If you or one of your loved ones has been encountered a sexual assault, you must ensure that the offender is punished. However, it is not as easy as it sounds. Since a frightening experience like this can alter a person’s mental and emotional health, seeking justice can be a bit overwhelming.

With time, the case may dissolve, which is why you must take immediate action. However, make sure that your physical, mental, and psychological health is at bay. Take the necessary steps to recover your health before you step into the legal arena. Prioritize your well-being and safety to fight mental and psychological wounds.

What is Considered Sexual Assault?

Before you take action, you must know the criteria that define a sexual assault. A sexual act that takes place without your consent can be deemed as sexual assault, particularly when it is intentional. This involves touching the other person inappropriately and without consent, unwanted sexual contact, groping, molesting, fondling, or rape. In some cases, verbal abuse is also considered sexual assault.

When it comes to relevant claims, there is a lot of stigma surrounding this phrase. It is necessary to understand the term and move ahead with a clear mind. Every state has different laws to approach rape and similar incidents. Check with your local service provider or attorney to have a clearer picture. If you have experienced any of the above, you must take the necessary steps to seek justice.

Here is how you can ensure that a sexual offender is sent to prison at the earliest.

File a Sexual Assault Report

The first step to seek justice and send the offender to prison is to report the incident to a nearby police station. However, this process can be lengthy and may take some time. You must be prepared to endure the process and be courageous to fight the assailant. If the assaulter is someone you know or in your close group, you may be reluctant to report them. However, by not doing so, you may face a similar experience in the future. Remember that upon filing the complaint, you will be asked to present yourself at the station and court, face the assailant, and testify against them. This should not dissuade you from coming forward and speaking up. Collect evidence to make your case stronger. Narrate the entire incident in detail. If possible, collect photos of the scene and explain it when filing the complaint. Do not be ashamed or anxious.

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Hire an Experienced Lawyer

If nothing works or you are overwhelmed, take help from an experienced lawyer who has been handling such cases for years. These attorneys are trained and can handle a victim’s case from the beginning to the end. The attorneys from AbuseGuardian.com suggest hiring an experienced professional who can keep the victim’s rights protected and ensure their well-being. You will gain information on the type of report you are filing and its processing that will make your case stronger. You will also know details about confidential information and what to say in court. Your attorney will make sure that no details are repeated during the hearing, which can lessen the processing time.

Call a Local Assault Helpline

If you have recently been a target of sexual assault but do not know what to do in such cases, call a sexual assault service provider. These helplines offer voluntary help and walk you through the steps you must take in order to recover from injuries and catch the criminal.

Depending on the area you live in, you can call a local assault helpline to assist you. If you are unable to find the contact number, reach out to the national helpline and enter your zip code, after which you will be directed to your local hotline. These service providers have a staff of trained members who can decipher the situation you are in, calm you down, and guide you through the process. You will also get contact information for the nearest medical facility and police station in your area. In extreme cases, such helplines also provide trained attorneys who can help seek justice and send the offender to prison.

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If you have recently encountered an assault, you must gain the power to take action that was taken from you during the horrifying incident. The effect of sexual assault can be life-altering. Talk to your close friends and family members to recover from the trauma. At the same time, seek medical help to retain your physical health. In the end, whether or not you want to file a sexual assault report depends on your healing goals and the way you want to keep living.