Georgia Rape Victim Lawyer
If you have been - or suspect your have been - the victim of a violent sexual assault or rape, there are a few steps you should immediately follow:
Find Some Place Safe
Your physical safety is top priority. Call 911. If unsure, call the National Sexual Assault Hotline at (800) 656-4673.
This means, don't take a shower, brush teeth, comb hair, change clothes, wash clothes, etc. Avoid eating, drinking, smoking, ingesting medications, or doing anything else until you've been seen, medically.
Seek Medical Attention
Visit a local hospital and report your experience. They have Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners ("SANE") trained to deal with your examination delicately, but with proper documenting and treatment procedures.
Contact Law Enforcement
You are not required to report a sexual assault or rape. It is completely your decision. If you need help with this decision, the Rape Abuse and Incest National Network (RAINN) can connect you with a trained advocate.
Begin the healing process by surrounding yourself with a support system. Make any necessary changes in your life to regain your sense of security and confidence. Consult with an attorney if you'd like to understand your legal rights.
Are my communications with an attorney confidential?
All of your communications with an attorney are completely confidential and privileged communications. So, anything you share with an attorney cannot be shared with anybody else. The attorney cannot be compelled to disclose anything you share.
You should feel safe to speak candidly and openly to your attorney about your experience without fear of judgment or that it will be shared with others.
Does my identity become part of the public record in a criminal or civil case for rape?
In a criminal case, your identity should never become part of the public record. It is filed "under seal" and kept confidential by order of the court. However, the identity of the accuser is disclosed to the criminal defendant and his attorney, who are required to keep the information confidential as well.
Similarly, the identity of a rape victim in a civil lawsuit also does not become part of the public record and is kept confidential. Instead, the victim's first two initials are used on the pleadings, or legal documents, to reference the injured rape victim. For instance, Jane Doe would be identified as "J.D." on all legal documents.
However, the judge can order that the rape victim's identity become part of the public record when the circumstances justify the disclosure. This is a very rare occurrence and not a likely scenario.
What will a Georgia rape victim attorney do?
An attorney pursuing civil remedies for a rape victim can handle the day-to-day responsibilities while the victim is on their road to recovery. Some of the services that can be done include:
Resources: Facilitate the rape victim's access to different resources she may need;
Criminal Case Liaison: If the rape has been reported to law enforcement, the civil attorney can act as liaison between you and the prosecuting attorneys. Incidentally, the rape victim's attorney will also work with the prosecuting attorney to exchange and share evidence;
Investigate Case: Depending on where, when, and how the sexual assault occurred, the attorney will begin investigating the incident. This can include sending preservation notices for surveillance records, obtaining crime grids and police reports for past crime, inspecting 911 call logs, and photographing the business premises where the abduction and/or rape occurred.
Hire Experts: If the victim has been drugged in some way, a toxicology expert may be needed. Or, if an apartment or hotel provided inadequate security, a security expert may be required.
Proof of Injuries: An experienced rape victim attorney will know and understand how these experiences changes their victims - and how to prove it. For instance, rape victims commonly undergo a complete change in their appearance, often moving their homes/residences, dramatically altering their physical appearance, refusing to go out at night, and refusing to sleep alone.
How much does a Georgia rape victim attorney cost?
There are no upfront costs or retainer.
Our Georgia rape victim attorney works solely on a contingency fee basis. This means, you pay nothing unless we are able to resolve your case favorably.
It literally costs you nothing to hire a rape victim attorney to investigate your case. If your case fails to settle or resolve for one reason or another, you owe nothing.
What types of compensation - or damages - can a Georgia crime victim pursue?
First, a rape victim may be entitled to compensation via the Georgia Crime Victims Compensation Program. It is worth investigating those resources, and an attorney can help.
As far as civil remedies, a crime victim may be entitled to a number of types of compensation, including:
Medical expense (past and future);
Lost wages (past and future);
Pain and suffering;
Disability (temporary or permanent);
Emotional distress (including psychological injuries);
Loss of enjoyment of life.
If the crime victim is married, the spouse may be entitled to damages for loss of consortium as well.
You Are Not Alone
It's important to hire an attorney who understands the injuries a rape victim is experiencing. You are not alone in these experiences, and these statistics help shed some light on these injuries:
94% of women who are raped experience symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) during the two weeks following the rape;
Victims of sexual assault are 10 times more likely to use major drugs than the general public;
13%–51% of women meet diagnostic criteria for depression following sexual assault; 23%–44% experience suicidal ideation with 2%–19% attempting suicide; dependence on alcohol can be seen in 13%–49%; and 28%–61% report the use of other illegal substances.
Contact Wheale Law Firm's Georgia Rape Victim Attorney. All Consultations are Free.
You likely have a lot of unanswered questions. Here's what we suggest:
Review this page to gain a general understanding of some types and causes of crime injuries.
Next, visit our frequently asked questions to shed more light on what the future may hold.
Finally, take advantage of a free consultation with our crime victim attorney. No commitments.
You Deserve Answers. We're Here to Help.
When can a property or business owner share in the responsibility for crime?
A property or business owner can share in responsibility because of their nondelegable, civil duty to make their premises safe.
And generally, a property owner or business owner can share in the responsibility for crime when they have reason to foresee that particular types of crime are likely to take place. This is most often seen for attacks, shootings, rapes, and other sexual assaults.
Usually, proving foreseeability is done in two ways: (1) showing that the business or property is located in a known, high-crime area, or (2) demonstrating that there has been a pattern or history of substantially similar crime on the property.
For drunk drivers, there are specific statutes that allow you to pursue claims against any establishment that provided alcoholic beverages.
How can a property or business owner share in the responsibility for my injury?
A property or business owner can be can share in the responsibility for attacks, shootings, and rapes for several various reasons. At the heart of their responsiblity, it must be proved that they allowed foreseeable criminal activity to take place on their property without taking reasonable steps to make the property safe:
Crime can be foreseeable by taking simple, common-sense steps. Unfortunately, property and business owner often neglect these steps:
Background checks of employees;
Background checks of tenants;
Analyzing and reviewing internal complaints; and
Conducting as security audit on risks, protocols, and training.
Property and business owners should also take steps to deter foreseeable crime on their property. This means identifying and mitigating criminal opportunity, including:
Provide adequate lighting;
Utilize adequate surveillance cameras;
Constructing fences and gates (to limit access);
Installing and maintaining operational locks on doors and windows;
Using security guards, when justified;
MONITORING & RESPONSE
When specific crimes do occur on the property, a property or business owner is not allowed to simply sit on their hands - they should take appropriate action. The monitoring and responsive measures could include:
Adequate and periodic inspections of the property to discover criminal activity;
Installing well-lighted emergency call boxes on large campuses;
Monitoring surveillance cameras; and
Notifying law enforcement timely.
The polices, procedures, training, and supervision of the businesses becomes important when proving monitoring and response of a property and/or business owner.
Finally, if a property and/or business owner is aware of the risk of injury and/or rape on their property, they should provide a warning to their customers. This almost never happens.
What are other circumstances presenting opportunities for sexual predators?
Sexual predators can be masters of disguise. They work hard to earn their positions of trust. Sexual predators will often take careful steps to appear as a moral authority in our communities, families, and circle of friends. This is all part of the grooming process, especially for child molesters. Other scenarios for sexual predators can include:
In-patient medical facilities for children and women;
Boy Scouts of America;
Any gender-specific organization;
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