As a sexual assault survivor, whether you want to report a situation of abuse is your decision. Right now, you’re in control of what happens next. If you want to report sexual abuse to the authorities, you’re well within your rights. If not, that’s fine. You can take the time you need to focus on your health and well-being.
Why Report an Instance of Sexual Assault?
If you have experienced sexual assault, you may wonder why you should report it. Here are some things to consider:
- You gather evidence for a civil case. You need evidence to hold another party accountable for what you experienced. By reporting the incident to the authorities (whether law enforcement or an institution), you create a “paper trail” about what happened. Later, you can use the report to build your case against the liable party.
- You could prevent another person from being assaulted. The perpetrator in your case could be a repeat offender, meaning they abuse others when given the opportunity. Repeat offenders are often in positions of power and abuse their position to hurt others. By reporting sexual assault, you can bring an investigation into this person’s background and remove them from situations where they can abuse others.
- You give yourself peace of mind. You have rights as a sexual assault survivor in Florida. Reporting the incident could provide you access to various resources to help you move forward.
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You May Have to Report Sexual Assault if You’re a Mandated Reporter
You might not be a survivor of sexual assault. Instead, you may be what Florida considers a “mandated reporter.” Per the Florida Courts, these professionals must report suspected instances of abuse:
- Law enforcement officials
- Social workers
- Nursing home employees
- Daycare workers
- Mental health professionals
If you’re a professional who suspects another person has experienced sexual assault, you must report the instance via the appropriate channels. For example, if you’re a teacher, you should notify your school’s administrators. If you’re a nursing home employee, you could report the incident to the Florida Department of Health. You can also call 911 if someone is in immediate danger.
By failing to report such an instance of sexual abuse, you risk losing your job and professional licenses.
Your Options for Reporting Sexual Assault
According to the Rape Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN), survivors have these options for reporting sexual assault:
- Calling the police. As noted, if you’re in immediate danger, call 911. Law enforcement can take a statement and investigate the details of your assault.
- Visiting a healthcare provider. If you visit a healthcare provider for assault-related injuries, you can ask them to report the incident to the police. You can also ask for a sexual assault forensic exam. The information from this exam can serve as evidence in your civil case.
- Contacting law enforcement. You can call your local police station’s direct line or notify your college campus’s police department (if applicable).
RAINN offers a host of resources on its website for sexual assault survivors. You can learn about finding a healthcare facility that focuses on sexual assault, connect with advocates in your area, and more.
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You Have Legal Options Following a Sexual Assault Incident
You can file a civil lawsuit against the party responsible for the sexual assault. You can seek damages related to your medical bills, lost income, and other related expenses through a claim or lawsuit. The liable party in your case could be a public institution, government organization, or another party responsible for your well-being.
You Can Partner with a Sexual Assault Lawyer in Florida
Your sexual abuse lawyer is more than a legal professional. They’re a trusted advocate in your fight for justice. You deserve this time to focus on your well-being, health, and social life. You shouldn’t have to relive a traumatizing experience by building a personal injury case.
Your lawyer can:
- Gather the information needed to build your case
- Identify the at-fault and liable parties
- Communicate with the involved parties on your behalf
- Assert your right to damages
- Negotiate with the liable party
- Protect you from other parties’ retaliation
- Consult with field experts and witnesses
Your lawyer can also empower you to make decisions regarding your civil case. That way, you can have control over your case and how it progresses.
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Call Andrew Pickett Law, PLLC for More Information
If you’re a survivor of sexual abuse and want to report the incident, our team is here to support you. Our sexual abuse attorney and team of paralegals handle these cases with the utmost care. During your free case review, you can learn about your case’s merits and options for pursuing financial recovery.
To connect with our lawyer and paralegals, call today.
Call or text 321-503-4014 or complete a Free Case Evaluation form