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What is Sexual Assault?

Southern California Law Firm Representing Clients in Sexual Assault

Sexual assault is a general term which refers to a varying range of unwanted sexual contact, from rape and attempted rape to fondling and forcibly touching an intimate part of another's body, even through clothing. It consists of touching another person in any way that is sexual and without that person's consent.

This crime may be accompanied by force, threats, violence, threats of retaliation, coercion, pressure, manipulation, and other duress. Basically, it amounts to almost any sexual behavior that produces discomfort, fear, or intimidation. The key component is that it is non-consensual. Under California law, in order to be considered consensual, sexual activity must have "positive cooperation" between the parties with the individuals acting "freely and voluntarily."

Reporting Sexual Assault

If you have been sexually assaulted in the workplace, you should report it to an appropriate person in the organization, such as a supervisor, human resources person, or other person you trust. Depending on the severity of the crime, it is your decision about whether to report it to law enforcement. In the case of rape or attempted rape, you should remember, however, that by doing so you may be helping to prevent future attacks on others by the offender. Because assault victims generally suffer trauma after such an incident, enlisting the aid of a trusted friend, co-worker, or family member who can provide emotional support during any organizational or law enforcement report may be vital.

Additionally, in the case of rape or attempted rape, many police departments and prosecutor's offices have trained personnel and programs for sexual assault victims. The National Center for Victims of Crimes provides especially helpful and pertinent information for sexual assault victims. If you do decide to report the crime to law enforcement, you will be required to undergo a forensic examination and will have to describe the incident to investigators.

Talk to a Southern California Sexual Harassment Attorney

In any case of workplace sexual assault, you may wish to seek professional legal guidance. If so, we urge you to contact Spray, Gould & Bowers LLP to schedule a free, initial consultation with a Southern California sexual harassment lawyer as soon as possible. After reviewing and evaluating your situation, we can advise you on your legal rights and the proper course of action to take. Our firm has been assisting clients throughout Orange County, San Diego, Los Angeles, and Riverside in these matters for more than 85 years. You will receive competent and caring legal service from an experienced attorney.

Contact a Southern California sexual harassment attorney at the firm if you need legal guidance concerning any type of workplace sexual harassment or assault.

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