College, for many young adults, is a time to accumulate eye-opening knowledge and experiences that will set the tone for the rest of their lives. Sadly, many parents and students have learned in recent years that a college campus is not always the safest place, and that those experiences are not always pleasant. College students are just as likely – and at times, even more likely – as other Americans to be the victims of a violent crime while on campus.
If you or someone you care about has been assaulted at Villanova, you shouldn’t have to face your difficult circumstances alone. The team of attorneys at the Reiff Law Firm can help you get compensation for your injuries; in more than four decades fighting for clients, we have won hundreds of millions of dollars for those we represent. To schedule a free consultation, call us today at (215) 515-3913.
Types of Assault on College Campuses
Though often a source of warm memories and lifelong friendships, the time students spend at college can also come with a certain amount of pain, or even trauma. Like any publicly-accessible space, college campuses can be vulnerable to unsavory elements from the surrounding area, and the teens and twenty-somethings who attend the school – many of them intoxicated by alcohol, drugs, and hormones – are often no strangers to misbehavior, either.
The combination of unknown variables and known dangers can lead to a number of dangerous situations in which a student can be assaulted. Some kinds of assault are more common than others, however:
Assault and Battery
Two crimes that frequently go hand in hand, assault and battery are essentially opposite sides of the same coin. Although many people equate assault with physical harm – misinformation spread, in part, by police procedurals – assault (in a legal sense) is actually the threat of imminent physical harm. Making someone believe that they are in immediate danger while clearly possessing the capacity to inflict the injury and the intent to carry it out is illegal and can lead to an assault charge.
Battery is a little more clear-cut; it is simply the imposition of unwanted physical contact. The nature of the contact does not make much difference; whether the touch is a straightforward punch to the face or sexual in nature, the fact that a person is forced into physical contact without giving consent constitutes battery.
Studies, polls, reports, and anecdotal evidence in the last few decades have conclusively shown a connection between college and sexual assault. In fact, a women attending college is three times as likely as other women to be the target of a sexually assault. Many of those who are attacked do not report the assault – for a variety of very personal reasons – but those victims are every bit as deserving of justice.
Civil court can often be a place that empowers and vindicates survivors of sexual assault. Unlike criminal proceedings, civil actions place the victim in a position to influence the case and make decisions in terms of possible settlements. The plaintiff can force their attacker into a deposition (under oath, no less) and need only meet the less strict standard of “preponderance of the evidence,” rather than “beyond a reasonable doubt.” This makes favorable outcomes more likely and can help provide a sense of closure.
Though the physical signs of assault and battery are often more obvious, the emotional injuries inflicted by an attack can be just as devastating and take even longer to heal. The list of associated issues is lengthy and includes some very serious conditions:
- Post-traumatic stress
- Eating disorders
- Substance abuse
- Difficulty concentrating
Therapy sessions, medication, self-defense classes – the treatments used to address feelings of vulnerability and victimization can be expensive and continue for months or years. On top of that, those who have been targeted deserve compensation for their injuries, both mental and physical.
Proving the infliction of emotional damages after an attack can be tricky, as the signs are often difficult or impossible to show to a judge or jury. Still, if you have been through an ordeal like this, know that there is hope. A knowledgeable attorney can help you establish the facts of your case and get you justice.
Call a Qualified Villanova Assault Injury Lawyer Today
Though victims of assault frequently face obstacles beyond the scope of the attack itself – obstacles that can make financial considerations seem trivial – delaying civil action only limits their options. Pennsylvania’s statute of limitations only leaves you with a two-year time window to file a personal injury lawsuit.
Don’t wait for your medical bills to pile up, or for your pain and suffering to become unbearable. The team at the Reiff Law Firm has more than 40 years’ experience helping victims fight for the compensation they deserve; to date, the firm has won hundreds of millions of dollars for its clients. If you have been assaulted at Villanova, don’t hesitate; call us today at (215) 515-3913 and schedule your free consultation.