Sexual assault on college campuses is an epidemic across America. In the State of Arizona, Arizona Revised Statute 13-1406 defines sexual assault as “intentionally or knowingly engaging in sexual intercourse or oral sexual contact with any person without the consent of such person.” Sexual assault is a class 2 felony, subject to a minimum sentence of 5.25 years in prison for a first-time offense. Offenders can also be held liable in civil court, and forced to pay victims retribution for medical care, counseling services, lost wages, and emotional trauma.

 

Though it is difficult to speak up, pursuing justice through the courts can be a bold and empowering step forward for survivors. When these cases are successful, the settlements or jury awards can range into the hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of dollars. You can find a sexual abuse lawyer at Showard Law Firm in Tucson, AZ, who can provide you with a free consultation and accept your case on a contingency basis at no upfront cost.

 

Sexual Assault in College: Statistics

 

Many people are generally cautious and think, “Sexual assault couldn’t happen to me.” However, national statistics show just how pervasive sexual violence is: one in five women and one in 16 men are sexually assaulted while in college. This statistic is even more alarming when one considers 90 percent of victims do not report. In one study, 63 percent of self-reporting college rapists confessed to committing multiple sexual assaults.

 

How Prevalent is Sexual Assault on College Campuses in Southern Arizona?

 

While most smaller colleges report 0 instances of rape on their campuses, larger colleges have had dramatic spikes in sexual assault on college campuses in recent years.

 

 

  • In the spring of 2019, 6.2 percent of women and 1.1 percent of men attending Arizona State University in Tempe reported they experienced completed or attempted sexual violence within the last 12 months.

 

Though the state mandates that colleges have policies and procedures to investigate these crimes and handle complaints, survivors are frequently met with inadequate response. School administrators will always choose self-protection and upholding their reputation over the needs of their most vulnerable students– unless they are thoroughly investigated and held accountable by an experienced sexual assault law firm.

 

How Long Do You Have To Report Sexual Assault at Universities in AZ?

 

Unlike most states, which impose a deadline for filing a civil lawsuit involving sexual violence, Arizona allows an unlimited statute of limitations. Someone may file a lawsuit, regardless of when the assault took place.

 

What Proof Do You Need?

 

The burden of proof is lower in civil court than it is in criminal court. You need to substantiate events “beyond a reasonable doubt” in criminal court. However, in a civil case, you need only prove a “greater weight and degree of credible evidence admitted in the case” than not.

 

Physical evidence is not necessary to win a court case in Arizona, though this type of evidence does help secure a guilty verdict or confession. Tangible evidence can be challenging to come by in sexual assault cases. Beyond bruises, semen, saliva, hair, and skin beneath fingernails, a civil court may look at questions like:

 

  • What did the room and furniture look like where the alleged encounter took place?
  • Can a witness testify where you were at a particular date and time?
  • Have you seen a professional therapist who will vouch for the trauma you’ve suffered?
  • Can those who know you best testify as to a change in your demeanor?
  • Are there other victims who can come forward?

 

Side Effects of Sexual Assault Can Be Severe

 

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder is the most common side effect of rape– experienced by 94 percent of women immediately after the assault and 30 percent nine months later. Survivors express trauma in different ways, from depression, disassociation, anxiety, eating disorders, sleep disturbances, and substance abuse.

 

Individuals may have flashbacks or suicidal thoughts following sexual assault. With the right intervention, survivors can cope with these aftereffects. Even if you think you are “fine,” it is worth exploring what a difference counseling and working with a legal team can make in your recovery.

 

Contact Showard Law Firm for a Free Consultation

 

If you’ve been violated against your will at college, it can help to speak with a compassionate, knowledgeable sexual assault lawyer who can guide you through the days ahead. We’ll connect you with local resources for trauma survivors and ensure you receive the best possible care while also uncovering accountability and evidence of college coverup. Don’t leave the internal investigation to chance. Get a free, no-obligation consultation, where you only pay a legal fee if we recover money on your behalf.

 

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