came to light regarding a prep school in New Hampshire.
Elite prep school apologizes for failing to investigate allegations
St. Paul’s School, in New Hampshire, recently came under investigation for failing to properly investigate charges of sexual abuse. An independent investigation revealed 13 staff members perpetrated acts of sexual abuse against children from the 1940s through the 1980s.
Horrifyingly, this is not as isolated an incident as one would think. Choate Rosemary Hall, in Connecticut, and St. George’s School, in Rhode Island, have also admitted to similar sexual abuse by staff within the last year. In all cases, it took decades for the abuse to come to light.
The report on St. Paul’s School was released on May 22, 2017.
As awareness increases, so does legal action
In many cases, survivors of childhood sexual abuse do not reveal what happened to them until years after the event took place. This is understandable, as survivors must cope with the emotional and physical scars left by their abuse. In many cases, it takes years of therapy and support to be willing to come forward publicly regarding what happened.
This means it is hard to know just how prevalent sexual abuse against children at institutions really is. However, according to the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN), every eight minutes a child is sexually assaulted.
It is our hope that schools, churches and sports programs will take note of the recent legal activity and begin investigating all reports of sexual misconduct and take appropriate action to prevent such abuses from occurring in the first place.