Sexual Assault and Personal Injury in Alaska

Everyone knows that sexual assault is a crime. These crimes are amongst some of the most serious violations of the law and can include rape, child molestation ,and aggravated sexual assault. However, these crimes are notoriously difficult to prosecute and often leave the victim without justice. Fortunately, there is another way that a victim can hold his or her abuser accountable and that is through a civil sexual abuse lawsuit.


Why Pursue a Civil Remedy?

To begin with, the legal community and victim’s rights organizations recognize that sexual assaults and other sexual crimes are frequently difficult to prosecute. For example, in 2017, a victim rights organization (using Department of Justice statistics) estimates that out of 1,000 rapes committed, only 230 are reported to police and of those, only 46 lead to an arrest. Furthermore, only five of those lead to a felony conviction. This simply means that many victims never get closure through the criminal justice system, so the civil system offers another avenue if the criminal justice system fails.



Another reason to pursue a civil remedy is similar to many other personal injuries: It takes time and money to heal from the incident. Many victims undergo years of treatment and suffer from horrible symptoms that were caused by the actions of someone else. Think about it like this: If you were injured in a car accident by a drunk driver and suffered severe injuries and racked up tens of thousands of dollars of hospital bills and medical charges and proceeded to miss work for six months as you received treatment and tried to heal, shouldn’t the drunk driver be held accountable for the costs? Sexual assault victims should not be treated any differently than any other personal injury victim in this respect.


Third Party Liability 

Finally, utilizing the civil system to pursue sexual assault cases often allows victims to hold third parties accountable for allowing known activities to happen due to negligence. In this regard, think of the abuse cases that are currently being alleged against the Catholic Church all across the country. If an organization knew of the behavior and failed to do anything about it, there is often liability for that organization. Third-party liability can also stem from an organization failing to take proper steps to ensure that its employees were in compliance with state or federally mandated background checks. For example, if a daycare agency failed to comply with appropriate background checks on an employee who had supervision over children and is alleged to have sexually abused them, that agency faces potential liability, especially if the appropriate background check would have shown a potential problem with the employee’s past behavior.

Sexual assault can happen anywhere and to anyone. The criminal justice system is only about exacting punishment against those who commit these heinous acts and is seen by many to be inadequate in most cases. If you find yourself a victim of sexual assault, you have rights that need to be protected. In the Anchorage area, Power & Power Law has been an advocate for sexual assault victims for years. To find out what they can do for you, give them a call at 907-222-9990 or toll free at 833-669-9990 or click here and put their decades of experience to work for you.