Sexual abuse of children in private schools often involves religious institutions and other charitable organizations. Private school sexual abuse has constituted much of my sexual abuse caseload, because the abuser has full access to the child in class, sporting events, field trips, and other extracurricular school activities. The sexual predator gains this access through his or her position in the school. The unspoken assumption of trust– that the adult is trusted by the school and therefore can be trusted by the child– affords the predator authority and influence over children in such schools.
Some of the most tragic sexual abuse cases we have seen have involved private schools occur in residential institutions where the children live on campus. For some examples of such cases we have brought, click here. These children are away from their families and friends. Teachers and coaches become surrogate parents and may spend most of the day with the children. For a sexual abuser, this is the perfect situation. For the child who suffers abuse, it’s a nightmare that has profound, lifelong psychological and emotional consequences.