Sexual Assault Lawyer in Boston
Sexual assault is a devastating crime that can have long-lasting consequences. It’s also a serious, widespread problem. Stories about sexual assault and sexual violence are front-page news these days. These high-profile stories include sexual assaults by priests and other members of the church, as well as sexual assaults on well-known university campuses. Add to that the “MeToo” Movement, which started as a hashtag and has resulted in thousands of victims of sexual assault coming forward to share their stories and seek justice.
To really comprehend the seriousness and pervasiveness of sexual assault in the United States, consider this staggering fact: According to data from Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network, or RAINN, every 73 seconds, another American is sexually assaulted.
If you’ve been a victim of a sexual assault, it’s important that you contact a sexual assault lawyer in Boston as soon as possible to protect your rights under the law, recover the damages that you’re owed and obtain justice and closure.
The Massachusetts sexual assault injury lawyers at the Law Offices of Jeffrey S. Glassman are experienced at handling these complex, sensitive and confidential cases. Our attorneys are knowledgeable and skilled when it comes to handling all types of sexual assault cases.
Our attorneys are highly skilled at properly preparing these cases for the courtroom, as well as battling opposing attorneys and insurance companies and obtaining settlements that adequately compensate sexual abuse victims for their injuries.What is Sexual Assault?
Sexual assault is a broad term that can be defined as any type of sexual activity that’s not agreed to and is unwanted. Sexual assault can include the following types of physical behaviors:
- Inappropriate touching, including touching over clothing
- Rape, including vaginal, anal or oral penetration
- Attempted rape
- Any type of sexual activity with a child, even if the child says “yes” at the time
- Sexual contact while someone is incapacitated from alcohol or drugs
In addition, certain non-physical sexual behaviors fall under the category of sexual assault or sexual harassment. Some examples are voyeurism, which occurs when someone watches private sexual acts, and exhibitionism, which occurs when someone exposes himself or herself in public.
Certain parties are particularly vulnerable to sexual assault such as children, the elderly and individuals with physical or intellectual disabilities.
In Massachusetts, rape is defined as sexual intercourse or unnatural sexual intercourse with a person, by force and against his or her will, or by threat of bodily injury. You can read more about the law in Massachusetts pertaining to rape and sexual assault here.Sexual Assault Statistics
- 1 out of every 6 women in the United States has been the victim of attempted or completed rape in her lifetime.
- 8 out of 10 rapes are committed by someone the victim knows.
- 63,000 children a year are victims of sexual abuse.
- Approximately 3 out of 4 sexual assaults are not reported to the police.
(From RAINN)Places Where Sexual Assaults Can Occur
Data shows that the majority of sexual assaults take place at or near the victim’s home.
Here’s a list of some other places where sexual assaults can occur:
- Schools and colleges
- Nursing homes
- Parking lots or garages
Sexual assault cases are often vigorously contested by churches, universities or other large organizations with abundant financial resources. Depending on the circumstances of the sexual assault, the property owner or business operator could be liable for sexual assault injuries. An experienced sexual assault lawyer in Boston will conduct a thorough investigation of your case, identify all responsible parties and make sure that they pay.How Do I Report a Sexual Assault?
If you’ve been the victim of a sexual assault, contact the local police department in the town or city where the assault took place. Typically, the local police department will investigate the incident and bring charges. However, in some cases, the state police will take over an investigation. If the sexual assault occurred on a college campus, call the campus police. It’s important that you obtain immediate medical attention and preserve any evidence of the assault to ensure that the perpetrator is caught and brought to justice.
If the assault occurred within five days, but you’re not sure if you want to report it to the police, you should still go to a hospital and request that a “sexual assault evidence kit” be performed. The kit will be filed as “anonymous” and held for six months. Evidence can still be collected, even if the sexual assault victim has bathed or showered since the assault. DNA evidence helps build a strong case against the perpetrator.
By reporting a sexual assault to the police, you aren’t required to proceed with the case. The statute of limitations on rape in Massachusetts is 15 years. Even if the sexual abuse occurred many years ago when you were a child, you still might have the right to demand justice and seek compensation.
However, reporting the incident to the police in a timely manner is helpful to the investigation and increases the likelihood of collecting evidence supporting your case. It also prevents future sexual assaults from occurring.
Many victims will not report a sexual assault because of fear, guilt or shame. It’s important to remember that the sexual assault is not the victim’s fault.
Before reporting a sexual assault to the police, make sure you are in a safe place.
You can call the National Sexual Assault Hotline to talk to a trained staff member and receive confidential crisis support at 800-656-HOPE. Or go online at https://hotline.rainn.org/.What is Consent?
Simply put, consent is agreeing to something. Consent must be informed and voluntary and can be withdrawn at any time. Consent can be given verbally or by actions as long as those words or actions create mutually understandable permission with regard to the scope of sexual activity. There is no consent when there is force, either expressed or implied, or when coercion, intimidation or threats are used. When determining consent, other factors include whether a person has taken advantage of a position of influence, such as in the case of a supervisor, teacher or coach.
Silence or absence of resistance does not imply consent. Past consent to sexual activity with another person does not imply ongoing future consent.
Depending on the circumstances, individuals with mental or physical impairments might not be able to give consent. Similarly, individuals who are incapacitated as a result of drugs and alcohol aren’t able to give consent.
Children are never able to give consent.Civil Lawsuits for Sexual Assault
Even though sexual assault is a crime, you might be able to sue the perpetrator in civil court for injuries such as
- Medical treatment
- Psychological trauma
- Loss of wages
- Other damages
Depending on the facts of your sexual assault case, you might be able to sue a third party for liability. For example, if you were sexually assaulted at work, you might be able to sue your employer for failing to perform an adequate background check on the person who assaulted you. If you were sexually assaulted in a parking lot, the property owner could be liable for failing to provide proper lighting or sufficient security measures.
A sexual assault lawyer in Boston will identify all liable parties and make sure you receive maximum compensation for all of your injuries.Consult with an Experienced Sexual Assault Lawyer in Boston
If you’ve been the victim of a sexual assault in Massachusetts, consult with a skilled and experienced sexual assault lawyer in Boston to learn about your options under the law and the steps you can take to receive maximum compensation for your sexual assault injuries. Contact a sexual assault lawyer in Boston as soon as possible to protect your rights under the law.
These are complex, sensitive cases, and they require a sexual assault lawyer in Boston with the proper skills, experience and resources. For example, experts in the field of child psychology and sexual abuse are often needed.
The sexual assault lawyers at the Law Offices of Jeffrey S. Glassman have longstanding, working relationships with experts needed to win these complicated cases. Our lawyers also have the resources needed to pursue sexual assault claims against even the largest organizations, their attorneys and insurance companies. We will not be intimidated in the fight for your rights.
Confidentiality is always a major concern for victims of sexual assault. Our sexual assault lawyers are also discreet and caring. Plus, there are never any fees to you unless we are successful in making a recovery on your behalf.
If you or a loved one has been a victim of sexual assault in Boston or a surrounding area in Massachusetts,contact the Boston personal injury lawyers and sexual assault attorneys at the Law Offices of Jeffrey S. Glassman today at 1-888-367-2900for a free and confidential consultation to discuss your rights.