Sexual assault is a very serious offense that can leave the victim with lingering feelings of trauma for many years to come. Any sort of behavior that targets the most vulnerable part of ourselves can cause substantial pain and anguish. It is estimated that every 60 seconds, an American becomes victim to sexual assault abuse. Many of those impacted by this form of abuse may not know who to turn to, if sexual assault has actually happened to them, and how an attorney can be of assistance. In the article to follow, we have answered a series of common questions victims and others may have about sexual assault.
Is it always strangers that may commit sexual assault?
Victims of sexual assault are more likely to be abused by those they know, than strangers on the street. Sadly, victims can be abused by close friends of the family and acquaintances when it comes to sexual-related offenses. Being attacked by a stranger is not absolutely unlikely, but the chances are significantly lower. Additionally, those of a high position of trust or authority may use their power against victims. Examples of these people of high status include doctors, law enforcement, government officials, and more.
What is the definition of sexual assault?
By definition, sexual assault occurs when behavior of a sexual nature is forced upon a person that did not give consent. Sexual assault can happen to anyone regardless of age, gender, ethnicity, physical/mental capacity, or other status.
How can I prevent sexual assault from happening to me?
To help lessen the chances of becoming a victim of sexual assault, there are some things you can do to take action. Here we have listed some ways to prevent acts of sexual assault from occurring to you or someone you love:
- When going to a party, never part ways from your group of friends and have a safe word in case a quick exit is necessitated.
- Challenge or interrupt jokes about violence towards women, whether in the workplace or in other social situations.
- Never accept an opened drink from someone you do not trust (such as at a party or event with alcohol), pour your own beverages instead.
- Listen to your body if any situation or person makes you feel uncomfortable, wary, you get goose bumps, or have suspicions about their character.
- Report incidents of sexual assault against you or a loved one immediately, so the abuser faces the consequences and no future incidents arise.
Should I talk to an attorney about an incident of sexual assault?
A sexual assault attorney can be very helpful for people who are interested in seeking justice and financial compensation from the perpetrator of sexual assault. It can be a very sensitive topic to talk openly about an incident of this form of abuse. The right attorney should be empathetic, knowledgeable and compassionate. During the consultation, your attorney will likely ask you about what happened. While it may be difficult to do, remember that your attorney is there to assist you in the process towards healing, acceptance and retribution.