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div>Private School Abuse presents a wide-range of illegal and lurid activities commonly committed against students by school faculty members, administrators or staff regarding sexual assault of varying degrees. The attack may be a one-time, non-consensual attack or it might include many assaults during an ongoing interaction. For example, an continuing intimate encounter with a student, spawned by the predatory behavior of a faculty member, school administrator or employee and whether heading to physical agreed sex acts or not, is a form of abuse.
Student on student sexual assault is another type of abuse, that can be compounded by the school’s negligence to provide a safe environment that enabled the attack to happen. Inside the school population are students of varying ages, maturity and experiences. Immature students may be exposed to the predatory behavior of older, more mature students. Their behavior, coupled with peer-pressure exerted to both the predator and the targeted victim, might lead to varying forms of abuse including sexual assault of varying degrees.
In all reported Boarding School Abuse situations, a school administration’s megligence to fully, adequately report the assault to police and other authorities, or its additional failure to investigate, address and deal fully with the matter increases the effects on the victim, the school population and possibly others. Recent Boarding School Abuse issues reported in the press highlight these failures, including situations where the perpetrator quietly leaves the school only to assume working somewhere else in a school environment.
Many private schools pride themselves on their small, personal communities inside a well-defined and secure campus. In that environment, faculty, administrators and staff are frequently much nearer and familiar with students than might be expected in a non-boarding school setting. This may provide both opportunity and cover to the would-be abuser and for the predatory behavior.
In some matters, the abuser might be a likeable and popular person, generally considered to be a positive addition to the school community. A targeted victim could feel flattered that a well-liked superior in the school community is expressing special interest in him or her. Because of this popularity and involvement into the school community, abuse accusations against these predators are often met with doubt, disbelief, and resistance from the community. Frequesntly, abusers have distance and judgment issues which manifest themselves in unusually friendly relationships with students that are beyond what are commonly expected. This provides a predatory pathway and opportunity for the abuse.
Most abusers, to differing degrees, employ predatory methods that are generally referred to as “grooming,” or targeting a potential abuse victim. Below is a compilation of grooming methods used by predators who are in a position of authority in relation to the subordinate student.
Grooming is a significant part of a predator’s ploy. In a boarding school setting, a predator usually works closely with small amounts of students, understanding each student’s needs and weaknesses. Once a target is identified and selected, these vulnerabilities – such as loneliness, low self-esteem, emotional neediness, or attention seeking behavior, may be systematically exploited in the following ways:
A predator could initially work to gain the student’s trust. This step is the most difficult to discern as private school communities are often tight-knit and personal interaction is commonplace. Here, the predator is likely part of a group of staff who are genuinely interested in the student’s wellbeing and success at the school.
As a predator establishes a trusting engagement with the potential student-victim, the student may begin to rely more and more on the predator for whatever need it is that the predator is leveraging and fulfilling. The victim may spend more time with the predator, feeling more and more comfortable with the relationship. Additionally to attention and affection, the potential victim might receive gifts from the predator, including valuable, gifts like the guarantee of high grades, or a college recommendation letter. The reliance step is mainly when the predatory behavior is noticeable from well-meaning collegial behavior.