Sexual Assault Injury Attorneys in Charlotte
You Deserve Justice & a Fair Recovery. We Can Help.
Sexual assault is one of the most horrendous and heartbreaking experiences a person can go through. It can bring up all kinds of emotions, including guilt, fear, shame, and confusion. Despite how you might feel, the truth is it’s not your fault.
Sexual assault is a source of trauma that evokes powerful emotions. At Charles G. Monnett III & Associates, we are here to listen about your experience and assure you there is hope. Our Charlotte sexual assault attorneys can help you seek a fair and just settlement or, if a settlement is not possible, represent you in civil court. We are committed to fighting for the justice and recovery you need and deserve.
What Is Sexual Assault?
Understanding sexual assault is the first step towards protecting yourself and your body. Sexual assault is an act by which a person is coerced or physically forced to engage sexually with another against their will. It is a form of sexual violence that encompasses rape, groping, or sadistic sexual torture.
It is common for victims to feel confused after being assaulted. If you are unsure whether what you experienced was, in fact, sexual assault, the following can help you clarify the facts and help you determine if you have been a victim.
It was sexual assault if:
- You did not give consent
- You were a minor at the time
- You were under the influence of drugs or alcohol and unable to consent
- You were verbally or physically forced or manipulated
- Your perpetrator used drugs to lower your inhibitions
- Any unwanted contact or touching occurred
It is still sexual assault if:
- You knew your attacker
- You are related to your attacker
- You previously consented to sexual acts with your attacker
- You were or are still in a relationship with your attacker
If you identify with any of the above points, you may have been sexually assaulted and should seek medical attention immediately. After addressing physical and medical concerns, it is in your best interest to speak with a sexual assault attorney who can help you determine your next steps.
Consent is an agreement between two adults to engage in sexual activity and is necessary for all sexual activity. It is what distinguishes welcomed sexual contact from assault. When you’re engaging in sexual activity, consent is about communication. It should be clear and expressed.
While consent is not necessarily verbal, verbal communication can help you and your partner learn to respect each other’s boundaries. Consenting to a single activity does not mean consenting to additional sexual contact. For example, having sex with someone in the past is not consent for future sexual acts.
The laws about consent vary by state and situation and hinge upon a person’s ability to consent. Those under the legal age according to the state (in North Carolina, the legal age of consent is 16 years old) or incapacitated persons cannot legally consent. This includes minors, persons with certain disabilities, and intoxicated or unconscious individuals. Consent also has contextual laws. For example, those in authoritative roles, such as counselors or correctional officers, cannot have sexual relations with individuals under their care.
Types of Sexual Assault
Sexual assault is an umbrella term that covers many different forms, including but not limited to:
- Rape: defined as sexual penetration without consent
- Child sexual abuse: occurs when a perpetrator intentionally harms a minor physically, psychologically, or sexually
- Incest: refers to sexual contact between family members; the majority of juvenile victims know the perpetrator, and approximately 34 percent of perpetrators in cases of child sexual abuse are family members
- Intimate partner sexual violence: committed by a person in a relationship with the victim, including intimate partner sexual violence, domestic violence, intimate partner rape, marital rape, and spousal rape
- Drug-facilitated sexual assault: occurs in two ways: when the perpetrator takes advantage of a victim’s voluntary use of drugs or alcohol; and when the perpetrator intentionally forces a victim to consume drugs without their knowledge
- Sexual harassment: includes unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical sexual harassment in a workplace or learning environment
- Stalking: a pattern of repeated and unwanted attention, harassment, contact, or any other course of conduct directed at a specific person that would cause a reasonable person to feel fear
- Elder sexual abuse: occurs when a perpetrator has sexual contact with elderly persons who are unable to give consent due to health conditions, such as dementia or Alzheimer’s
Help for Sexual Assault Survivors
Were you or a loved one a victim of sexual assault? Resources are available to help. To speak with a trained staff member in your area and receive safe, confidential support, contact theRAINN hotline at 800.656.HOPE (4673). To get help for a sexually abused minor, contact North Carolina’s Tree House Children’s Advocacy Center for help. For victims of domestic violence, survivors may receive help through Charlotte’s Safe Alliance.
Charles was always available and informative on this process.- Susan Z.
Without their help, I would probably have lost everything that I owned.- Rick M.
Lauren Newton exceeded all of my expectations and she genuinely cares about her clients.- Jade B.
The experience I had was exactly what I wanted.- Jacob G.
I was very satisfied.- Raven B.
$13 Million Medical Negligence Verdict
An infant suffered an undiagnosed case of bacterial meningitis that caused severe neurological damage.
$10 Million Car Accident Verdict
Verdict for a child who sustained a severe traumatic brain injury in an automobile accident.
$9.075 Million Car Accident Verdict
Confidential settlement for a family struck by an underage impaired driver.
$8 Million Confidential Settlement
Confidential settlement for an infant with bilateral leg amputations following improper placement of the femoral line.
$4.75 Million Defective Automobile
Settlement for a woman severely injured as a result of a defective automobile.
$3.375 Million Failure to Diagnose
Confidential settlement on behalf of a child with severe visual impairments resulting from the failure to properly diagnose retinopathy of prematurity in a newborn child.
$3 Million Cerebral Palsy
Confidential settlement for a child with cerebral palsy as a result of birth-related brain injury.
$3 Million Negligent Administration of Nerve Block
Confidential settlement for a woman with hypoxic-ischemic brain injury as a result of negligent administration of nerve block for headache.
$2.5 Million Traumatic Brain Injury
Recovery for a woman who sustained a traumatic brain injury after her vehicle was struck by a commercial truck while stopped for traffic in a construction zone.
$2.5 Million Traumatic Brain Injury
Workers’ compensation settlement for a man who sustained a traumatic brain injury while employed by a logging company.
Perpetrators of Sexual Assault
Sexual assault can be very confusing to a victim, especially when the person knows their attacker. The majority of perpetrators are someone known by the victim.
Perpetrators use a variety of tactics to pressure their victim into sexual acts, such as emotional manipulation or psychological or physical force. Physical harm to the victim or their family and intimidation are other tactics commonly used by perpetrators of sexual assault.
When perpetrators go unpunished for their crimes, they are likely to assault again. Perpetrators can and should be held legally and financially responsible for their crimes. An experienced sexual assault attorney in Charlotte can help ensure that your attacker is held accountable for their behavior.
Sexual Assault Is Often Unreported
A study by RAINN concluded that every 98 seconds, someone is sexually assaulted. Yet of those incidents, more than 50% are not reported to law enforcement.
Why are sexual assaults being underreported?
Many fear that no one will believe them. Worse, when a victim knows their attacker, they often avoid confronting that person out of fear or confusion.
When sexual assailants go unpunished, victims live with the lack of closure, knowing their assaulter is free to violate another victim.
Signs of Sexual Assault in a Loved One
If you notice new strange behavior from your loved one—such as withdrawal, isolation, irritability, or a lack of interest in usual activities—it could be an indicator of sexual assault. A victim may find it harder to complete simple day-to-day tasks, such as personal grooming or attending work. They may turn to drugs, alcohol, and other reactive behaviors to numb their pain.
Sexual assaults can have devastating mental, physical, and emotional effects on a victim, including but not limited to:
- Substance abuse
- Eating disorders
- Unwanted pregnancy
- Sleep disorders
Another common effect brought on by sexual assault is post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
Symptoms of PSTD might include:
- Repeated thoughts of the assault
- Memories and nightmares
- Trouble focusing
- Fear of public places
- Negative changes in thoughts and feelings
- Loss of interest in once-enjoyable activities
- Avoidance of thoughts, feelings, and situations related to the assault
In North Carolina, there are time limits, or statute of limitations, that control how long you have to take legal action against the person who assaulted you. If you have questions regarding whether there is still time to take legal action against the person who assaulted you, our attorneys are here to help.
If you or a loved one have been a victim of sexual assault, one of the sexual assault attorneys at Charles G. Monnett III & Associates can play a critical role in your healing process. Not only can we aggressively protect your rights, but we can also be a listening ear and compassionate resource. We understand how trying this time can be, and we want to assure you that you are not alone. We are here to help.
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