College Campus Sex Abuse Lawyer
Sexual assault can happen anywhere, any time. Some environments, however, are more conducive to sexual assault and harassment than others. Unfortunately, a college campus is one of them.
Campus sexual abuse can occur in student housing, shared public spaces such as libraries, parking lots, or at parties.
If you or a family member have been the victim of campus sexual assault at a college, boarding school, or university, contact the personal injury attorneys at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC.
In our years of experience, we have helped sexual molestation victims seek compensation. Our sexual assault attorneys will investigate your case and help you fight for justice. Call (888) 424-5757 today for a free case evaluation.
College’s Legal Responsibility to Address Sexual Assault on Campus
An abuse victim does not need to file a complaint alleging sexual misconduct for university officials to act and begin an investigation into what occurred. It is the school’s responsibility to understand what happened and respond appropriately.
Any failure to understand the persistence, severity, or pervasiveness of sexual misconduct at a college limits the student, employee, or faculty member’s participation or benefit in campus activities and educational programs.
University officials are required to respond to any hostile environment existing on campus.
Frequency of Campus Sexual Assault at Universities and Colleges
Sexual abuse is a common occurrence on university campuses across the United States affecting female and male students of every ethnicity, race, and age.
Studies show that approximately twenty percent of women and seventeen percent of men in college are sexually assaulted. Although, many cases go unreported.
Drug and alcohol use are common problems associated with rape due to the victim’s incapacitation. Many of these problems occur within the first year of university study.
In some cases, college-age women and men are sodomized due to their incapacitation and inability to give consent because they cannot know what is occurring.
Peer pressure is also a significant problem for college-age students participating in social activities including partying, binge drinking, and engaging in non-consensual sexual acts.
Defining Sexual Assault in College Setting
Although it varies by state, criminal sexual assault is generally defined as the act of sexual penetration through the use of force or threat of force, or if the perpetrator knows the victim cannot give knowing consent (e.g., due to intoxication).
In some states, the definition is extended to consensual or non-consensual sexual contact, including sexual intercourse, of an adult with a person under age eighteen.
Aggravated sexual molestation usually means that the perpetrator used a weapon in the commission of the crime or committed the crime against a young child.
In 2014, the White House Task Force set goals to protect K-12 and university students from sexual molestation on-campus and off-campus.
Title IX Offer Victims Help After an Episode of Sexual Misconduct on a School Campus
Knowing where to go for help after experiencing sexual assault on campus can help protect your rights as a victim. Title IX of the Education Amendments Act of 1972 ensures the basic right of students attending U.S. schools that receive federal funding to be free from sexual harassment and violence on and off-campus. Under Title IX, most campus sexual assault cases hinge on whether the victim gave consent.
University students victimized by sexual violence should report their experience to school officials where they, should conduct a minimum six-month investigation to identify exactly what happened.
In the meantime, the victim can report the incident to local law enforcement so they can pursue criminal charges against the perpetrator through the criminal justice system.
During the investigation, the school might help the victim of sexual assault relocate to a safe place at the university campus and enroll in counseling.
After reporting the incident to the school and police department, the molestation survivor should contact an experienced sexual assault attorney.
Hiring a sexual assault lawyer to evaluate the victim's sexual misconduct case helps protect their civil rights and hold the perpetrator responsible for civil (financial) damages and possible criminal penalties.
Civil Lawsuits For Damages After a Campus Sexual Assault
A lawsuit is the only legal civil recourse for campus rape to obtain restitution for medical bills, counseling, pain and suffering, lost enjoyment of life, and psychological distress.
Further, the standard of proof of college sexual assault in a civil case is easier to satisfy than in a criminal case, where the accused must be found guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
The outcome of any criminal charges or litigation has no effect on the accuser bringing a successful civil claim. The predator's defense lawyer might drag out the case using due process stall tactics to halter slow down the criminal case.
However, even if prosecutors decide there is not enough evidence to charge the perpetrator with a crime, or if charges are later dropped, or if the outcome of a future trial acquits the perpetrator of the charges, the complainant could still file and win a civil suit.
Because of that, the victim should not let that discourage them from seeking compensation for their injuries.
Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC has experience representing assault survivors in civil claims against schools and other institutions. If you or a loved one is seeking a sexual assault lawyer, we invite you to contact our law firm for a free consultation.
College Campus Sexual Assault FAQs
Below are some frequently asked questions raised by victims of sexual assault in a campus setting. We appreciate that you may have additional questions about your situation. We invite you to contact our campus sexual assault attorneys for a free consultation regarding your legal rights and options for recovery. Call us anytime for a free consultation.
What Is Sexual Misconduct in a School or University Setting?
According to the US Department of Education, any non-consensual sexual act occurring at school or university is considered sexual misconduct.
The unwelcome action of another involving a sexual activity including sexual violence, inappropriate touching, rape, sexual intercourse, genital exposure, or creating a sexually hostile environment without consent is illegal.
How Can Students Consent to Sexual Activity?
Two or more individuals must consent to sexual activity to avoid inappropriate activity. Consent between two adults must be welcomed, unambiguous, affirmed, and a conscious decision by all involved.
Any party can revoke their consent at any time and consent to one sexual activity is not consent to participate in other sexual activities. Also, remaining silent is not consenting to anything.
Underage adolescents and children cannot give their consent by law to engage in any sexual activity whether involving touching or not. Also, consent does not involve physical force, threats, intimidation, or coercion.
How Does Title IX Protect Students From Sexual Abuse and Assault on College Campuses?
In 1972, the Title IX was passed as a federal law to prohibit gender discrimination in all educational institutions that receive financial assistance from the federal government.
While Title IX may be best known for leveling the playing field when it comes to athletic programs for men and women, the law goes beyond athletic programs.
Under Title IX, students in schools and universities are entitled to attend school in an environment that is free from rape, sexual violence, sexual harassment and sexual assault.
When a school learns that a student has been victimized in any of these incidents, the school has a legal duty to take measures to protect students from further harm.
As addressed by the United States Supreme Court, when schools that receive federal funding fail to protect students from a hostile environment is the equivalent of gender discrimination under Title IX and essentially open the door to liability against them.
Are Females the Only Victims of Sexual Assault on College Campuses?
No. According to RAINN (Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network), males and females are victims of inappropriate sexual behavior by members of the opposite sex or same-sex.
Avoiding campus sexual assault and staying safe on the campus requires action to avoid potential perpetrators that include:
- Take time to know an individual before spending time alone
- Never hang out or go to a party unless with a friend
- Make sure every first date occurs in a public place
- Control your drug and alcohol intake
- Never let anyone else take control of your alcohol or drugs
- Seek help right away
- Remain aware of your surroundings
- Have alternate plans to get home
If a Sexual Misconduct Incident Occurs Off-Campus Can the College Investigate?
Yes, colleges and universities are responsible for creating a safe environment for all students, faculty, and visitors. Any sexual misconduct happening on campus, off-campus, or at any college-sponsored program, creates or adversely affects an unwelcome hostile environment at the university.
How Long Do Victims of Sexual Abuse at College Campuses Have to Bring a Lawsuit?
Sexual abuse, rape, or sexual assault survivors at a college campus must initiate a claim against the school or other responsible entities within the statute of limitations.
Your failure to bring a claim within the applicable statute of limitations will forever bar your claim. There are many factors that apply to the statute of limitations including the location of the incident and the parties involved.
Consequently, if you are victim of sexual assault, you should consult with an experienced attorney who can advise you of the applicable law and time for bringing a case.
Contact Us Today to Discuss Your College Campus Sexual Assault Case
The legal team at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC helps university campus sexual molestation victims fight for justice. We have the personnel, resources, and experienced attorneys to guide you through the entire civil claims process in the local state courts and the United States Courts involving federal law.
Contact our law firm today at (888) 424-5757 (toll-free phone call) or through the contact form to schedule a free consultation. All discussions concerning our legal advice and representation remain confidential through an attorney-client relationship.
Our attorneys have handled sexual abuse and assault cases involving the leading universities to hold the college administration, education program, and the U.S. Department of Education responsible for the predator's actions.
We have represented victims from numerous American educational institutions in Illinois, New York, Pennsylvania, and Connecticut, including Northwestern University, University of Chicago, University of Illinois, Southern Illinois University, Northern Illinois University, Bradley University, Illinois State University, College of DuPage, Loyola University, and DePaul University, Columbia University to name a few.
Our lawyers comply with all Covid 19 protocols and currently offer free consultations via telephone, email and video.