Schools are one of the places children are most likely to be sexually abused by their peers. But a recent Associated Press report highlights just how difficult it can be to track that abuse.
The report centers around Chaz Wing, who says his classmates at his former school in Brunswick, Maine, sexually assaulted him during the 2011-2012 school year.
Wing and his mother were formerly anonymous plaintiffs, along with the Maine Human Rights Commission, in a lawsuit against the Brunswick School Department. They claimed the school didn't do enough to prevent or address the abuse.
The school district later settled the lawsuit for $125,000 and also agreed to switch from paper to electronic records to track incidents of bullying.
The AP says Wing's case is one of 17,000 reported sexual assaults by students between 2011 and 2015 across the country. According to federal statistics, "serious violent victimizations," which include rape and sexual assault, have decreased over time.
But many cases still go unreported, and there's no federal mandate for school districts to track sexual violence.