What Constitutes Sexual Abuse and Assault?
Sexual abuse and assault are crimes under Michigan law, and while they have always been a problem in our society, the recent #MeToo movement has shown a bright spotlight on the issue – and revealed the far-reaching impacts of this problem. Sadly, the most vulnerable among us are disproportionately the victims of these crimes, including college students, teenagers, and children.
Statistics show that most incidents of sexual abuse and assault are perpetrated by someone the victim knows, such as a family friend, babysitter, coach, teacher, co-worker, or fellow student. When this is the case, many people (especially children) may not realize that what they have experienced is sexual abuse or assault.
Examples of sexual abuse and assault include:
- Any sexual contact with a child’s body
- Coercing someone to partake in a sexual act
- Rape, including statutory rape
- Committing sexual acts with someone who cannot consent
- Sexual battery and aggravated sexual assault
- Inappropriate touching of another person’s body
- Indecent exposure/exposure of genitals to a child
- Creating or displaying child pornography
- Incest and all incestuous acts, regardless of “consent”
- Using drugs and/or alcohol to sexually assault someone
- “Grooming” a child or teenager
This list is not exhaustive. Any type of sexual contact or act that occurs without the full, capable consent of two adults is sexual assault. Furthermore, while women are statistically more at risk, anyone can be a victim of sexual assault or abuse. This includes women, men, teenagers, children, and the elderly.
Sexual Assault on School & University Campuses
All too often, sexual assault occurs on school campuses. In recent years, sexual assault and abuse cases on college campuses have made headlines throughout the United States. However, colleges are not the only educational facility where sexual assault and abuse take place. All too often, elementary-aged children are the victims of these terrible acts. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the total lifetime care costs for a child victim of sexual abuse and assault can exceed $210,000 – not to mention the immense mental and emotional consequences.
Some other common institutions where sexual abuse takes place:
- Churches and religious schools
- Summer camps
- After-school programs
- Sports groups and clubs
- Boy Scouts of America and other scouting programs
Contact Grewal Law PLLC for a Confidential Consultation
Many people do not realize that, apart from a criminal action, they can take civil action against the perpetrator or another responsible party. A sexual abuse injury case seeks compensation for medical bills, pain and suffering, emotional distress, and more.
We understand how difficult it can be to share your story and the immense bravery it takes to speak out against an attacker or perpetrator of sexual abuse. Our Michigan sexual abuse and assault injury lawyers can help you navigate the legal process of filing a civil claim against the liable party. Depending on the circumstances involved in your case, the liable party may include the attacker, your university or college, a youth sports organization, religious institution, or another entity.
Need Immediate Assistance and Crisis Counseling?
When you’re struggling with the aftermath of sexual abuse, you may not know where to turn for help. For immediate assistance, we recommend that you contact the State of MI Sexual Assault Voices 4 Hotline, provided by the Michigan Coalition to End Domestic & Sexual Violence. Available 24/7, this free service is completely anonymous and confidential, and it can be used as frequently as you need. The hotline is staffed by compassionate and experienced advocates, and it’s open to all sexual assault survivors, including the homeless, those who identify as LGBTQ, individuals with disabilities, and people of color.
Call 855-VOICES4 for free and confidential counseling, or read more about the hotline here.
To learn more about how our legal team can help you, contact us online or by phone at (888) 211-5798.