The Prevalence of Child Sexual Abuse in Schools

It’s a documented fact that victims of child sexual abuse are at a much higher risk of developing long-term psychological, emotional, and physical disorders including depression, guilt, and anxiety. The lingering memories of sexual abuse in schools and even home are often difficult to suppress and changes how the victim thinks and acts over their lifetime. Some researchers go so far as to claim that child sexual abuse changes a person forever.

Unraveling the Grim Statistics of Child Sexual Abuse in 2022

While there are few definitive statistics that reveal how often child sexual abuse in schools occurs, many survivors are coming forward about their experiences. The Children’s Bureau from the Department of Health and Human Services reported that at least 9.2% of children were sexually assaulted.

Schools and other educational establishments are meant to be safe spaces for children. Parents should be able to trust teachers and other people with authority in these institutions to keep their children safe from abuse, assault, bullying, and other traumatic events. Unfortunately, it isn’t uncommon for child abusers to go unpunished and simply move on from one establishment to another and repeat their heinous behaviors.

Sexual abuse can take place in school toilets, playgrounds, classrooms, as well as on transportation or while students are on field trips. Another alarming concern is students abusing their peers, although teacher-on-student abuse gets more widespread attention. In fact, student-on-student assault in schools is seven times more prevalent than adult-on-child sexual assault.

Research also shows that one in every ten children will experience sexual abuse by the time they turn 18. This data includes the following grim realities that suggest that 1 in 7 girls and 1 in 25 boys wioll be sexually exploited before they turn 18.


In most cases, children are often too young to understand that they are being sexually exploited, which is why these experiences often go unreported. Parents need to have this conversation with their children about sexual exploitation to stay protected.

The Signs of Child Sexual Abuse

Unfortunately, the signs of sexual abuse will manifest in a number of ways, including physical, psychological, and emotional. Below are some of the most common signs of child sexual abuse:

Genital trauma: Unexplained bleeding and bruising around the genital area is a sign of sexual abuse. The presence of blood on sheets, clothing, and underwear is also a strong indicator.

Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs): Studies show that less than 5% of sexually abused children will have an STI. The presence of an STI is an obvious indicator of sexual abuse.

Besides the physical signs, parents should also identify the following changes in their child’s behavior and emotions:

  • Talking excessively about sexual topics and displaying knowledge beyond their years
  • Inappropriate sexual conduct
  • Afraid of being along with certain people (such as a babysitter, a relative, a friend, another child, adult)
  • An older child displaying behaviors they’ve outgrown such as thumb sucking or bedwetting
  • Disruptive sleeping patterns
  • A child who is usually very talkative and cheerful but may become distant and quiet, especially when in close proximity to a certain person
  • Refusing to talk about  a ‘secret’ they may have with an adult or older child
  • Suddenly having access to money

Getting Justice on Child Sexual Abuse Cases

The legal system places a very high threshold on victims and their parents to successfully sue school districts for not providing safe space to students. However, there are legal steps you can take to pursue justice if your child has been mistreated by teachers, school employees, or students.

Survivors of child sexual abuse are often confused about where to turn for help. We want you to know that you are not alone. If you or your loved one has experienced child sexual abuse, the Justice Firm is here to help you hold the perpetrators and the institutions accountable for these crimes.

We will provide you with a free consultation to help you navigate these difficult circumstances. Our sexual abuse attorneys in California have extensive experience with cases against private and public schools, including school districts, colleges, and universities around the country.

You can speak in confidence with our sexual abuse attorneys. We offer confidential and compassionate case assessments. Give us a call at 866-695-6714 to get started. You can also reach out to our attorneys here at Justice Firm online and they will respond right away.

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