Friday, November 6, 2015
Rights of Victims of Sexual Assault On a College Campus
California has many different colleges and universities, each with its own diverse student population and environment for young adults to obtain a quality education and valuable social experience. Unfortunately, many students have their college experience marred by sexual assault. While a student should expect their educational institution to protect their rights and fully investigate and pursue their sexual assault claims, in many cases, schools are more concerned about preserving their reputations than punishing or deterring sexual assault offenders. In such situations, victims deserve full and just recourse for their injuries, both against the offender and the school that failed to appropriately handle their claims.
Injury claims against the assault offender
In addition to pursuing criminal charges1 against the offender, a California sexual assault lawyer can help a victim file a civil claim for personal injury. This claim often seeks the following types of damages:
· Medical costs resulting from any assault-related injuries
· Treatment for mental conditions arising from the assault, such as PTSD2
· Emotional distress
· Lost tuition or opportunities if the assault led to leaving school
If the offender is punished by the school or convicted in criminal court, it can significantly help any civil case the victim has filed for personal injury.
Claims against the school
On the other hand, if the school does not take appropriate action against the sexual assault offender, the victim's case may be adversely affected. In addition, if a victim wishes to continue attending that institution, they will have to do so knowing they may encounter their offender or have constant reminders about the sexual assault. This alone can cause emotional injuries and worsen mental conditions that may have developed following the attack.
If a school does not have clear policies regarding investigation and punishment in sexual assault cases or if a school fails to adequately follow their existing policies, the institution should be held liable for any additional injuries their failure to act caused the victims. Victims already have enough to deal with and should not hesitate to discuss their case with a CA sex abuse and assault attorney today.
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