If you are here because you have been sexually assaulted, then we know you are going through an incredibly difficult time. There is no amount of compensation that will erase what has happened, but we want you to know that filing a civil suit can be your way of seeking justice from the person who assaulted you.
Soloff & Zervanos, P.C. has the experience you need to successfully pursue the compensation you deserve for all of the physical and emotional pain you have suffered from because of the assault. When you need a Manhattan sexual assault attorney, call us today.
This Is Never Okay
In the state of New York, sexual assault charges are levied on perpetrators under Penal Code Sections 130.52 – 130.70, Forcible Touching and Sexual Abuse Offenses.
Sexual assault is a broad term used to describe many things that a perpetrator can do to a victim. Sexual assault can include:
- Any unwanted or forced sexual act performed on someone or in which someone was forced to perform on a perpetrator.
- Any unwanted sexual touching. This includes outside or underneath clothing.
- Exposure to or being forced to watch sex acts or pornography.
- Someone exposing themselves to a victim.
- Sexual harassment, including making inappropriate sexual comments.
Sexual assault can happen anywhere. The National Sexual Violence Resource Center tells us that:
- One in five women and one in 71 men will be raped during their lifetime.
- One in three women and one in six men experience some form of contact sexual violence.
- 91% of victims of rape and sexual assault are female, and 9% are male.
You may wonder who commits sexual assault. In some cases, the perpetrator is a stranger. In most cases though, sexual assault is perpetrated by someone that the victim knows.
- 51.1% of female victims are raped by an intimate partner and 40.8% by an acquaintance.
- In eight of 10 cases of rape, the victim knows the perpetrator.
- Eight percent of rapes happen at work.
The effects of sexual assault are lifelong. Many people think that the only expense that a rape or sexual assault victim faces are medical costs in the immediate aftermath of an incident. However, we know that this is not the case.
- Over 80% of women and 35% of men report emotional and psychological damages as a result of sexual assaults. Often, this is in the form of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
- Counseling for victims of assault may be necessary for long periods of time.
Were You Assaulted in the Past?
The Manhattan sexual assault attorneys at Soloff & Zervanos, P.C. understand the sensitive legal matters that arise following a sexually based attack. It can often take time for the victim in a sex assault case to feel comfortable enough to face their attacker in a court of law. Sometimes the criminal justice system fails victims of sexually-based offenses, leaving victims with only the civil courts to hold their abusers accountable.
In 2019, the state of New York enacted the Child Victim’s Act, an important piece of legislation that advances the rights of victims in their pursuit of accountability for the perpetrators that did them harm. This Act extends the time frame that sexual assault victims have to come forward and report their abusers to authorities. It applies not just to victims of sexual assault, but to sex abuse, molestation, and rape victims too, effectively extending the criminal statute of limitations by 5 years for victims.
The Child Victim’s Act offers the following help for victims of sexually based crimes:
- It gives child sex abuse survivors until age 25 or 28 depending on the nature of the offense committed against them—whether it is a misdemeanor or felony.
- The Act allows child sex abuse survivors more time to bring a civil case against the abuser and collect monetary damages for their previous trauma. Victims have until age 55 to seek damages.
- It permits claims against both private and public institutions without the requirement to give notice of claim. This opens up easier civil actions against state and local municipalities and school districts, among others.
- The Act trains judges to be better equipped to handle cases of child sex abuse.
It is important that victims of sexual assault understand that even if the criminal statute of limitations has expired in their case, they may still get justice—even if not in the traditional sense—by holding their abusers to account monetarily. In doing so, you not only receive some form of compensation for previous trauma due to the assault, but you also punish the perpetrator, calling attention to the abuser’s actions, which may thwart future attacks of other victims.
Remember, it isn’t just the perpetrator who may be held to account. In some instances, the institution for which the abuser works may also be liable. For example, if the attacker in your sexual assault case held a position of trust in your church, then the church may be held to account for your attack, especially if they covered up for the attacker. The same is true for attacks perpetrated by other employees or representatives of other institutions and entities.
How We Can Help Now
We want you to know that you did not deserve to be sexually assaulted and that we will be by your side as you work to seek justice. Our Manhattan sexual assault attorneys at Soloff & Zervanos, P.C. has the experience you need to go after compensation for all of the expenses you have or will encounter due to the assault.
When you need a Manhattan sexual assault attorney, our knowledgeable and experienced team will work to secure the following:
- Pain and suffering damages
- Lost wages and benefits if you lost your job or were unable to work
- Compensation for and counseling needed
- Punitive damages against the person or people responsible