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Elite Schools Were Supposed to Be Havens During Adolescence

Instead, The Thacher School, Cate School, and Branson School Are Now Under Investigation for Serious Sexual Crimes

If you or your child were abused at a private school in California, we want to help.

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Private School Abuse

Three Elite Schools Now Under Investigation

In the spotlight now are three elite schools: The Thacher School in Ojai, Cate School in Carpinteria, and The Branson School in Marin County. A Case for Women is working with the prestigious San Francisco-based law firm, Lieff Cabraser, to help survivors of sexual abuse, assault and/or harassment understand their rights and take civil legal action against these schools.

There is evidence that all three institutions harbored and covered up cultures of systemic abuse that neglected the health and safety of young people and caused deep and enduring trauma. Students were not only assaulted but, in many cases, they were also silenced when they reported the assaults.

Acting Now May Be Essential

Thankfully the State of California now allows survivors of sexual assaults that occurred while they were minors to come forward and file civil lawsuits, even decades after being abused. However, for survivors now over age 26 who were assaulted as minors prior to 2020, this window of opportunity may close forever in 2022. (Survivors who were assaulted as minors prior to 2020 who are under age 26 have until age 26 to bring suit.) If you don’t come forward before the window closes, you may never be able to take legal action.


The Thacher School in Ojai

A detailed report highlights that more than 20 survivors have come forward accusing six former faculty members and several male students of sexual misconduct, harassment, and rape which took place over the last 40 years. The School failed to respond adequately when survivors came forward, instead at times blaming or shaming them.

Cate School in Carpinteria

New articles highlight that multiple sexual assaults took place on school property during 2019-2020, perpetrated by an employee who was terminated in February of 2020. Many survivors have come forward already, and there may be more.

Branson School in Marin County

A report highlights that at least 10 girls were the victims of three coaches and one college counselor from the 1970s to the early 2010s, and that the school failed to take appropriate action. Offenders groomed these students while coaching their sports teams or helping them with college prep tests and are accused of inappropriate touching, kissing, oral sex, and rape, sometimes in the presence or with the knowledge of other teachers, administrators, or coaches.


It is not too late to tell your truth and hold your school accountable. Help us protect future students the way you should have been protected.

We Get It. Speaking Up About Sexual Assault Is Not Easy.

A Case for Women has worked with thousands of female and male assault survivors across the nation, including women assaulted by Larry Nassar at MSU, passengers raped by Rideshare drivers, survivors of sex trafficking, minors who endured church abuse, and more.

Our first job is to LISTEN.

We will speak with you at your pace, in a compassionate and supportive setting. Then we help to guide you to an understanding of resources and the civil legal options that may be available, ultimately connecting you with attorneys who are skilled in this area.

We only work with attorneys who handle sex assault cases on a contingency fee basis (meaning, they will not ask for you to pay legal bills out of your pocket, and get paid only if you receive compensation) because we believe that you should not have to endure financial risk to bring your case forward.


“No more stalling and playing out the clock. We can’t heal if there are still secrets lurking in the shadows.”

via @rpecultureatthacher, an Instagram account dedicated to giving Thacher School survivors a voice