The Lingering Pain of Sexual Assault
Sexual assault can happen to any person regardless of age, gender, nationality, health status or sexual orientation. This form of abuse can be especially painful because it targets the most sensitive parts of ourselves. It can be easy to imagine how an incident of unwanted and forced sexual behavior can lead to years of agony and distress. Many victims are afraid to talk about such cases of abuse out of fear of retaliation from the perpetrator, and judgement from others. This can be particularly true if the abuser is a person who was supposed to be trustworthy, reliable and safe. In the article to follow, we have answered a series of questions about sexual assault, and why you may want to meet with an attorney as part of your healing process.
What is the definition of sexual assault?
A person who has coerced another to partake in a sexual act without consent, has committed sexual assault. Sexual assault can be attempted rape, undesired touching, or forcing sexual behavior. The force does not always have to be physical either as it can be emotional, psychological pressure or even occur through verbal threats.
Is the abuser more likely to be a stranger or someone the person knows?
It is possible that a stranger or someone the person knows may commit an act of sexual assault against another. However, it is much more common that the victim suffers due to a familiar person, either a relative, friend of the family, co-worker or an acquaintance.
What can I do to protect myself against sexual assault?
Those who plan on attending a party or other event where alcohol is present, should go with at least one other person. If an unsafe situation arises, you have support to help get you out safely. If any person’s presence or words are making you feel uncomfortable, listen to your gut and get away as soon as you can.
How often are sexual assault incidents caused by a familiar person?
It is estimated that 7 out of every 10 sexual assault cases are caused by a person the victim already knew. Additionally, intimate partners can also commit sexual assault within a marriage. Just because consent was given once, does not mean future consent is assumed. Those that are part of romantic relationships may not realize this is the case when it comes to sexual assault. Regardless of whether you are officially involved with a person or not, unwanted yet forced sexual acts is considered abuse.
What should I expect during a consultation with an attorney?
Those who are wondering if they should file a lawsuit against the abuser for sexual assault, can benefit from meeting with a sexual assault attorney for advice. Depending on exactly what happened, the victim may be entitled to receiving monetary compensation. Victims may find that seeking legal justice for the incident can bring a sense of closure to the sexual assault. The journey to overcoming such a painful form of abuse can take a long time. But, there are people such as trustworthy friends, family, and legal professionals who will do what they can to help you get through it.