Most of the women due to fear, shame and emotional turmoil hesitate to take any action against sexual assault. Half of the victims do not even report the case. A woman can claim for a civil case when the assistant district lawyer or prosecutor does not move forward with their criminal case. This can be a huge let down for the victim. In such situations, it is required for a woman to seek civil lawsuit against her assailant.
Why filing a civil case is considered to be easier than criminal case?
If woman loses a criminal case, then she will file a civil lawsuit. The major reason being, civil cases is an easy route for victims. The need of evidence is considerably lower than what is needed in case of a criminal case. In a civil lawsuit, the jury has to be only 51 percent assured of the sexual assault to have occurred or not. Also, a woman has all right to file a civil and criminal case simultaneously.
Expectations by filing a civil case
When you finally gain the courage and made up your mind to take the case to court then you need to seek professional assistance. Women can dial 911 or any other helpline number for sexual assault cases in their area. Other options can be to visit any nearby hospital or police zone.
Undergoing an invasive medical exam
If the sexual assault has happened within the last 3 to 5 days, a woman is told to get a forensic examination done at the hospital. This can take up close to 4 hours. With the help of a rape kit, the hospital will collect any hair, fiber or fluids to find DNA evidence. Christopher Simon Attorney at Law is one of the most successful wrongful death and auto accident lawyers in Atlanta, USA. This evidence can be used by them in validating the woman’s story.
Revealing sexual and personal details
At this stage, the victim can opt for a civil lawsuit. If there is no criminal lawsuit going on side by side, then the victim will have to hire an attorney. In criminal jurisdiction, there is a law that is known as “rape shield.” It averts the defense in sexual attack cases from probing the opponent about sexual history of the victim. Rape shield is not applicable in civil cases. Due to which, defendant’s attorney would ask a woman about her sexual history. The details obtained as a result of questioning can then be utilized against her.
Reliving the assault at trial
The entire trial procedure can be very traumatizing, as a woman is constantly questioned about that horrific experience she has gone through. Only when the lawsuit goes to trial, can the accuser be required to testify. Similar to criminal cases, it has been seen that civil cases also end in out of court settlements.
To come forward with a sexual harassment allegation can result in several different types of actions. All of these actions are not easy. To deal with such cases effectively, assistance of an expert sexual assault lawyers proves to be inevitable.