Sexual assault is an ongoing problem in the Los Angeles area and throughout the rest of the United States and world. Sadly, a large percentage of sexual assault and harassment cases go unreported, especially in the workplace. The physical and emotional trauma that comes with sexual assault can have a lasting impact on a victim and affect many different aspects of their life.
No one deserves the injuries and trauma that comes with sexual assault, which is why the Los Angeles sexual assault attorneys at Wilshire Law Firm are committed to representing victims of these crimes. We understand how devastating it is to find yourself in a situation like this, and we will do everything we can to ensure justice is served. Our workplace sexual assault attorneys have the knowledge and resources to fight for your rights, and we understand the sensitive nature of these cases. We are here for you and are committed to representing Los Angeles sexual assault victims any way we can.
The physical and emotional damage following a sexual assault can lead to extensive and expensive medical treatment in an effort to ease the victim’s pain and prevent unhealthy long-term effects. Immediate attention from trained EMTs and hospital staff are only the beginning of months of costly medical expenses as the victim recovers from shattered self-confidence and feelings of insecurity. If you or someone you know was a victim of a sexual assault crime, please contact the best lawyers at Wilshire Law Firm today.
What Is Sexual Assault?
Sexual assault refers to any unwanted sexual contact or behavior that happens without the consent of the victim. Here are a few common examples of sexual assault:
- Attempted rape
- Unwanted sexual touching
- Unwanted fondling
- Forcing an unwilling party to perform sexual acts, including oral sex
- Unwanted penetration of the victim’s body (rape)
- A sex act that occurs without voluntary consent
- Any other type of nonconsensual sexual activities
Workplace Sexual Assault
Sexual assault in the workplace is a widespread problem that has gained international attention in recent years, thanks to the #MeToo movement. According to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), workplace sexual assault can take place in a variety of ways:
- Forced kissing
- Forced fondling
- Any unwanted abusive or wrongful act against an employee, co-worker, or employer
- Grabbing without permission
- Sexually touching an incapacitated person
- Touching a person without consent
- Inappropriate sexual jokes
- Showing content of a sexual nature to an unwilling viewer
- Any unwanted sexual contact or behavior by a person of authority in any setting
Most Workplace Sexual Harassment Is Not Reported, Study Says
The number of workplace harassment reports filed with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) steadily increased from 6,650 in 2009 to 7,400 in 2012. However, every year since 2012, that number has dropped considerably, with just 5,900 reports in 2016.
According to YouGov, in July 2016, 67% of female employees, who were victims of workplace harassment, did not report their sexual harassment experience to management or file a lawsuit.
According to the EEOC, most abuses, on average, per year (from 2009 until 2016) were race-related, followed by sex, national origin, religion, and color.
- Race-related harassment (about 33%)
- Sex-related harassment (about 27%)
- National origin-related harassment (about 16%-19%)
- Religion-related harassment (about 5%)
- Color-related harassment (about 4%)
These statistics do not take into account retaliation, retaliation (Title VII), age, disability, Equal Pay Act infractions, and GINA violations (Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008 – which prohibits genetic information discrimination in employment).
Could this, perhaps, mean that sexual violence is not reported as much?
Is There a Statute of Limitations Sexual Assault in California?
All states have a statute of limitations (the time limit to file suit) for taking legal action following a sexual assault. Various factors will come into play, which is why it’s crucial to discuss your case with a knowledgeable sexual assault lawyer in Los Angeles. In California, the time limit to file a lawsuit for sexual assault will depend on whether the victim is a child or an adult over the age of 18. If the victim is over 18, you should take action within the following time frame:
- 10 years from the date of the attempted sexual act or assault by the defendant, or;
- Within three years from the date the victim discovered an injury or illness related to the sexual assault
These statutes of limitations went into effect on January 1, 2019. Under this updated code of civil procedure, the following statute of limitations for child sexual assault victims took effect January 1, 2020:
- Childhood victims of sexual assault have until their 40th birthday to file suit, or;
- Within five years of when the abuse was discovered
- There is a three-year window for the revival of any sexual assault claims that were barred by the previous statute of limitations in California
Pursuing Damages for a Sexual Assault Claim
Building a case for liability against a rapist requires evidence and facts to determine guilt and responsibility. Those are usually established during the criminal trial; however, failure to convict in that court does not prevent a civil claim for damages as the standard for a finding of liability is lower. In those cases, our firm’s private investigative resources can obtain eyewitness testimony, crime scene evidence, and other facts to support your claim.
Eyewitness testimony can strengthen your side of the story and better accurately place blame upon the appropriate party. Many sexual assaults occur in a public or work environment and may involve multiple victims so that other victims can testify in support of your claim.
Counselors are available through the firm to discuss any and all manners regarding your case. Their travel to your home or treatment facility is available to alleviate your pain or be more convenient. Our injury attorneys are experts in the legal policies, terms, and procedures surrounding the prosecution of sexual abuse cases and can help you better understand your situation.
What to Do If You Are the Victim of Sexual Assault?
To begin the process of healing from a sexual assault, we encourage you to report the incident or contact the national sexual assault hotline if you are unsure of what to do next. There are resources and people in place to support you and help you through this traumatizing experience. If you are a victim of sexual assault, here are several steps to guide you:
- Prioritize your safety and well-being through coping mechanisms, such as calling a trusted family member or friend
- Reach out for support
- Consider seeking medical attention by going to your local hospital or rape center
- Process your experience in a manner that works for you, such as through therapy, journaling, getting out in nature, or meditating
- Consider filing a lawsuit
Sexual assault cases are complex, and the actions you can take depend on details specific to your case. One of the only ways for a Los Angeles sexual assault victim to pursue monetary damages is through a civil lawsuit. To learn more about your options, contact the California sexual assault lawyers at Wilshire Law Firm today and schedule a free consultation. If you were wrongfully terminated or were the victim of sexual assault in the workplace, we can help.
Contact Los Angeles Sexual Assault Lawyers
According to the Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network (RAINN), every 73 seconds, an American is sexually assaulted. RAINN is a great resource for sexual assault victims and offers numerous ways to cope and find support for an assault. The sexual assault victim attorneys at Wilshire Law Firm express deep, customer-focused values that motivate us to secure the most favorable compensation for every client victim. Aggressive, yet ethical and honest, representation is the reputation we have earned from our clients.
If you or someone you know was a victim, please contact a sexual assault lawyer in California at Wilshire Law Firm at (844) 979-0933.