Students have a right to be free from sexual assault by teachers, administrators, coaches and other students. Universities and schools are responsible to provide students with reasonable safety measures to ensure sexual assault do not happen. Unfortunately, this is not always the case. If you were the victim of sexual assault at school, take action immediately.
Contact a Los Angeles campus sexual assault attorney at Alan Burton Newman, PLC for a free case evaluation.
In light of recent studies concerning sexual violence on college campuses, the California Attorney General has changed the state’s approach to campus sexual assault. As a result, schools are now required to report such activity to law enforcement immediately upon receiving information concerning a sexual assault. Unfortunately, even with these protections in place, the majority of sexual assault cases go unreported by victims.
Recent headlines have focused on the sexual assault cases that have often gone unnoticed in universities in America. Throughout the last couple of years, this topic has constituted a major hot button issue both in the media and in the discussions and decisions of educators and faculty boards. The discussion about consent continues to rage on.
Many students have come forward as victims. As a result, more and more campuses are encouraging and implementing strict policies requiring explicit consent before any type of sexual activity takes place. The goal is to protect students—both male and female—from dangerous situations and coerced sexual encounters.
So how big is this problem? According to a survey published by the Association of American Universities (AAU), it is a serious issue. This survey involved over 150,000 students in 27 universities from across the United States, including all Ivy League schools except for Princeton along with other prestigious colleges.
The study found that approximately 23% of female undergraduate college students interviewed stated that they had experienced unwanted sexual advancements in some form while incapacitated due to drugs and / or alcohol or due to force / the threat of force. Almost 11% of these cases involved sexual assault in the form of penetration / oral sex.
The study also found that most students didn’t take action after the assault by reporting the incident to a school administrator or official. Depending on the nature of the assault that took place, the percentage of students who actually reported what happened was between 5% and 28%.
Students who did not report assault said that they did not feel their situation was “serious enough.” Others stated that they were “embarrassed, ashamed, or that it would be too emotionally difficult.” Still others believed that there was no point in reporting the abuse because they thought nothing would be done about it.
The victim blaming mentality has clearly influenced many students who deserve attention, respect, compassion, and advocacy. Our firm strives to support students who have been victimized by campus sexual assault. The old myth that “legitimate” rape is perpetrated by a stranger in a back alley is patently false. Rape victims are four times more likely to have been victimized by somebody they know as opposed to a stranger, according to the National Center for Victims of Crime, a division of the United States Department of Justice.
If you have been the victim of sexual abuse or other violence, you should report the offense as soon as possible. Schools are legally obligated to conduct an immediate investigation and take appropriate action against the offending party, firing the teacher or administrator or, if the offending party is a student, expelling the student. This investigation must take place in a manner which protects the right of privacy of the student victim.
Additionally, it may be in your best interest to pursue a civil lawsuit. Through a lawsuit, you may be able to take action against the guilty party, as well as anyone who knew about the sexual abuse but failed to prevent it. You may be also able to seek reparations for the long-term suffering that can come as a result of sexual abuse. With the help of a trial attorney, you can pursue justice in a court of law.
Through litigation, you may be able to recover damages for the following:
Though litigation cannot undo the suffering caused by sexual abuse or assault, it can help a student obtain justice and the resources they need during recovery. I highly recommend that student victims contact Alan Burton Newman, PLC immediately for a case evaluation. As a Harvard graduate with an impressive legal track record, I have the expertise needed to protect a student during an investigation and obtain appropriate compensation for what has happened. Don’t prolong your case—seek justice today with an experienced LA employment attorney.
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