Sexual assault lawyer If you are looking for guidance on how to handle a sexual assault, this step-by-step guide will help you. It provides a comprehensive overview of your rights, what to do right away, what to do next, what to do in the future, what your rights are, what your state’s sexual assault laws are, and how to file a claim for sexual assault.
What is Sexual Assault? A Guide on Sexual Assault
Warning: This guide is for people who have been sexually assaulted.
It can be difficult to know what you should do if you have been sexually assaulted. There may be a variety of emotions you are feeling, including shame, anger, guilt, and even guilt. It is possible that you need medical attention, but are too embarrassed or upset to seek it. You may also want legal assistance, but are unsure of where to go for support following a traumatizing experience.
Your safety should be your number one priority immediately after a sexual assault. In order to seek immediate stability, you should also know your legal rights in the event that you need to file a claim for sexual assault in the future.
The most important thing is to realize that while healing and recovery should be your primary goal after a sexual assault, legal recourse may also be available. A sexual assault claim can help you get damages for psychological, emotional, and physical harm.
What is Sexual Assault?
There is so much stigma around sexual assault that it’s important to understand what sexual assault means. Unfortunately, this type of assault can take many forms. It is important to remember that sexual assaults are not the victim’s fault. If force or coercion were used without consent (having the person’s consent), then assault occurred.
Sexual assault can be any unwelcome sexual activity.
- Tried rape
- Unwanted sexual contact or touching
- Forcing victim to perform sexual acts (i.e. Oral penetration or other forms sex
- rape: Illegal sexual intercourse or penetration into the victim’s skin by a body organ or object
Other crimes of sexual nature include:
- sexual harassment
- Solicitation of minors
- Possession of child pornography
Consideration Of Force In Sexual Assault
Force does not just refer to physical force. For example, a person may be held down and threatened with bodily harm. One person can coerce another with psychological or emotional force. This includes threats and verbal abuse. This is considered an act of force if the attacker threatened to harm you, your children, your family, and yourself.
Consideration Of Consent In Sexual Assault
Consent is the keystone of every sexual assault case. All parties must consent to a sexual act. The act is considered assault if it is not consented to.
Consent is something you need to be aware of.
- A person can at any moment change their mind and withdraw consent to sexual acts
- Consenting to one sexual act doesn’t mean that they consent to other acts.
- Consent to sexual acts in the past or present does not guarantee consent for future.
- Consent is about communication.
- Minors are especially vulnerable. In many states, the minimum age for consent is 16
- People with intellectual or developmental disabilities might not be able to participate in sexual activity.
Sexual Assault is considered rape
Rape is considered a form sexual assault. Rape is not the same as other forms of sexual assault. Rape refers to the forced or unwanted penetration of the vagina or anus with any object.
Different laws apply to defining rape in different states. Your attorney can help you to understand the law and the state definitions of rape if you decide to take legal action.
While not all forms sexual assault can be considered rape; however, any form of sexual assault can cause trauma and damage. No matter what type of sexual assault you are committing, you still have rights.
What are my rights after a sexual assault incident?
You have the right of bringing a complaint about any sexual assault to the police and to pursue legal action against the perpetrator. You can also document the incident in writing and seek a medical evaluation to determine the effects on your body.
Although it might seem difficult to pursue justice after being sexually assaulted, it could be a step in your recovery. An assault can leave you feeling angry, frustrated, and in some cases, even guilty. Although you may not wish to tell anyone, or make the incident more real for others, it could cause you to relive the event over and over again.
However, seeking legal repercussions against a perpetrator can be helpful. It will give you peace of mind knowing that the perpetrator did indeed not run away. This may help prevent further incidents.
Common Concerns when Filing a Sexual Assault Report
Many victims are reluctant to report a sexual assault because of fear of others finding out. Victims may not report because they fear others will find out or fear that others won’t believe what happened. Even if you do not file a claim against the perpetrator, it is important to report what happened.
Reporting can be vital, even though you might be shaken and physically incapacitated from an attack. It helps to identify the perpetrator so that other victims are not attacked. If you are unable to name your perpetrator, but can describe them to police, this will help them to identify the offender.
Sexual assault of any kind can cause you to lose your self-esteem and confidence. Although it may be extremely painful to report the incident, it can help protect others and bring legal or punitive actions against the perpetrator. It also exposes the perpetrator’s harmful, damaging behavior.
This is a list of common issues when filing a report on sexual assault and the reasons it might help to report it anyway:
Knowing the perpetrator Unfortunately, most victims are familiar with the identity of the attacker. Protect future victims by taking action against them. This can be particularly motivating if the perpetrator is a member of your family. Exposing the perpetrator will help to ensure that no one else in your family is hurt.
Severity and type of assault: Some victims may not have fought their attackers, while others may have been notified by a third party. They may not feel entitled to report if there is no evidence of penetration or physical harm. Sexual assault of any kind is illegal. You have the right report it.
Being in an intimate relationship with the perpetrator. Unfortunately, some people will resort to violence or use force frequently on their partners when they engage in sexual acts. Sexual assault can still be committed even if it occurs regularly. If force is used, it is considered an assault.
People who are worried won’t believe that it happened. All law enforcers have been trained to handle sexual assault reports. You can ask for assistance from your superior officer if an officer does not understand or are uninformed.
The consequences: It can be difficult to expose someone for a crime, even if they are justified and deserved any repercussions. It can be very difficult to overcome threats of punishment if you speak out. There are many organizations that help victims of sexual assault to stay safe from harm and away form perpetrators.
What to do after you’ve been sexually assaulted?
Trauma from sexual assault can have many negative effects. It may make it more difficult to seek treatment. Trauma can often make it difficult for victims to feel strong and empowered enough that they are able to tell others about the incident, seek treatment, or pursue repercussions against the perpetrator.
A lot of the recovery from sexual assault is about restoring strength, independence, self-worth, and self-worth.
This step-by-step guide will help you determine what to do after experiencing sexual assault.
Look for Safety and Support
Your safety should always be your first priority. The most important thing after an accident is to seek safety and stability in the environment. You can go to any place you choose, whether it’s a hospital or a police station.
After an assault, it can be hard to concentrate on safety. You may find yourself unable to see the injustice of what has happened. As your brain and body try to deal with the trauma, shock and derealization may set in. Once you are safe, you can start the process of seeking support, healing, and seeking out recourse.
Sexual assault can have a negative impact on your mental health and cause emotional and psychological trauma. It is important to take action and seek help. Experts recommend talking to someone you trust to help you ground yourself and soothe any panic attacks.
You can call someone who is understanding and will listen without judgment. They can also help you get to the hospital or home. Victim-blaming, stigma and the stigma around sexual assault can discourage victims from seeking help, even those who are closest to them.
Most states have certified advocates who are available 24 hours a day if you feel uncomfortable calling someone you know. These advocates provide support in crisis, confidential assistance, and information about available resources. They also advocate for victims’ rights and provide information. For professional support, you can call the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 800 656-HOPE (46673).
Take into consideration seeking medical care
After being assaulted, you may prefer to stay at home and not visit a hospital. You may feel a lot of emotions, including anger, shame, guilt, and panic. However, it is important to seek medical attention immediately following a sexual assault, regardless of what you do with the perpetrator.
After a sexual assault, the main goal is to be medically healthy. Even if there are no physical injuries to the body, internal injuries may exist that need to be treated as soon as possible. The best care for victims of assault is provided by health care professionals who are skilled in administering the right care. They can also prescribe medications to make you feel more calm. They can test for HIV, sex transmitted infections, and pregnancy.
You may wish to file a sexual assault kit if you have been subject to rape. If you decide not to file a report immediately, the sexual assault kit may be frozen until you are ready.
Although it can seem daunting to get a sexual assault kit, the time frame for testing for sexual assault is usually less than 72 hours. It’s therefore important to act as soon as you can. It is possible to decide later what to do regarding reporting the incident and filing a claim for sexual assault.
You can find ways to address and process the incident
One common way to cope with trauma or sexual assault is to pretend it didn’t happen. It is understandable that victims want to live normal lives and not be treated as victims. Talking about the incident is important for healing.
Every survivor must cope with sexual assault in their own way. Recovering from sexual assault requires that you rely on healthy and productive coping strategies. Talk therapy can be used to help you deal with the difficult emotions and feelings that will come up over the coming weeks, months, or years. These include dialectical behavior therapy and cognitive behavioral therapy.
Journaling, meditation, breathing exercises and yoga are all self-serving practices. Doctors and organizations that help victims of sexual assault provide support.
Deciding whether to file a sexual assault claim
You may be tempted to file a claim for sexual assault in the weeks or months following your assault. However, you might reconsider the idea, then decide to file, then talk yourself out of it. You should take into consideration the pros and cons of filing a sexual assault case.
First, a sexual assault case can expose the perpetrator. This is especially motivating if the perpetrator is close to you, since you might want to protect others from their harm.
It can be satisfying to see your perpetrator pay financial or serve time in prison or jail. This may help you feel a sense justice. Sexual assault is a crime, and filing claims is the best method to ensure perpetrators are removed.
However, you may be unable to file if the perpetrator is in court. The final decision about whether to file a claim for sexual assault should be based on your healing goals, and whether filing will aid you in your recovery.
How Long Can You Wait To Report Sexual Assault?
Many survivors of sexual assault choose to wait to file a claim. This is because it can be complicated. Many survivors of sexual assault wait for years to file a claim, as has been shown in many cases.
They might feel that they can heal on their own, or they may prefer to let the incident go without pursuing legal action. When victims of sexual assault are able to pursue justice years later, politicians, celebrities, or other public figures, they can expose the perpetrator and seek justice.
Due to this, and other incidents involving non-famous perpetrators recently, laws were created regarding the time period that a claim for sexual assault can be filed. These laws are known as statutes of limitations and vary from one state to the next.
Statute Of Limitations On Sexual Assault
Understanding the factors that affect the statute of limitations for sexual assault in each state is crucial to understanding the laws. Each state’s statute of limitations for sexual assault is affected by several factors. These include the type of assault, the crime category that the assault falls under, and the victim’s age at the time.
Some states do not have a statute of limitations for sexual abuse, so you can file a claim even decades later. Some states have stricter rules about how to punish sexual assault crimes. The statute of limitations for a state that punishes non-raped sexual assaults as misdemeanors may be one to three years.
Rape, which is the most serious form of sexual assault, can be punished by up to one year in prison or a life sentence in some states. There are different statutes of limitations in each state for sexual assault. Numerous websites and organizations provide information about the state sexual assault statutes, including the Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network.
A sexual assault lawyer is the best way to find out how long it takes to file a claim for sexual assault. These lawyers have extensive knowledge of the laws regarding sexual assault and can help you understand your legal options.
Are There Any Sexual Assaults More Common?
It can be very distressing to see statistics and information about sexual assault. Understanding the full scope of the problem can help survivors realize that they are not the only ones dealing with it. It also helps fellow survivors to know where to look for help in reversing the trend.
Sexual Assault in the Home
Minimum 70% of sexual survivors knew their perpetrators, which could be a friend, family member or acquaintance. Unfortunately, rape remains the most under-reported crime. Only 63 percent will report other forms of sexual assault. Only 12 percent child sexual abuse has been reported and only one in 10 women will have experienced rape, sexual violence, or assault from an intimate partner.
Fear of consequences and the fear of destroying family dynamics, as well as not wanting to expose a family friend or family member can prevent someone from reporting sexual assault that occurs at home or involves someone very close to them.
Sexual Assault on College Campuses
While one in five college students is assaulted by males, and one in sixteen females is assaulted on campus every year respectively, 90 percent of those victims won’t report the incident. Many of the perpetrators of sexual violence who self-report their acts admit to repeating them.
Many colleges have developed plans to protect students from sexual assault. These include information about student safety, campus security systems and campus security officers who accompany students
Workplace Sexual Assault
Eighty percent of all rapes occur at the victim’s workplace. Your employer has a legal obligation to bring charges against the perpetrator if you have been raped or sexually assaulted at work by a coworker.
Many companies won’t hire a former sex offenders and it is legal to discriminate on the basis of violent sexual history. You may be eligible to ask for a leave of absence, stricter safety standards, a change in work schedule, assignment, or any other changes that will help you feel safer at work if you have been the victim of sexual assault.
An attorney can help you understand the expectations of your employer after a workplace sexual assault.
Sexual harassment is another important topic that workplaces should consider. The U.S. The Equal Opportunity Employment Commission (EEOC) defines sexual harassment as any unwelcome sexual advances, conduct of a sexual nature, that interferes with a person’s job performance, or elicits a hostile or offensive workplace environment. Sexual harassment can be anything from an offensive joke about sexual behavior to unwelcome physical advances.
Some examples of workplace sexual harassment are:
- Discussing one’s sexual life before other employees
- Ask employees about their sex lives
- Jokes about sexual nature
- Commenting on the attractiveness and professionalism of other employees
- Commenting repeatedly on the appearance of an employee
- Inculcating sexual images or information in the workplace
- Not sending emails or texts that are sexually explicit
- Spreading rumors that an employee is sexually explicit
- Inappropriate or unwelcome touching of another employee. It has seen an increase in massage salons.
Some workplace conduct can be considered sexual harassment. Some conduct in the workplace may not be as obvious as others. It’s becoming more difficult to distinguish between acceptable and unacceptable workplace harassment. Talking to a human resource employee or manager is a good way to determine if an action or behavior is sexual harassment. They can help you to identify if you have and offer guidance if you have.
Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1965 identifies two types of workplace sexual harassment: hostile work environment (quid pro quo) and hostile work environment (hostile work environment). Learn more about workplace sexual harassment.
Sexual Assault During Rideshares
With so many rideshare companies popping up over the last few years, sexual abuse during rideshares has become a serious problem for both passengers and drivers. Lyft was sued 7 times for rides that were allegedly sexually assaulted or raped in August 2019.
Uber reported more than 3,000 sexual assaults in 2018, with 42 percent of those reported coming from Uber drivers. Survivors were sometimes even charged for rides after reporting the assaults.
This has brought to light a larger issue: Uber, Lyft and other rideshare services don’t have the same safety standards as older, more established rideshare services like taxis. These rideshare companies are recognizing the issue and working to implement safe safety standards to protect passengers and drivers.
Sexual Assault Laws
All forms of sexual assault in any state are generally considered crimes. Each state will have a different level of punishment depending on the type of sexual assault. To protect survivors of sexual assault, there are many laws that have been developed over time.
Different laws and acts cover different aspects of sexual assault. The Clery Act was created to ensure that college campuses give notice to staff and students of sexual assault in a prompt manner. Vicky and Amy Child Pornography Restitution Act was created to make it easier for child pornography victims to obtain restitution from child porn image owners.
There are many laws that govern sexual assault. These laws are usually established after a victim’s case is not resolved fairly in court proceedings. This leads to a more complex case and a higher standard for law in this area.
A sexual assault attorney is the best way to learn about the laws applicable to your situation. Although they cannot predict the outcome of your case’s outcome, they can help you to understand the possible outcomes and which laws might apply.
What Happens if I File a Claim?
The police can file charges against the perpetrator after they have received a report. An investigator will then be assigned to the case in order to investigate all details. An investigator will meet with you and gather information about the incident. After gathering all the details, the investigator will turn over the case to the prosecutor’s.
While some cases might be dismissed due to the lack of evidence, others could go on. It is important to report the incident as soon as possible and to get medical attention or a kit for rape.
The Sexual Assault Claims Process
If your case moves forward, you will first be given a preliminary hearing by a grand jury. This is where the evidence from the case will be presented. The investigator will turn over all evidence. This process can take up to six month and is intended to protect your privacy. The trial will follow, which can vary in length depending on the case. If the perpetrator is found guilty, they will be sentenced. Sentences and other punitive actions may vary from one state to another.
What about all the untested sexual assault kits?
In the United States, the average sentence for rape is 11 years. You may have heard that many sexual assault kits were not tested and cases were ignored or not tried.
Untested kits of sexual assault are not acceptable. Victims laws are being enacted in many states to make sure these kits are tested and that repercussions are sought. The Survivors Bills of Rights Act of 2016 also has many laws regarding handling rape kit.
If you decide to file a sexual assault report, it is your right that the kit be tested and informed about its results. You also have the right to be heard and included in the criminal justice system. You may need legal assistance to ensure your case is successful and not lost in the system.
How to file a sexual assault claim
Many Americans are subject to sexual assaults. On average, someone is harmed in the United States every 73 seconds. A victim of sexual assault might be reluctant to file a claim after such a traumatizing incident.
However, filing a claim for sexual assault can provide many benefits. These include putting an end to the perpetrator’s criminal record and providing closure and peace for your own recovery.
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