Abuse, especially when perpetrated by professionals, is a complex issue that often remains hidden in the shadows of society. Many abusers cunningly minimize what their victims experience, causing them to second-guess their decision to seek justice. This strategic move is common among abusers.
However, when these abusers are licensed professionals, the situation is even more complicated. Their authoritative position and the ability to commit and cover up their actions can often mean their abusive behavior goes unnoticed and unreported.
Appear as too trustworthy to commit abuse
Professionals are usually respected and trusted in our society. That said, they can exploit this trust for personal gain. For instance, when these professionals commit abuse, many may overlook their actions, causing them to manipulate and harm others without raising alarms. High-profile cases involving professionals, from doctors to coaches, show how professional status can hide predatory behavior for years. Due to their professional status and the trust society often places in them, it can make it difficult for others to believe and confront their offenses. The expectation of integrity that comes with their positions makes it hard for people to accept they could be abusers, hence discouraging victims from sharing their experiences.
Shame from abuse
Abusers, particularly those in positions of authority, can intensify the fear and social stigma victims may feel. Victims may worry about negative reactions from family, friends or their community, fearing judgment and exclusion. While the shame belongs to the abusers, it’s often the victims who bear it. This emotional toll can lead victims to remain silent, unintentionally shielding abusers when victims don’t voice their experiences.
Pursuing a claim for justice
Credentialed professionals can use their status to hide sexual abuse, but victims should not be discouraged from seeking justice. It’s important to hold everyone accountable for their actions, particularly those who misuse power imbalances. Even when victims feel vulnerable and the situation appears hopeless, California law stands firm in protecting and upholding the rights of those who have suffered sexual abuse. As such, in the pursuit of justice, it’s crucial that individuals bravely report such incidents. This step helps hold their abusers responsible for the pain and suffering they caused.