Male sexual assault survivors experience a unique set of challenges when coming forward to report their abuse. The trauma and stigma associated with such experiences often make it difficult for male survivors to speak up and seek justice.
But filing a lawsuit can be an empowering step towards healing and ensuring that the perpetrator is held accountable. Delaying your lawsuit can bring unnecessary consequences in the long run.
Today’s blog discusses the reasons male sexual assault survivors need to file a lawsuit. Our sexual assault lawyers in San Diego also explore why male survivors often struggle to report abuse and how they can do so safely.
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Why Male Survivors Struggle to Report Their Abuse
When it comes to male survivors of sexual assault, several unique obstacles and challenges often prevent them from reporting their abuse. Men may feel shame or embarrassment due to society’s gender norms, believing they should have been able to protect themselves or fight off their assailant.
In addition, there is a fear that people won’t believe or take them seriously. This can be especially true if the perpetrator is a woman. Unfortunately, these feelings of shame, guilt, and fear are too common among male survivors, which can lead to an inability to report their abuse.
As a result, male victims of sexual assault often struggle with issues such as PTSD, depression, and anxiety in silence. This lack of communication keeps men isolated and further away from help and support.
How Can Male Survivors Report Their Abuse Safely?
If you’re a male sexual assault survivor, know that you are not alone and that many resources are available to help. Remember that any form of sexual assault can be reported safely and anonymously.
The first step in reporting sexual assault is to contact a qualified medical professional or a local crisis hotline. Medical professionals can provide you with treatment for any physical injuries, counseling, and other forms of support. Crisis hotlines are anonymous and provide survivors with a safe space to discuss their experiences.
Report the assault to law enforcement. Even if the statute of limitations has passed, it is still important to report the crime as soon as possible. Law enforcement may be able to investigate the crime and aid survivors.
Finally, seek out legal advice when filing a lawsuit against an abuser. A qualified personal injury attorney can assist you in filing a civil suit and bring forth the right evidence that may help you receive compensation for your pain and suffering.
Let’s look at seven more reasons why male sexual assault survivors should consider filing.
#1 – Statute of Limitations
The statute of limitations is a law that limits how much time an individual has to bring a civil or criminal case to court. While statutes vary between states, in many cases, survivors of sexual assault have only a limited period to bring their case forward.
Many male sexual assault survivors find it difficult to use this window of opportunity due to the fear, confusion, and stigma associated with coming forward.
In addition to facing obstacles that prevent them from reporting the abuse, male survivors may also struggle to find legal resources and counseling to help them navigate the complexities of filing a lawsuit. As a result, many male survivors miss out on their opportunity to seek justice and hold their abuser accountable in court.
Male survivors need to understand their legal rights and the statute of limitations in their state to make an informed decision about filing a lawsuit. Remember that while the statute of limitations varies by state, in some cases, special exceptions may be made to extend the deadline for filing a lawsuit.
For example, in California, a new law was passed in 2019 that extended the statute of limitations for filing a civil claim against abusers and institutions that may have enabled the abuse.
#2 – To Get Justice
Men who survive sexual assault deserve justice for what they have been through. Filing a lawsuit is one way to seek justice and hold the perpetrator accountable for their actions. It can also be a way for survivors to gain closure and finally move on from the trauma they have experienced.
When filing, survivors can state their case to a judge and jury, detailing the abuse they endured and how it affected them. They can ask for compensation for any physical or emotional pain they endured due to the abuse. In some cases, the court may even order the perpetrator to attend therapy or other rehabilitation programs as part of their sentence.
Filing a lawsuit is not only an effective way to bring justice to male survivors of sexual assault, but it can also be empowering. Knowing that they have acted against their abuser and received justice can be a huge source of strength and comfort for survivors.
#3 – To Hold the Perpetrator Accountable
Male sexual assault survivors have the right to hold their perpetrators accountable for their wrongdoings. Filing a lawsuit is an important step in this process, as it can provide a legal platform to seek justice and gain closure.
Through a lawsuit, male survivors can ensure that the perpetrator is held responsible for their actions and that any potential damages are fully compensated. By filing a lawsuit, the survivor can make it clear that their assault was unacceptable and that perpetrators cannot continue abuse without repercussions.
#4 – To Help Prevent Future Abuse
Filing a lawsuit after experiencing male sexual assault can help prevent future abuse. When a survivor is brave enough to come forward and take legal action, it can be an important step in stopping the cycle of abuse.
By bringing a lawsuit against the perpetrator, the survivor is helping to ensure that the perpetrator won’t hurt anyone else. This could prevent potential victims from experiencing the same trauma.
In addition, filing a lawsuit can help shed light on the issue of male sexual assault, raising awareness in the community.
When more survivors come forward and take legal action, society will likely pay more attention to the issue, making it less likely that perpetrators will feel empowered to continue their actions. It can also help destigmatize male survivors and provide much-needed support for those who have experienced abuse.
#5 – To Stand Up for Yourself
For male survivors of sexual assault, standing up for themselves can be incredibly difficult. It can take immense strength and courage to report your abuser and demand justice. In many cases, male survivors face social stigma and a lack of understanding from their peers and family. This can create a sense of isolation and helplessness.
However, male survivors need to remember that they have the right to stand up for themselves. Taking legal action against your abuser is one way to reclaim power and regain control of your life.
Filing a lawsuit is a powerful statement that you are not alone and have the right to seek justice. It also reminds those who have committed such acts that there will be consequences for their actions.
#6 – Compensation
When male survivors take the brave step of filing a lawsuit against their abuser, they seek justice and compensation for the physical and emotional harm they have suffered.
Compensation for male survivors of sexual assault can come in the form of punitive and compensatory damages.
Punitive damages punish the abuser for their wrongdoing, while compensatory damages are designed to provide victims with financial relief for medical costs, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
In addition, many states have laws that allow male survivors to receive compensation for mental health counseling, psychological therapy, and physical rehabilitation.
#8 – To Help Yourself Heal
Healing after a sexual assault can be long and difficult, but filing a lawsuit can be an important part of that journey. Many male survivors of sexual assault have experienced guilt and shame, making it even more difficult for them to seek justice and healing.
By filing a lawsuit, survivors can gain some control over the situation and take steps toward rebuilding their lives. When men file a lawsuit, they can find closure and get a sense of satisfaction from standing up for themselves and seeking justice.
In addition, the financial compensation received from a successful lawsuit can provide male survivors with the means to access counseling and other types of therapy.
In addition, going public with their story can help to create greater awareness around sexual assault as a whole. It can help to educate the public on the importance of consent and provide insight into the realities of the survivors’ experience. The more we learn about the issue, the better equipped we are to address it with compassion and understanding.
Confidently Seek the Justice You Deserve With Help from HHJ Trial Attorneys
Regardless of gender, nobody should endure the journey of recovery from sexual assault alone. Contact us today to get experienced help from our sexual assault attorneys.