How Can Attorneys for Victims of Sexual Assault Help?
For every sexual abuse and assault case that makes headlines, there are hundreds more cases of children and adult sexual assault and rape survivors who have suffered in silence. Close to 91% of sexual assault victims are women and 9% of sexual assault victims are men. What’s most terrifying is that the majority of rape and sexual assault cases that are reported were carried out by a person that the victim knew and was comfortable around.
While the criminal justice system can punish perpetrators, unfortunately it does not always protect the victim’s emotional and physical ailments from the assault. The civil justice system can hold negligent parties accountable and provide resources for victims that a criminal court cannot.
If you or a loved one has been sexually assaulted the Pisanchyn Law Firm’s Pennsylvania sexual assault attorneys will help you get the justice you deserve. We help victims take a stand by filing a civil sexual assault claim on your behalf. Call 1-800-444-5309 for your free consultation to learn more about how our sexual assault law firm can help you.
What is Sexual Assault?
The term sexual assault refers to sexual contact or behavior that occurs without explicit consent of the victim. Some forms of sexual assault include:
- Attempted rape
- Fondling or unwanted sexual touching
- Forcing a victim to perform sexual acts, such as oral sex or penetrating the perpetrator’s body
- Penetration of the victim’s body, also known as rape
What Are Common Types of Sexual Assault?
Common sexual assault claims include:
- Molestation. Molestation is unwanted, unwelcome and irritating sexual advances toward another a victim.
- Child molestation. Child molestation is the same as molestation except that the victim is underage. When the victim is underage molestation can also include: verbal and/or emotional abuse, touching, forcing or allowing a child to view pornography, taking pornographic, naked or indecent pictures of the child, spying on the child during the child’s private moments, exposing genitals to a child and attempting or performing any oral, anal or vaginal penetration on the child.
- Forcible penetration, either anal or oral, against a victim’s will
- Unwanted sexual touching
- Coerced sexual contact. Coercion means the perpetrator used extreme pressure or threats to the victim or to the safety of the victim’s family in order to have sexual contact occur.
- Statutory rape. Statutory rape also extends to situations where one of the parties is mentally challenged or developmentally disabled.
- Sexual harassment
- Drug-assisted sexual assaults
Common Sexual Assault Injuries
Victims can suffer not only physical injuries and illness, but also mental injury that could last for the rest of their lives. Common injuries sexual assault victims suffer are:
- STDs (sexually transmitted diseases)
- Chronic pain
- Frequent migraines or headaches
- Gastrointestinal disorders
- Issues with conception and/or carrying a child full-term as well as other gynecological complications
- Cervical cancer caused by severe internal injuries
- Internal and external genital injuries
- Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
- An overall emotional detachment from loved ones
- Sleep disorders
- Flashbacks/re-living or mentally re-playing the abuse
- Depression often with thoughts of suicide or attempts at suicide
- Fear and avoidance of intimacy and sexual intercourse
- Lowered self-esteem
- Self-destructive behaviors
Who Could be Liable for Sexual Assault in a Civil Case?
- Schools and colleges – Private and public schools can be sued when a school worker, teacher, a student or a third party, such as a contractor to the school, commits a sexual assault on campus.
- Health care providers – Physicians, nurses, janitorial staff, clergy, hospital staff and contractors at health care facilities prey on some of the most vulnerable sexual abuse and sexual assault victims.
- Property owners – When property owners who fail to prevent guests from becoming victims of sexual crimes, including childhood sexual abuse, sexual assault and rape. This includes cases against parents who know of their child’s sexually predatory behavior and fail to appropriately supervise, against social hosts who provide alcohol resulting in sexual assault of an incapacitated victim and against hotels for failing to prevent sexual assaults of guests.
- Workplace assaults – Civil cases can be brought against the perpetrator, the employer and third parties such as contractors, when sexual assault occurs at work.
- Workplace sexual harassment – If your employer fails to take appropriate action or retaliates if you complain, we can help you pursue civil damages and other remedies.
What to do if you are the Victim of Sexual Assault
Being the victim of an assault can be devastating to the victim and the victim’s loved ones. Ask for help at hospitals or police stations.
There are also dedicated survivor groups trained to specifically help victims make sense of the attack and move on in the healthiest way possible.
- Seek a safe shelter (hospital, police station, trusted family, friends or loved ones)
- Call 911 and report the assault
- Talk with someone to comfort you following the incident
- Seek medical attention
- Do not clean any part of your body before reporting the assault or seeking medical attention. Valuable evidence could be lost.
- Victims can also use the following hotlines for help:
- National Domestic Violence Hotline 800-799-SAFE (7233) or 800-787-3224 (TDD)
- National Sexual Assault Hotline 800-656-HOPE (4673)
Call our Pennsylvania Lawyers for Sexual Assault Victims for a free consultation. Call 1-800-444-5309. We have offices in Pittsburgh, Harrisburg and Scranton and will travel to you.