Survivors Of Sexual Abuse/Assault
Lansing, Mi & Richmond, TX Sexual Abuse/Assault Lawyer
Sexual abuse and assault are terrible crimes, and they leave lasting impacts on their victims. If you or someone you live has been the victim of sexual abuse or assault, there is help. The National Sexual Assault Hotline can be reached by calling 800-656-HOPE. Victims need to be further aware that their legal options include a lawsuit against the offender, the institution that may have enabled the offender, or both. Our sexual abuse lawyer can provide counsel on the best steps moving forward.
A. Frazho Law Office has been providing reliable legal advice, strong advocacy, and compassionate leadership to clients since 1995.
Defining Sexual Assault & Abuse Under Michigan Law
The state of Michigan defines sexual assault as forcing or coercing someone else into a sexual act. From a legal perspective, the crime of assault is broader and refers to any type of non-consensual sexual conduct. Abuse is more narrowly defined, and refers to instances when the perpetrator has an authority relationship with the victim. The relationship of a professor to a student on campus might be one example, as would a manager to a subordinate in the workplace.
There are some cases where the reality of sexual assault or abuse is blatant and straightforward, such as using the threat of physical violence to compel intercourse. But assault and abuse can also be subtle and still be a crime.
Inappropriate touching can qualify as sexual assault or abuse, as can indecent exposure. The use of alcohol, drugs ,or other mind-altering chemicals to induce consent may be considered assault. And according to the Michigan Criminal Sexual Conduct Act, any act with a person under the age of 16 years old is, by definition, non-consensual.
One of the many tragic realities of sexual assault and abuse is that the perpetrator is often someone who has a previously established, trusting relationship with the victim. Teachers, coaches, and other leaders at school are an example with children. The stories of victims abused by religious leadership have been all too common in recent years. Medical professionals, including therapists, may be guilty of taking advantage of a relationship to commit sexual assault or abuse.
Whomever the culprit is, the psychological and physical damage to the victim can be considerable. While a sexual abuse attorney can’t undo all that damage or even speed up the recovery process, what we can do is work through the civil court system to obtain some measure of justice through compensation.
Attorney Antoinette Frazho has over 25 years of experience fighting to protect the victims of abuse and assault.
Call the office today at (517) 398-8187 or fill out our online contact form to arrange for a free consultation.
Justice can be pursued through two different avenues. One of these is the criminal court. This has to be handled by the District Attorney’s office, who makes decisions on pressing charges. It is through the criminal justice process that a perpetrator can be sentenced to prison.
The civil court—our focus at A. Frazho Law Office—aims at getting compensation from the victim, the institution they worked for, or both. Please note that it is not necessary for the D.A. to file criminal charges in order to pursue a civil lawsuit. While a conviction in criminal court can certainly strengthen the civil case, the two paths are separate from each other.
A victim can seek compensation for that which they have directly lost. An example would be the lost income from missed time at work. Or, if a crime happened on campus, the lost time in getting into the workforce and getting a career underway. Other direct costs include any medical treatment that might have been required, and certainly the costs of long-term psychotherapy to recover.
A sexual assault or abuse lawsuit can also recover damages for pain and suffering. What is the value of no longer being able to sleep well at night? Of having difficulty forming trusting, romantic relationships? Of fearing to go to the places one used to frequent? The unseen damage of a sexual assault is a terrible toll. And, of course, no one can truly place a dollar value of any of these things. But it is the responsibility of the Michigan justice system to try, to give the victim the resources they need to begin life anew.
“She made me feel comfortable with the process and made sure I understood what was happening.” - Cristy B.
“She makes sure that the important facts of the case are presented.” - Dalton Airanna P.
People that come to A. Frazho Law Office find a safe place where they can talk about what happened, and make decisions on next steps in a compassionate environment. Victims of sexual assault deserve justice and that can include a lawsuit for fair compensation.
Call our office today at (517) 398-8187 or contact us online to set up a free consultation. We serve clients in Ingham, Eaton, Livingston, and Clinton counties, and throughout the state of Michigan and Texas.