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Recognizing Educator Sexual Misconduct


When parents see their children off to school each morning, they inherently trust that the teachers and staff members will provide their sons and daughters with attentive care and a through education. Sadly, Stop Educator Sexual Abuse Misconduct & Exploitation (SESAME) reported that nearly 500 educators were arrested for sexual assault in 2015. Worse, 4.5 million children reported in a survey that they suffered unwanted physical sexual conduct from their teachers and coaches.

This horrific statistic is a parent’s worst nightmare. It’s important for parents to recognize the signs of sexual abuse because children often can’t comprehend what they are suffering and experiencing. After all, they’ve been raised to trust and obey the instructions of their educators. These adults hold remarkable power and authority over your children. They may even be charming and have a cult-like status at their schools and in their communities. Oftentimes, these sexual predators confuse children by making them fear failure or punishment. When a teacher or coach abuses a child, it leads to very severe and long-lasting psychological damage

Acts of sexual abuse include:

  • Sexually explicit language
  • Exposure to pornographic material
  • Peeping in the locker room
  • Exhibitionism
  • Bribery or threats related to sexual acts
  • Sexual touching
  • Sexual intercourse

Protecting Your Child

When it comes to protecting your child, it’s important to trust your instincts. Granted, some signs of child sexual abuse are easier to recognize than others, and children are often manipulated or shamed into keeping their abusers’ secrets. This can make children feel like they’re complicit in their own abuse, further damaging their psyche.

If you’re concerned that your child is being sexually abused by an educator, there are some physical, psychological, and behaviors red flags to watch out for. Seeking several of these signs means that you need to start asking questions and getting your child help. If necessary, you can discuss your concerns with an experienced child psychologist or mental health professional.

Physical signs of sexual abuse by educators includes, but is not limited to:

  • Genital trauma
  • Unexplained bruises
  • Suspicious lacerations
  • Sexually transmitted diseases

Psychological signs of sexual abuse by educators includes, but is not limited to:

  • Unexplained nightmares and sleep problems
  • Sudden mood swings
  • Inexplicable anxiety and insecurity
  • Symptoms of depression
  • Loss of appetite
  • Fear of places or people
  • Exhibits knowledge of sexual language or behaviors
  • Thinks of their body as “dirty” or “bad”
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder

Behavioral signs of sexual abuse by educators includes, but is not limited to:

  • Not wanting to be touched
  • Resuming infantile behaviors
  • Running away from home
  • Cutting
  • Eats or diets compulsively
  • Sudden drug or alcohol abuse
  • Sexual promiscuity
  • Doesn’t care about bodily appearance

Learning that your child has suffered sexual abuse is a heartbreaking moment. However, even if you want to indulge in the ferocity of your rage and pain, it’s important to control your reactions for the sake of your child. They are your number one priority, and they need your absolute support and strength as they navigate this traumatic ordeal.

How to react when you learn that your child has been sexually abused by an educator:

  • Don’t demand details your child isn’t ready to share
  • Listen calmly
  • Don’t overreact
  • Reassure your child that what happened isn’t their fault
  • Don’t criticize or inadvertently blame your child
  • Don’t downplay the revelation to minimize their pain
  • Seek immediate and appropriate medical care for your child
  • Schedule meetings with a qualified mental health professional

Protect Your Child by Pursuing Justice. Schedule a Consultation Today

Male and female teachers target innocent children of all ages and genders every day. While victims and coworkers may be hesitant to take action, you need to do everything in your power to protect your child. At Pierce, Sloan, Kennedy & Early LLC, our Charleston sexual abuse victim lawyer can help you hold an abuser accountable for their actions. By pursuing justice, you can hold an abuser and the school accountable for the sexual misconduct. This can protect other children from suffering in the future. Plus, a successful lawsuit may yield damages that support your child’s recovery process.

We represent clients throughout South Carolina. Call Pierce, Sloan, Kennedy & Early LLC at (843) 968-0886 if you’re ready to file a sexual abuse claim.

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