Justice is More Than Jail: Civil Legal Needs of Sexual Assault Victims

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While the criminal justice system succeeds at protecting the needs of society as a whole, strict reliance upon that system is not always the best option for victims of sexual assault as it often fails to protect their immediate and personal needs. Instead, often the civil legal system is better suited to meet the immediate and personal legal needs of victims of sexual assault, which can include privacy, safety, housing, education, immigration, employment, and financial concerns. This article will discuss the dynamics and prevalence of sexual assault and then describe victims’ civil legal needs and how attorneys can assist them with those needs. Attorneys need not specialize in this area to provide valuable assistance to victims of sexual assault through pro bono work.

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