A victim of sexual assault endures injury, pain, and suffering well beyond the physical effects of the attack. Profound emotional wounds haunt such victims for the rest of their lives. The criminal justice system can punish attackers for their crimes, but the financial restitution for victims lies in the hands of civil courts.
Although it may seem impossible to attach a monetary value to the damages inflicted from a sexual assault, one must consider that such an event does wield an economic impact on the victim—the cost of medical and psychological treatment and the inability to work now or in the future, for example. Legal measures do exist for recovering some of these damages in civil court. In many cases, the liability for a sexual assault extends beyond the perpetrator—perhaps to an organization or institution—increasing the likelihood that the victim can recover damages.
If you or a loved one suffered sexual assault, a lawyer from Pintas & Mullins Law Firm will take your case and fight for your right to receive compensation—no matter who is liable. Call us today for a no-obligation consultation. (800) 794-0444.
Types of Sexual Assault
Sexual assault comprises many types of actions. All types, however, hold one thing in common: They happen against the victim’s will or without their consent. Sexual assault also covers actions that occur when an individual is under the influence of drugs or alcohol, disabled, or below the age of consent in the state where the assault transpired.
The National Institute of Justice lists the following activities as forms of sexual assault when they happen in the above circumstances:
- Intentionally touching the victim’s genitals, breasts, groin, or anus
- Exposing the victim to exhibitionisms
- Exposing the victim to pornography
- Publicly displaying images taken of the victim in a “private context” or without their knowledge
These actions may or may not involve the use of actual force, weapons, threats of force, intimidation, coercion, or pressure.
Although in some states, sexual assault stops short of attempted rape or rape, other states use the terms interchangeably, and still others consider rape to be a form of sexual assault. In a situation of rape, the victim suffers nonconsensual penetration (vaginal, anal, or oral), either by objects or the perpetrator’s body parts. This type of assault involves physical force or threats of physical harm. Alternatively, the victim is considered a minor or was incapacitated at the time of the assault.
Child Sexual Assault
Children often conceal a sexual assault from their loved ones. Their feelings of embarrassment or guilt or fear of retribution from their assaulter may cause young victims to keep the incident to themselves. The Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN) is the country’s largest anti-sexual violence organization. This group urges loved ones to be aware of some of the signs of sexual assault that a young child or teen may exhibit.
Warning Signs of Sexual Assault in Young Children
- Resuming bedwetting or thumb-sucking (after the child has already outgrown it)
- Age-inappropriate sexual behavior
- Reluctance to remove clothes for bathing or to change
- Unwillingness to remain alone with particular individuals
- Nightmares, fearfulness, worry
- Unnatural knowledge or talk about sexual matters
When in doubt, follow your instincts regarding the possibility that your young child suffered sexual assault.
Warning Signs of Sexual Assault in a Teen
These signs can fly under the radar, as many loved ones may view them as extensions of the teen years:
- Depression, worry, or anxiety
- Unexplained weight loss or weight gain and unhealthy eating habits
- Drops in grades
- Alcohol or drug use or abuse
- Talk of suicide or suicidal behavior
- Inattentiveness to hygiene, fashion, or appearance
- Sexually transmitted disease
Keep in mind that the teen may be harboring feelings of guilt or shame. Urge them to talk to you, and make it clear they carry no blame for the assault.
For a free legal consultation with a sexual assault lawyer serving nationwide, call (800) 794-0444
When a clergy member perpetrates sexual assault, they inflict profound emotional and spiritual wounds on their victims, adding to the pain and suffering of their physical injuries. Sadly, the world continues to uncover great numbers of such assaults—many of which occurred years ago and for which their victims suffered a lifetime of pain.
The Catholic Church recently garnered the lion’s share of attention with regard to sexual abuse, and the institution at large recently stepped out of the shadows of this disgrace by publishing a database of publicly accused priests in the U.S. Because of these church-verified revelations, states have now implemented legislation, like New York’s Child Victims Act, that extends statutes of limitations for these offenses. These laws enable victims to seek compensation from the church decades after the abuse occurred.
It should be underscored, however, that these actions extend to every faith and type of religious institution, including Muslim and Jewish congregations, and various denominations of Christianity, as well as schools connected with these institutions.
A sexual assault lawyer from Pintas & Mullins Law Firm is ready to hold any clergy member and/or the church or other institution with which they affiliate accountable for the damages they cause through sexual assault. Call us today for a free consultation.
Sexual Assault Lawyer Near Me (800) 794-0444
Criminal and Civil Actions Against the Perpetrator
Criminal law generally rates rape and sexual assault as felonies. If convicted, the perpetrator will face a range of possible penalties, from fines to life imprisonment, depending on the nature of the offense.
Victims can also name the attacker as a defendant in a personal injury lawsuit. This legal action gives the victim the means by which to seek compensation for the physical, economic, and psychological damages they sustained as a result of the sexual assault.
Common Injuries From Sexual Assault
A victim of sexual assault may suffer physical injuries if the attacker used physical force in the assault. However, injuries from this nightmarish experience extend far beyond the immediate bodily harm of the incident.
RAINN identifies a broad range of effects of sexual violence that may affect the victim for long periods of time, if not a lifetime. They include:
- Substance abuse
- Sexually transmitted infections
- Sleep disorders
- Panic attacks
- Eating disorders
By filing a personal injury lawsuit against the perpetrator and/or the liable organization or institution that somehow enabled the sexual assault, the victim can seek to recover the damages they sustained from their attack. The recoverable amounts may include costs of medical treatment, loss of current or future potential income, and non-economic damages, like emotional stress, pain and suffering, and diminished enjoyment of life.
If you lost a loved one from the injuries they suffered from their sexual assault, you may also be eligible to pursue a wrongful death action. The legal team at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm can handle this action for you and do so with dignity and compassion.
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We Fight for Compensation for Sexual Assault Victims
If you or a loved one suffered a sexual assault, you deserve to receive compensation.
The legal team at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm will represent you in this fight. We will take our legal fees from any settlement or award you receive, so you pay us nothing up front and nothing unless or until we win your case.
Sometimes, the liability for sexual assault extends beyond the attacker. Large institutions, like the church, and other organizations may bear responsibility. We are not intimidated by the size or social position of these defendants, and we do not shy away from tough cases. We will fight for justice on your behalf.
Call Pintas & Mullins Law Firm today at (800) 794-0444 for a free, no-obligation consultation.