Sexual abuse and assault does not just happen in private homes. Unfortunately, these crimes also take place at work where you should feel safe to just focus on your job. If you have been the victim of a sexual crime at work, the first thing you need to do is report it to your human resources department. Your employer must take a report and follow up with the perpetrator. You should also report the abuse or assault to the local authorities.
Tips for Making a Sexual Abuse Claim at Your Job
Sexual harassment is common in the workplace, but you probably have not heard as much about abuse and assault. These actions cross the line from crude comments and threatening behavior to physically violating you in some way.
When you report the incident at work, be sure to put it in writing and document the time and date. The simplest way to create a record of your report is to email the appropriate person in your company’s human resources department. You will automatically have a time and date stamp. Forwarding a copy of the email to yourself and printing out a copy are also important ways to document that you followed the proper procedure.
Your report to the human resources department should include the date, time, and location of the sexual abuse or assault as well. The incident need not have happened at work directly for you to involve your employer. Your co-worker or superior may have committed the criminal act at a company-sponsored event such as a picnic or holiday party.
Keep in mind that you may not be able to remember all details of the attack at the time you make the report. This does not mean you are not telling the truth or simply trying to get someone in trouble. Your mind represses some memories to protect you from feeling overwhelmed, which is a normal part of the healing process.
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What to Expect When Filing a Police Report Complaint
You should contact the police to file a report as soon as possible after the assault and provide as many details as you can remember. If bruises or other signs of injury are still present on your body, you can ask the police or a friend to take pictures to help preserve evidence.
The police may ask you to undergo a physical exam. While this may be uncomfortable, it helps to further document the injuries you sustained and provides irrefutable evidence against your colleague.
You May Have Grounds for Both Criminal and Civil Claim Cases
After you give a statement to police and undergo a medical exam, the police will begin investigating to determine whether sufficient evidence exists to press criminal charges. You should remain available to police and prosecutors to answer questions while your case is under investigation.
People sometimes assume that a court finding a defendant guilty in a criminal case will result in them receiving reimbursement for their injuries and mental suffering. If you intend to file a lawsuit against the perpetrator directly, that takes place in civil court. A winning lawsuit could provide you with compensation for medical expenses, missed time from work, mental suffering such as post-traumatic stress disorder, and several other potential categories.
You can also consider a civil case against your employer in certain situations.
For example, you may have complained about the person who sexually abused you in the past. Your employer did nothing about your complaint, and you had no choice but to continue working directly with the person who later assaulted you.
Another common example is an employer refusing to fire or discipline an employee who has committed sexual assault. You would have a strong case that your employer’s lack of action caused your ongoing trauma. Yet another possibility is that your employer put you in a situation that exposed you to the risk of sexual abuse or assault such as not installing cameras in the parking lot.
Contact Andrew Pickett Law Firm to Support You with Sexual Abuse and Sexual Harassment at Work
You have rights as a sexual abuse victim in Florida. Please contact Andrew Pickett Law today to request an initial consultation to learn more about filing a lawsuit in civil court.