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What legal actions can be taken against perpetrators of sexual abuse in educational and religious institutions?

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What Legal Actions Can Be Taken Against Perpetrators of Sexual Abuse in Educational and Religious Institutions?

In both schools and churches, sexual abuse victims are usually subject to abuse by someone who is in a position of power or leadership, and in both settings, there is a tendency to blame what happened on the victim or try to cover up the entire case in an attempt to preserve the reputation of the perpetrator or the institution. However, sexual abuse is never the victim’s fault, and survivors have the legal right to hold the at-fault parties responsible for what they had to endure. The attorneys at Andreozzi + Foote go over legal options for survivors of sexual abuse in schools or religious institutions and explain why hiring an attorney is in your best interest.

Who Can Be Held Liable for Sexual Abuse Cases in Schools?

The majority of school sexual abuse cases involve a perpetrator in a position of power over the student, such as a teacher, coach, or school employee. In addition to facing potential criminal charges, the school staff member who is responsible for sexually abusing a student can also face a civil lawsuit and be ordered to provide financial compensation for the damages their actions caused to the victim.

The school itself may also be held liable and be subject to regulatory sanctions if it can be proven that the school did not have the proper procedures, policies, and training to prevent sexual abuse or did not take immediate action to investigate sexual abuse reports and failed to respond adequately, neglecting the safety and well-being of the victim. This is especially true if the school had prior knowledge of the perpetrator’s inappropriate behavior and failed to take action.

What Legal Options Does a School Sexual Abuse Survivor Have?

In cases of sexual abuse in schools, the perpetrator can be held responsible for the abuse they have inflicted upon the victim. Depending on the state or jurisdiction, a perpetrator may be held criminally or civilly liable for their actions. While criminal charges can be filed by the state and often come with consequences such as fines, jail time, and even the requirement of registering as a sex offender, a criminal case does not typically result in any type of compensation for the damages the survivor has sustained.

This is why school sexual abuse survivors should consult with a sexual abuse attorney about the option of filing a civil lawsuit against their abuser in order to hold them financially liable for their actions. With a civil lawsuit for sexual abuse, survivors may seek compensation for economic damages and non-economic damages, such as pain and suffering.

How Can a Religious Institution Be Held Liable for Sexual Abuse?

If you or someone you love were a victim of sexual abuse by a priest, pastor, or member of any religious institution, you have the right to seek justice and hold the abuser liable for their hurtful and inappropriate conduct. In some cases, you may also hold the religious institution responsible for allowing the abuser to hurt innocent members of the congregation or religious group. In addition to criminal charges, the at-fault party and any other responsible parties may be sued in a civil court, meaning they may be ordered to pay damages compensation to the victim.

Why Should You Hire an Attorney for Your Case?

The sexual abuse attorneys at Andreozzi + Foote have years of experience providing strong legal representation for sexual abuse survivors while guiding them with respect and compassion every step of the way. If you were a victim of sexual abuse at school or at a religious institution, don’t fight it all alone. Contact our law firm at 866-311-8640 to see how we can help.

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