Survivors of private school sex abuse absolutely have legal rights. Instances of sexual abuse often violate a state’s criminal law code. Consequently, victims of private school sex abuse have a right to seek assistance from law enforcement, and if the evidence is sufficient enough, have the right to press charges against the perpetrator of the abuse.
Beyond rights for survivors that are available through the criminal justice system, many survivors also have legal rights to pursue justice in the civil realm. Under Title IX of the Education Amendments Act, discrimination based on gender is prohibited at any educational institution that receive any federal funding, including private schools. Nearly every state across the country has a similar statute that prohibits sexual abuse or sexual harassment in school, and grant individuals various rights to seek justice.
Title IX and other similar statutes require schools to adequately respond to reports or allegations of sexual abuse or harassment. This typically requires that the school investigate allegations and take immediate steps to stop any abuse that is discovered during the course of the investigation. Additionally, you have the right to raise these allegations without having to notify the abuser or inform them that you intend on filing a Title IX complaint. Furthermore, schools are prohibited from trying to encourage victims to drop the case, ignore the allegations, retaliate against you for raising the claims, or fail to conduct a timely investigation. If this happens, the victim may have a case against the school itself for failing to act in accordance with the law.
In all, the rights granted by these statutes are designed to empower survivors of sexual abuse and to create a safe place for survivors to seek help and escape ongoing abuse. A private school sexual abuse lawyer can always help you further understand your rights in a sexual abuse case and ensure that you are getting access to the resources you need to get adequate assistance.