Sexual violence and assault refers to sexual activity where consent is not granted or freely given
Sexual assault is an unwanted touching. 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 the person’s emotional well being. From shock and denial to distrust, anxiety, depression and even post traumatic stress disorder, the psychological damage is profound. In fact, a sexual assault can bring on health issues and social problems with your friends and family that can forever alter a person’s life. For these damages to a person’s body and psyche, there must be justice and compensation.
All People Responsible Should be Held Accountable
When a sexual assault occurs, we expect the perpetrator to be held accountable and to be convicted. Unfortunately, that is often not the case. Of 100 rapes committed, .2 – 5.2% of perpetrators are actually convicted. This leaves many survivors devastated and feeling powerless. They think that they do not have other options, but they do. Justice through monetary damages for the pain and suffering that they have had to endure can be achieved in the civil courts.
Civil courts hold not only the perpetrator accountable but all parties that contributed – especially if they in some way allowed the assault to occur or supplied the environment where the crime happened. 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 an employee on probation for a prior offense? Was there inadequate supervision or security or poor lighting? Did someone with a position of power use it to sexually assault someone who trusted them? These and other details may mean that there are additional parties that can be held responsible for the assault. 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.
According to statistics, someone is sexually assaulted every 2.5 minutes
1 in 3 women and 1 in 10 men will be sexually assaulted. 80% of rapes are perpetrated by someone the victim knows, trusts or loves. 85% 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 culture needs to stop and to change. Sexual violence is not ok 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 civilly held accountable for their heinous crimes and to restoring power to the survivors. If you are a survivor of a sexual assault, you are not alone. We are here to help.
The Pride Law Firm attorney, Jessica Klarer Pride, who is particularly well versed in the legal aspects of sexual assault as well as the emotional and healing process, leads our sexual assault practice. In that role, she is an advocate for and empowers sexual assault survivors through civil litigation.
THE PRIDE LAW FIRM’S EXPERIENCE
We at The Pride Law Firm believe in holding individuals and organizations financially responsible for intentional wrongful conduct or for negligent acts that have harmed others. That extends to cases of sexual assault, where our knowledge of the law and extensive investigative skills and staff come into play. We have been litigating these types of cases for years and are dedicated to helping survivors.
Attorney Jessica Pride, who specializes in sexual assault litigation, has gained extensive experience working with survivors. She litigates all types of sexual assault cases from prison guards who rape inmates in jail, to men who take advantage of drunk women at parties, to bosses who think that touching employees is acceptable. Jessica also underwent Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence Awareness training at the Center for Community Solutions.
HOW THE PRIDE LAW FIRM CAN HELP
Sexual assault cases require significant trial experience in personal injury lawsuits and compassion. Here at The Pride Law Firm we provide a safe environment for sexual assault survivors to tell their story. We believe in our clients and we fight for justice. The Pride Law Firm has the seasoned staff – from our attorneys to our investigators – and financial resources to aggressively prosecute such cases.
In a sexual assault case, it is especially important that a client finds an attorney they feel comfortable with, have confidence in and can fully trust. There will come a time when you must decide whether to resolve your case through settlement or take it to trial. As that point, confidence and trust in your attorney is essential. Over the years, The Pride Law Firm has helped numerous survivors of sexual violence take back their lives and embark on the healing process that leads to recovery.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
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 get through this difficult time in their life.
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)
- National Rape Hotline – 1-800-656-HOPE
- CALCASA – www.Calcasa.org Their website can direct you to a California Rape Crisis Center in your county if you are not in San Diego county.
- San Diego County Domestic Violence/Sexual Assault Hotline – 1-888-DV-LINKS (385-4657). A list of SD Regional Guide Resources can be found at: http://www.sdcounty.ca.gov/hhsa/programs/phs/documents/SanDiegoRegionalDVResourcesList.pdf