Fighting For Important Causes In State And Federal Courts
If your loved one has been sexually assaulted, it might be your first reaction to report the abuse on their behalf. However, disclosing sexual assault without the consent of a victim can be traumatizing for survivors. Determining the right thing to do in such a situation can be difficult for those whose loved one has been sexually assaulted.
It’s perfectly legal for you to report a sexual assault case on someone’s behalf. Sometimes, victims might prefer a friend or parent to speak with an attorney without them present to better understand their options. Child victims of assault require someone to report on their behalf since they cannot legally file a lawsuit by themselves. Sometimes, people are required to report abuse that another person has told them about. For example, teachers and doctors who work with children must report abuse if a child has disclosed to them. However, it’s always important to consult with a survivor to learn whether or not they’d like you to disclose a sexual assault. That dialogue is crucial for survivors to maintain their autonomy and choice after a sexual assault.
The compassionate New Jersey sexual assault attorneys at The Law Office of Andrew Shubin can speak with you about your loved one’s abuse with their approval. Our team can introduce you to legal options should a survivor intend to sue. For a free, confidential consultation, call the sexual assault attorneys at The Law Office of Andrew Shubin today at (814) 826-3586.
Can I Report a Sexual Assault Case on Someone’s Behalf?
Reporting a sexual assault case to an attorney can be done by anyone, including a non-victim. There are a few instances when a family member or friend of a survivor might approach an attorney, or possibly the police, about a potential case on behalf of their loved one. For example, children cannot bring litigation without the help of a parent or guardian. For some survivors, it might be too difficult to go through an initial consultation with a lawyer on their own.
Child survivors of sexual assault can’t file a lawsuit by themselves. They require the assistance of a parent or guardian to bring about litigation. Throughout the United States, minors do not have the same legal right as adults to sue. That’s not to say a child cannot receive justice for abuse or assault. But, to do so, they need the help of an adult. That’s because, legally, children don’t have the mental capacity to understand the complexities of a lawsuit. Children also cannot hire a lawyer or pay for legal fees. They can’t get themselves to and from mediation. In the case of minor victims of sexual assault, someone must report the abuse to an attorney on their behalf.
In some cases, it might be too difficult for adult victims to consult with an attorney. If your loved one has been sexually assaulted, they might request you to meet with an attorney to discuss their potential case. However, it’s unlikely that an attorney will take a case without meeting the plaintiff directly – a plaintiff must agree to representation. That’s because your lawyer will want to speak with a survivor about their experience to understand it thoroughly. While it’s always the victim’s choice to file, a family member or loved one can always pay for an attorney. That being said, paying for a lawyer doesn’t mean a family member becomes privy to confidential conversations between an attorney and a client, nor does it mean they can make decisions in place of the victim. Although meeting with a lawyer can be overwhelming for survivors, the compassionate sexual assault attorneys at The Law Office of Andrew Shubin can help ease your concerns. The right attorney should have experience speaking with survivors of assault. Having a family member or loved one there during your first consultation can also help you feel more comfortable.
That being said, it’s perfectly legal for anyone to report a sexual abuse case to an attorney on behalf of someone else. If you’re considering doing that, it is necessary to consult with the survivor. Reporting sexual assault without the knowledge of the victim can be overwhelming and violating for survivors.
Speaking with the police and with an attorney on someone else’s behalf is different. Generally, you can report a concern to the police on someone else’s behalf. However, the police are likely to immediately contact a victim for corroboration. Reporting to the police without a survivor’s consent can be very damaging to their recovery, even if you think you’re doing the right thing. It’s always a survivor’s choice whether or not they want to report to anyone, including the police.
Should I Report a Sexual Assault Case on Someone’s Behalf?
If your friend, child, or loved one has been sexually assaulted, it can be helpful to provide them with options. In doing so, you may consider discussing the assault with an attorney to see if your loved one has a viable case. Before you do, it’s important to ask a survivor whether or not they’d like to explore litigation. Always consult with your loved one before you seek legal guidance.
Speaking with the sexual assault attorneys at The Law Office of Andrew Shubin won’t help your loved one unless it’s something they want. While an experienced lawyer can explain legal options to a survivor of assault, it can take a long time before victims are ready to pursue litigation. Reporting their abuse to an attorney without their knowledge can feel like an invasion of privacy. For survivors of abuse, seeking justice is deeply personal and something that can only be done when they’re ready.
The same goes for your child. Minor victims of sexual assault also deserve a say in how they want to navigate the situation. While children cannot bring about a lawsuit by themselves, it’s important to give them a choice. Parents who need answers might go to an attorney on behalf of their child, which is completely understandable. That being said, your child will most likely still have to be somewhat involved in the case for it to succeed. It’s important to know that individuals who work directly with children, like teachers and doctors, are considered mandated reporters. Mandated reporters are required, by law, to alert authorities about alleged child abuse. If a child has disclosed a sexual assault to a mandated reporter, that individual must inform the proper authorities.
Talking with your child about their options can be difficult because of their young age and experience. The compassionate sexual assault attorneys at The Law Office of Andrew Shubin can walk you through your options and explain how a lawsuit might require your child’s involvement. Reporting sexual assault to an attorney on behalf of your child can be overwhelming, so consulting with an experienced lawyer is important.
Sexual assault can be traumatic and devastating for survivors. Whether a victim is a child or an adult, it’s important to discuss your plans to report before you go forward. Including your loved one in that conversation is crucial, so they don’t feel further violated or silenced. Remember, survivors will report when they’re ready. While it can be helpful to have a loved one speak with an attorney on their behalf, that decision is up to survivors.
If You Need to Report a Sexual Assault Case on Someone’s Behalf, Call Our Lawyers Today
Reporting a sexual assault case to an attorney on someone’s behalf can be helpful to survivors if they consent. For a free and confidential consultation with the empathetic sexual assault attorneys at The Law Office of Andrew Shubin, call us today at (814) 826-3586.