Rapes and sexual assaults are the most heinous crimes imaginable. The criminal justice system provides for prosecution of perpetrators, but victims deserve justice from all responsible parties and compensation for the emotional and physical injuries they suffered.
Rapes & Sexual Assaults Happen Too Often
Statistics regarding rape and sexual abuse are startling: every 73 seconds, a person in the United States is sexual assaulted. 44% of victims are under the age of 18, and 80% of the victims are under the age of 30. College campuses in Georgia are where many rapes and sexual assaults occur. It is estimated that for every 1,000 women attending a college or university, there are 35 incidents of rape each academic year. Freshmen and sophomores are at greater risk for victimization than juniors and seniors, and most victims of physically forced or incapacitated sexual assault were assaulted by someone they knew.
Civil Cases Are Different Than Criminal Cases
The job and focus of prosecutors and district attorneys is to prosecute those who commit these crimes. Through the civil justice system, victims have the ability to hold not only the perpetrator accountable, but also any other person or entity that contributed to the rape or sexual assault. Many times, a perpetrator is aided by friends, by a location that did not provide adequate security, or by an opportunity that resulted from another’s negligence. Responsible parties can be ordered to pay for damages you have suffered, including pain and suffering, emotional distress, medical expenses, lost wages, and counseling.
What you must prove in a civil lawsuit is very different than what a prosecutor must prove in a criminal trial. In a civil case, you must prove your case by a “preponderance of the evidence,” which simply means you must convince a jury that what you say is more likely than not true. A preponderance burden is much less than “reasonable doubt,” which is what prosecutors must prove their case by. This significant difference makes civil lawsuits an important avenue for victims to consider, in addition to aiding the police in the criminal investigation.
The legal system can never take back what happened, but it can provide some amount of justice for the victim. Atlanta personal injury lawyer Mike Rafi is here to help.
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