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Institutional Sexual Assualt

Philadelphia Institutional Sexual Assault Lawyer

Sexual assault is a crime. It is often difficult for those who were assaulted to confront the person that hurt them.
As the victim of sexual assault, you need someone sensitive to your situation. You need someone to help with your legal questions.
You may feel powerless. We want to help give the power back to you.

Pursuing a civil case can be hard for the victim of a sexual assault. Your lawyer will need to ask you sensitive questions. Rest assured, we help people affected by institutional sexual assault.

What Is Institutional Sexual Assault?

It can be more difficult when the assault happens at the workplace, church, or school. These places are supposed to be safe. When the assault is enabled or hidden by executives, clergy, or teachers they are also responsible for the abuse. This is commonly referred to as institutional sexual abuse.
Most institutional sexual assault cases settle without ever appearing in court. There will be an investigation to determine the extent of abuse. It is likely you will still need to speak in a closed deposition with other lawyers.

Investigation of a civil case involves 3 factors.

1. The Ability To Collect – Being able to collect compensation that helps a sexual assault victim afford medical, and mental health care. Believe it or not, when pursuing any civil case determining if it’s even possible to collect money is an early part of the process. Additionally, if there is no money, a civil lawsuit may not help. An experienced attorney can help figure out if a financial recovery is possible. Establishing all parties involved in the assault can give a better picture of where money might be available to help the victim recover.
2. Damages – Using physical, emotional, and economic injuries to determine the damages. We work to establish treatment costs and duration.
3. Liability – Determining who is responsible. This could be one or several people. A business, church, school, or institution could be held liable in certain circumstances.

Identifying Those Responsible

While it may seem obvious who is the criminal and who is the victim. Sometimes there are other key operators in an institutional sexual assault case. Third parties and insurance can be responsible for the cost of recovery. Additionally, this is where assault victims can seek financial compensation for their recovery. Was someone else aware of the assault and allowed it to happen without reporting it?

Employers may be held liable if an employee or contractor is on the clock when the assault occurs. This is also possible if the assault happens on business property. Employers have a duty to research the people they hire.

Daycare facilities, churches, and anyone trusted with the care of children need to have safeguards in place to prevent adults from being alone with children.
Any company, church, institution, care facility, or person with knowledge of a suspected sexual assault needs to report it to the police.

Examples of Institutional Sexual Assault Liability

  • Landlord or property management with knowledge of a broken lock or door that doesn’t close properly, but doesn’t fix it. A tenant is assaulted by an assailant gaining access via the damaged lock or door.
  • A college that knows a student has the propensity to sexually assault people. The college does not expel the student and the student has access to assault others as a result.
  • Nursing homes and retirement communities – If another resident makes unwanted advances and the staff has been notified but fails to take precautionary measures to protect the victim before the assault occurred.
  • A transportation provider (bus, train, plane, boat) continues to serve alcohol to a passenger that is drunk and they assault another passenger.
  • A church that is aware of an employee or volunteer allegedly assaulted someone and continues to give them access to other potential victims.
  • A mental health facility – when staff is aware of a potential sexual relationship but doesn’t take measures to keep the patients separated.
  • Unlawful sexual harassment at work.

Pursuing A Civil Case Against Sexual Assault

First and foremost, sexual assault victims should work with police first to pursue criminal charges against the attacker. Both the criminal and civil cases will rely on evidence, which will be collected and preserved by police. It will also be important to seek help from medical and mental health professionals while working through the trauma of the experience.

Sexual Assault Statute Of Limitations

Generally, when considering a civil case the statute of limitations is two years. The laws are a little different in sexual assault cases. In PA, children who are assaulted have another 12 years after the day they turn 18 to file a claim. In New Jersey, parents have 2 years from the date of reasonable discovery when their child was assaulted. You can read more about the sexual assault statute of limitations for each state here.

Questions About Institutional Sexual Assault Liability Cases

For any questions you might have, contact us. We offer free and confidential consultations. Our lawyers can answer any questions you have about your situation and give you advice on how to proceed.

Institutional Sexual Assualt FAQs
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