As many of you are hearing in the news, an Assistant Principal at Nixa Junior High School in Nixa, Missouri was recently charged with the sexual exploitation of a child for the purposes of producing child pornography. This is devastating news to our community and our hearts go out to all survivors, and their families, of this horrible abuse. In our practice, we see far too many teachers use their position of power to gain the trust of young children, only to take advantage of them sexually. It is simply not something we can allow happen in our local public schools. Perpetrators of sexual violence and abuse are frequently people in positions of trust; friends, coaches, youth leaders, and unfortunately, educators. Many such perpetrators are also frequently people who enjoy positions of power relative to children. Trust and power are used to gain favor and cooperation, when the victim may not have otherwise ever have conceived of participating in such abusive acts. Theoretical consent is only gained by the dual influences of trust and power.
Nixa Vice Principal Colby Fronterhouse
Survivors of sexual predation may spend the rest of their lives recovering from the lingering effects of abuse. Alcoholism, drug additions, post-traumatic stress disorder, broken relationships and depression are all by-products of abuse, even when it is short-term. Providing survivors the means to obtain proper counseling and support, are the first priorities for building a foundation for surviving what are frequently life-long consequences.
Criminal proceedings do little to truly help survivors regain footing in their lives. Criminal courts punish the perpetrators, but except in the rarest of circumstances, do little to compensate those who have suffered. By contrast, civil proceedings are the avenue for survivors to obtain the kind of compensation that will help them obtain all the appropriate care and counseling needed. With such counseling, the long-term effects can be addressed. Otherwise, such overwhelming depression, guilt and anxiety may lead to broken marriages, further abuse and even loss of the ability to hold a job and earn an income. Compellingly, survivors of sexual abuse, in the absence of proper attention, frequently become perpetrators themselves. Such is the trauma one suffers from the violation of sexual abuse.
We have heard of at least one victim in this case, but unfortunately, where there is a sexual predator in a position of power in a highly concentrated area, there are usually multiple victims. If you know of anyone who may have any information about this case, please encourage them to review our website where there is an abundance of information about child sexual abuse and what can be done. You may be able to help someone who has fallen victim to this perpetrator. If you have any questions, or want to speak with a lawyer, please contact our firm at 417-866-8688.
For more information about sexual abuse, the consequences, the rights of survivors and key questions, visit www.monseesmayer.com. You may also want to obtain a copy of a booklet that will answer many questions linked here.