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Sex crimes are deeply traumatic events that no one should ever have to experience in their life. Unfortunately, the shocking reality is that far too many men and women in America will experience a sex crime at some point in their lifetime. Approximately 21% of all women and 2% of all men in America have experienced some form of rape.
Victims of sex crimes have many struggles to endure following the incident. In addition to the physical and emotional damage, victims must contend with costs such as medical bills for treatment and therapy, and loss of earnings from time away from work.
Although a perpetrator may be facing criminal charges, in addition to a criminal case, a personal injury claim allows victims to seek compensation for the devastating ordeal and ease their financial burden. Pursuing a case through the civil court process can also help sex offense victims to find some sense of justice for their suffering.
If you or a loved one have been the victim of a sex crime, an experienced sex crime attorney can guide you through the process of seeking justice in the civil court and receiving the compensation you are entitled to.
At Wendt Law, our team knows the sensitive and distressing nature of sex crime cases. Our empathetic sex crime lawyers work closely with victims in Springfield to understand their circumstances and build a strong case to seek compensation.
Wendt Law attorneys understand the life-changing impact that sex crimes can have on victims, and we will fight tirelessly to secure justice and compensation for victims. We offer free consultations with no obligations or fees for sex crime victims in Springfield, MO, to discuss their options. Contact a Wendt Law sex crime lawyer today at 816-542-6734.
In the first instance following a sex crime, it is important to seek medical attention and contact law enforcement. Whether you are intending to pursue a criminal sex crime conviction or not, law enforcement officers are best placed to assist victims in the immediate aftermath of a sexual offense and advise on steps to take to protect their well-being and preserve evidence.
A range of support services are available to victims including the national service RAINN (Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network) that are dedicated to supporting survivors of sexual abuse, in addition to localized support services.
When you feel that the time is right for you, contact a sex crime lawyer to discuss your options and begin legal recourse to recover the compensation and justice that you deserve.
In addition to the immediate impacts, such as physical injury, victims of sex crimes can experience many long-lasting impacts resulting from the offense. No two victims respond to a sex crime the same way, and each individual processes an offense differently. Impacts can include depression, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), sexually transmitted infections, unwanted pregnancy, self destructive behavior, substance abuse, and even suicide, to name a few.
In Springfield, victims have the right to seek justice for sexual offenses both through criminal and civil courts. Victims often live with the impacts of a sex crime for the rest of their lives, and receiving a sense of justice can be a fundamental element in a victim’s journey to recovery.
Missouri sex crime laws cover a range of offenses that vary in severity, from indecent exposure to the most serious sex crimes such as rape and child sexual abuse. Sex crime charges include:
Unfortunately, less than 30% of sex crimes in America are reported to the authorities. Some survivors do not want to go through the traumatic experience of a criminal trial, and others express concerns about securing a conviction. A civil sex crime case may be an option for those who do not wish to pursue criminal charges or have their case dropped, in addition to those that successfully secure a criminal conviction.
Individuals convicted of a sex crime charge in Springfield, MO, can face a range of penalties through the criminal justice system. Most sexual convictions require that the individual is listed on a sex offender register under Missouri law.
Individuals on the sex offender registry in Springfield are required to submit all online usernames and screen names to the state and provide a DNA sample and palm print. Sex offender registration is listed on a public website and must remain at least 500 feet away from daycare facilities, schools, and playgrounds.
The criminal court may also enforce other penalties on a convicted sex offender. Depending on the nature of the offense, these range from fines, probation, and ankle monitoring bracelets to extended periods of incarceration.
A sex crime case in the civil court focuses on the victim, and the purpose is to seek compensation for the suffering that the victim has experienced. A civil lawsuit aims to secure compensation for the victim and the damages they have experienced. Compensation in civil sex crime lawsuits can support the victim to begin to recover from the crime and reduce the financial burden placed on them as a result of the incident.
To pursue a case in the civil court, the standard of proof is lower than in the criminal court. To win a civil case in Springfield, the victim’s legal team must prove that it is more likely than not that the incident took place, as opposed to the requirement to prove beyond a reasonable doubt in a criminal case. In some situations, a perpetrator of a sex crime could be prosecuted in both civil and criminal courts at the same time.
Although it is not a criminal conviction, pursuing justice through a civil case can still contribute to protecting society and making the community safer. Civil cases publicly expose the perpetrator for their crime and raise awareness amongst the community. Civil cases also highlight any entities or organizations that did not demonstrate a duty of care to the victim and may have allowed the crime to take place.
Victims of sex crimes encounter many difficulties following the crime. Most victims experience both physical and psychological impacts from the sex offense which can have additional secondary impacts on their lives. In addition to direct impacts such as injuries, post-traumatic stress disorder, and depression, victims often need time off work and encounter large medical bills during their recovery.
A personal injury claim through the civil court allows victims to seek financial compensation for their suffering. Although compensation will never undo the trauma that a victim has experienced, it can reduce the financial stress following an assault and support them on their road to recovery. An experienced attorney can support sex crime survivors to successfully pursue their sex offense case in civil court.
Private entities such as workplaces, schools, and businesses have a responsibility to take appropriate precautions to prevent sex offenses from occurring. Responsible entities should provide adequate supervision and security to avoid the occurrence of sex offenses.
Third parties are also responsible for adequately screening and training their employees to avoid these incidents and maintain a safe environment. Failure to protect victims within an organization’s responsibility may mean that the third party can be held liable for the offense and subsequent damages and compensation.
In a civil sex crime case, the victim seeks financial compensation for the damages they have encountered because of the crime. These can include compensation for pain and suffering, medical bills, and loss of income. The types of damages a victim can seek compensation for are divided into three categories, economic, non-economic, and punitive damages.
Economic damages cover any financial costs that have resulted from the offense, including medical bills, the cost of therapy, loss of income from missing work, and reduced earning potential.
Non-economic damages cover suffering that the victim has experienced that are not direct financial costs. Examples of non-economic damages include compensation for pain and suffering, emotional distress, depression and anxiety, loss of quality of life, and scarring or permanent injury.
Punitive damages are designed to punish the perpetrator for their wrongdoing as opposed to recovering compensation for the victim’s costs and suffering. Punitive damages may be awarded to make an example of the perpetrator and set an example for others. These damages can also be beneficial to provide the victim with a sense of justice for their ordeal.
Wendt Law attorneys are here to help survivors of sex crimes in Springfield to take back control and recover financial compensation for the trauma they have experienced. Our team of attorneys is sensitive, empathetic, and passionate about fighting on behalf of sex crime survivors.
No one should ever experience a sex crime, but if you or your loved one is a survivor, contact a skilled sex crimes lawyer at Wendt Law today.
Call our legal team on 816-542-6734 for a free consultation and to begin your journey to compensation.