A Law Firm Representing Victims of Sexual Assault
The Reeves Law Firm fights for the rights of sexual assault victims in Alabama and Tennessee
While each state has its own set of laws regarding sexual assault, it's generally agreed upon that sex assault is a crime in which the perpetrator touches the victim in an unwanted, sexual way. This broad definition includes sexual battery, groping, rape, and attempted rape.
Rape and sexual assault are different from a terminology standpoint. Rape includes some form of sexual penetration (of the anus or vagina) without consent. Sex assault, however, includes non-penetrative acts like oral sex, touching, and groping.
Types of sex assault include:
- Date rape
- Campus rape
- Child sex abuse
Who Commits Sexual Assault?
In 80% of sex assault cases, the perpetrator is not a stranger—it is someone known to the victim. It could be a relative, a spouse, a classmate, a coach, a teacher, or someone else close to the victim. Sometimes, sexual predation happens by force, or threat of force: the perpetrator threatens to hurt the victim or the victim's family if they don't comply. They may use a gun, knife, or physical strength to subdue the victim. In the case of rape, this is frequently the case.
Often, however, sexual predators are more subtle. They use grooming techniques to seduce victims. In the case of child sex abuse, predators often attempt to fill a void in the child's life: being a shoulder to cry on or a sympathetic ear which listens to the child's fears and woes. By establishing a false sense of trust, predators are able to take advantage of their victims.
Who are the Victims of Sexual Assault?
The sad truth is that anyone can be a victim of sex assault: men, women, or children. Children are especially vulnerable, as they are physically weak and may not be intellectually or emotionally equipped to understand that a predator is targeting them. Studies have shown that 1 in 4 girls and 1 in 6 boys will be the target of unwanted sexual assault or harassment by the time they turn 18. Women are more frequently the target of sex abuse than men, but sex abuse does not discriminate. Men and boys can and are targeted for sexual assault, according to RAINN (the Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network).
The consequences of sex abuse are dire. Profound psychological and emotional trauma can result. The complications of this may include:
- Confusion about one's sexual orientation
- Post-traumatic stress disorder
- Trouble sleeping/nightmares
- Irrational fear of people or places
- Inability to work or form meaningful relationships
- Self-harm or thoughts of suicide
The Burden of Proof
It must be proven, in court, that the sexual contact which occurred was unwanted and brought about via the perpetrator's use of coercive methods, physical force, or the victim being incapacitated in some other way. "Incapacitation" may be recognized by the court to mean that the victim was mentally disabled or very young, and therefore unable to understand what was being done to them; or that they were physically unable to refuse. Sex assault cases can be contentious, and therefore it's important that you consult with a qualified sex abuse lawyer before you take any legal action on your own.
The Importance of Hiring a Sex Assault Attorney
Sex abuse leaves scars that may never heal with time. Filing suit against the perpetrator or the institution that enabled their behaviorin civil court may provide closure. It will certainly provide the financial resources you, as a victim, require to live a happy, fruitful life. You shouldn't have to bear the financial responsibility of someone else's crime. An experienced sex assault attorney can help you seek justice.
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Get Competent Legal Help from The Reeves Law Firm
The Reeves Law Firm has the legal know-how and the years of experience required to help you achieve success. We specialize in personal injury and sex assault cases. We fight for victims' rights in Decatur and all across Alabama. Call us today at 256.355.3311 for a free consultation.