Los Angeles & Orange County Sex Abuse by Students Lawyer

The issue of student-on-student sexual violence is a grave concern in California’s educational institutions. While schools are meant to be safe havens for learning, the reality is that sexual harassment, assault, and abuse can occur between students. This leaves lasting emotional and psychological scars on the victims. To help them heal, the law entitles student sexual abuse survivors to compensation through a civil claim.

We at Libra Law Firm are ready to assist you in your student sex abuse case. Our lead sexual abuse attorney Sultana Kelantan is herself a survivor of harm, that’s why we are personally sensitive to the needs of survivors and the nuances of these claims. At the same time, we are aggressive in representing our clients’ interests and have won substantial compensation on their behalf. We provide our trusted legal services to sexual abuse survivors such as:

  • College students
  • High school students and their parents
  • Child victims and their parents
  • Adult survivors of childhood sexual abuse
  • And more.

Speak to us in a free and confidential consultation. Call Libra Law Firm at (888) 565-3214.

What Counts as Sexual Abuse by Students?

While rape, sexual assault, or nonconsensual penetration is a major offense against students, sexual abuse encompasses many other forms. Many times, sex abuse does not even involve sexual contact. For example, in California, the following may count as sexual abuse:

  • Unwanted physical touch meant to sexually arouse or gratify the abuser (such as caressing intimate body parts, groping, or fondling)
  • Receiving sexually suggestive communication (like texts, emails, or social media comments)
  • Getting blackmailed with sexual photos or videos
  • Getting threatened with sexual assault
  • Coercion to engage in sexual acts in view of the abuser
  • Being forced to watch or participate in masturbation as a minor
  • Exposure to sexually explicit material as a minor
  • Being forced to participate in child pornography
  • Being sexually trafficked or prostituted.

Besides these, there are other forms of sexual abuse that are not as often reported but are sadly pervasive in schools and profoundly harmful to the victims. In the following sections, we expound on some of these types of student sexual abuse. 

Online Sexual Bullying by Another Student in Schools

In the digital age, the issue of online sexual bullying has become a growing concern within educational institutions. With the widespread use of social media, messaging apps, and online platforms, students can become targets of harassment, exploitation, and abuse in virtual spaces. Online sexual bullying can take various forms including:

  • Unwanted sexual comments, jokes, or gestures
  • Sharing explicit or non-consensual images or videos of a student
  • Making sexually degrading comments or threats
  • Engaging in cyberstalking or online harassment
  • Spreading rumors or gossip of a sexual nature
  • Creating fake profiles or impersonating a student for malicious purposes.

The consequences of online sexual bullying can be devastating for the victims, leading to emotional distress, anxiety, depression, and even suicidal thoughts. It can also disrupt their academic performance and overall well-being.

Sexual Hazing by Students

Sexual hazing is any sexual activity meant to degrade or harm an individual as a ‘ritual’ for joining a group, such as a fraternity or sorority. Unfortunately, sexual hazing incidents among students are not uncommon in educational settings.

These acts range from verbal harassment and intimidation to physical abuse and sexual assault. They can occur in person or through digital means, such as social media platforms, messaging apps, or online forums. Regardless of the medium, the impact on the victim can be severe and long-lasting.

Any of these forms of student sexual abuse may be grounds for a civil lawsuit seeking compensation for the survivor. Whether it’s rape, inappropriate touching, online harassment, or verbal abuse, Libra Law Firm is here to provide legal guidance, experienced representation, and emotional support.

What to Do If You or Your Child was Sexually Abused by a Student

If you yourself has been sexually abused on- or off-campus, take these immediate steps to secure your wellbeing and potential claim:

  1. Get yourself to safety. As soon as possible, go to a safe place like a loved one’s home. If you’re in immediate danger, don’t hesitate to call 911 or the campus police.
  2. Seek medical attention. Get treatment for any physical injuries you sustained. If you were sexually assaulted, go to the hospital and ask for a discreet Sexual Assault Forensic Exam (SAFE), also known as a rape kit. This provides sensitive, specific medical care and helps you obtain evidence. While health care personnel are required to report sexual assault cases, you yourself are not required to report it or participate in the investigation. The medical procedures are confidential as well.
  3. Preserve evidence. Safe-keep any clothing, sheets, and other items that may contain traces of DNA. Also make back-ups of any trails leading up to the incident, such as texts, photos, videos, and written schedules.
  4. Find support. It can be hard to grasp the impact of sexual abuse. Immediately after the incident, you may feel numb, confused, anxious, angry, or guilty. After some time, deeper effects may manifest such as depression, self-sabotage, or interpersonal issues. To help manage the aftermath, talk to a trusted person such as a close family member or a school counselor. You may also get crisis support from government or non-profit organizations such as the National Sexual Assault Hotline (1-800-656-HOPE or 1-800-656-4673).
  5. Consult with a sexual abuse lawyer. You don’t have to think about lawsuits right away, but it is wise to know your legal options. Many sexual abuse survivors find that separate from a criminal case, a civil case is helpful in giving them a sense of justice and closure. A competent attorney should help you understand the legal remedies available to you

If you suspect that your child has been sexually abused at school, take these steps to keep them safe and explore your potential claim:

  1. Gently talk to your child about the symptoms. You may have spotted signs of child sexual abuse such as physical bruising, genital pain, blood on undergarments, inappropriate behaviors, and nightmares. Ask your child about these in a casual, non-accusatory tone to avoid scaring them. Be extra patient, letting the child talk freely and giving them time to articulate what happened to them.
  2. Report the abuse. You may contact the school to raise your concern, but also remember to report to the police. Get a copy of the police report as this can be important evidence. In the meantime, ensure that your child is in a safe place, inaccessible to the abuser.
  3. Contact a sexual abuse lawyer. There may or may not be a criminal case against the perpetrator, but regardless of what happens in criminal court, you may have other options in civil court. Get advice from a high-quality attorney to determine your best legal strategy to secure justice for your child.

Legal Obligations of Schools to Prevent Abuse and Assault

Under Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, schools in California have a legal obligation to address and prevent student-on-student sexual violence. This federal law prohibits discrimination based on sex in educational programs and activities that receive federal funding.

Schools must have policies and procedures in place to respond promptly and effectively to reports of sexual violence, provide support services to victims, and take steps to prevent future occurrences. When a school fails to uphold their legal obligations under Title IX, they can be held accountable through civil lawsuits.

Holding Schools Accountable for Sexual Abuse and Assault

Besides the perpetrator, it’s possible to hold accountable the institution that negligently or intentionally allowed the abuse to happen. This can apply to negligent schools or to youth organizations that covered up the abuse.

At Libra Law Firm, our Orange County sex abuse lawyers are experienced in representing victims of student-on-student sexual violence and holding negligent educational institutions responsible.

We understand the profound impact that sexual violence can have on a student’s life, including emotional trauma, academic difficulties, and long-term mental health issues. Our goal is to ensure that victims receive the justice and compensation they deserve, while also advocating for systemic changes to prevent future incidents.

Pursuing Justice and Compensation for Student-on-Student Sexual Abuse

When a student suffers sexual abuse or assault in the hands of another student, they and their families may pursue a civil claim seeking compensation for their harm and losses. Here are some of the potential losses that may be compensated:

Medical Expenses

Survivors of student-on-student sexual abuse often require medical treatment including therapy, counseling, and psychological care. These expenses can quickly accumulate, placing a significant financial burden on the victim and their family. Through a successful civil lawsuit, our attorneys can help recover the costs of past and future medical expenses related to the abuse.

Pain and Suffering

The emotional and psychological trauma inflicted by sexual abuse can be overwhelming, leading to long-term pain and suffering for the victim. Our lawyers will work to quantify the extent of this suffering and seek appropriate compensation for the survivor’s emotional distress, mental anguish, and diminished quality of life.

Lost Earning Potential

In some cases, the impact of student sexual abuse can be so severe that it disrupts the victim’s education or ability to work, resulting in lost earning potential. Our attorneys will carefully evaluate these potential losses and fight to ensure that the survivor is compensated for any diminished earning capacity or career opportunities.

Punitive Damages

In cases where the school or educational institution exhibited gross negligence or willful misconduct in failing to prevent or address the sexual abuse, punitive damages may be awarded. These damages are intended to punish the responsible parties and deter similar behavior in the future, sending a strong message that such conduct is unacceptable.

Note that the specific compensation available may vary depending on the unique circumstances of each case. To learn the full value of your claim and get started with a legal strategy, reach out to us at Libra Law Firm.

Get a Confidential and Free Consultation with a Sexual Abuse Attorney

If you or a loved one has been a victim of student-on-student sexual abuse in California, don’t hesitate to contact Libra Law Firm for a free and confidential consultation. Our compassionate and experienced legal team is here to support you and fight tirelessly for your rights and the justice you deserve.

When you work with Libra Law Firm, our staff will put in endless effort to look into your case, collect proof, and develop a potent legal plan to bring the guilty parties accountable. We will also ensure that you receive the support and resources you need to begin the healing process.

Your information is confidential with us. Call us at (888) 565-3214.

Scroll to Top