Hartford School Sexual Assault Attorneys
Fighting for victims of sexual abuse in schools in Hartford & Manchester, CT
The aftermath of sexual abuse can last a lifetime. Decades after abuse or an assault, victims can find it difficult to establish or sustain trusting relationships or maintain steady employment. When teachers, coaches, or other school staff use their authority positions and trust to manipulate and harm innocent children, it’s essential they’re held accountable.
Our country’s school system is in place to provide all our children with an education and put them on a path to future success in adulthood. However, with more and more stories coming to light about teachers and staff sexually abusing our children, it becomes difficult to trust that our children and teens are safe at school. When the trust between adults and minors is broken, lives are changed forever.
The Hartford sexual assault attorneys at Barry, Barall & Spinella, LLC work to secure justice and compensation for victims of sexual abuse from school teachers and staff. Taking swift and severe legal action against abusers can help victims achieve closure and move on from this chapter of their lives. Contact us today for compassionate guidance.
Sexual assault in our schools – the statistics
The anti- sexual violence organization RAINN keeps updated statistics regarding sexual abuse across the country, broken down into various demographics. They report that every 73 seconds, someone is sexually assaulted in the United States, with the majority of assault victims being below age 30. In cases of child sexual assault and abuse, RAINN reports that 93% of victims know their abuser – meaning there’s an increased chance that educators and school staff can fall into this group.
Another widely-cited case study commissioned by the Department of Justice published more school and education-focused sexual assault statistics:
- One out of every 10 students will experience sexual misconduct from a school employee by the time they graduate high school
- One out of three sexual abusers had multiple victims
- 50% of sexual offenders in schools had previous allegations against them
- 93% of sexual assault and abuse incidents occur in public schools
- Predatory teachers are transferred to an average of three other schools before finally being reported to authorities
Our school sexual assault lawyers can work with you to build a case against the person who assaulted you or your child, as well as the school system and any other party who failed to protect him or her. We take these cases extremely seriously and will tenaciously fight for you.
Protecting the students and children of Hartford, CT
Similar to recent cases of religious sexual abuse in the news, public and private schools may often attempt to hide incidents of sexual assault, rather than report them to authorities and address the root of the problem – the perpetrator. Many school districts urge abusive and predatory teachers to resign or retire rather than report them to authorities. They may even provide them recommendations to work in another school district in order to get rid of them – a practice known as “passing the trash.”
Passing the trash is such an insidious problem, many states, including Connecticut, have enacted legislation to attempt to combat it. Most teachers and staff must go through a background check when applying for jobs and positions within the educational system. However, anti- pass the trash laws go further.
Before this law, school districts only had to show good faith that they contacted an applicant’s previous employer to obtain any information or recommendations about his or her fitness for employment. That rule still stands, but now that good faith effort is much more clearly defined. A school district is also mandated to get an applicant’s written authorization to speak to current and former employers, as well as the State Department of Education.
Current and former employers have five business days to respond to any questions regarding allegations of sexual assault, abuse, or misconduct against the applicant.
Helping victims of school sexual assault in Hartford
If you’ve discovered your child or teen is a victim of sexual abuse from an educator or school employee, consult with an experienced attorney right away. At Barry, Barall & Spinella, LLC, we understand that all of these statistics may seem bleak, but you have the truth and the law on your side.
Title IX of the Education Amendment of 1972 protects students and employees in educational settings against gender-based discrimination. It states that any school receiving federal funding is required by law to investigate any claim of sexual abuse, harassment, or assault by an educator. These schools must take action to address these incidents and implement plans to prevent further incidents from occurring.
Additionally, Connecticut law requires mandatory reporters like teachers, nurses, coaches, or counselors to report any suspicion of sexual abuse or assault.
The unfortunate truth, however, is that not everyone does their due diligence in protecting your children. School districts still attempt to cover up sexual assaults, or fail to comply with federal law. Through their negligence, children continue to be assaulted and harmed. Our sexual assault attorneys will hold the right people responsible and fight to ensure others are dissuaded from such illicit behavior.
Compensation and damages for school sexual abuse cases
Damages and compensation for personal injury cases from sexual assaults typically fall into two categories – economic and noneconomic damages.
- Economic, or monetary damages, are awarded for physical injuries. These compensate the victim for current and future medical expenses, any loss of wages, and future earning potential.
- Noneconomic damages include damages like emotional distress and mental trauma, issues that often occur after a sexual assault. When determining a fair amount of damages, we consider things like pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, loss of consortium, and mental anguish.
In some cases, punitive damages are awarded by court. These are typically used to punish defendants and deter them from future predatory and abusive behavior.
Tenacious Hartford school sexual assault and abuse lawyers
While you can’t erase the emotional effects of sexual assault on a child, the attorneys at Barry, Barall & Spinella, LLC can work for closure and justice on your and your child’s behalf. Our experienced legal team will protect your child by holding the person or people responsible for harming your child. Let us work to secure you the compensation you deserve. Call us today. We’re located minutes off I-384 in Manchester. To schedule a free consultation with one of our lawyers in Hartford or Manchester, please call 860-649-4400 or fill out our contact form.