Month: June 2016

My Daughter Was Sexually Assaulted At College, What Can I Do?

If your daughter is sexually assaulted at college, there are things you can do to protect her and hold her assaulter liable for his crimes.

1) Ensure Her Safety and Health

If someone assaulted your daughter, your first thought may be to go after the person who did it. We will assist you with holding that person liable; however, as difficult as it may be, you first need to focus on ensuring your daughter’s safety and getting her the care she needs after such a traumatic event. This care may involve:

Talk to Police

Ask your daughter to report the assault to the police. If you are within driving distance, consider taking your daughter to the police station so she has support.

Your daughter should provide as much information as she can about the assailant and the assault. Make sure she knows to share everything, even if she thinks it is unimportant.

The attack will likely be difficult for your daughter to discuss, especially in front of one or both of her parents. While you likely want to stay with her every second to ensure her protection, you might consider leaving the room so she feels more comfortable discussing the attack and what led to it. Any details she gives the police can help convict her attacker and hold him liable.

Seek Immediate Medical Treatment

Make sure that your daughter goes to the emergency room or your family doctor. If your daughter is up to it, have her ask the doctor to perform a rape kit. This will involve a full workup from a medical professional that specializes in sexual assault examinations. The doctor will collect various samples (e.g., blood, bodily fluids, skin cells) for DNA testing.

Ask your daughter to avoid showering or changing clothes before going to the hospital to avoid destroying any evidence. Medical records and test results can be the evidence we need to hold the perpetrator liable for the assault.

Note: Your daughter can, and should, request both pregnancy and STD tests. However, she may have to wait a few weeks for infections or pregnancy to show up on a test.

Give Your Daughter the Support She Needs

A sexual assault is a terrifying experience. Make sure you support your daughter as much as possible. Make yourself available whenever she needs help and look for warning signs of substance abuse or self-harm.

Note: Remind her that it is not her fault. This is true regardless of what she was wearing or doing at the time, as well as who her attacker was and whether they had previously been intimate.

Seek Therapy

Sexual assault can have a serious impact on the victim and the victim’s family for years to come. Many victims suffer from depression, anxiety, insomnia, eating disorders, and other physical and emotional difficulties after the assault.

The victim’s family may also experience sadness, frustration, and guilt as a result of the attack. Therapy and psychological treatment can be the best way to handle some of these issues. The victim and victim’s family can also use these therapy sessions to work on their relationships and family unity.

2) Help Us Hold Your Daughter’s Attacker Responsible

When a young woman is the victim of a sexual assault, she has the option of filing a lawsuit against the perpetrator in civil court.

Civil court allows victims to recover financially from their assailant, regardless of whether the attacker faced a day in criminal court. It also allows family members to go after the attacker in a safe way.

When we file a civil lawsuit against your daughter’s attacker, we will prove his guilt by a preponderance of the evidence. This means that we must show that it is more likely than not that the defendant committed the crime. If your suit is successful, you and your daughter may recover damages for pain and suffering, medical expenses, lost wages, and many other costs.

While we will handle the legal aspects of the case for you, if you have any evidence you think would be helpful, feel free to discuss it with us. Any photos or videos of the attack as well as any text messages between your daughter and her attacker can be vital to proving our case.

Note: Depending on the circumstances surrounding the attack, we might also be able to hold a third party, such as the school, liable.

Trust Your Case to Our Team

Sending your daughter off to college can be an exciting and emotional time. However, if someone assaulted your daughter, this experience can become a nightmare. Edwards Pottinger LLC understands that young victims of sexual assault are vulnerable and need as much support as possible.

By filing a lawsuit against the person responsible for this devastating act, your family can ensure the attacker pays for his crime and focus on your daughter’s recovery. Call 954-524-2820 to speak to a qualified attorney about your case.