A better understanding of sexual assault in the United States has come about since the explosion of the Me Too movement a few years back. However, those who find themselves to be victims of sexual assault often still are confused about what actions they should take and where they can go for help.
Sexual assault laws can be complicated to understand but essential if one hopes to get the justice that they deserve.
What do you need to know about sexual assault laws in the US? Read on and we’ll walk you through the basics.
1. There Are Time Restrictions
Sometimes it can take a long while to build up the courage to say something about a crime that was committed. This is understandable, although there are laws in place that might make taking legal action against an individual impossible.
The statute of limitations refers to the period of time in which a victim of sexual assault can report a crime. The statute of limitations can be quite different depending on where you are located. In some places, a person might only have a few months to report a crime, in others they could have a whole decade.
Many laws across the United States have been changing over the past few years as many protest tight laws that make it difficult for survivors of assault to get the justice that they deserve. Some are fighting to have the statute of limitations for rapes cases lifted entirely, with New York taking the first step forward.
2. Help Is Out There
Navigating the laws around sexual assault can be tricky. Luckily, it’s not something that you have to do all on your own. It doesn’t matter if you’re trying to bring a case to court or seek some other legal outcome: you can get help.
There are many hotlines and help services out there that seek to connect assault survivors with the proper resources and support. Calling a hotline can help you get connected with an attorney who has had many cases handled just like yours. Often, survivors will be linked with pro bono attorneys who can help them to seek justice at no charge.
These resources make it much, much easier for victims to get into the legal world and see the change and impact that they want to see.
3. The Burden of Proof Is on the Victim
One of the most difficult parts of any sexual assault case? The pressure it puts on the person who was the victim of the crime. Innocent until proven guilty is still true, and the courts will put the burden of proof on the victim.
They will need to provide evidence and testimony to indicate that the claims they are making are true. It can be hard to get evidence that can win a case.
Sometimes, a case is reported long after the assault has occurred and the hardest evidence is gone. Sometimes, DNA tests, even if done right away, are inconclusive. A victim will need to prepare themselves for a tough road ahead as they work to prove the truth.
Understanding Sexual Assault Laws
If you’ve been the victim of a sexual crime, it’s essential you understand how sexual assault laws in the US work. The above information can help.
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