Signs That Your Child Is Being Hazed

Hazing is a dangerous practice that has existed in schools, universities, colleges, sports and clubs for many years. Despite organizations making pledges to stop and prevent hazing, it is unfortunately still a part of many group activities. Hazing can be extremely dangerous and endanger the lives of those who undergo abuse, assault and humiliation as part of a hazing ritual. As a parent, looking out for signs of hazing could help you protect your child.

What Is Hazing?

Hazing refers to any type of ritual that involves pain, humiliation, risks or other types of harm done to initiates before they can join a group, such as a sorority, fraternity or sports team. The purpose of hazing is to see how far an initiate is willing to go – physically and emotionally – to join the team or group.

Hazing can involve any number of dangerous or embarrassing trials. It can manifest itself as bullying, degradation, forced physical exertion, violence, sexual assault, or mental and psychological torture. Hazing puts initiates at risk of serious bodily injuries and psychological harm. In the most severe cases, hazing can be deadly.

If your child is attending a college or a university in Kansas, be on the lookout for signs of hazing as part of the “rush” or recruitment process of Greek Life. Hazing is particularly common for sororities and fraternities. It is also often reported in youth sports. However, joining any type of club, band or organization – as part of a school or otherwise – could put your child at risk of barbaric hazing rituals.

Physical Signs of Hazing

Many hazing rituals are designed to test the physical limits of a new recruit through difficult and often dangerous trials or tasks. This can result in physical injuries that may be visible on a victim’s body. Potential red flags of hazing may include:

  • Unexplained injuries
  • Unusual bruising or marks on your child’s body
  • Injuries that appear to be from beatings
  • Serious injuries such as broken bones
  • Dislocations or muscle tears
  • Heat stroke or overexertion
  • Sleep deprivation
  • Strap or restraint marks
  • Drug use or alcohol poisoning
  • New tattoos or piercings
  • Burn marks or brands

If hazing involves sexual assault or rape, your child may also suffer injuries to the genitals, anus, pelvis or upper thighs. Other physical signs of sexual assault can include bloody undergarments or sheets and trouble walking.

Emotional and Behavioral Signs of Hazing

Physical injuries are not the only potential sign that a child is being hazed. One of the key elements of hazing is often inflicting psychological and emotional trauma on a victim. This can result in noticeable changes in your child’s behaviors, personality, mental health or emotional state.

Examples may include withdrawal, isolation, depression, chronic anxiety, symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder, nightmares, regression, low self-esteem, and feelings of guilt or shame. A victim of hazing may also suddenly change their behaviors and engage in criminal activity, use drugs or alcohol, bully others, participate in inappropriate sexual behaviors, or skip school.

What to Do if Your Child Is Being Hazed

Hazing rituals are often synonymous with physical and psychological torture. If you notice any unusual injuries or emotional changes in your child, ask him or her about hazing. If your child has been seriously injured or suffered psychological and emotional distress because of hazing, contact an attorney in Kansas right away to discuss your family’s legal rights.

Your family may be able to pursue civil litigation against the school, college or organization that was in charge of protecting your child. Filing a civil lawsuit can hold an institution accountable, protect other children from suffering the same fate as your child, and pay you and your family compensation for related losses. Contact DRZ Law today to request a free consultation to learn more about hazing.

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