Sexual assault cases involving children are devastating and traumatic experiences that require specialized attention.
At HHJ Trial Attorneys, we understand the sensitivity of these cases and strive to handle them with care, compassion, and the legal expertise required to win.
In today’s blog, our San Diego sexual assault attorneys will provide a comprehensive guide on handling sexual assault cases involving minors and the steps you can take to seek justice and support the victims.
Table of Contents
#1 – Report the Assault Immediately
The first and most crucial step in handling a sexual assault case involving a minor is to report the incident immediately. Report the assault to law enforcement, child protective services, or school officials immediately.
When reporting the sexual assault, providing as much information as possible, including the date, time, location, and details about the perpetrator, is crucial.
In California, if you weren’t physically assaulted yourself but suspect that a minor has been abused, you have a legal obligation to report it to the proper authorities if you are considered a mandatory reporter.
#2 – Seek Medical Attention
Seeking medical attention for the victim is the next best step after reporting the crime to the proper authorities. After a sexual assault, the victim needs to receive experienced and empathetic medical attention. The physical and emotional effects of sexual assault can be devastating, especially for minors.
Additionally, a medical examination can provide crucial evidence for the court case, documenting the extent of the victim’s injuries and all costs incurred to treat them.
Medical attention and treatment can help victims heal from their traumatic experiences. Sexual assault victims in California can receive a forensic medical exam free of charge. Note that medical professionals are mandated reporters, meaning they must report any suspected cases of abuse to the authorities.
#3 – Contact an Experienced Sexual Assault Attorney
Sexual assault cases involving minors are complex and delicate. Hiring an attorney with well-documented experience handling sexual assault cases will provide the full extent of justice and proper compensation to the victim. Going about the litigation process yourself is usually not advised.
At HHJ Trial Attorneys, we have extensive experience handling sexual assault cases involving minors.
Our team understands the unique legal challenges and emotional complexities these cases bring, and we work tirelessly to ensure our clients receive the justice they deserve.
An experienced attorney can guide you through the legal process and help you make informed decisions that protect the victim’s rights. Note that California law allows victims of sexual assault to sue their abusers for damages, including compensation for medical expenses, emotional distress, and lost wages.
#4 – Provide the Necessary Support to the Victim
Providing emotional and psychological support to the sexual assault victim is imperative for proper recovery.
This support can have several origins, but ensuring the victim receives professional help from those trained to help sexual assault survivors recover is especially important for minors who may severely struggle to understand what happened to them and why.
At HHJ Trial Attorneys, we understand the impact sexual assault can have on minors and strive to support youngsters and their families. We can help locate resources for juveniles and their families, such as therapy and counseling.
It’s also essential to involve the minor in decision-making throughout the legal process and ensure they feel heard. Our team works closely with victims and their families to support them in starting their healing journey.
Minors have legal rights and protections under California law, such as attorney-client privilege, and our lawyers are committed to protecting and upholding those rights.
#5 – Prepare for the Court Case
Properly preparing for court is crucial in handling a sexual assault case involving a minor. It’s essential to gather evidence and witnesses, among other things, to support your case.
It’s essential to keep healthy yet realistic expectations for yourself, the victim of the assault, and anyone involved in the court proceedings. California law can require minors who are victims of sexual assault to testify in court, so the minor must be adequately prepared to give testimony.
Guiding the sexual assault victim through what they can expect in court will be your sexual assault attorney’s job. Enlisting professional help ensures your case is won and damages, especially those of the punitive type that seeks to punish the perpetrator for what they did, are awarded.
Our attorneys know the legal system. They’ll work to ensure that the minor and their family understand the legal process and feel supported every step of the way.
Act Now. Take the Road to Recovery the Right Way With Help From Our Experienced Sexual Assault Attorneys
If you or someone you know is a victim of sexual assault, or if you have any more questions regarding sexual assault, don’t hesitate to contact HHJ Trial Attorneys today to schedule a consultation with our team.
With our experience and passion for helping those who have been unjustly harmed, we seek to provide our clients with the support and guidance they need to seek justice and start their healing journey. Let us fight for you and your rights to win what you deserve.