What Are Your Legal Options If You Experience Sexual Assault
Anyone who has been sexually assaulted would know the feeling of being powerless in a situation. What would make things worse is that when they speak up about it or report it to the authorities, they’ll be told that there’s nothing that can be done about the harassment. To make things even worse is that they’ll be told to keep it quiet and just tolerate whatever’s happening. However, if you’ve been sexually assaulted at work, at home, at school, or anywhere else, you have a lot of things that you can do, even legal actions that you can make. You don’t have to shut up and hide the incident in your closet.
What Is Sexual Assault?
Sexual assault is a term that encompasses a wide variety of unwanted sexual behaviors.
Sexual assault includes:
- Suggestive gestures and remarks
- Requests for sexual favors
- Coerced sexual acts
It can happen to anyone, male or female, and can be perpetrated by anyone – your manager, your friend, or even your family. Anyone who is responsible for you, whether your employer, the law enforcement officer or your parents should investigate the incident and handle the situation appropriately.
What Are The Things That You Can Do Legally?
- You should speak up
In most cases, the people that are doing this may not even realize that what they’re doing or saying can be offensive to you. If you’re a victim, the very first step that you should make to help solve the problem is to talk with the offending person. You should let him/her know that his/her actions/words are offensive. In most cases, people will stop doing what they’re doing at this point. However, if the problem persists, you at least gave the harasser a notice.
- You should follow the correct procedure
If your offender doesn’t stop or if he/she seems not to care, you can find the correct way to handle your sexual assault claim.
If you’ve been assaulted:
- At work
Most companies have procedures for handling incidents like this.
- At home
You can tell your family about it or your closest relative. They can take the necessary action to prevent further harassment.
- At school
Most schools have policies against harassment in any form. Make sure to talk to your professor, dean, or any school administrator so they can adequately take the correct actions.
You should also remember that you have to keep track of everything.
You should keep track of:
- The sexual assault episodes
- Your grievances
- Events that’s related to the assault
- Date and time of the attack
- People involved in the crime
- Actions of the people who committed the assault
- You should file an administrative charge.
If you can’t solve the issue through the procedures mentioned above, you can pursue the matter by filing an administrative charge to the suitable government agency. You can usually approach your state’s human rights agency.
The government agency will be able to look into your claim and attempt to resolve it through negotiation. If the government agency is not able to address your issue, you’ll be given a “right to sue” letter.
- You should wait for the right to sue letter.
If you’ve been given a “right to sue” letter, you can then file a lawsuit against your perpetrator. You don’t have to show any physical injuries as in most cases the damages are emotional injuries.
If your sexual harassment lawsuit is successful, you’ll be remedied and will be given compensation for your damages.
You Can Get Legal Help
If you’ve been a victim of sexual harassment, you should know that there are things that you can do to help stop this. You should know that you have the ability to protect your right to a legal cure. The best thing that you can do is to find an experienced sexual assault lawyer. You can consult him/her on what are the things that you can do legally. He/she will help you discuss the facts of your situation and help you guarantee that your rights are preserved. If you are looking for a reliable sexual assault lawyer, click here.
Vicki is a law writing enthusiast who’s had over 25 years of experience in her field. She enjoys sharing her experiences with those who wants to learn more about the legal world, she is a writer of Abels and Annes P.C . In her spare time she spends quality time with her family and friends.