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- Abraham Lincoln
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Sexual assault and sexual harassment occur more often than reported. Despite under-reporting, the crime statistics for 2021 in California show that 14,435 victims reported rape or attempted rape. However, sexual assault means more than attempted rape or rape. Sexual harassment differs in some ways from sexual assault, but you still have rights. Contact a California sexual harassment lawyer at Silva Injury Law to learn how we can assist.
Sadly, sexual harassment or sexual assault can occur anywhere. Sexual abuse occurs in situations when one individual sexually preys on another. Therefore, it could happen at the gym, at your doctor’s office, at a frat party, or in your home. Some episodes of sexual assault and sexual harassment even occur in the workplace.
Sexual abuse victims in California may not realize that they may have the right to file a civil claim for damages in addition to pursuing criminal charges. Victims of sexual harassment have the right to file a lawsuit seeking damages for their emotional and psychological injuries, as well as physical injuries, lost wages, and medical expenses.
If you or a loved one is a survivor of sexual assault or sexual harassment, the California sexual harassment victim lawyers with Silva Injury Law, Inc., are here for you.
Don`t settle for less than you deserve.
While there is some overlap, sexual harassment, sexual assault, and sexual abuse have some notable distinctions. Sexual harassment involves unwanted sexual conduct in a workplace setting. The aggressor makes it clear that the unwanted advances are explicit or implicit conditions of your employment—any agreement or rejection could be used in employment-related decisions—or it creates a hostile work environment, unreasonably interfering with your ability to do your job.
Sexual assault occurs with no regard to employment status. The assault may or may not be tied to your job. In many cases, it happens outside work. Sexual abuse typically refers to victims of repeated sexual crimes, such as child who is molested, although sexual assault and harassment are types of sexual abuse.
If you are the victim of sexual assault, abuse, or harassment, it’s important to contact a skilled California sexual harassment attorney at Silva Injury Law right away. Attorney Cassidy Jensen is a sexual assault survivor. When you’re looking for an understanding and compassionate attorney who will aggressively fight for your rights, please contact Silva Injury Law.
Numerous types of sexual abuse could lead to a sexual harassment or assault claim. Some of the most common types we represent clients for include the following.
Clergy sexual abuse occurs when someone with religious authority abuses their role, power, or position to sexually harass, exploit, or engage in any sexual activity with another person. What qualifies as sexual abuse is wide-ranging and can include everything from sexualized conversations and unwanted transmission of sexual images to unwanted touching or threatening someone so they become sexually involved. The key is the abuse of power as the clergy person uses their influence within the church to carry out the abuse.
Sexual abuse at schools occurs at private and public schools, including primary and secondary schools. Sexual abuse in schools might involve other children or adults in positions of power.
Unwanted advances and comments happen daily in schools all around California. Some students may not realize the severity of their actions when they make sexual comments or jokes, send obscene photos or videos, or touch someone’s undergarments. Sexual bullying also falls under school sexual abuse and applies when someone refers to another person’s gender or sexuality in a degrading manner.
Sexual abuse on California college campuses is another growing problem. Sexual violence, sexual harassment, and sexual bullying happen every day. Title IX prohibits sex discrimination in educational programs and activities. It applies to schools that receive federal funding, such as colleges and universities. Violent sexual acts or sexual harassment can also fall under discrimination based on sex.
Sadly, sexual abuse in a health care setting is more common than you might realize. Medical professionals might sexually harass co-workers or subordinates, or the abuse might involve patients. One of the most disturbing examples is the recent trial involving Larry Nassar, the former doctor for the U.S. Olympics Gymnastics team. Nassar was sentenced to more than 200 years in prison for abusing women and children while working as the team doctor.
What to do following sexual abuse will vary depending on the circumstances. No matter what, you should always start by ensuring your own safety and well-being. You might be in shock following a sexual assault at school or outraged after sexual harassment at work. It’s not uncommon to feel overwhelmed too.
Contact the police in the case of a criminal sexual assault, which can also preserve evidence in the case of a violent attack, such as rape. If you experience sexual harassment at work, you can report the person’s behavior. While employers are prohibited from taking retaliatory action, it does happen. That’s why you should reach out to a sexual harassment attorney right away.
Seeking medical attention is also important if you were physically assaulted. You can also choose to visit a medical center to get a rape kit completed before going to the police.
It’s crucial to take time to process your trauma. Seek professional help and talk to people you trust. If possible, seek out assistance from someone specially trained in sexual trauma. You need a safe space where you can learn to process your trauma and eventually reduce the negative psychological impact.
Consider all legal options if you have not contacted an attorney yet. Some survivors know they want to proceed with legal action, especially criminal charges when applicable. For other survivors, the course of action isn’t clear yet. Oftentimes, harassment or abuse involves someone you know. Filing a police report or speaking with a sexual harassment attorney can help provide some clarity and give you back a sense of power.
Sexual abuse trauma can manifest itself in multiple ways, including physical, emotional, and behavioral issues. If you suspect your child is the victim of sexual abuse, the signs might not be that clear. Physical signs might include:
Examples of behavioral signs can include:
Emotional changes can include a sudden, unexplained fear or dislike of certain places or people, withdrawal, depression, and sudden mood swings.
The statute of limitations for sexual abuse will vary depending on the circumstances and type of crime. For example, sexual assault has no statute of limitations under Penal Code Section 799(b)(1), provided the assault occurred on or after January 1, 2017.
Sexual harassment claims might be subject to a three-year filing window. However, you must file a claim with the Department of Fair Employment or Housing first.
California also recently extended the filing deadline for children who are victims of sexual abuse. They have until their 40th birthday or within five years of discovering the childhood abuse as an adult.
Determining the proper statute of limitations for cases involving sexual assault or harassment is complicated. You should speak with an experienced sexual harassment attorney at Silva Injury Law. Otherwise, you could be barred from any financial recovery should you miss the filing deadline or fail to follow proper procedures for federal employment harassment claims.
Sexual assault or sexual harassment victims often blame themselves for what happened. We hope you know it’s not your fault. The fault lies squarely in the hands of the person who victimized you. You did not provoke your attacker, you did not lead them on, and you do not deserve this. You probably know this on some level, yet the psychological trauma is so significant that victims blame themselves and assume they played a role. Nothing could be further from the truth.
We understand that sexual assault victims need emotional support. We pledge to assist you in whatever way we can to help you heal from this terrible incident. Our skilled lawyers will aggressively pursue every party responsible for your sexual assault so that they pay for the harm they caused you.
You might wonder if you need California sexual harassment victim lawyers to represent you if the prosecutor pressed charges. The state prosecutor brings criminal charges and asks for punishment commensurate with the charges. You are a witness to the prosecution. The district attorney’s office will undoubtedly treat you well and help you to the extent they can, but they do not represent you. They do not have your best interests at heart.
Moreover, the prosecution can only bring charges against people when they have probable cause of a crime. Civil law is different.
Under California’s sexual harassment laws, you have the right to sue the person who committed the act. Also, under California tort law, you may be able to sue others for negligence in addition to the perpetrator of the crime. California law allows you to file a damage claim against someone who had a duty to keep you safe and failed to follow their duty.
Here are a few examples of claims you could bring against the perpetrator and someone else for breaching their duty of care they owed you:
Dedicated and skilled California sexual harassment victim lawyers will explain to you in detail who may be liable to you for damages. We know that winning a lawsuit may not ever take away the pain, disgust, and horror you experienced. However, fighting to hold every person responsible for your attack could help you regain self-confidence and ease the pain.
The California Victim Compensation Program may be able to help victims who were injured or threatened with physical injury as the result of sexual assault. See the following link to find out how to apply for compensation: victims.ca.gov/for-victims/ or contact the California Victim Compensation Program at 1-800-777-9229
We are dedicated and compassionate attorneys who do not define success by the amount of money we win for our clients. Instead, we use a different measuring stick. We believe success is better described as whether we helped solve our clients’ problems. Our human approach distinguishes our firm from all others. Contact us today to discuss your case.
Our experienced legal team also handles other types of cases, including:
We believe that our duty goes beyond achieving large monetary awards for our clients. We strive first to be decent human beings who seek not to stir up fights, but to solve problems.
As a peacemaker, the lawyer has a superior opportunity of being a good man. There will still be enough business.
- Abraham Lincoln
Caring and compassionate California sexual harassment lawyers empathize with sexual harassment victims. They understand that no one should suffer harassment at work when applying for a job, applying for a mortgage, trying to find adequate housing, or in any other situation. California sexual harassment laws prohibit discrimination on the basis of sex. Therefore, discrimination in the form of sexual harassment based on a person’s sex, gender, gender identity, marital status, gender expression, or sexual orientation violates California law.
Knowledgable sexual harassment attorneys in California will explain that sexual harassment occurs in one of two ways. Perhaps the most prominent form of sexual harassment in the workplace refers to a hostile work environment.
A hostile work environment arises when the organization’s employees create a situation that is uncomfortable for someone to work in due to discriminatory conduct. For example, discussing sexual exploits, commentating on a person’s dress repeatedly, making offensive jokes about sexual orientation, or refusing to promote an otherwise qualified employee creates a hostile work environment. The unlawful actions do not have to be directed at anyone explicitly to qualify as sexual harassment.
On the other hand, quid pro quo sexual harassment involves rewards for sexual favors or punishment for refusing to engage in sexual conduct. Quid pro quo sexual harassment occurs when one person has some power over another, like a supervisor over an employee. Examples of quid pro quo sexual harassment including:
If you find yourself in any of these situations, you must report it to your employer immediately. That’s the first step. The second step needs to be a phone call to experienced California sexual harassment victim lawyers.
Contact Silva Injury Law, Inc., today to schedule a free consultation with one of our top California sexual harassment victim lawyers. We believe that you deserve justice. Reach out to us today and help take control back for your life.