It’s a difficult issue but—like any other person who has suffered an injury at the hands of another—victims of sexual assault deserve honesty, empathy and help.
The cultural barriers against getting justice, real justice, as a victim of sexual assault are unfairly high. First, there is the fact that what constitutes sexual assault goes far beyond what most people think of when they hear the term. Sexual assault usually occurs in situations where people are vulnerable. For instance, a patient under anesthesia, an unconscious patient in back of ambulance, an elderly resident in a nursing home, or a child in a church or at a school retreat, are all vulnerable to predators who thrive in these environments. Sometimes, sexual assault may simply occur by the very nature of the incapacity of someone to consent to sex–such as in the case of a inappropriate touching of a child, or even sexual innuendos made to a child. And incapacity is not just a function of age; people who are mentally incompetent are included as well. Sexual assault isn’t just about rape and molestation, it’s also about those who allow it to occur. And no matter what form the assault took, it can lead to terrible and traumatic consequences for the victim.
The first place people usually look for help in a sexual assault case (if they look at all) is to the criminal justice system. But while the criminal justice system will, hopefully, punish the offender, that doesn’t do much to help the victim heal and deal with the aftermath of the assault.
Sexual Assault Law Suits
Civil court is the only place where the victim of sexual assault can find compensation for what he or she has suffered. It is a place where they can assert their rights and see some effort to make good on the harm that has been done to them. And most states allow the sexual assault victim to file a lawsuit anonymously.
There is, however, no way to sugarcoat this: it can be hard. No one wants to have to relive one of the worst moments of their life over and over again, and that is exactly what the defendant is counting on–to keep you from seeking justice. But justice can result from catharsis: by telling your story again, even if it is painful to do so, this not only can promote healing, it can legally benefit deserving victims.
What is hard may be necessary, especially if the victim of the assault is someone you are responsible for (a minor child or a loved one). In the first days and weeks after the trauma comes to light, you might not be thinking about their rights under civil law, but it is something that has to be considered before it is too late.
Contact a Sexual Assault Lawyer
At the Clore Law Group, we understand how emotionally wrenching it can be to seek legal help for a sexual assault case. We don’t need to know your name. We don’t even have to sit down face to face, if that is too difficult. We want to help you, and we want to do it in a way that makes you as comfortable as possible. We have years of experience in assisting victims of personal injury, including sexual assault, assert their rights and receive their fair compensation. And we can do the same for you or your loved one.