Sex Crimes Lawyer
No matter who you are, sexual assault is devastating. It can injure the victim both physically and emotionally regardless of who the perpetrator is. If you or a loved one has been a victim of sexual assault, you may be unsure of the next steps to take. How do you know if it was actually sexual assault? Should you bother filing a claim against the abuser? Should you try to just move on with your life? There are many questions you may have after a sexual assault and you may be unsure of who to ask, but know that you are not alone. Below is a list of frequently asked questions by survivors on sexual assault and information you can use to begin your process of healing. Read on for answers and information of attorneys who can help you.
What Is Sexual Assault?
Sexual assault does not only include obvious acts of sexual aggression toward the victim. It is any type of unwanted or unsolicited sexual contact or behavior. Sexual assault occurs when the recipient does not give explicit consent that the assaulter can perform these acts. Common acts of sexual assault are:
- Attempted Rape
- Commercial Sexual Exploitation
- Obscene Phone Calls, and
- Sex Trafficking
Why Would a Victim Choose Not To Tell?
Talking about or reporting your sexual assault is never clear-cut. There are many reasons men, women, and children choose not to report that they were sexually assaulted. Some of these are:
- Fear of Retaliation
- Embarrassment Surrounding the Event
- Fear You Won’t Be Believed
- Denial That the Assault Was Severe
Are Most Sexual Assault Cases Committed By Strangers?
While it may seem like most sexual assaults happen by strangers, it is actually more likely that sexual assault will happen between people who already know each other. People who commit these crimes are usually:
- Relatives, and
- Friends of the victim
Can the Victim of Sexual Assault Be At Fault?
While many people question whether the victim had indulged in too much alcohol or dressed too provocatively, the victim is never to blame for someone sexually assaulting them. The responsibility lies solely with the perpetrator of the sexual assault and not with the victim.
What If the Victim Did Not Fight Back? Is It Still a Sexual Assault?
Just because a victim did not fight back does not me he or she encouraged the sexual assault to happen. In many cases, the victim may be in shock or may be fearful that the assaulter will cause them additional harm if they try to fight back. In other situations, the assaulter might have impaired the victim through alcohol or drugs and unable to fight back during a sexual assault. It is imperative to remember that if a victim did not directly give consent, then it was an assault.
What Can I Do Next?
If you or a loved one is a victim of sexual assault and are suffering from your injuries—physically or emotionally—it is time to get the help you need. For more information on next steps after a sexual assault and to get in touch with a sexual assault lawyer VA relies on who will treat you with respect and dignity, contact a law firm today.
Thank you to our friends and contributors at Cohen & Cohen, P.C. for their insight into personal injury claims and sexual assault injuries.