In a recent article from the Daily Post, we learned that a 14-year-old girl was victim-blamed for sexual abuse committed by one of her teachers. In a desperate move to avoid accountability, the Los Angeles school district tried to argue that she was somehow responsible for her own victimization. The girl rightfully accused the school district of failing to adequately supervise her teacher. Sadly, and not surprisingly, the L.A. school district fought to say that the 14-year-old girl ‘consented’ to the sex, so she somehow shared the responsibility of the abuse. Although the jury sided with the school district, an appeals court overturned the jury verdict.
Minors, Authority Figures and “Consent”
At least one good thing has come out of this case. Advocates and other concerned citizens have discovered a hole in the civil justice system where minors and sexual abuse are involved. Thankfully, this case has prompted new state legislation that will prohibit consent from being used as a defense in civil cases alleging sexual battering of minors by adults in positions of authority. We all know that a teen, pre-teen, child or other minor can’t legally consent to sexual acts with adults in a court of criminal law, and now the civil justice system is catching up. Adults, especially school administrators, have a duty to protect the children in their charge, regardless of any perceived sexual “consent” or prior history.
The Impact of Childhood Molestation and Sexual Abuse
The impact of childhood molestation and sexual abuse can be long lasting and incredibly damaging. Especially in cases where authority figures, mentors or anybody in a position of trust has taken advantage of a child, the emotional trauma can be very severe. In addition to the immediate medical and physical issues involved, molestation and sexual abuse can have devastating impacts to one’s personal development and interpersonal relationships over a lifetime.
Protecting and Assisting Survivors
The team at Alexander Law Group, LLP is dedicated to protecting and assisting child sexual abuse survivors. We understand the necessity for the medical, psychological and emotional counseling and assistance that survivors depend on to get on with their lives. Contact the skilled lawyers at Alexander Law Group, LLP at 888.777.1776 with your questions. We’re standing by to be you and your child’s advocate during a difficult time.