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Civil Lawsuits: Holding Organizations Accountable for Sexual Assault

Jan 23, 2018 | By , on Personal Injury.

Sexual assault can have long-lasting and far reaching consequences. Victims may need to incur medical treatment to address physical and mental injuries caused by sexual assault. Some victims also experience long-term mental health issues that affect employment opportunities and reduce income. Those who have been victimized do not deserve to bear the financial losses of their assault on top of having to cope with the trauma that they have been forced to endure.

Victims of sexual assault need to know their rights and should consult a Miami sexual assault victim attorney for help understanding the ways in which they can make the law work for them. While the perpetrator of a sexual assault should hopefully face punishment through the criminal justice system, an attorney can help a victim to ensure that organizations which may have facilitated the abuse are also held accountable for the role they placed.

Civil Lawsuits Help Sexual Assault Victims Hold Organizations Accountable

In many instances, when sexual assault occurs, there are people or organizations who looked the other way and allowed it to happen. This is especially common when children are assault victims. Religious organizations, athletic groups, and even schools have all been proven in the past to have covered up acts of abuse and to have allowed perpetrators to continue to remain in contact with children. 

However, organizations can also facilitate the abuse of adults as well, as recent high-profile sex abuses cases have demonstrated.  Institutional policies that allow abusers and harassers to get away with wrongful behavior against subordinates or people whom they have power over often put victims in a position where they can be harmed and have nowhere to turn.

While abusers can be prosecuted for criminal conduct, most organizations that facilitated abuse don’t end up facing any criminal consequences for their role in what happened to the victim. However, victims may be able to file a civil lawsuit against these organizations. 

There are many several different potential grounds for pursuing a civil lawsuit, depending upon whether the person victimized was a child or adult and depending upon the specific circumstances and facts surrounding the abuse. However, whether the case arises out of gender discrimination laws in a workplace or is a claim of negligent supervision in a daycare that facilitated abuse, the key is to show that the organization failed in its duty in some way.

If a victim of sexual assault can prove an organization had an obligation to act in a more responsible way to prevent or end the abuse but that the organization was negligent or in breach of its duty in failing to act, the victim should be able to obtain monetary compensation. While this isn’t the same as the organization — or those within it – paying for what they have done by facing criminal charges, it does at least ensure the organization faces some measure of accountability. Further, it can provide the victim with the money necessary to get help and move on.

A Miami sexual assault victim attorney can provide help to victims in understanding their options and taking appropriate action to hold organizations accountable for abuse they allowed to occur.

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