411: The “Civil” Component of a Sexual Harassment and/or Abuse Case
Don’t misconstrue the title of this blog—indeed, there is absolutely nothing civil (courteous) about sexual harassment or abuse; the two are vile practices that occur far too often in societies all across the world. Rather, what this blog intends to explore is the civil litigation aspect of sexual harassment or sexual abuse case.
Yes, sexual harassment, depending on the manner in which it manifests itself, and sexual abuse in many if not most of its forms, are against the law and can be prosecuted by the State. However, seeing your attacker charged by prosecutors is not the only form of restitution you are allowed; you suffered far more than simply being part of someone’s unlawful act. If you suffered as a result of your sexual harassment or sexual abuse, as many victims do, you can certainly file a civil suit against your harasser/attacker for the damage they caused you.
Just as you would after a traumatic car accident, the consequences of experiencing sexual harassment can include psychological damage, parenting issues, employment problems, necessitated drug and/or alcohol abuse, etc. In many cases, these types of issues – as opposed to a bruised arm or an aching back – can lead to far more permanent and detrimental pain than other types of injuries. Because of these “below the surface” injuries that you might suffer as the victim of sexual misconduct, you can sue the person who caused you these injuries for compensation to cover the damages you’ve incurred. While there is clearly no amount of money that can rid your mind and body of the horrible experience(s) of being sexually harassed or abused, there are ways to mitigate the financial burden that managing the stress related to the awful experiences has imposed.
The cost of psychological and therapeutic assistance in dealing with the awful consequences of sexual harassment or abuse are steep, but because the emotional cost of not dealing with the trauma is even steeper, the right course of action is to seek help that can aid in your recovery. You were not the cause of your psychological injuries, nor were they the result of some unavoidable “act of God.” Someone acted in an improper – perhaps illegal – manner and caused these injuries and said the person should be held liable for the out-of-pocket costs you’ve incurred in dealing with the injuries, just as a negligent driver would be held responsible for the medical bills incurred by someone who was hit by the negligent driver’s car.
If you have been the victim of sexual harassment or abuse, whether, in the form of verbal harassment or physical, unwanted sexual advances, you have rights beyond the right to see your harasser/attacker charged in court. If you find yourself in a situation in which you have been the recipient of unwanted sexual advances of any type, please reach out to us for a free confidential consultation by contacting 561-266-9191 or firstname.lastname@example.org.