Many students who experienced sexual assault suffer great anxiety long after the abuse has ended. Isolation, detachment from peers and parents, and being unable to feel safe in school are just some of the consequences. Melinda Coleman – the mother of a sexual abuse victim, explained how difficult it is for her daughter now. She dropped cheerleading and lost all hope for having a good experience in school.
A big problem is that cases involving sexual violence at government-financed colleges are generating a lot of press attention, while K-12 schools fail to do that.
Research by The Associated Press revealed seventeen thousand (17,000) legitimate reports of sex violation in kindergarten to twelfth-grade educational institutions over a four-year cycle.
Another alarming thing is that many states do not track the reports and the estimation might be blurry. Not to mention events that do not even get reported. Numbers become even vaguer.
Issues in K-12 sexual assault cases
For federally funded institutions it is mandatory to record sexual assault reports but other schools are not obligated to do this. It becomes a case of acting like there isn’t a problem.
While sexual assault ranges from rape and sodomy to undesired fondling. Incidents like these are often not reported and if they are it usually happens when students are not visually supervised. And without an eyewitness, there is no case at all.
A significant percentage of female molestation victims point out that they were first assaulted between the ages of eleven and seventeen. There is an additional percentage of sexual violence involving five and six-year-olds, but as the age increases so do the cases of assault.
For the dispute to be solved, advocates for sexual assault prevention, recommend for children to be informed earlier instead of when it’s too late.
Kids in kindergarten and elementary schools are of course taught what is and isn’t appropriate and the responsibility falls in the hands of the institutions and how they handle it.
This is a serious problem that needs to be addressed so schools can be more secure for students. While sex education can be a touchy subject, it is important that students are aware of the dangers and consequences of sexual assault.