Sexual assault is an act of sexually and intentionally touching a person without their consent or using force to persuade them against their will to engage in sexual activity. A form of brutally forcing someone into sexual activity can include attempted rape, penetration of the victim’s body (or rape), child abuse, groping, and forced sexual torture to a person. It covers a wide variety of unwanted sexual acts and behavior that controls and asserts the power to another person.
Being a victim of sexual assault, you’ll experience different emotions, fear, anxiety, isolation, and more. It could be a terrifying experience for most of the victims. For a victim of sexual assault, justice for this traumatizing experience is fundamental.
1. LEGAL RIGHTS
Sexual assault victims must know their legal rights to know how they’ll get justice from the law. Learning the basics can be a good ground, but researching more about the different regulations associated with sexual assault will help the victims. Not only because the victims can use their voice, but how it’ll be able to protect the victim from perpetrators or offenders. However, keep in mind that the laws related to this crime vary from state to state.
For example, it is charged as rape in California if it’s a sexual assault that leads to unwanted and forced sexual intercourse. At the same time, sexual assault in Florida covers indecent acts and rape. A Denver sexual assault attorney can help you if you have more questions about how the law varies from state to state.
Regardless, it is always charged as a felony, no matter how severe the crime is. Thirty years of life imprisonment is bestowed upon conviction if the victim is under 12 years old. Doing the right research and seeking help from professionals would be very helpful for you.
2. REPORT THE EVENT SOONER
Sexual assault victims don’t report right away after the event happened. They tend to keep it to themselves and be silenced about it until the pain is unbearable enough to ask for help. Many research found out that there’s a huge possibility it will be prosecuted the sooner the report is made. The sooner the survivor reports the incident, the more credible medical forensic evidence can be acquired right away. The victim’s story will most likely be valid for the juror, prosecutors, and law enforcement.
The longer the report is, the more likely it is to be prosecuted. As wounds heal, our body changes and stories became less valid as time passes by. For the victim to get justice, reporting the incident as soon as possible is vital.
3. ASK FOR MEDICAL HELP
Most victims of this crime experience a great deal of depression, anxiety, mental and emotional health problems. As important as getting justice, asking for medical help is also paramount. If the crime is brought upon a jury trial, one must be mentally and emotionally stable to win the case. As the survivor itself must play an essential role in the investigation and prosecution process.
It’s already challenging to be a sexual assault victim, but if one must get justice, they should be prepared to undergo the legal rights process. So make sure that they’re asking for medical help or counseling.
The victim’s voice has been the primary source of understanding of justice for them. Many of them want to be heard. They want to express the trauma they have suffered and for it to be acknowledged. Research believes a more in-depth approach to the survivor’s voice or story serves as an essential part of a meaningful and respective conversation between the justice officials and victims. It is also vital when it comes to making a decision.
As they are the sole witness to the crime, using their voice to get justice is one thing they can do for themselves. Remember, the stronger your voice is, the more likely you’ll get justice. If the victim chooses silence, they won’t get the justice they want. Research has found that in most sexual assault cases that end up being prosecuted, 69% use the victim’s voice in the court. Being brave and sharing the traumatizing indecent sexual acts with others is challenging but effective.