Sexual assault is any unwanted sexual contact or activity. It can take many forms, including rape, attempted rape, and other forms of non-consensual physical contact. Sexual assaults can happen to anyone regardless of gender identity or sexual orientation.
What is Sexual Battery?
Sexual battery is a form of sexual assault that involves physical contact without the victim’s consent. It includes unwelcome touching such as groping, fondling, and even forced kissing. Sexual battery does not necessarily involve penetration and does not necessarily involve intercourse.
Differences Between Sexual Assault & Sexual Battery
The main difference between sexual assault and sexual battery lies in how the crime is defined. While sexual assault generally applies to any unwanted or non-consensual physical contact, sexual battery specifically requires an act of physical contact without the victim’s consent. In other words, while sexual assault can be verbal abuse or a threat, sexual battery must involve some form of bodily contact for it to be considered a crime.
Another difference between the two crimes is that sexual assault typically includes penetration and intercourse, while sexual battery does not necessarily involve either. However, both crimes may result in severe physical and psychological harm to the victim and should be taken seriously. It’s important to understand that these two types of crimes are separate offenses under criminal law and can have different penalties depending on their severity.
What Damages Can Be Recovered in a Sexual Abuse Lawsuit?
One of the most important aspects of a sexual assault lawsuit is the recovery of damages. Victims are entitled to compensation for physical and emotional pain, suffering, medical costs, and other losses related to the abuse. These damages can be both economic and non-economic in nature.
Economic damages compensate victims for financial losses such as current or future lost wages, medical expenses, counseling costs, childcare expenses, and more. Non-economic damages are awarded for intangible losses such as pain and suffering, emotional distress, and loss of enjoyment of life. In some cases, punitive damages may also be available if the conduct was intentional, malicious, or grossly negligent.
In addition to the categories of recoverable damages mentioned above, incidental costs such as attorneys’ fees, court costs, and investigation expenses can be recovered. Depending on the state where the case is filed, victims may also be entitled to additional damages such as loss of consortium or spousal support.
What is the First Thing I Should Do If I’ve Been Sexual Assaulted?
If you have been the victim of sexual assault, it is vital to seek medical attention immediately. Sexual assault can cause physical and emotional trauma, so seeking help from a qualified healthcare professional is critical. It is also essential to report the assault to law enforcement as soon as possible so that an investigation can be conducted and evidence collected for use in your legal case. Additionally, it is advisable to speak with an experienced sexual abuse attorney who can explain your rights and advise you on how best to proceed with a civil lawsuit against the perpetrator or any other parties involved. Call us today to see how our law firm can help.