Male and female sexual assault victims often struggle to come forward about their experiences. Victims of sexual assault often fear retaliation from their attackers. Additionally, because of the stigma surrounding sexual assaults, these victims feel as if no one will believe them or help them if they do come forward. Male sexual assault victims and survivors are even more likely to not report their attacks.
All victims of sexual violence should feel safe to report their perpetrators and their experiences. Hariri Law Group aims to help you feel safe, heard, and represented as a victim of sexual violence. Our attorneys will work with you to hold perpetrators accountable and liable.
According to the National Sexual Violence Resource Center, nearly 25% of men in the US have experienced some form of contact sexual violence in their lifetime. However, of those male victims, only 43% of them are likely to report their assault to authorities or anyone.
In addition to fearing retaliation and ridicule, studies show that male survivors are more hesitant to come forward because of societal norms on masculinity. Due to these norms, there is also a lack of resources for male victims. The #MeToo movement was centered around women sexual assault survivors. Most victim hotlines and shelters are also geared towards serving women.
Why Survivors Should File Reports & Lawsuits
As mentioned, many survivors do not file reports, and even fewer survivors choose to sue their perpetrators in civil courts. There are two different places the legal system can hold sexual offenders liable: the criminal system and the civil system.
Sexual offenders are tried in criminal courts when they are being formally charged with a crime. This usually occurs after a formal police report is filed and then state prosecutors choose to try the offender for his crimes in court. In these cases, the defendant is the offender, while the state or government is the plaintiff.
In other cases, sexual offenders face their victims in court. The victims of the assault are the plaintiffs here. These cases are only pursued if the victims choose to directly sue their perpetrator for their emotional, physical, or financial injuries.
As we have seen, when sexual assault victims come forward, it often gives other victims the courage to come out as well. If you have been sexually assaulted, please know you are not alone. As laws evolve to protect survivors and victims, more perpetrators are held liable for their actions. Most importantly, reporting assailants can help ensure they do not act again.
Hariri Law Group understands the trauma that can form after an individual has been sexually assaulted. Our attorneys will work hard to make sure that you are not only compensated for your injuries, but that you feel safe and heard throughout your case.