West Palm Beach Sexual Assault & Battery Attorney
Thousands of cases of sexual assault and battery go uncharged every year in West Palm Springs. Rape is the most prevalent serious crime that occurs on a very regular basis in the U.S., and is one that is not only undiscussed, but it is also under reported. Millions of rape and sexual assault victims never contact the authorities about the incident because of fear of repercussion and shame. One in five University of Florida women have been sexually assaulted, according to Orlando Weekly, and one in six florida women have been sexually assaulted, according to the Florida Statistical Analysis Center. With over 11,000 sexual assaults occurring annually, only 3,000 arrests are made. If you or a loved one has been suxually assaulted, contact the authorities and an experienced West Palm Beach sexual assault & battery attorney at once.
Sexual Assault Happens Early in Life
Rape and other forms of sexual assault often happen very early in life when a woman may be less able to defend themselves or go to the authorities. Over 42 percent of women who are raped were raped before the age of 18, according to the Florida Statistical Analysis Center. This sets a child up for a lifetime of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and other serious complications. With such a difficult and traumatizing childhoods, victims of rape often struggle later on in life.
Sexual Assault and Long Term Consequences
According to the National Center for PTSD, victims of sexual assault can suffer long term consequences of rape, battery, and other forms of sexual assault that go much further than just the physical injuries they sustained. For women who have experienced sexual assault, they may lose joy and desire of any sexual activity for the long term. They may turn to drug or alcohol abuse. Woman who have been raped are six times more likely to use cocaine and 10 times more likely to use other drugs than women who were not raped. PTSD results in thoughts of suicide, anxiety when thinking about the rape, negative thoughts, nightmares, avoidance of thoughts, insomnia, and other serious complications. Ninety-four percent of rape victims have PTSD after the first two weeks of the rape, and 30 percent have PTSD nine months after the rape. And, if it does not occur immediately after the incident, the National Women’s Study reports that one third of rape victims will develop PTSD at some point in their lives.
Not All Forms of Sexual Assault Require Physical Violence or Injuries
Sexual assault is not always forceful or violent rape in the way that it is depicted in the media. Forms of sexual assault vary, such as fondling or unwanted touching, sexual penetration, forcing the victim to do things against their will. There are various types of rape as well. A victim may be forced into rape when threats are made against them; rape can take place when a victim is under the influence of alcohol, drugs, or a date rape drug; often, rape happens because of bribery or manipulation; and rape can also be inflicted by a person with a position of power, such as a boss, teacher, military officer, or coach.
West Palm Beach Sexual Assault & Battery Attorneys
The West Palm Beach sexual assault and battery attorneys at Pike & Lustig, LLP seek justice for victims of sexual assault and similar offenses in West Palm Beach, Miami, Fort Lauderdale and surrounding areas. Assault and battery, including sexual assault and battery, are crimes that may be charged as serious felonies with the prospect of lengthy jail times for those convicted. For the victim of an assault, criminal prosecution of an offender may offer some peace of mind that the perpetrator is off the streets as well as some satisfaction that justice has been served. However, the victim is often left with serious physical and emotional injuries that must be dealt with, and it is simply unfair to require the victim to shoulder the burden of these injuries and expenses. For justice to be truly served, it is only fair that the perpetrator of the assault be made to pay for the damages caused. Let our West Palm Beach sexual assault attorneys help.
Assault & Battery Distinguished
Assault and battery are separate offenses under the law. To be liable for an assault, it is not necessary that a person be actually physically harmed. The intentional tort of assault is committed when one person puts another person in fear or apprehension of imminent physical harm, which may be accomplished by verbal threats and physically threatening behavior.
A civil or tortious battery, on the other hand, does require physical contact, although all that is required is an intentional non-consensual or offensive touching. If such a battery causes injury, the batterer can be liable for damages, including compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, emotional distress. Payment for psychological therapy and counseling is also often included, especially in cases of sexual assault and battery.
Sexual Assault & Battery
Sexual assaults are particularly disturbing and often leave lasting emotional damage in addition to any physical injuries caused. Unfortunately, children are often the target of sexual assaults, as well as the elderly in nursing homes, young single women and others who are in general perceived to be more vulnerable to attack. When assaults occur in an institutional setting, such as a day care center, school, church, nursing home or hospital, the institution itself may bear liability for the acts of its employees, or for allowing the attack to occur on its premises. Other property owners can be liable as well for being negligent in their duty to provide safe and secure premises. This liability includes parking garages or stairwells in shopping malls and apartment buildings which are inadequately lighted or inadequately maintained with video cameras or security cameras. If the attack occurred in a dangerous area, or the property owner was on notice of a danger, the prospect for liability is enhanced. Our West Palm Beach sexual assault attorneys can closely examine your case.
Justice for a Sexual Assault is Only a Phone Call Away
A person or institution may be liable in civil court regardless of whether criminal charges are ever filed or pursued. If you or a family member has been the victim of a sexual assault in Palm Beach, Broward, or Dade County, contact Pike & Lustig, LLP to speak with an experienced and aggressive West Palm Beach sexual assault attorney about holding the abuser accountable for the damages caused. Call today at 561-291-8298.