Flash Mob Highlights Sexual Abuse and Kicks Off Victims’ Rights Week
The second annual flash mob dance took place in West Palm Beach on Saturday at the main fountain in the CityPlace to draw attention to the issue of sexual assault. Coordinated by PBC Victim Services, the event featured sexual assault survivors, victim services officials, the Palm Beach County Sexual Assault Response Team, police officers, fire-rescue personnel, family, and friends of survivors. The flash mob kicked off the county’s celebration of Victims’ Rights Week, with events currently happening across Palm Beach.
Victims’ Rights Week
April 18-24 is National Crime Victims’ Rights Week across the country, and it is used as a time to teach Americans about victimization, reflect on the cost of crime, and to promote laws, policies, and programs that help victims of crime rebuild their lives. Attorney General Eric Holder stated that “This year’s theme evokes powerful memories of a time when victim compensation and support services were not available to those harmed by crime…Victims and advocates demanded fairness, dignity and respect, and the time has come to acknowledge the progress made toward realizing these ideals.”
Palm Beach County Victims’ Rights Coalition is hosting a week of events, training, and seminars to highlight issues of crime occurring across the county, including sexual abuse and assault. Their workshops and ceremonies are meant to promote awareness of the rights of victims of these types of crimes in addition to promoting public interest in the rights of victims. More information regarding the events being held in Palm Beach County can be found on the county’s website.
Sexual Abuse Civil Rights and Remedies
Victims’ Rights Week serves to highlight the rights of victims of sexual assault or abuse. In addition to criminal remedies against the assailant, survivors of these crimes also have the right to pursue a civil lawsuit against the perpetrator for damages. Civil lawsuits are meant to provide monetary compensation as a means to begin to heal from the physical and emotional damage caused by the incident.
There are many benefits to pursuing a civil lawsuit in a sexual assault case. For one, the burden of proof is lower in a civil lawsuit than in a criminal case. The victim must only show by a preponderance of the evidence that the crime took place, unlike the standard of “beyond a reasonable doubt” that the criminal case requires. In addition, a perpetrator can be found liable in a civil lawsuit even if he won the criminal trial or charges were never filed.
Victims also have rights regarding the civil lawsuit and trial. For survivors that are fearful about their information being made public in the case, laws protect the identity and personal information from being released without their permission. In addition, punitive damages can be brought against the assailant as supplementary punishment, and it could deter the possibility of future crime.
Contact a Florida Attorney Now
If you or someone that you know has been victimized by sexual assault and wishes to pursue a case against their assailant in the West Palm Beach area, let the experienced sexual assault attorneys at Gary Roberts & Associates help. Call the office or contact us today for a free and private review of your claims.