Many think of “hazing” as nothing more than harmless pranks that are associated with group initiations such as fraternity or sorority pledging. In some cases, this description is true, but in many instances, it is not.
Hazing is commonplace, not only with the Greek-letter organizations on college campuses, but with high school and college sports teams, the military, and even with street gangs. Proponents of hazing claim that it promotes “bonding” and “solidarity building.”
While hazing sometimes involves nothing more than demeaning tasks, silly rituals, or embarrassing ceremonies, it just as often involves abusive, dangerous, and oftentimes illegal activities such as physical abuse (often “paddling”), psychological abuse, excessive consumption of alcohol (binge drinking), personal servitude, consumption of unpleasant substances (e.g., dog food, hot pepper sauce, semen-soaked cookies, raw onions, or spoiled food), brandings, beatings, sexual stimulation or humiliation, forced calisthenics in feces or urine, and deprivation of food, sleep, and personal hygiene.
Most college campuses ban hazing and most states, including Pennsylvania and New Jersey have anti-haxing laws. Nonetheless, it is a highly under-reported activity. Strangely enough, many individuals who are hazed WANT to be hazed, and later speak affectionately of the experience. Nonetheless, most state anti-hazing laws refuse to recognize “willingness of participants to participate” as a defense to hazing.
Serious personal injuries and deaths caused by hazing have been reported as the result of beatings, alcohol poisoning, drownings, electrocutions, and even shootings.
The law firm of McLaughlin & Lauricella represents victims of hazing in both Pennsylvania and New Jersey.
If you or a loved one has been injured or has suffered as a result of hazing in Pennsylvania or New Jersey, the Philadelphia law firm of McLaughlin & Lauricella can help. We are hazing abuse attorneys. For a confidential & free consultation – call the law firm at 215-568-1510 or contact us by email to see how you can get you the compensation you deserve.