Hollywood has been shaken up by multiple accusations of sexual assault committed by some of the biggest stars and producers in the film industry. More than 50 women, some of whom are famous actresses and/or models, claim that producer Harvey Weinstein sexually assaulted them. Actor Kevin Spacey is also facing numerous sexual assault allegations. A major talent agency and Netflix have cut ties with Spacey over these allegations.
Although Hollywood has historically grappled with allegations of sexual assault, these acts of misconduct can also occur in workplaces, hospitals, schools, homes, prisons and jails. For victims of sexual assault, the damage can last a lifetime. The hashtag #MeToo, which went viral after the Hollywood accusations, has encouraged many survivors to come forward with stories of how they were psychologically traumatized by their abusers.
Victims of sexual assault may suffer permanent psychological trauma. Post-traumatic stress disorder (more commonly known as PTSD) is a possible health consequence of sexual assault. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), PTSD symptoms can include depression, nightmares, flashbacks, insomnia and trouble concentrating. Individuals with PTSD also have an increased risk of suicide.
These symptoms can make it more difficult to hold down jobs or live normal lives. Personal relationships with family members, significant others and friends may be strained by the symptoms. PTSD is a crippling condition that can severely limit the quality of life for sexual assault survivors. Victims of sexual assault may also suffer severe physical harm.
Can Victims of Sexual Assault Seek Justice Against Their Abusers?
Victims of sexual assault may be able to seek justice by filing lawsuits against the parties who are responsible for the abuse. In many cases, the perpetrators of these heinous acts lack the financial resources to pay compensation to their victims. Therefore, it is often necessary to determine whether other parties could be liable for the assault. For instance, if the assault occurred at a school or business, it may be possible to hold those parties liable for damages if they were negligent.
If you have more questions about this topic, our personal injury lawyers can explain rights and possible legal options that may be available to sexual assault survivors and their families.
At Riddle & Brantley, LLP, Justice Counts.