“No matter what a person does, it is not an invitation for rape. It doesn't matter if I kissed him. It doesn't matter if he was drunk. It doesn't matter if I said yes to a shower. I never said he could get violent with me. I never said he could make me bleed.” – Amber Amour, Activist on being raped.
It wasn’t until 2008 that the U.N. Security Council recognized rape and other forms of sexual violence as a crime against humanity when they adopted resolution 1820. Sexual violence is a crime against the individual that robs him or her of dignity, privacy, bodily integrity, and can destroy the life of an individual. It is one that is often swept under the carpet, and is a wrongful act wherein the victim is often blamed.
Many are aware of the criminal options and the necessity to immediately seek help and to ensure that a rape kit captures as much evidence as possible. Yet, in counties and cities across the United States thousands of allegations of rape go unchecked by law enforcement due to the difficulty of the cases, gender bias, limited investigative resources and/or will, and many other factors. Unfortunately, some victims may find that they have not realized the justice they sought within the criminal system.
What other options do you have as a victim of sexual assault? Civil lawsuits are one way to hold predators and their enablers responsible. While many victims communicate that monetary damages are not the same as ensuring that a predator can no longer walk the streets, often civil litigation may be the only route to hold a predator responsible.
These cases are not easy. Victims are questioned throughout the process, and the cases may last years, but to those who continue to seek justice in any way possible, it may be the best way to publicly hold a predator or negligent institution responsible for the pain, humiliation and suffering of the victim.
Always fight back.