Sexual assault. Though single word, the interpretations of the word different on age, gender, location and race. As much as it seems a psychological term, it indeed is a sociological term that changes on a daily basis based on user’s perception of it. We have been confronting the phenomena of sexual abuse on the regular basis across the world and some countries like South Africa, India and Zimbabwe prevail for the anomaly of child abuse. 90% of these cases are left in the air without being fought or raised a voice against.
Why? While few of them are worried about the complications they might get into on filing a case, most of the people that undergo sexual abuse are the kids who either doesn’t even know what’s happening with them, kids who are perpetual about the whole method of sexual abuse, kids who are scared to tell their parents/guardians that someone has touched them. On the other hand, the type that involves the violence is where the victims suppress their voice in trauma and often crave for a recovery than the justice as we are all bound with the idea that seeking justice will not make the victim any better. However, if every one of us thinks like that on an individual basis; it will lead to a collective development and the country never changes. In this article, we’re going to give you a basic guideline of how a sexual victim can file a case against the offender.
People who have undergone a sexual assault or abuse can file a lawsuit stating the situation against the offender. Though it’s a crime that has been committed, one can only approach a civil court for justice by filing a lawsuit there. The judgment can result in criminal prosecution and therefore, the offender can have a probation, fine, jail time or any other kind of sanctions. The victim can also choose to get some sort of monetary compensation for the incident, instead.
Types of Claims:
Usually, the type of the claim and the amount of the compensation that is to be given in a civil lawsuit for a sexual assault case varies based on the specified facts, the legal theory that can be applied to the situation, personal injury occurred to the victim (if any); cause of the action et.al. For sexual assault, mostly you won’t be able to find any particular cause of action that you can use on the perpetrator, and therefore, you need to go for the usual ‘Assault,’ ‘Emotional Distress,’ ‘Battery’ or ‘Trauma.’ Irrespective of the theory you use, the court proceeds the case, evaluates the damages that are occurred in the assault, the emotional/physical/personal harm the victim has undergone as a result and then come to a suitable verdict.
Sexual assaults are considered to be egregious crimes which are why in most of the countries (except India) they result in brutal judgments for high damages. The right kind of judgment has been found in the country of Canada and the sexual assault lawyer Toronto are considered as the best in seeking them. Though most of the times, the offender is held liable and is asked to pay tons of money; it also depends on the status of the defendant to collect it from him. As the insurances stay out of this kind of intentional acts, one should go for the personal assets to make them pay.
In some cases, you can also file a lawsuit suing additional parties apart from the perpetrator to pay the compensation for the assault. For example, if you’re a student of a particular university and if the assault has taken place within the premises of the Institute; the authority can he held liable by negligence in the supervision claim or negligence in providing adequate safety. Chances are high if the offender is the same institute as yours.
Filing the case:
Before filing the case, you should make sure that you’re entirely liable for the assault that has happened without any loops and specifications. Once you’re and if the incident turns out to be a criminal prosecution, you will have a better chance to succeed in the lawsuit. “Collateral Estoppel” (a legal rule) will then entitle you to bring any particular evidence to the jury by making it a criminal case if the defendant is guilty (this only happens when the defendant is convicted). If the accused is not and if no criminal case emerged or no prosecution, the victim can quickly show the jury that the defendant is intentional and liable of committing the assault.
Wondering why? This is because the proof standards are relatively low for a civil case than for a criminal case. However, the defendant will only be held civilly liable for the assault and will be proven as an offender for the wrongdoing. On the other hand, a criminal case requires bundles of proofs to prove him liable beyond the doubt. So, advice to the victim is to go for a civil case instead of the criminal trial until unless the damage is too high and if he/she cares about the justice more than the compensation.
What kind of sexual assault lawyer should you choose?
Even though it’s a criminal activity, choosing a civil injury lawyer or a personal injury lawyer will be better as you will have more chances of succeeding with them because of their approach than the criminal lawyers. Most of these attorneys will provide an initial consultation with no cost and therefore you can always discuss the case with more than one attorney and choose the one that you think will do the best.