What Is Sexual Assault?
Sexual assault is any type of sexual behavior that takes place without your consent. Sexual assault comes in many forms and happens to people of all ages and genders. What every case of sexual assault has in common is that it is never the victim’s fault.
Victims of sexual assault often struggle to come forward and seek justice for themselves. Survivors may experience deep feelings of shame and powerlessness. Victims often feel they won’t be believed or were partially to blame for the assault. This should never be the case.
When you trust Melissa Hague — a skilled sexual assault attorney — with your story, you choose a warrior dedicated to fighting for justice on your behalf. Melissa and her team of trauma-informed lawyers and paralegals provide experienced, compassionate representation for survivors of sexual assault. They will help you regain your voice as part of your healing journey.
We believe you, and we’re ready to fight for you. Contact Melissa for your free, confidential consultation today and regain your voice.
Types of Sexual Assault
Sexual assault can take many forms. It involves any type of sexual behavior or contact you didn’t agree to. Some of the most common types of sexual assault include:
- Rape or attempted rape
- Fondling, groping, or unwanted touching
- Forcible penetration or sodomy
- Sexual coercion (guilting, shaming, or threatening someone to have sex)
- Any sexual activity or behavior involving a child
- Marital rape
- Drug-facilitated sexual assault
- Multiple perpetrator assault (gang-rape)
- Prison rape
- Elderly sexual assault
Sexual assault doesn’t always involve physical contact. Non-physical forms of sexual assault include:
- Sexual bullying or harassment
- Forced viewing of pornographic materials
- Voyeurism (watching someone naked without consent)
Any type of unwanted sexual behavior can be a form of sexual assault. Even non-physical forms of sexual assault can result in sexual assault injury that brings serious, lifelong negative consequences for victims.
If you’re uncertain of whether you or a loved one is a victim of sexual assault, you can confidentially speak with a sexual assault attorney about your specific situation.
Although sexual assault takes many forms, the common theme is that all types of sexual assault occur without the victim’s consent.
What is Consent?
Consent is the act of and ability to agree to sexual behavior or activity. Sexual consent is freely given, reversible, informed, enthusiastic, and specific. It involves willing and active participants.
If a victim is in any way compelled to engage in sexual activity, then they haven’t provided consent. Proper consent has not been provided if the sexual activity includes:
- Intoxicated or drugged victim
- Unconscious victim
- Threat of violence
When sexual activity occurs under these circumstances, the victim is not viewed as having given consent.
The ability to give consent is also dependent upon considerations like:
- Vulnerable adults (the elderly or ill)
- Victim-perpetrator relationship
While many disabled people possess the decision-making capacity to freely consent to sex, some do not.
Age is of huge concern regarding consent. While laws vary by state, someone under the legal age of consent is never legally considered capable of consenting to sexual activity. Any time a child is involved in physical or non-physical forms of sexual activity, it is considered sexual assault.
Victims of Sexual Assault
Sexual assault can cause severe, long-lasting trauma. Victims of sexual assault may struggle with their mental and emotional well-being. The long-term impact on psychological health means victims may struggle to trust others, feel safe, and maintain healthy relationships.
Sexual assault happens to all types of people. Victims of sexual assault can be:
When a sexual assault victim is a child, elderly, disabled, or otherwise incapable of taking legal action, a close family member can act on their behalf.
Because of the sensitive and emotional nature of sexual assault, victims often feel hesitant about speaking with a sexual assault lawyer. Victims may fear they won’t be believed, or their case may not be met with adequate compassion and care.
Melissa Hague and her team are trauma-informed, which ensures that victims will be met with dignity and compassion when they come forward.
When you share your story with Melissa, you’ll always find the support and understanding every sexual assault victim deserves.
The Cost of Sexual Assault
Taking legal action after a sexual assault can be difficult for victims. Oftentimes, a victim will desire to move forward, not wanting to focus on the assault further. It’s also common for victims to feel fear or shame about coming forward.
A compassionate sexual assault attorney will ease this difficult process for you. Sexual assault comes at a high cost. Possible outcomes of sexual assault injury involve:
- Sexually transmitted disease
- Fertility struggles
- Prescription drugs
In addition to the grave mental and emotional toll a sexual assault can take, victims may also face financial consequences as they attempt to heal and move forward.
When sexual assault leaves a victim with medical and mental health expenses, a sexual assault lawyer can help recover the costs. Melissa Hague and her team have a strong track record of restoring justice to victims by helping them find relief for the financial burden brought about by sexual assault.
Gaining Compensation After Sexual Assault
Sexual assault is a crime and should always be reported to the police. However, even when a perpetrator is successfully prosecuted, a victim is left with little more than peace of mind. Criminal prosecution of a sexual offender does nothing to provide a sexual assault victim with compensation for the severe damage. It is important to know that even if the perpetrator is not successfully prosecuted criminally, a victim may still be able to receive justice through the civil courts.
Sexual assault victims need to work with a sexual assault attorney who can bring forward a personal injury case in civil court. This is the only way for a sexual assault victim to be compensated after sexual assault.
Who Is Financially Responsible for Sexual Assault?
When sexual assault occurs, it’s not only the perpetrator who can be held responsible. In many cases, the relationship between victim and perpetrator or the location of the assault can provide additional avenues for compensation.
Common locations at which sexual assault takes place include:
- College campus
- Poorly lit public place
- Doctor office
- Nursing home
- Childcare facility
- Youth organization
- Sports facility
When sexual assault happens at places like these, third parties like organizations and businesses can be held financially responsible.
A Woman Warrior Who Fights for You
Melissa Hague and her team are dedicated to fighting for justice on behalf of sexual assault victims. Melissa is a skilled sexual assault attorney whose compassion helps alleviate the fear and anxiety victims often face when taking legal action.
Melissa is a woman warrior, and she’s ready to fight for you. Share your story, and regain your voice. Schedule your free, confidential consultation with a sexual assault lawyer today.