Being a victim of sexual assault is a complicated, intensely personal experience. Besides the event itself, the trauma is often ongoing as victims grapple with how to move forward. At Dordulian Law Group, we’ve been working alongside victims of sexual assault for years — and we’ve learned that there is no “right way,” or “one way” to be a victim. Everyone heals in their own way, and in their own time. The most important thing is to realize that you’re not alone, and help is always available.
With the rise of the #MeToo movement, we’ve recently seen a much-needed shift in our social narrative. We’re learning that sexual assault and abuse is actually incredibly common in today’s world. We’ve learned that, often, delicate power dynamics cause victims to stay silent out of fear of retribution, shame, or being disbelieved.
That’s why it’s so incredibly important to communicate to sexual assault survivors that it’s more than okay to come forward and speak your truth. You will be supported. You will be believed. And you will have the opportunity, through your voice, to ensure that others aren’t victimized in the future.
As we’ve said, there is no single correct way to deal with the fallout of sexual assault. Our sexual assault attorneys have seen victims of all different personality types choose to handle their unique circumstances in their own way. Some want to shout about their assault from the rooftops, while others prefer to remain private about their experience. But above all, there is one thing that we try to communicate to each and every sexual assault survivor that walks through our doors: what happened to you is not your fault, and you are not alone in your journey towards healing.
Do sexual assault victims have legal options? Of course they do. For sexual assault survivors who want to take action against their assailant, there are two main legal avenues available: criminal and civil. Importantly, you should know that a criminal investigation or trial does not prevent you from simultaneously pursuing civil action (or pursuing it afterwards). In fact, a criminal case or judgment can actually make your civil case that much stronger.
Criminal sexual assault cases result in prison sentences for guilty offenders. Civil cases, on the other hand, can result in substantial financial settlements or awards for the victim. Nobody is suggesting that a pile of cash suddenly makes your victimization or your trauma instantly better. However, those funds can be used to help restore normalcy in your life and compensate you for the suffering you’ve endured.
If you have been a victim of sexual assault, and you’re ready to come forward, we’re standing by 24/7 to protect and advocate for you once you do. Dordulian Law Group is a discreet, compassionate, safe place for you to privately discuss your rights and options in the wake of this traumatic event.
If you’re suffering in silence, please remember that you’re not alone. Help is available, and it does get better.
Our law firm in Glendale, CA advocates for victims of sexual assault, injury, employment disputes, and workers compensation concerns.