Sexual assault is a terrible crime that has long-term physical and emotional consequences for victims and their loved ones. Although perpetrators may be brought to justice and imprisoned under the criminal justice system, sexual assault victims have a right to file a civil lawsuit to recover damages in Southern Missouri regardless of whether or not their attacker is convicted.
Southern Missouri Sexual Assault Lawyer
If you have been through the trauma of sexual assault, Privette Law Office can help. Our Southern Missouri sexual assault injury attorneys serve the surrounding counties of Springfield, Green County, and more. We are highly experienced, compassionate, and committed to justice. When you meet with us, we will listen to your story and determine the best way forward. We know that sexual assault survivors are often disbelieved, however, we will stand by you and fight for you during this difficult time.
If we can take on your claim, we will do everything in our power to get you meaningful compensation and bring you the justice you deserve. Reach out to our Willow Springs office today for a confidential, no-cost consultation.
How Is Sexual Assault Defined in Southern Missouri?
For purposes of a civil lawsuit, sexual assault involves any type of non-consensual or forced sexual contact with another person, such as:
- Rape or attempted rape
- Child sexual abuse
- Improper touching (groping)
- Indecent exposure
A common misconception is that sexual assault is perpetrated by strangers. In reality, the majority of sex crimes are committed by someone the victim knows – a friend, co-worker, teacher, coach, family member, neighbor, intimate partner, or acquaintance. Regardless of the identity of your attacker, you can depend on us to hold them accountable even if they are not prosecuted.
The Alarming Statistics on Sexual Assault or Sexual Abuse
It is shocking to know that a sexual assault occurs every 68 seconds in the U.S., according to RAINN (Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network). Over 400,000 people over the age of 12 are victims of sexual assault or rape each year. Moreover, one out of six women has been the victim of rape or attempted rape during her lifetime.
While 9 out of every 10 victims of sexual assault are female, men can also be victims: about 3 percent of men have been victims of rape or attempted rape in their lifetime. Children are especially vulnerable: 60,000 children are sexually assaulted every year. Nearly one in four girls and one in ten boys are sexually assaulted before they turn 18.
Also, the majority of victims are assaulted at or near the home:
- 55 percent at or near the victim’s home
- 15 percent in an open, public space
- 12 percent at or near a relative’s home
- 10 percent in an enclosed public space (e.g. a parking lot or garage)
- 8 percent on school property
Despite these grim statistics, sexual violence has fallen by half in the last 20 years. However, only 25 out of every 1,000 rapists will end up in prison. Our sexual assault injury attorneys are committed to holding perpetrators accountable through civil litigation and helping victims of sexual assault throughout Southern Missouri obtain just compensation.
What Are the Three Types of Sexual Assault Cases?
Sexual assault cases can encompass a range of offenses, each involving non-consensual sexual contact or activity. In general, three primary types of sexual assault cases are recognized:
- Rape: Rape involves non-consensual sexual intercourse or penetration of any body part or object into another person’s body without their consent. It is considered one of the most serious sexual offenses.
- Sexual Battery: Sexual battery includes non-consensual sexual contact that does not involve penetration. This can include actions such as groping, fondling, or any unwanted touching of a sexual nature.
- Statutory Rape: Statutory rape occurs when sexual activity takes place between an adult and a minor who is below the age of consent, even if the minor may have appeared to agree. Laws regarding statutory rape vary by state, including in Missouri.
Each type of sexual assault case involves specific legal considerations and potential consequences. If you or someone you know is a victim of sexual assault, it’s essential to seek immediate legal guidance from a Missouri personal injury lawyer with experience in such cases.
How Many Sexual Assault Cases Win?
The outcome of sexual assault cases can vary widely depending on numerous factors, including the strength of the evidence, the skill of legal representation, the willingness of witnesses to testify, and the specifics of each case. It’s important to note that not all sexual assault cases result in convictions.
The rate of successful prosecution and conviction in sexual assault cases can vary from one jurisdiction to another. Some cases may result in criminal convictions, while others may lead to plea bargains or settlements. Additionally, some victims may choose to pursue civil lawsuits for damages.
The success of a sexual assault case should not deter survivors from seeking justice. The legal system is designed to hold perpetrators accountable, and every case is unique. An experienced personal injury lawyer in Missouri can provide guidance and support throughout the legal process.
How Are Sexual Assault Cases Solved?
Solving sexual assault cases involves a thorough investigative process, collaboration between law enforcement agencies, forensic evidence collection, and legal proceedings. Key steps in solving sexual assault cases may include:
- Reporting the Incident: Survivors or witnesses must report the sexual assault to law enforcement authorities promptly.
- Gathering Evidence: Law enforcement collects physical evidence, conducts interviews, and obtains statements from witnesses and the parties involved.
- Forensic Testing: DNA and other forensic evidence may be collected and analyzed to establish a connection between the victim and the perpetrator.
- Legal Proceedings: Once evidence is gathered, the case may proceed through the criminal justice system. Prosecutors file charges, and the accused may face trial.
- Support for Survivors: Throughout the process, survivors of sexual assault are offered support services, including counseling and victim advocacy.
Successful resolution of a sexual assault case can lead to criminal penalties for the perpetrator, as well as potential civil remedies for the survivor. It is essential for survivors to work with experienced legal professionals who can advocate for their rights and help them navigate the complex legal process.
How Privette Law Office Can Help Assault Victims
If you have been the victim of a sexual assault, you may be scared and not know where to turn. It is crucial to immediately contact law enforcement and seek medical treatment. Although prosecutors in Southern Missouri take sexual assault very seriously, more than 2 out of 3 go unreported.
While many perpetrators are never convicted, you have powerful legal recourse by filing a civil lawsuit. This is where Privette Law Office comes in. Our legal team will:
- Conduct a thorough investigation
- Collect evidence, including forensic evidence
- Interview any witnesses
- Collaborate with law enforcement to identify your attacker
- Pursue all legal remedies available to you
Depending on the circumstances, you may be able to recover the following damages:
- Medical expenses
- Costs of psychological counseling
- Lost wages – present and future
- Pain and suffering
- Scarring or permanent injury
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Loss of consortium
Because sexual assault is a malicious criminal act, you may also be awarded punitive damages that are designed to punish the defendants and deter others from similar misconduct. While prosecutors are responsible for bringing criminal charges against perpetrators, we will help you fight for justice in the form of civil damages, no matter where you are in Missouri.
Notably, it may also be possible to bring a lawsuit against a negligent third party, such as a business, school, the owner of an apartment complex, a government agency, or another individual or entity in Southern Missouri for failing to provide adequate security or protection. Above all, we will provide you with compassionate representation and protect your rights.
Contact Our Experienced Southern Missouri Sexual Assault Injury Attorneys Today!
Being sexually assaulted is an unthinkable violation of your bodily autonomy. Let our legal team work to ensure your safety, preserve your well-being, and help restore your dignity. You can trust us to right this wrong and get you the compensation you deserve. Because we understand your physical, emotional, and financial burdens, we will charge no attorneys’ fees until we recover for you. Contact our office today so we can start working on your claim.
Privette Law Office helps sexual assault victims across Southern Missouri including Howell County, Greene County, Wright County, and Butler County. We handle cases in cities such as Springfield, Poplar Bluff, West Plains, and Joplin all from our main office in Willow Springs.