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What Defines Sexual Assault?

Sexual violence and assault refers to sexual activity where consent is not granted or freely given. It is a violation of a victim’s ability to choose and often results in a sense of powerlessness. One of the most egregious crimes on the books, sexual assault wreaks havoc not just on the victim’s physical being – from unwanted pregnancy to disability that can forever impact one’s work life – but also on their emotional well-being. From shock and denial to distrust, anxiety, depression or even post traumatic stress disorder, the psychological damage is profound. In fact, a sexual assault can bring on health issues and social problems that can forever alter a person’s life. There must be justice and compensation for these damages to a person’s body and psyche.

All Responsible Parties Must Be Held Accountable

When a sexual assault occurs, the perpetrator is expected to be held accountable. Unfortunately, that is often not the case. Out of 100 rapes, only 0.2 – 5.2% of perpetrators are actually convicted. This leaves many survivors feeling devastated and powerless. They think there are no other options, but there are. Through the civil court system, sexual assault survivors can achieve justice through monetary damages for the pain and suffering that they have had to endure.

Not only do civil courts hold the perpetrator accountable, they pursue all contributing parties involved for allowing the assault to occur or supplying the environment for the crime. When and where the assault occurred are important points to note; was it at a school or an institution where individuals should expect to be safe? Was it by an employee who was on probation for a prior offense? Was there poor supervision, security or lighting? Did someone use his or her position of power as an advantage over the victim? Details like these may mean additional parties can be held responsible. At The Pride Law Firm, we believe that is what civil courts are for – to hold all wrongdoers responsible – and why we fight for justice and compensation for victims and their families.

Sexual Assault Occurs Every 90 Seconds

The Pride Law firm does more than represent a broad range of clients; we treat your interests and concerns as our own. In this video, a few of our wonderful clients share about their experiences.

One in three women and one in ten men will be sexually assaulted. Eighty percent of rapes are perpetrated by someone the victim knows, trusts or loves. Eighty-five percent of sexual assaults involve alcohol. Despite the high rate of assaults committed, a shockingly low rate of assaults are reported, fewer are prosecuted, even less are convicted and even fewer are civilly sued. This needs to stop. Sexual violence is not okay and perpetrators need to know that there are consequences.

The Pride Law Firm is here to fight for you. We are dedicated to increasing the rate by which perpetrators are held accountable for their heinous crimes and restoring power to survivors. If you are a survivor of a sexual assault, you are not alone. We are here to help.

Managing Partner Jessica Pride has spent over ten years successfully resolving sexual assault cases. She is keenly aware of the legal aspects of this case type and the emotional and healing process. She advocates for and empowers sexual assault survivors through civil litigation.

The Pride Law Firm’s Experience With Sexual Assault Cases

Jessica Pride has gained extensive experience working with survivors. She litigates all types of sexual assault cases – from prison guards who abuse inmates, to men who take advantage of intoxicated women, to bosses who think that touching employees is acceptable. Jessica has also completed Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence Awareness training at the Center for Community Solutions.

At The Pride Law Firm, we believe in holding individuals and organizations financially responsible for their intentional wrongful conduct or negligent acts. This extends to cases of sexual assault, where our knowledge of the law and extensive investigative skills and staff come into play.

How The Pride Law Firm Can Help

The Pride Law Firm is fully staffed and readily available to assist all survivors of sexual assault, including male survivors. Firm founder Dante Pride shares about how the firm helps men of all ages who have been hurt by sexual assault.

Sexual assault cases require significant trial experience, not to mention empathy and compassion. The Pride Law Firm provides a safe environment for survivors to tell their story. We believe our clients and fight aggressively for their justice. The Pride Law Firm has the experience, staff and financial resources to successfully prosecute sexual violators.

As a sexual assault survivor, it is especially important that you trust your attorney and feel comfortable with him or her. There will come a time when you must decide whether to resolve your case through settlement or take it to trial. At that point, confidence and trust in your attorney is essential.

Frequently Asked Questions About Sexual Assault

Can I have a criminal case and a civil case or just a civil case?

Yes, you can have both a criminal case and a civil case proceeding at the same time. Often times, the prosecutor or detective chooses not to prosecute the perpetrator. In these instances, there is no criminal case and only a civil case will proceed forward.

If there is a criminal case, do I have to do it alone?

No. You have a right to an advocate and/or support person of your choosing to be present with you during interviews by law enforcement, district attorneys, defense attorneys and during the forensic SART exam per California Penal Code 679.04. http://ag.ca.gov/victimservices/pdf/penalcode679_04.pdf

I need help. Who can help me with emotional, physical and housing services?

There are a lot of great resources available to help survivors cope with the emotional pain and trauma following sexual assault:

Center for Community Solutions, San Diego Rape Crisis Center Toll Free 24 Hr. Crisis Hotline: 1‑888‑385‑4657 or (858) 272-5777

They provide:

  • Emergency Services (24/7 hotline, domestic violence emergency response, sexual assault emergency response, and emergency shelter)
  • Crisis Intervention Services (legal services, counseling services, transitional housing, domestic violence victim advocacy, sexual assault victim advocacy, and elder abuse victim advocacy and legal services)
  • Relationship and Sexual Violence Prevention (education & outreach program)
More Resources:
  • National Rape Hotline: 1-800-656-HOPE
  • CALCASA: Their website can direct you to a California Rape Crisis Center in your county if you are not local to San Diego
  • San Diego County Domestic Violence/Sexual Assault Hotline: 1-888-DV-LINKS (385-4657)