Are you or a loved one suffering from anguish after a sexual assault? You may be looking for answers regarding:

  • Will I ever recover from this?
  • How could this have been prevented?
  • How can I hold accountable the people who allowed this to happen?

We are here to help you find closure during this extremely painful time.

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We understand the pain you're going through. When you're ready, we're here to help you find accountability.

— Michael Monheit, Esq.

Sexual assault and rape are some of the most traumatic experiences a human being can go through. The victims of these crimes often struggle with emotional and psychological ailments for years or even decades after the attack.

Unfortunately, the trauma doesn't end once the assault is over. Many victims are hesitant to even report the crime because of the culture of victim-blaming and skepticism that still surrounds sexual crimes even today. In fact, rape is the most under-reported crime - 63% of victims do not report the crime to the police.

Why Don't More Victims Speak Out?

There are several reasons why so many victims decide to stay silent. Unless you've been a victim yourself, it may be difficult to understand at first.

Familiarity With Attackercrying darkhaired girl

In 60% of sexual assaults, the victim was assaulted by an intimate partner, friend, relative, or acquaintance. This creates all kinds of complications for those who do speak out. Others who are close to the attacker are often hesitant to accept that a close friend or family member is capable of such a horrific crime. They often resort to denial and accuse the victim of lying, or worse - blame the victim.

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Extended Trauma

Additionally, many victims want to do everything they can to forget the incident and move on as quickly as possible. Reporting the rape means that you can't shower or change out of the clothes you were wearing during the assault in order to preserve evidence. It means you have to subject yourself to an invasive examination after having just been violated. It means the police might look at you skeptically and ask accusatory questions, such as what you were wearing or how much you had to drink.

As a culture, we need to do more to encourage all people to take accusations of sexual assault more seriously and to end the culture of victim-blaming. When the first Cosby accuser made headlines, too many people were quick to accuse her of chasing money. It was only after dozens of other women spoke out that mainstream society accepted the reality that a formerly beloved television hero was, in fact, a sexual predator.

Who Can Be A Victim Of Rape?

Although 91% of rape victims are female, it's important to remember that anyone can become a victim. Unfortunately, many people still look at female-on-male rape as a joke. Men are also extremely unlikely to report sexual assault because of this common perception. Rape can happen in between any two genders and between any two age groups.

Child Sex Crime Victims

There is nothing in life more disturbing than a predatory adult taking advantage of a child. Far too often, these victims are scared to speak out for fear of repercussions. In 93% of child sex abuse cases, the predator is close to the victim. This includes family members, friends and acquaintances of the parents, and authority figures such as priests and educators.

The pain of being a sexual abuse victim as a child creates scars which may never heal. Many victims struggle with psychological ailments for the rest of their lives. As a society, we need to do more to hold these predators responsible for preying upon the most vulnerable among us.

Cultures of Complicity

In many cases, the institutions which employ these predators are equally culpable in the abuse. Many powerful people close to the predator go into denial, or worse, sweep evidence under the rug in an effort to protect public perception. We've all hear about the cover-ups of sexual abuse by the Catholic Church. And more recently, all Pennsylvania residents are familiar with the institutional cover-ups of sexual abuse by Penn State University.

Resources For Victimssad young boy

If you or a family member has been victimized, know that you don't have to go through this alone. There are many resources out there that can help guide you through this painful time:

Legal Options

In many rape and sexual assault cases, the negligence of a third party played some role in the incident. We believe it's important to hold these individuals and organizations responsible when a preventable sexual assault happens due to their negligence. Property owners and authority figures have a duty to keep premises safe and to reduce the risk of crime as much as possible. Examples of locations that need to be properly safeguarded include:

  • Apartment buildings
  • Bars and nightclubs
  • Schools and universities
  • Parking lots
  • Places of employment

There are a variety of negligent acts which can occur before, during, or after the assault. Common examples include:

  • Inadequate or incompetent security
  • Inadequate lighting in outdoor areas
  • Management attempting to cover up the incident to save face (e.g. University officials in campus rapes)
  • Failure to perform criminal background checks on employees or tenants
  • Failure to contact the police

Holding the perpetrator criminally responsible is the top priority in these cases. But like most crimes, in rapes and sexual assaults there are often several peripheral factors which allowed the crime to happen. It's important to ask ourselves how others could have stepped in to reduce the risk of such a heinous crime happening on their property or in their institutions.

Financial compensation won't erase the past. But the reality is that victims face a wide range of difficulties in the aftermath of a sexual assault. Many victims require extensive therapy, and not all of them have the financial means to afford it. Additionally, many victims have their professional lives affected. A successful lawsuit can help to punish those who could have prevented the crime, and to help victims more easily move on with their lives.

We understand the deep pain you're experiencing right now. The thought of filing a lawsuit may seem overwhelming, but it could also help you to recover more quickly. When you're ready to pursue your legal options, we'll be ready to listen.

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