Florida Sexual Assault Attorney
Victims of sexual assault experience painful physical injury, but often it’s the emotional and psychological injury they suffer which lingers and for some never fully goes away. Assault victims may experience some sense of justice if their abuser gets convicted of a crime and sent to jail, but prosecutors have a high bar to meet to obtain a criminal conviction, and some predators are never convicted. Some in fact are never even charged, depending on the circumstances and the strength of the prosecution’s case.
Regardless of whether a perpetrator was convicted or even ever arrested, victims of sexual assault may be able to obtain their own measure of justice through a civil lawsuit for money damages. A civil judgment can not only hit an assailant where it hurts and make sure they don’t get away with what they’ve done; a settlement or verdict can also provide much-needed funds to help the victim pay for medical bills and therapy, make up for lost income if the victim can’t return to the same job, and compensate for the pain and suffering and emotional distress the victim is being forced to endure.
The Florida sexual assault attorneys at Halpern Santos & Pinkert, P.A. are experienced and dedicated trial lawyers. We’ve devoted our professional careers to helping injury victims recover from the worst situations, find justice and peace, and heal their bodies to the fullest extent possible. Our practice includes representing victims of sexual assault in Florida who have been assaulted on cruise ships or in the workplace.
Sexual assault on cruise lines
Almost 900 cruise ships stop in Miami every year, and well over 2,000 ships land in Florida ports statewide. Florida ports, and Port Miami in particular, are the busiest cruise ports in the world. For most, cruises are fantastic (and fantastically expensive) experiences where it seems your every care and concern are considered in advance and catered to. For others, however, a cruise turns into a nightmare when guests become the victims of sexual assault or rape.
Cruise lines fail to report sexual assaults
It’s not the theft of valuables from the stateroom or pickpockets in the casino. The leading crime occurring aboard cruise ships is sexual assault and rape, but you wouldn’t know it because it goes unreported or underreported. The problem is actually so great that Congress felt compelled to introduce the Cruise Passenger Protection Act to require cruise ships to report assaults, provide supplies to prevent sexually transmitted diseases, require a private telephone line to report assaults, restrict crew access to passenger staterooms, and make sure cruise ship personnel are trained and certified in crime scene preservation.
Sexual assault in the workplace
Sexual violence in the workplace is understudied, so the precise numbers are not known, but some studies have been conducted which shine some light on the subject. One study found that over a six-year period in the 1990s, 36,500 sexual assaults and rapes occurred in American workplaces. Over a four-year period in the 2000s, sexual assault and rape made up 2.3% of all non-fatal violence in workplace.
Employers can be held liable in situations where their lack of supervision failed to prevent a foreseeable sexual assault. It may seem so obvious that sexual assault is forbidden that no employer need have a policy addressing the issue, but many workplaces can and should address sexual violence and domestic violence, along with sexual harassment, in their policies. In 1996 Florida Governor Lawton Chiles created a model domestic violence policy for state agencies. This policy allows for counseling for aggressors and termination when warranted for serious acts of violence, even if the act occurred off-site and unconnected to the workplace. The model policy also provides paid or unpaid leave and work schedule modifications for victims of violence, so that they can get medical care, counseling and legal assistance.
When an employee complains about sexual harassment, stalking or other intimidating behavior at work, it becomes incumbent on the employer to investigate and make some determination about what action needs to be pursued. Doing nothing can result in liability to the employer if the employee is later victimized. Businesses can also be liable for assaults on workers which occur on company property due to negligent security on the premises, such as unlit parking garages or stairwells, or the lack of security personnel, secured entrances and other security measures when called for.
Compassionate and Dedicated Legal Help after Sexual Assault in Florida
If you’ve been the victim of sexual assault on a cruise line, in the workplace or elsewhere, contact the Florida sexual assault attorneys at Halpern Santos & Pinkert in Miami at 305-445-1111 or toll-free statewide at 877-529-6211 for a no-cost, confidential consultation. Our experienced and dedicated trial lawyers will work hard to achieve justice for you.