Texas Attorney for Sexual Assault Victims
Sexual assault, sexual harassment, rape, and molestation are all related events that can cause the victim immense physical and mental/emotional trauma. Abusers who seek to take advantage of others should be held accountable for their actions. In so many cases, the criminal justice system fails survivors of these kinds of assaults, and the best way to get justice might be to talk to a lawyer about filing a civil suit or personal injury lawsuit against the assailant.
For help with your case, contact The Queenan Law Firm. Our Texas attorney for sexual assault victims fights to help survivors of sexual assault and other events get compensation for their injuries and the pain and suffering they faced as well as punitive damages against their abuser. For help with your case, contact our law offices for a free, confidential legal consultation about what happened to you. Our number is (817) 476-1797.
Does What Happened to Me Count as “Sexual Assault” in Texas?
The definition of “sexual assault” is often a very loose one, and different people might use the term differently in various situations. Legally speaking, any harmful or offensive touching done without the victim’s consent is known as “battery,” and putting someone in fear of such harm is known as “assault.” Under Texas’ criminal laws, hitting someone or touching them in a harmful way is called “assault,” so all kinds of offensive touching are usually referred to as some form of “assault.”
Sexual Assault vs. Molestation
Typically, the line between what counts as being “molested” and what counts as being “sexually assaulted” are blurred. If someone puts their hands on someone else in a sexual way, that might be referred to by either name. However, in either case, it could legally meet the definition of assault and battery, and if the touching is done in a sexualized way, it should qualify as sexual assault.
Sexual Assault vs. Rape
“Sexual assault” is often blurred with the term “rape” as well since so many states (including Texas) use the term “sexual assault” instead of “rape” to refer to nonconsensual sex. In some states, if someone uses drugs, force, threat of injury, or a weapon to force someone into having sex with them, it is called “rape” instead of “sexual assault.” Texas law calls this sort of situation “aggravated sexual assault.” There are other crimes with other names that also cover similar conduct, especially when the victim is a child.
Generally speaking, any of these events could be called “sexual assault,” and it is important to talk to a lawyer about seeking justice for any kind of unwanted sexual touching or rape.
Sexual Assault vs. Sexual Harassment
The one thing that usually will not automatically qualify as “sexual assault” is “sexual harassment.” Sexual harassment typically refers to unwanted sexual advances, rude language, and inappropriate behaviors. Sexual harassment can also refer to a request to trade sexual favors for some kind of benefits (usually employment benefits).
These things may involve touching, but that is not a core element to qualify as “sexual harassment.” If someone does put their hands on you, what happened becomes sexual assault as well as sexual harassment.
Suing for Sexual Assault in Texas
There are many options that Texas victims of sexual assault and other forms of abuse have to seek compensation. Going to the police and seeking criminal charges against the person who abused you could lead to an arrest and criminal penalties, but the criminal justice system often does little to help the victim recover from the injuries and the mental/emotional distress of the events. In addition to (or instead of) going to the police, you should speak to a personal injury lawyer like those at The Queenan Law Firm about filing a civil lawsuit in Texas.
If you file a criminal case against your assailant, you still have the right to take your case to civil court separately. This can help you get compensation for the injuries and harms you suffered. Civil courts deal with “torts” instead of crimes, and they often work to pay victims for their injuries and the expenses related to them. This could mean seeking compensation from your abuser for the injuries you faced, the mental and emotional effects of the assault, the cost of medical bills, the cost of mental health care related to the trauma, and other expenses.
Civil lawsuits can also result in punitive damages in many cases. These are additional damages that the at-fault party is ordered to pay to the victim to punish the at-fault party for what they did. In sexual assault cases where the assailant committed the assault as part of their job at a school, a camp, business, a church, or some other institution, that institution can often be punished as well. In many of these cases, the victim can receive substantial compensation, especially if there is some institution involved that turned a blind eye to the risks an employee presented or failed to address past allegations of sexual assault and molestation.
Under Texas law, there are strict deadlines you have to meet to have your case heard in court. Talk to an attorney as soon as you can about filing your case on time.
Call Our Texas Sexual Assault Victim Attorney for a Free Consultation
If you were the victim of sexual assault, molestation, rape, or sexual abuse in Texas, contact The Queenan Law Firm for help with your case. You might be entitled to file a civil claim for damages that can help you move forward after serious trauma. Call our Arlington, TX personal injury attorney for sexual assault victims today to set up a free, confidential legal consultation where you can learn more about your options and what you can do to hold your assailant accountable for the harm they caused you. Call us today at (817) 476-1797 to set up a free, confidential consultation with our Texas attorneys.