You might be surprised to learn how often students get sexually abused at public schools. Even in a lovely place like Santa Monica, California, sexual abuse of students can happen in elementary, middle, and high schools.
A Santa Monica public school sexual abuse lawyer with Greenberg Gross could help you seek justice if you or someone you know was a victim of sexual abuse. Whether the abuse was perpetrated by a member of the school staff, a volunteer at the school, or another student, California’s civil legal system allows you to hold them accountable.
Liable Parties in Santa Monica Public School Sexual Abuse Cases
There might be more than one party we can hold accountable for the sexual abuse that happened in a public school. The person who committed the sexual abuse must get held responsible. The perpetrator could be a:
- School staff member
- School volunteer
Sometimes, a school will put an older student in a position of leadership over younger students. The older student could be a perpetrator of sexual abuse of the younger students.
Even people who do not directly participate in sexual abuse could be liable if they failed to take steps to protect students from sexual abuse or covered up sexual abuse.
Recoverable Compensation for Survivors of Santa Monica Public School Sexual Abuse
The main goal for many people who have survived sexual abuse in public schools is to hold their perpetrators accountable and help to achieve closure in their own lives. In addition to this outcome, you might be able to recover money damages for:
- The reasonable cost of medical treatment you needed for any physical conditions related to sexual abuse.
- Mental health care expenses related to the emotional harm you suffered from the sexual abuse.
- Pain and suffering damages for the emotional distress, physical discomfort, and inconvenience caused by the sexual abuse.
- Loss of enjoyment of life a person might experience after being a victim of sexual abuse at a public school.
We can work with you to explore any other types of compensation that might be available in your situation.
The Frequency of Sexual Abuse
Many instances of sexual abuse go unreported, so we do not have precise numbers on how often sexual abuse happens in the Santa Monica public schools. We do know that about 10 percent of children get sexually abused while under the age of 18, according to the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN).
Only 7 percent of the abusers are people who are unknown to the victim. In other words, the survivor gets abused by someone they know, not a stranger, in 93 percent of the cases. Of these known abusers, 59 percent are acquaintances, not relatives. Acquaintances can include public school employees.
How Soon You Need to Take Legal Action for Sexual Abuse that Happened at a Santa Monica Public School
Each state governs the deadline on how long you have to file a lawsuit, also called the statute of limitations, in sexual abuse cases can be confusing. The law is not as simple as you have X years to take legal action after the sexual abuse happens. Instead, AB 218 has these provisions:
- A survivor of sexual abuse can file a civil claim at any point up to the 40th birthday of the survivor, or within five years of the point at which they discover the abuse, whichever date is later.
- Adults who were victims of childhood sexual abuse who did not get to file sexual abuse lawsuits in the past because of the previous statute of limitations now have a three-year window of opportunity to file a lawsuit. However, that window closes on December 31, 2022.
The sexual abuse lawyers at Greenberg Gross will be happy to walk you through how the current California statute of limitations for civil actions in these cases applies to your situation.
Why You Could Benefit from Working with Our Legal Team on Your Santa Monica Public School Sexual Abuse Case
You do not have to go through the emotional trauma and distress of having to single-handedly battle the individual who sexually abused you or the organization that enabled the abuser. We can be there with you every step of the way, fighting your battles, providing encouragement and support, and shouldering the stress of litigation for you.
Additional benefits include:
- Our many resources like paralegals, investigators, and expert witnesses.
- Not having to fight a “David and Goliath” battle against a public school district that has deep pockets for legal fees to defend against lawsuits like this.
- Having someone to talk to who will take the time to listen, answer your questions, address your concerns, and provide legal advice.
- We draft the paperwork, collect the evidence, and do the other “heavy lifting” tasks required when taking legal action under California law.
At Greenberg Gross, you will have the benefit of our vast experience in sexual abuse cases. Our results speak for themselves. We have won several multi-million-dollar cases and helped our clients go after the compensation that they deserve, with both large settlements and court verdicts.
How to Get Started Working With a Santa Monica Public School Sexual Abuse Attorney
You might be looking for information for yourself if you were a victim of sexual abuse or if you know someone who was. We are sensitive to the fact that taking action against the perpetrator can be intimidating. We are here to be supportive and help you seek justice.
You can reach out to us today for a free initial consultation. At Greenberg Gross, we will treat you with compassion and respect and take your case seriously. You can contact our team today for help in holding your abusers accountable, going after compensation for the harm you suffered, and getting closure.