When parents send their children to school and out into the world, they never expect that their children will become a victim of sexual assault. Children often have difficulty dealing with sexual assault and confiding in another adult. They may try to convince themselves it is no big deal or fail to understand how influential a teacher, another faculty member, or other adult figure has on them. To make matters worse, mandated reporters do not properly investigate suspicions or report abuse when its identified. With so many instances of sexual assault cases arising from confused and anxious children, it is up to those around children to look out for those who exhibit signs of sexual abuse I don’t know what this sentence is trying to convey.
The emotional and physical toll sexual assault inflicts upon your child and family is extensive and can be life-long. Your child deserves justice for the inexcusable behavior they have suffered. When you work with our compassionate and knowledgeable Arias Sanguinetti Wang & Team personal injury lawyers, you will have legal representation ready to fight for your child to receive justice.
Signs of Sexual Abuse in Los Angeles Public Schools
Parents and legal guardians do their best to be aware of their children’s behavior while navigating work and their daily responsibilities. However, many children find it difficult to confide in and share their trauma with others, including their parents. Parents must keep an eye out for any signs of sexual abuse, including the following:
- Changes in mood
- Changes in eating habits
- Unexplained bruising
- Not talking as much as usual
- Spending more time alone
- Excessive knowledge of sexual topics
- Acting inappropriately or in a seductive manner
- Not wanting to be around certain people
- Less interested in school and activities
- Avoiding the removal of clothes when changing or bathing
Children may only exhibit a few of the above behaviors. However, parents should make a point to reach out to their child as well as healthcare professionals to understand whether their child may suffer from sexual abuse.
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Who Classifies as a Mandated Reporter in California?
A mandated reporter is someone whose profession legally requires them to report any suspicion of child sexual abuse or neglect to authorities. The California Child Abuse and Neglect Reporting Act classifies 39 individuals and professions as “mandated reporters.” A few examples of these mandated reporters include office administrators, coaches, teachers, and instructional aides. Those with the credentials, certificate, or permit authorizing the ability to work with or observe children have a legal obligation to report every instance of suspected or explicit child abuse.
Mandated reporters have 36 hours after their suspicion arises to submit a written or verbal statement to a Child Protective Agency or police department. If a mandated reporter fails to submit a statement about a child sexual abuse case in California, they may face a misdemeanor charge with consequences of up to six months in jail and fines of up to $1,000.
If they do not report the suspicion within the designated window and the child suffers severe bodily injuries or death due to the abuse, a judge may find them guilty of a misdemeanor with consequences of up to one year in county jail and fines of up to $5,000.
Los Angeles Public Schools Sexual Abuse Lawyer Near Me 310-844-9696
How Sexual Abuse in Schools Affects Children
The aftermath of sexual abuse is often challenging for a child. Many suffer severe, long-term emotional injuries that may follow them for years. Below are a few examples and symptoms a child may experience due to sexual abuse:
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
One of the most common effects of sexual abuse in school is post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). PTSD due to sexual assault causes the person to feel helpless and immensely frightened. Symptoms of PTSD include problems with concentrating, recurring nightmares, and the feeling they are reliving the trauma.
The stress on a child’s brain after a sexual assault significantly damages their psyche and brain development. In many child sexual assault cases, children develop psychological damage and issues that may never go away. Consider the following examples of psychological effects that may develop after a traumatic sexual assault:
- Early sexual initiation
- Eating disorders
- Low self-esteem
While you may assume behavioral changes occur from the stress of school and other factors in the child’s life, you must also consider the possibility of someone harming them. Unfortunately, child sexual assault cases are not rare, and while it may be challenging to come to terms with someone assaulting your child, it is best to stay observant so you can protect your child.
Difficulties with Relationships
Sexual abuse may harm the child’s ability to form and maintain close relationships with others. The child may also have a hard time communicating his or her needs with others, including friends, family, and partners. For sexual abuse survivors, romantic relationships can be tricky and lead to emotional barriers and trust issues.
Impact of Academic Achievement
The stress, fear, and shame children may feel after sexual abuse is known to impact their ability to study or perform well in school. When a child is fully consumed with the fear of sexual assault, they become forgetful, anxious, and unable to concentrate throughout classes, making it extremely challenging to focus on academics.
Sexual abuse affects everyone uniquely and at different periods of their life. In some cases, children will suffer from the effects immediately after the incident. Others may develop symptoms later on that suddenly resurface with memories or other experiences. The Child Victims Act greatly extends the window for individuals to take legal action against their abuser, but know that this window varies. Contact an experienced lawyer for more information and support regarding your unique case.
Contact an Experienced California Sexual Abuse Lawyer at Arias Sanguinetti Wang & Team
The recent staffing shortages have made it easier for teachers and other members of the faculty to push aside children or fail to recognize signs of abuse within the school. If you suspect or believe your child is facing sexual assault in a public school, contact award-winning Arias Sanguinetti Wang & Team sexual assault lawyers immediately. We have years of experience protecting California sexual abuse survivors, recovering millions from those responsible for the terrible events that took place.
Our past results and previous clients showcase our commitment and knowledge when it comes to defending those suffering from sexual assault. Learn more about our team and how we may assist your case by calling (310) 844-9696 or filling out our contact form today. We are a confidential and secure outlet.