Sexual Assault Victims May Bring Civil Cases Against Abusers

https://www.sanfranciscoinjurylawyerblog.com/files/2017/03/The_University_of_California_1868.svg_-300x300.pngThe University of California recently released information stating it investigated 113 cases of sexual misconduct filed against faculty or staff across its 10 campuses between Jan. 1, 2014 and April 6, 2016. The information provided is troubling, particularly in light of the sexual assault epidemic occurring across the nation’s university campuses. Sexual offenses such as harassment, assault, and rape lead to significant physical and emotional injuries, yet U.S. colleges and universities are coming under fire for doing little to prevent sexual violence, improperly investigating claims of assault, and not punishing the perpetrators.

When students who are victims of sexual assault cannot turn to their schools for help, they may not know where to go. If they suffered injuries, they should contact a San Francisco injury lawyer from Brod Law Firm as soon as possible. They may have a civil claim for monetary damages based on sexual abuse or assault.

University of California’s Sexual Misconduct Statistics

UC San Francisco had the most cases that included physical and verbal sexual harassment and unwanted advances at 26. The next was UCLA with 25 cases, followed by UC Berkeley with 19, UC Davis with 13, and US San Diego with 12. The remaining campuses, Santa Barbara, Riverside, Merced, Santa Cruz, and Irvine all had fewer than 8 complaints. Of all of the complaints, 35% were made by students, 58% by staff members, and the rest were made anonymously.

While UC states that approximately two-thirds of the individuals cited for sexual harassment no longer work for the university, it is not necessarily because they were fired. Many staff and faculty members who were found to have engaged in sexual harassment or assault were censured but allowed to continue working in their positions of authority.

UC Pressured to Do Better

UC stated that since the sexual harassment scandal at UC Berkeley last year, in which it was uncovered that staff members were fired or forced to resign while tenured professors only received light sanctions for similar offenses, it has implemented new policies and procedures to better handle complaints, investigations, and sanctions. However, it claims that all previous accusations were appropriately handled and that steps were taken to end any harassment and provide counseling when needed.

One of the new policies directly responds to the issues found at UC Berkeley: All proposed sanctions for senior faculty members found to have engaged in sexual misconduct must be reviewed by a committee on each campus. Additionally, as of January, UC established:

  • An Advocated Office for Sexual and Gender-Based Violence and Sexual Misconduct on every campus,
  • A standardized two-team response for addressing sexual violence on every campus. One team is a case management team to review sexual misconduct complaints. The second team focuses on policies, prevention, intervention, and community relations.
  • A system-wide website designed to give users a one-stop portal for important information and campus resources, including how to report sexual misconduct or violence.

A San Francisco Injury Lawyer Can Help

Victims of sexual assault do not often receive the help they need from their universities, and even if the university investigates and sanctions the perpetrator, that does not compensate a victim for his or her injuries. Anyone who has been injured due to sexual violence should reach out to an experienced injury attorney at the Brod Law Firm to learn more about his or her right to bring a civil suit against the abuser. Call us today at (800) 427-7020 to learn more.