Sexual assaults cause physical and emotional injuries that can potentially torment victims for a lifetime. Getting justice and a fair settlement for your ordeal can bring closure and help you handle financial responsibilities arising from the sexual assault, such as counseling expenses, lost income, and others.
We believe all victims of sexual assault and abuse deserve justice. Morgan & Morgan’s dedicated sexual assault lawyers can help hold perpetrators to account and fight for fair compensation for victims. There are no out-of-pocket costs for a sexual assault lawyer. Get in touch with our compassionate legal team now and schedule a free and confidential case review.
Sexual Assault Facts and Figures
According to the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN), one American is sexually assaulted every 68 seconds, with only 25 perpetrators out of 1000 ending up in jail for the offense. Most sexual assault victims are female. However, approximately ten percent of victims are male. According to RAINN, some 60,000 children become victims of sexual assault each year.
Locations Where Sexual Assaults Occur
While the majority of sexual assault incidents happen in the home, according to RAINN, sexual assaults also occur:
- In public places
- At work
- In a parking lot or garage
- In schools and on school property
What is Institutional Sexual Assault?
Institutional sexual assault implies unwanted sexual contact in an institutional context, for example, in:
- Juvenile detention facilities
- Youth camps
- Youth residential homes
- Mental health facilities
If employees of institutions such as those above use their authority to force sexual contact upon a resident or inmate, they could be charged with sexual assault. Victims could potentially recover damages from both the perpetrator of the offense and the responsible institution.
Sexual assaults can potentially occur anywhere, including in nursing homes and hospitals, where individuals are most vulnerable. If you or a loved one experienced sexual assault, a sexual assault lawyer could help you get justice.
What Counts as Sexual Assault?
Sexual assault can include any non-consensual sexual act as defined by state, federal, or tribal laws. This generally includes instances where a victim cannot consent, for example, a cognitively impaired senior.
While we may immediately think of rape when the subject turns to sexual assault, any coerced or unwanted sexual contact can potentially count as sexual assault, including but not limited to:
- Anal or oral sex against a person’s will
- Forced penetration with an object
- Rape within the marriage
- Unwanted sexual touching
- Sexual acts with minors
- Indecent exposure
Unfortunately, victims can shy away from reporting a sex crime for several reasons. For example, they may be unsure whether what happened to them counts as assault in the eyes of the law. Others hesitate to report sexual assault because they are afraid that nobody will believe them, or they fear that their case is made public. In some cases, victims are afraid of the perpetrator retaliating. According to the National Sexual Violence Resource Center (NSVRC), a staggering 63 percent of sexual assaults are never reported to the police.
Victims Should Come Forward
Sexual assault is never a victim’s fault. However, attackers often use tactics to try and make victims believe that they are to blame, with the result that many victims are afraid to report the crime. Victims of sexual attacks and abuse are never to blame for what happened to them and must remember that the attacker is in the wrong.
Our sexual assault lawyers understand how difficult it is for victims to come forward and will keep your case as confidential as possible. In many personal injury cases, a trial can be avoided, and you may never have to face your attacker. Even if you have to go to trial, our attorneys can help you get through any depositions and questioning as quickly as possible. Remember that by coming forward and taking action against an abuser, you are not only fighting for justice but also potentially protecting others from being sexually assaulted.
Time Is of the Essence
While we understand that it can be difficult for victims to come forward, do not hesitate to seek legal advice as soon as possible after a sexual assault. Most states have time limits for sexual assault lawsuits, called “statutes of limitations.” Missing the deadline could leave you without legal recourse and the opportunity to recover damages for your ordeal.
There is no out-of-pocket cost for a sexual assault lawyer from our firm. First consultations are always free. Morgan & Morgan is on your side. We can be your advocate and fight for full and fair compensation so you can concentrate on what matters: putting your life back together.
Sexual Assault Injuries
Sexual assaults can have devastating long-term consequences on the physical and psychological health of victims. Physical injuries can include but are not limited to:
- Internal organ injuries
- Tears and bruising of the genitals
- Sexually transmitted diseases
- Unwanted pregnancy
- Anal and rectal injuries
While generally, minor to moderate physical injuries from sexual assault might heal on their own with time, more severe internal injuries may require costly surgery.
Sexual assaults can be extremely upsetting and emotionally distressing. Survivors of attacks could suffer a range of psychological consequences, including but not limited to:
- Flashbacks of the assault
- Post-traumatic stress disorder
- Sleep disorders
- Panic attacks
- Fear to leave the home
The General Effects of Sexual Assault on a Victim’s Life
Sexual assault can have serious consequences on many aspects of a victim’s life. Significant traumatic events like rape have been linked to increased substance abuse and negative or self-destructive behaviors such as:
- Lack of exercise
- Excessive caffeine or alcohol consumption
- Drug abuse
Engaging in destructive behaviors can affect a sexual assault victim’s life detrimentally and lead to:
- Problems keeping a job
- Lack of career progression
- Inability to form close and intimate relationships
- Failing to reach academic goals
Sexual assault can have many other negative social or occupational consequences for a victim. Sadly, some survivors never reach their full potential and experience poverty, unemployment or underemployment, self-loathing, and isolation.
Who Is Responsible for Your Damages?
Individuals may think that they can only hold the perpetrator of the sexual assault to account. However, in some cases, the perpetrator may lack the financial resources to compensate a victim adequately. A sexual assault lawyer from our firm could help you discover additional avenues for pursuing compensation.
If you were sexually assaulted on public or private premises, such as a shopping mall, parking garage, office building, or another property, a property owner could be liable for your damages. If the owner or lessee of a property failed to take adequate security measures and you suffered a sexual attack as a result, you could potentially sue them. Negligent security can involve a variety of issues, including:
- Inadequate lighting
- Lack of locks and gates
- Lack of security cameras
- Untrained security guards
A sexual assault lawyer can assess your case and advise you on whether you could hold a property owner to account.
Workplace Sexual Assault
Workplace sexual harassment and assaults are no rarity. According to the NSVRC, a staggering 44 percent of women and 19 percent of men experienced unwanted sexual advances at work between 1992-1994. If you suffered a physical or emotional injury and incurred medical expenses due to a sexual assault at work, your employer could be responsible. You may be able to sue for damages.
Care Home Abuse
If your loved one became a victim of sexual assault in their nursing home or assisted living facility, you could have a case against the owner or management of the home. Cases can involve liability due to improper supervision, lack of security, and other instances of negligence.
There can be other circumstances potentially providing victims with several avenues for seeking damages. A sexual assault lawyer from our firm can analyze your specific case and determine all liable parties.