Foreign Exchange Student Abuse
Every year, some 25,000 teenagers visit America as part of the foreign exchange student program overseen by the U.S. State Department. As they work to learn more about the American culture and way of life, these foreign exchange students depend on their host families for guidance, protection and support. While most host parents do a wonderful job and treat their foreign exchange student extremely well, there are some who will take advantage of a vulnerable teen so far from home. Sadly, sexual abuse is an all too common crime committed against foreign exchange students that often goes unreported. In some cases, the organizations that sponsor foreign exchange students in the U.S. have covered-up abuse, concerned more with protecting the agency’s reputation than the well-being of students.
At Alonso Krangle, LLP, we work aggressively to obtain fair and full compensation for the survivors of childhood abuse, including foreign exchange students who have been victimized by a host parent. Abuse is always traumatic, but even more so when a child is victimized far from home, and unable to turn to friends and family for support. If you or a loved one were abused as a foreign exchange student in the U.S., the idea of filing a lawsuit may seem intimidating, especially since you’re dealing with an unfamiliar justice system. At Alonso Krangle, LLP, our foreign exchange student abuse lawyers understand the delicate and complicated nature of these cases, and we’ll work to make sure both your rights and dignity are protected. Our experienced and compassionate childhood abuse lawyers will be by your side through every phase of your case, until you obtain the justice you deserve.
Foreign Exchange Student Abuse Lawsuits
The sponsoring agencies that place foreign exchange students with U.S. host families are responsible for ensuring that these homes provide a safe and nurturing environment. While the host families receive no compensation, the sponsoring agencies earn substantial fees from the tuition overseas parents pay for their child’s year abroad. Because the agencies stand to make so much money from each foreign exchange student they sponsor, they are quite anxious to get them placed with a host family. As a result, host parents may not be vetted properly, and some students may end up in homes that harbor a predator.
While the U.S. State Department has rules in place that are supposed to ensure that foreign exchange students are placed in safe homes, an audit released in 2011 found that 15 of its 39 “largest fee-charging” sponsors were in “regulatory noncompliance.” Some agencies have also failed to report foreign exchange student abuse to law enforcement, and instead work to cover it and discredit the victims. There have even been cases where an agency continued to place students with host parents who had been repeatedly named in abuse allegations.
It’s important to hold sponsoring agencies accountable when they fail to protect the foreign exchange students who have been placed in their care. Compensation awarded in a foreign exchange student abuse lawsuit can allow you access to services that will aid in your recovery. Your lawsuit could also bring changes that will ensure the safety and prevent abuse of other foreign exchange students in the U.S.
Help for Victims of Foreign Exchange Student Abuse
Alonso Krangle, LLP offers free, no obligation lawsuit consultations to victims of foreign exchange student abuse. If you or someone you love were a victim of foreign exchange student abuse by a U.S. host parent, and you want to discuss your legal rights or just talk with someone about what happened, please contact us today by calling 800-403-6191.