Safeguarding Disabled Students From Sexual Abuse
Schools have a legal and moral responsibility to protect all students from sexual abuse. However, they often fail to do so in cases involving children with disabilities.
There are several reasons why children with disabilities are more vulnerable to sexual abuse. First, their disabilities may make it difficult to communicate what is happening to them. They may also be less likely to be believed if they speak up. Additionally, their disability may make them more dependent on others, giving abusers more opportunities to gain their trust and access to them.
What Are The School's Responsibilities?
Sadly, many schools do not adhere to the necessary policies and procedures to protect disabled students from sexual abuse. In some cases, school staff may be insufficiently trained to deal with this issue. In other situations, there may be a lack of awareness about or reluctance to address the problem.
As a result, it is crucial for parents of children with disabilities to be aware of the signs of sexual abuse and to know how to report it. Read on to learn the red flags of child sexual abuse.
Warning Signs a Disabled Child May Be Experiencing Sexual Abuse
According to the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN), it is estimated that as many as one in nine girls and one in 53 boys have experienced sexual abuse by an adult before age eighteen.
Unfortunately, disabled children are at an increased risk for sexual abuse. ChildWelfare.gov reports that children with disabilities are 3 times more likely to suffer many different types of abuse, including sexual abuse, compared to their typically developing peers. Their vulnerability stems from several factors, including the fact that they may be unable to communicate what is happening to them or may not be believed if they try to tell someone.
Additionally, their caregivers may be less likely to suspect abuse, as they may assume that the child's unusual behavior is simply a result of their disability.
Some warning signs that your disabled child may be subjected to sexual abuse may include but are not limited to:
- Sudden or unexplained changes in behavior, such as becoming withdrawn or aggressive
- Unexplained injuries, particularly to the genital area
- Fear or avoidance of certain people or places
- Sudden changes in sleeping or eating habits
- Self-harming behaviors
If your child is displaying these behaviors, it is vital to take them seriously and investigate further. Enlist the help of an experienced child sexual abuse lawyer to help you seek justice and hold your child's abuser accountable for their actions.
Contact Our Child Sexual Abuse Lawyers Today
The effects of sexual abuse on children can be devastating. If your child has been a victim of sexual abuse, you may be feeling overwhelmed and confused. You may wonder what you can do to protect your child and get justice. The first step is to contact an experienced child sexual abuse lawyer.
At The Zalkin Law Firm, P.C., we have years of experience handling these sensitive cases. We will work tirelessly to get the best possible outcome for your child. We will review your case and answer any questions you have. Let us help you get the justice your child deserves.
Contact our national sexual abuse attorneys today at (800) 477-2989 to schedule a consultation today.