Being at college, possibly away from your family and the friends you grew up with, can be scary, especially when something bad happens. Unfortunately, sexual assault is a huge problem at colleges here in New York and across the country. In fact, the statistics are alarming—1 in 5 women are sexually assaulted while at college.
Important Steps to Take Following a College Campus Sexual Assault
This statistic should assure you that you are not alone, others understand the pain and vast emotions you are going through and help is available. Here are some important steps to take as soon as possible after the assault:
- Get medical attention. It is ideal to get to the emergency room right away without washing up, changing clothes or eating anything. Many times this does not happen, but if you have the clothes unwashed from the attack, it is helpful to bring the clothes you were wearing in a paper (not plastic) bag. A rape kit should be used, which will help provide biological and physical evidence of the assault. It is important for doctors to check for internal injuries and test for STDs. Emergency contraceptives should be discussed.
- Notify the police as well as the campus officials. Unfortunately campus officials too often do not take these cases seriously enough and do not fairly try these cases. That is why we advise to go to the local police. They will take a report and document the incident, as well as collect any evidence. It is also advisable to get an experienced sexual assault lawyer to help ensure your rights are protected. A lawyer is the only one fully on your side to fight for the justice you deserve.
- A rape crisis hotline, such national sexual assault hotline at (800) 656-HOPE, can help provide additional resources and emotional support. Many college campuses also have hotlines and specific programs set up.
The Benefits of Obtaining Legal Support if You Were Assaulted
Many victims, who find themselves paying medical bills and want to seek counseling, choose to hire a personal injury lawyer to seek financial compensation for all their related costs as well as their pain and suffering. You have the right to sue not only the assailant but any other party that might be partly responsible. On a college campus, this might mean an accomplice, an organization (such as a fraternity), or the college itself.
Our compassionate and competent lawyers have extensive experience working with sexual assault victims and we can help you find some sense of closure and justice as well as afford any counseling and other medical attention you may need.
Everything is Confidential and There Are No Out-of-Pocket Expenses
If you have any questions and want to discuss your specific case, we are here to provide legal guidance. Everything is confidential and we make every effort to put you at ease. We work on a contingency basis, which means there are no out-of-pocket expenses. You do not pay anything until you receive a judgment or settlement.
Contact our lawyers at 516-222-4000 or fill out our webform.