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What is the Difference Between Sexual Assault and Sexual Harassment?

By Levin Simes
December 4, 2023
An experienced sexual harassment and assault attorney can diligently handle your matter and help you hold responsible parties accountable. An attorney can help you understand the particulars of your case and what legal options may be available to you. 

An incident of sexual harassment or sexual assault can be devastating. You may feel embarrassed, afraid, or confused. You may not know what to do or who to contact for help. Additionally, you may not know that, while there are some differences between sexual harassment and sexual assault, an attorney can help you take legal action against both. 

First and foremost, you should seek medical attention and make sure that you are safe. Once you are, you may want to consider bringing a lawsuit for damages against the parties who are responsible for your injury. 

Sexual harassment and assault cases require a high level of care and attention. The lawyers at Levin Simes are well-practiced in handling these delicate matters and will handle your case carefully from beginning to end. Contact the caring attorney team at Levin Simes online or by calling (415) 426-3000. Our associates are standing by to answer your questions and help you begin the legal process. 

Differences Between Sexually Harassed and Sexually Assaulted

There are slight differences between sexual harassment and sexual assault. Sexual harassment is a broad term and includes unwanted verbal and physical sexual attention. It refers to unwelcome or inappropriate behavior of a sexual nature that creates a hostile or intimidating environment in the workplace, educational setting, or other contexts. 

Sexual assault can range in severity from unwanted touching to more serious offenses like rape. The legal consequences for perpetrators may vary based on the severity of the act. Sexual harassment and sexual assault involve unwanted sexual behaviors. Criminal law and civil law may apply differently to various harassment and assault cases; contact a lawyer if you have questions about your legal options.

Both sexual harassment and sexual assault issues require careful attention, support for victims, and adherence to legal processes to ensure justice and accountability. A sexual harassment and sexual assault attorney can answer your questions and help guide you through the legal process.

Financial Compensation Available in Sexual Harassment and Sexual Assault Cases

If you have experienced sexual harassment or assault, it is first important to seek medical attention. Your health and safety are the top priority. Public services like the Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network (RAINN) offer resources to help you find care and rehabilitation in the aftermath of harassment or assault. 

Financial compensation for sexual assault and sexual harassment can be sought through civil legal actions, typically in the form of a lawsuit against the perpetrator, employer, or other responsible parties. The monetary award that may be available in these cases can vary depending on the specific circumstances, applicable laws, and the legal theories pursued.

Financial compensation available in sexual harassment and sexual harassment cases  may include: 

  • Medical expenses: You may be able to receive compensation for all medical costs incurred as a result of the sexual assault or harassment. 
  • Pain and suffering: Compensation for emotional trauma is usually available in sexual harassment and sexual assault lawsuits. These monetary awards are meant to compensate you for the physical and emotional distress, pain, and suffering you may have experienced due to the responsible party’s wrongful actions. 
  • Punitive damages: The primary purpose of punitive damages is to deter similar behavior in the future. Punitive damages may be awarded by the court to punish the perpetrator for particularly egregious or intentional conduct. 

If you have experienced sexual assault or harassment, it is crucial to consult with an experienced attorney who specializes in these types of cases. They can provide guidance on the compensation you may be entitled to seek and help you navigate the legal process to pursue justice and compensation.

Note that the availability of certain damages and the legal process can vary based on jurisdiction and the specific circumstances of each case. Additionally, some damages may be limited by statutory caps or other legal restrictions. Contact the team at Levin Simes online or by calling (415) 426-3000 for your free consultation and to learn more about the legal process. 

How a Sexual Harassment and Assault Lawyer Can Help You

A sexual harassment and sexual assault lawyer can provide essential support and legal guidance if you are seeking justice or compensation. You may be wondering what the difference is between being sexually harassed and sexually assaulted. An experienced attorney can accurately explain the differences between the two and help you pursue a claim for damages. 

An attorney can also help you by: 

  • Legal consultation and legal advice: Your lawyer will evaluate the details of your situation, providing an understanding of the legal aspects, potential claims, and the strength of your case.
  • Evidence gathering: A lawyer can assist in gathering relevant evidence, such as witness statements, documents, or other proof of the harassment or assault.
  • Protect you against retaliation: If you are concerned about potential retaliation for coming forward, a lawyer can advise on legal protections and take action to prevent or address retaliation.
  • Adhere to all court deadlines: A lawyer ensures that all legal deadlines are met, including statutes of limitations, to preserve your right to pursue a claim.
  • Representation in legal proceedings: If you decide to pursue legal action, a lawyer will represent you in negotiations, mediation, or court proceedings, advocating for your rights and interests.

Consult with a qualified sexual harassment and sexual assault lawyer to understand your specific situation and receive personalized legal advice tailored to your needs. Sexual harassment and sexual assault can occur in a variety of circumstances such as workplace sexual harassment, rideshare sexual harassment, and other forms of institutional sexual harassment. 

Each situation is unique and will require particular and precise legal advice. Legal professionals can provide valuable assistance in navigating the complexities of these cases and advocating for your rights.

Contact an Experienced Sexual Harassment and Assault Attorney 

The attorneys at Levin and Simes have successfully represented their clients in matters in a wide variety of cases including sexual harassment and sexual assault. We have collected hundreds of millions of dollars in settlements and jury awards. We understand the level of care and discretion that sexual harassment and sexual assault cases require. 

We are standing by to listen to you and handle your case from start to finish. Contact Levin Simes online or by calling our offices at (415) 426-3000 to begin the legal process today. 

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