Trusted Lawyers for Victims of Fraternity Hazing
Fraternity hazing is a fraternity ritual in which injuries, pain, and other harm are inflicted as part of the initiation process to join such fraternity. Fraternity hazing may involve excessive alcohol consumption or some form of ritualized pain endurance. Even though the media covers the risks of hazing, including injuries and deaths of those victimized, fraternities may have substantial resources to shield them from legal accountability, and it is crucial to retain an attorney to protect your interests and rights. A significant number of fraternities have these rituals and regard them as a required rite of passage. If you were harmed as part of hazing, you should call the seasoned hazing attorneys of Phillips & Associates. Unlike some other law firms, we do not represent fraternities—in these cases, we exclusively represent those who have been harmed or injured as a result of hazing, so you can be assured we’re on your side.
HOW DOES FRATERNITY HAZING oCCUR?
Fraternity hazing is any activity that is expected of somebody who joins or participates in the fraternity, when that activity degrades, abuses, endangers, or humiliates them, regardless of whether the person is willing to participate. Hazing activities may involve violence, harassment, or intimidation. A significant percentage of students involved in frats experience behaviors that are considered hazing under the law in order to join or stay as members of the group. These behaviors often involve drinking excessive amounts of alcohol to the point of getting sick or passing out, and getting yelled at, screamed at, or cursed by other members. Hazing may be common at college campuses, but that doesn’t make it okay.
WHAT IS AN EXAMPLE OF SEXUAL HAZING?
Examples of sexual hazing include:
- Forcing initiates to sexually abuse others in order to join
- Improper groping or touching of initiates
- Sexual assault, rape, or sodomization of pledges.
- Forcing initiates to go through indecent public exposure or sexual humiliation in order to join
- Enforcing sexual servitude
- Encouraging excessive alcohol consumption as part of sex leads to illness.
- Mandating physically abusive or sexually violating activities including activities that involve whipping or paddling.
Sexual hazing occurs whenever new initiates are required to go through sexual abuse, harassment or assault in order to join an organization. In many cases, it involves an older fraternity member’s abuse of power and effort to gain control, and an environment in which hypermasculinity is encouraged. Sometimes members of fraternities develop a mob mentality to perpetrate sex crimes against initiates and may regard it as acceptable because they are themselves past victims of these rites.
IS HAZING ABUSE?
Yes, hazing is abuse. You do not need to put up with it or pretend it didn’t happen. You may be able to recover damages against the perpetrators as well as institutions that looked the other way and allowed this harmful conduct to occur.
WHAT DO YOU DO WHEN YOU DON'T KNOW WHAT HAPPENED IN A HAZING?
Sometimes fraternities and the colleges that sponsor them circle the wagon and conceal evidence of incidents that result in serious harm, whether injuries or death. It can be important to get the police involved since hazing is illegal in New York and other states. A police investigation may uncover important evidence for your civil suit, which is a separate proceeding. In a civil suit, plaintiffs bear the burden of proof to establish how each defendant they’ve sued is responsible for their injuries or their child’s death. This is why it is important to retain seasoned trial attorneys who understand how to use discovery, depositions, and sometimes an investigator to get much-needed evidence to prove your civil case and recover damages.
CALL EXPERIENCED PLAINTIFF'S LAWYERS ABOUT YOUR CLAIM
Whether you or your child has been a victim of fraternity hazing that caused harm, our firm is well-positioned to support you in securing justice. Our firm represents those who have been hazed in New York including Manhattan, Brooklyn, the Bronx, Queens, Staten Island, Suffolk County, and Nassau County. We are also in Florida, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and can help throughout the U.S. Complete our online form or call us at (212) 248-7431 if you believe you or your child may have a claim. We represent clients on a contingency fee basis and provide free consultations.
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