Sexual assault is when you are forced, threatened, coerced, or tricked into sexual contact without your consent. Examples of sexual assault include date rape, unwanted sexual touching, and any other form of sexual contact without your consent.
Consent means that you knowingly and willingly agree to the sexual contact. If you are incapacitated in any way, such as being under the influence of drugs or alcohol, you may not be able to give actual consent.
Your consent to one form of touching is not automatically consent to all forms of touching or sexual contact. For example, if you consent to being hugged or kissed by another person, that does not give them the right to touch you in any other way. No means no. Stop means stop. If you went along with a kiss, and you say stop when they start to touch you in other ways, then they have assaulted you.
If you believe you have been a victim of sexual assault, your first priority is to get to a safe place. Then, immediately contact the police or dial 911. Once you are safe and have alerted the police, contact a family member or trusted friend to be with you.
You should also seek out a counselor, social worker, or psychologist to help you after the assault. Even if you feel fine, even if you think that you are strong enough to handle this on your own, consulting with a counselor or healthcare professional can never hurt. And if you ever decide to sue your attacker or the owner of the property where the assault occurred, evidence that you consulted with a counselor or healthcare professional can help your case.
Should you consult with a lawyer? Yes. A lawyer can help protect your rights during any investigation or prosecution related to the assault. You may have claims for damages and other remedies against the person who assaulted you and the owner of the place where you were assaulted. But first things first. Your first steps should be to reach out and get the help you need from the police, a close family member or friend, and a counselor or healthcare professional.
We are here to help. To schedule a free and confidential consultation, call us at (212) 601-2728 or complete the contact form on this page.