Every parent’s deepest desire is to protect their child from anything or anyone that can harm them. Every day, New York parents entrust school counselors, coaches, and teachers with the safety of their children. The last thing you want to find out is that the minor is being sexually abused at school.
Luckily, you can seek justice if this happens to your little ones. Penal Law 130 and the Child Victims Act define and cover all other aspects of child abuse in New York State. Seasoned personal injury lawyers in the Bronx can offer legal advice and guide you on the steps to take in pursuit of compensation.
Should I Question My Child Regarding the Abuse?
If you are keen enough, you might notice changes in your child’s behavior and suspect that sexual abuse is taking place. Children react differently to abuse, but you might have noticed:
- Verbal cues
- Physical signs
- Behavioral signs
While you might want to talk to the child to seek further information, you risk being accused of coaching the child. Taking your child to a neutral professional as soon as possible is advisable. The child abuse professional can observe the minor, ask them questions skillfully and objectively, and publish a report that could be used to strengthen your case.
Who Can I Hold Accountable for My Child’s Sexual Abuse at School?
An in-depth investigation of the circumstances surrounding the sexual abuse incident can determine who you should take action against. It is not advisable to rely on the investigation done by the police or other government agencies. Instead, let a skilled Bronx sexual harassment attorney do the work with your interests at heart.
Lawyers usually work with a team of experts in various fields to ensure that no critical piece of evidence is left out. Possible culprits would be the person who sexually abused your child and the school, if the institution was involved. If the institution knew that the abuse had taken place and tried to cover it up, the lawsuit could be against them also.
Can I Initiate Criminal Proceedings Against the Person that Sexually Abused My Child in NY?
A criminal proceeding against a sexual abuse perpetrator is meant to punish them with jail, sex offender registration, hefty fines, and other grave consequences. However, a parent cannot bring criminal charges because they are not a party to the case. Your only responsibility is to report to the police and help the District Attorney with investigations.
The State of New York should bring criminal charges against any child abuser. And they have up until the child is 28 years old to bring criminal sexual abuse charges in court. But if your minor was below 11 years, the criminal charges can be brought at any point in their lives.
When Can I File a Civil Lawsuit if My Child is Sexually Abused in School?
Unlike criminal charges that can only be filed by the prosecutor, you can file a civil case yourself. The person abused as a minor can also bring a civil lawsuit at any time until they are 55 years old. You can seek compensation from the abuser or a third party, such as the institution where the incident occurred.
You might need an experienced Bronx sexual harassment attorney to help you navigate the legal processes in New York State. A solid claim is challenging to build whether the child is still a minor or they are an adult now. The case can be started at the Supreme Court, even without filing a Notice of Claim.
Will My Child Ever Recover Emotionally from Sexual Abuse?
Every child processes abuse differently; some might suffer more emotional effects than others. Parents should ensure their children get counseling to help them work through the current issues. However, note that issues might crop up as they go through various development stages of their lives.
Make sure that you and your child’s siblings also go through counseling. Once you are in a good place mentally and emotionally, you could speak to a seasoned Bronx sexual harassment attorney to discuss compensation.
Is it Worth Suing a Teacher for Sexually Abusing My Child?
Agreeably, all perpetrators of child sexual abuse should be held accountable. However, seeking damages from a school teacher might not give you sufficient compensation for the medical expenses and other costs involved in treating your child wholesomely. Thus, you could consider exploring as many alternatives as possible.
Title IX of the Federal Law discourages public and some private schools from discrimination, including sexual harassment or abuse. The bar for these types of lawsuits is so high, and you might have to prove that:
- The school was aware of their employee’s sexual misconduct
- The institution had the power to take corrective action
- The school’s reluctance to take action amounted to “deliberate indifference.”
Can I Sue the Sexual Abuser’s Parents if They are Minors?
If another child has abused your child at school, you might wonder whether you can sue their parents. Parents of children that have committed unlawful acts can take responsibility in certain situations. New York’s Parental Responsibility Law requires parents to only be held accountable if the child is between 11 and 17.
Suing the other parent might not be as straightforward as we may want to think. For instance, you have to prove that they did or failed to do something directly linked to the minor’s sexually abusive behavior in a New York school. The more the parties to a civil lawsuit, the better the chances of maximizing your deserving compensation.
Seek Justice for Your Child with the Help of a Legal Professional
Apart from physical wounds, a sexually abused child could suffer deep emotional wounds. Some of the harm caused can persist through their teenage years and even adulthood. Fair compensation is the least the justice system can award you and your family.
Damages might not come without a legal fight. Kindly speak to us today to begin strategizing a civil lawsuit in New York State.