Rights & Remedies: Sexual Assault in Colorado
Sexual assault: contact or behavior that occurs without the victim’s consent, including but not limited to attempted rape, unwanted sexual touching, forcing sexual acts, or rape. A ghastly attack that results in an average American being assaulted every 73 seconds and children being victims every 9 minutes. Although more discussion of sexual assault through schools and other platforms has helped educate on the resources for victims, there are still staggering low submissions for reports in assaults. The Department of Justice logs that less than 20% of rapes are actually reported. With 95% of sexual assault cases convicting a perpetrator, it is imperative that victims know there are resources for them to seek help and dedicated lawyers to fight for their rights.
Recovering for Sexual Assault
Being the victim of sexual assault can inflict numerous emotions, from anger to sadness, to scared, but during every moment, it is important to know that attorneys are here to aid in recovery. There are a few areas that attorneys will specifically look at to see where they can gain compensation for the victim.
Medical Expenses – An assault of any kind, especially sexual, may result in physical wounds or health complications in the future, including but not limited to pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases. Victims have the right to take necessary medical action for their injuries, and even receive the psychological treatment they may need following the trauma, without taking on the financial burden on their own. That is where an attorney is crucial.
Pain and Suffering – Along with psychological treatment, pain and suffering are considered compensational items in a lawsuit such as sexual assault. These traumatic experiences can take a piece of the victim’s joy of life, causing severe post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and other types of anxiety. Although an attorney cannot take away the pain, they will help you establish a fiscal figure that can represent that distress.
Punitive Damages – In the most simplistic explanation, this is a legal obligation for the offender to pay on top of any established damages, such as medical expenses or property damage. This is typically used to reinforce the offender’s behavior is discouraged.
Coming Forward in Colorado
Like in other legal matters, it is always best to bring a claim forward sooner rather than later, however, sexual assault cases can vary in so many ways, from how long the assault takes place (days, months, years) to how long a victim may need to process things before approaching law enforcement or an attorney. In Colorado, as in many other states, there are different levels of statutes of limitations based on circumstances.
There are NO limits for any attempt, conspiracy, or solicitation to commit a sex offense against a child (an unlawful sexual offense, as defined in § 18-3-411(1), that is a felony), which includes sexual assault against a child under 15; or
If a felony and paragraph (1) above does not apply, within twenty years after commission of the offense; or
If a felony and victim was under 18 at the time of the commission of the offense, within twenty years after such victim reaches the age of 18; or
If a misdemeanor crime, within five years after the commission of the offense.
When a victim is ready to talk to an attorney, the basic time frames are good to know but at Western States Law, P.C. we offer free advice and consultations without the added pressure of taking steps to file a claim if the victim is not ready. Our consultations are used as a resource, to be an ally, and share knowledge to show the next steps.
Sexual Assault Victim Representation
Fighting for sexual assault compensation is a difficult task both mentally and legally but a trusted, ruthless top Colorado attorney can help ease that burden for the victim. Our team here at Western States Law, P.C. understands the ins and outs of the criminal and civil system in order to best fight for victim’s rights. As in all cases, we will review all of the options with a victim and help navigate the best next steps.
For sound advice and practical help through all stages of this process, contact a dependable Aurora, Colorado attorney. Home, evening, telephone, and weekend visits are available. Initial case evaluation is always free and there are no attorney's fees until we recover for you – call or text us to start your recovering process today.
For additional assistance and information regarding sexual assault, contact the National Sexual Assault Hotline toll-free or online here; they are available 24/7.