Sexual abuse in schools – especially private schools – occurs far more often than people may realize and remains highly underreported. Private schools are not regulated by the government to the same extent as public schools and rely on their reputation to stay in business. This is one reason why allegations of sexual abuse are often brushed aside or not properly handled by the private school’s administration.
At Greenberg Gross LLP, our California private school sexual abuse attorneys know how difficult it is to come forward as a survivor. Our lawyers will listen to your story and stand by you. Our firm takes all allegations of sexual abuse very seriously and aims to hold the perpetrator, institution, or corporation accountable for any misconduct. If you suffered abuse by a private school staff member, volunteer, or another student, we are here to help you.
Choose Greenberg Gross to Handle Your Private School Sexual Abuse Case in California
- Greenberg Gross offers high-quality legal representation for survivors of sexual abuse when they need it most.
- Our firm has significant experience helping survivors of sexual abuse seek justice for what they have gone through while also holding institutions and corporations accountable for their failure to protect survivors.
- Our California sexual abuse lawyers prepare every case as if it will go to trial and ensure our clients are treated fairly and heard throughout the process.
- Our law firm is well-accustomed to handling complex, high-stakes cases involving large corporations and well-known institutions.
- We provide clients with compassionate legal service, sensitive to the unique pressures and challenges of pursuing a sexual abuse claim.
- You have the experience of a legal team led by a former federal prosecutor and backed by multi-million-dollar results.
How Can Our California Private School Sexual Abuse Lawyer Help?
Even though private schools have a responsibility to keep their students safe, sexual abuse does occur, and schools have ample resources to defend against allegations of sexual abuse. In addition, private schools risk losing their high-standing reputation if such allegations against their faculty surface. For this reason, it is crucial to hire an attorney who will stand by you and ensure that your voice is heard from the beginning.
Our California private school sexual abuse attorney can:
- Use the firm’s resources to investigate the allegations and help prove your case.
- Find any evidence that proves the private school authorities knew about the abuse but chose to cover it up at the expense of the survivors.
- Make sure that the survivor of abuse is treated fairly throughout the process.
- Utilize sexual abuse experts and medical professionals who can help calculate the total losses that resulted from the abuse.
- Provide consistent updates on the progression of your case
- Handle all communications with the defendants/liable parties in your case
- Demand fair and full compensation for your pain and suffering or other injuries.
Why Pursue a Civil Case Instead of a Criminal Case?
First, it’s important to be clear that you never have to choose between taking civil action and filing a criminal action against a perpetrator. You can do both. In fact, it is possible to have the two cases run concurrently, but why pursue a civil case at all? Because private school sexual abuse survivors deserve justice, and while the criminal justice system offers that in the traditional sense, there are significant challenges to obtaining justice and having the victim’s voice heard.
Burden of Proof
Criminal cases require a burden of proof that shows the perpetrator is guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. If a jury decides that there is a chance that your abuser did not commit the crime of which he or she is accused, they may let him or her walk free. By strong contrast, a civil case only requires the plaintiff to prove that his or her claim is true by a preponderance of the evidence.
In this case, we only must show that there is a more than 50% chance the accused committed the offenses. In short, there is a much greater chance of success in civil court than in criminal court.
A civil case provides more control over what details you provide and how you tell your story since you are the one bringing the case before the court. A criminal case, on the other hand, is brought by the prosecutor and fought by the defense, both of whom are in control of the narrative, leaving little for your story to be told the way you find most fitting.
Many survivors choose not to reopen the trauma wounds in such a harsh way. It can be mentally and emotionally distressing to go through a criminal trial.
Gain Validation and Closure
Though a lawsuit does not result in criminal punishment, if successful, it will quite literally make the defendant pay. They will be held accountable for their actions. A victory in civil court can be validating for survivors who have long been shamed into silence or resisted coming forward for fear of what others may think. It may also be a healing experience that brings closure to a part of your life that was difficult to face.
Though this may be the last thing on your mind, a lawsuit can allow you to recover compensation for the emotional and psychological, financial, or physical wounds you suffered due to the sexual abuse you experienced in private school. The money you recover can help you rebuild your life the best way you see fit. Whether you intend to pour into advocacy, personal therapy and healing, or otherwise, financial recovery means greater freedom.
How Often does Sexual Abuse Occur in California Schools?
In June 2021, California’s elite and oldest co-educational boarding school – the Thacher School – was exposed to decades of sexual abuse it covered up. In this case, sexual misconduct involving both faculty members and students was minimized, ignored, and dismissed, and instead, a male-centered culture was valued over the voices of survivors.
While this is one of the most recent cases that surfaced, it is far from the only one. According to a report mandated by Congress, an estimated 4.5 million students may be subjected to sexual misconduct by an employee of a school between kindergarten and 12th grade.
Call for a Free Consultation Today
If you or someone you love has been the victim of sexual abuse in any private school in California, know that the lawyers at Greenberg Gross are here for you. Our goal is to help survivors seek justice through accountability and financial compensation.
We want to help you recover compensation for any medical care or mental health care resulting from the abuse, so you have the resources you need to heal in the future. Contact us for the assistance and support you deserve.