After an accident, attack, sexual assault, or rape, the real work begins. We can help you hold accountable those who were best in a position to have prevented it. So you can put your focus back where it belongs: the rest of your life.
Take a Stand – It May Help Your Recovery
[T]he very act of being a plaintiff in a tort suit has the potential to provide therapeutic benefits.
The act of being a plaintiff in a tort suit also can aid specifically in the healing process for victims of violence.
Victims of violence usually desire redress for the injustice inflicted on them, and the quest for compensation can be an important part of the victim’s recovery.
Camille Carey, Domestic Violence Torts: Righting a Civil Wrong, 62 Kansas L. Rev. 695, 742 (2014).
Simply put, there can be mental and emotional benefits from standing up and fighting for justice when you have been a victim.
If you’re ready to stand up and fight, we can help.
- About the TIME’S UP initiative to fight workplace injustice and inequality
- About sexual harassment laws.
- About Cyberbullying laws and solutions for victims.
- About help for sexual assault victims.
In light of the story reported by Gawker of a Canadian judge asking a rape victim why she didn’t just keep her knees together, this piece from blue milk discussing the underlying absurdity of victim-blaming seems most appropriate:
. . . Don’t be adventurous, that is being stupid and stupid women get raped. Don’t be silent, who can be expected to know you didn’t want to be raped. Don’t be intimidated, that can signal weakness and will get you raped. . .
Sexual assault victims may immediately face tough situations. Here is a short practical guide on what you can do to hold your life together when you have been the victim of a sexual assault or violent crime.
Contact the police.
This may seem obvious, but it is an important step no matter how recently or long ago it took place. Regardless of whether you think you will be believed, whether the person will be found, or whether they will blame you, it is crucial that you contact the police in order to initiate an investigation and ensure the matter is documented.
Get medical care.
Even if you don’t think your injuries are serious, get medical care as immediately as possible. Go to a hospital, urgent care clinic, or primary care physician and let them see and know what happened to you. Remember too, that following a violent incident, not all injuries may be physical. Sleeplessness, anxiety, stomach/digestive issues are all potential effects of a violent experience that a medical practitioner may be able to help you with.
Let someone close know.
You need an advocate. Your instinct may be to hide, minimize, move on, or conceal, but find someone who will think clearly on your behalf. A rape crisis center is also an excellent resource to consider if a sexual assault or attempted sexual assault took place.
Speak with a therapist.
The real injuries from a violent attack can begin later — sometimes long after the initial shock has subsided — and can last years or even a lifetime. Take care of your future self by reaching out, now rather than later, to a mental help specialist who is experienced in handling the mental health issues that may arise due to traumatic violence.
Tell your employer.
Sexual assault victims may experience extreme shame. But, try as soon as possible, to notify your employer of what occurred. If you are too uncomfortable to tell them yourself, have someone close to you inform them. This may an important step to maintain your employment particularly if the effects of the violence later leads to absences from work for treatment of physical or mental health issues.
If it happened at home, find somewhere else to stay.
You are entitled to protect not only your safety, but your sense of safety. If you were a tenant, consider asking your landlord to set aside your lease agreement.
Work-related compensation may be available.
If it happened while you were working — whether at your office, outside of your office, or even at altogether different location — work-related compensation may be available. If a sexual assault by a supervisor or co-worker was involved, you may have a claim for sexual harassment.
If you are a student, contact your dean.
Put your institution on notice even if the assault did not take place on campus. Your goal is to prevent what happened from negatively impacting your academic record. In addition to requesting time off or additional assistance to keep your grades from suffering, your school may also be able to point you in the direction of additional support services to help you recover.
Get a restraining order.
If you know the person, begin the process of securing a restraining order.
Talk to a lawyer.
For sexual assault victims, one of the most important aspects may be preventing one’s own re-victimization.
Survivors of violence may find themselves facing many direct and indirect effects of the initial trauma, such as housing issues, employment issues, health/mental-health issues, academic issues, or financial issues long after the violent event takes place.
Through legal investigation, it may even become clear that what happened was not only preventable, but foreseeable by those in the best position to have prevented it. An experienced lawyer can hep you navigate these issues, become a part of your support team, and help pave the way for your recovery.
Speak with a lawyer who specializes in helping victims of violent crime.