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 assault can occur in student housing, shared public spaces such as libraries, parking lots, or at parties.
If you or your child has been the victim of campus sexual assault at an Illinois college, boarding school or university, contact Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC. In our years of experience, we have helped dozens of sexual assault victims seek compensation. Our attorneys will investigate your case and help you fight for justice. Call (888) 424-5757 today for your free consultation.
Defining Sexual Assault
Although it varies by state, criminal sexual assault is generally defined as the act of sexual penetration through 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 nonconsensual sexual contact of an adult with a person under age 18.
Aggravated sexual assault usually means that the perpetrator used a weapon in commission of the crime or committed the crime against a young child.
How to get Help After a Campus Sex Assault
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.
Once you report your experience to school officials, your school should take one to six months to conduct an investigation. In the meantime, you can still report the incident to local police so they can pursue criminal charges against the perpetrator. During the investigation, the school may be able to help you relocate to a safe place and enroll in counseling.
After reporting the incident to the school and police department, you should contact an experienced sexual assault attorney. Hiring a lawyer to look into your case can protect your rights and hold the perpetrator responsible for civil (financial) damages in addition to possible criminal penalties. A civil lawsuit can be the only way to obtain restitution for your medical bills, pain and suffering, lost enjoyment of life, and psychological distress. Further, the standard of proof 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 your ability to bring a successful civil claim. In other words, 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, you can still file and win a civil suit, so you should not let that discourage you from seeking compensation for your injuries.
Contact Us Today to Discuss Your College Campus Sexual Assault Case
At Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers, we help campus sexual assault victims fight for justice. We have the personnel, resources, and compassion to guide you through the entire civil claims process. Contact us for a free, confidential consultation.
Our attorneys are familiar with many of the leading universities in the area including: Northwestern University, University of Chicago, University if Illinois, Southern Illinois University, Northern Illinois University, Bradley University, Illinois State University, College of DuPage, Loyola University and DePaul University to name a few.