Sexual Assaults on Campus Can Lead to Complex Liability Questions
Every student in South Texas has the right to enjoy college without the threat of sexual assault or rape. A sexual assault can leave victims with serious physical injuries and psychological trauma that takes years to recover from. While an on-campus sexual assault may seem rare, incidents happen each year at schools throughout the country. Texas student sexual assault attorneys know that college or university officials sometimes fail to take proper steps to prevent attacks on their campus. When this is the case, it’s important to contact an attorney for assault crimes immediately to discuss your legal options.
‘I’ve Been Sexually Assaulted at a Texas College. What Should I Do?’
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) indicates one in five college students – primarily women – experience attempted or completed sexual assault while in college. Furthermore, the CDC report reveals 37.4 percent of female rape survivors were between ages 18 and 24 at the time of their attack and 42 percent of college students who are raped tell no one about the assault. In fact, the CDC states only five percent of all rape incidents are reported to the police, leading officials to consider rape and sexual assault a drastically underreported crime – especially on college campuses across the country.
Are college campuses doing enough to prevent rape and sexual assault?
The consequences of a rape or sexual assault can be disastrous for students. A student may develop a sexually-transmitted disease or suffer irreversible psychological damage after an assault. Additionally, studies show rape victims often fail to perform at the same academic level after an assault. In many cases, sexual assault victims opt to withdraw from courses, drop out of school or transfer to a different college or university. In many instances, according to the CDC, students even said they believed institutional barriers exist on college campuses, including administrative disbelief of their injuries and a complicated campus judiciary process that often leaves an attacker unpunished.
As any experienced personal injury attorney from McAllen, TX to Boston, MA knows, college and universities have a legal obligation to take all steps necessary to prevent incidents of sexual assault and rape. Universities are responsible for hiring and properly training an adequate number of campus police officers. They’re also responsible for taking security measures – such as video surveillance cameras in public buildings and ensuring dorm room door locks are functional – to ensure the safety of all students. With up to 50 percent rape incidents reportedly involving alcohol, campus officials should also take appropriate precautions to prevent binge drinking on college campuses across the state.
The responsibility of the university or college in sexual assault cases
When a rape or sexual assault is reported to a college or university, that university has a responsibility to investigate the incident to the fullest extent the law allows. However, recent news reports indicate many colleges fail to do so. Investigation and disciplinary procedures may not only leave assailants unpunished, but also leave assault and rape victims without the services or support they need after an incident.
It’s imperative to contact an attorney immediately if this is the case. If a college or university’s negligence led to a rape or a sexual assault, you may be entitled to compensation for the damages you’ve suffered.