Sending your child off to college is hard enough, learning that they were sexually assaulted is devastating. Yet this horrible crime is more common on college campuses than anywhere else. The statistics are alarming—1 in 5 women will be the victim of a sexual assaultwhile they are at college.
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 after learning your child was raped:
- First and foremost, make sure your child receives medical attention. If you are learning of the rape soon after it happened, your child should go to an emergency room. If at all possible, it is ideal to seek medical care without showering or changing clothes. A rape kit should be used, which will help provide biological and physical evidence of the assault. It is important to be checked for internal injuries as well as tested for STDs. Emergency contraceptives should also be discussed.
- Notify the police. The police will take a report and document the incident, as well as collect any evidence.
- A rape crisis hotline can also offer guidance on what to do, including finding local counseling programs, and guidance in what steps to take. The national sexual assault hotline at (800) 656-HOPE is one you can call. Many college campuses also have hotlines and specific programs set up.
- Lastly, and where we can offer some help and closure, a personal injury lawyer can assist victims in collecting compensation for their medical bills, 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—especially if you believe they did not take proper precautions to ensure your child’s safety.
How We Can Help
Our compassionate and competent lawyers have extensive experience working with sexual assault victims and their families. If you have any questions and want to discuss your specific case, we are here to provide legal guidance at no charge. Everything is confidential and we make every effort to put you and your family at ease. We will work hard to get you the money you may need to help with your daughter’s physical and emotional recovery. We work on a contingency basis, which means there are no fees or costs until you receive a judgment or settlement.