Why didn’t you just run away before anything bad happened? What stopped you from calling the police immediately? Are you sure that you’re remembering it correctly? Was anybody there to witness it?
These are only some of the questions that haunt survivors of sexual assault. Rape and other forms of sexual assault leave a complicated emotional impact even on the strongest, most resilient individual. Don’t let anyone gaslight you into thinking it was your fault or that you should’ve acted another way.
Nobody has the right to dictate how you should deal with the trauma of being sexually assaulted. But here is one piece of advice for you: one of the best ways to build yourself back up and move forward from the trauma is to speak out and seek justice for what happened.
Steel Your Nerves for a Civil Lawsuit
The road to justice isn’t easy, especially when you have to go through a process that forces you to relive the cause of your trauma. No matter how difficult it is to speak up about it, however, it’s important that you work with a civil litigation lawyer to pursue criminal charges and to file a civil suit for proper compensation.
To make it clear, any type of sex crime may serve as a basis for your sexual assault lawsuit. These crimes include rape, attempted rape, groping or sexual battery, indecent exposure, and other non-consensual acts that are sexual in nature. As long as you suffered damages because of any of these acts, you can file a lawsuit against the individual who assaulted you.
When you’re seeking to recover damages, the results will vary depending on various factors that determine the severity of the situation. These factors include:
- Visible or significant injuries on your person, confirmed by medical professionals
- Disability, disfigurement, scarring, and other permanent injuries due to the assault
- Psychological or emotional damages, confirmed by mental health professionals
- Lost wages, medical bills, psychological counseling, and related prescription costs
The shock of what happened and the complexity of criminal and civil cases are enough to overwhelm anyone. So in addition to your legal team, make sure you continue to work with medical and mental health professionals. They will help you understand and cope with the trauma you’re dealing with.
Seek Help and Support from People You Trust
At least one American experiences sexual assault every 73 seconds. Frustratingly, only 5 out of every 1,000 perpetrators end up in jail for their crimes. This disparity is largely why many survivors hesitate to speak up about their experience. But let’s make one thing clear. You aren’t alone. You are heard.
Many people have gone through something similar to your situation. And just like them, you’ll get through this ordeal and emerge stronger than ever. You will bring justice to your case by being firm in your resolve and seeking the support of your trusted circle. Backed by your support system and a strong legal team, you’re already one step closer to moving forward from your trauma.