College and University Sexual Abuse Lawyer in California
Sexual violence is prevalent among college-aged adults. According to a survey published in 2020, 13% of all college students have experienced rape or sexual assault.
California has some of the most in-depth laws on sexual assault on college campuses, including the “Yes Means Yes” law, first enacted in 2014. The law requires California universities and colleges to have a sexual violence policy that educates students and supports survivors. If you experience sexual assault on or off campus, a college sexual abuse lawyer in California at Boucher LLP can help you enforce your rights.
What Is California’s “Yes Means Yes” Law?
In 2014, the California legislature added Section 67386 to the Education Code to address sexual assault on college and university campuses. The law requires all colleges and universities in California that receive state funding to adopt policies regarding sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking. One key requirement is that the policy must define sexual consent as an affirmative, unambiguous, and voluntary agreement to engage in sexual activity.
The bill’s title flips the script on the “no means no” culture. Rather than assuming a person consents unless they say “no,” the law requires both parties to give affirmative consent at every step. Before engaging in any sexual activity, a person must receive a clear “yes” from their partner. During sexual activity, they must check for and respect any withdrawal of consent.
In addition to requiring and defining affirmative consent, the law requires colleges and universities to provide ongoing education and training. They must establish procedures for investigating and responding to reports of sexual assault, including access to resources. These procedures must be prompt, fair, and impartial. And they must prioritize the survivor’s safety and well-being.
The law also establishes the preponderance of the evidence standard for expulsion hearings after a sexual assault. Before taking disciplinary action under this standard, the school must find at least a 51% possibility that the student did not obtain affirmative consent. This standard is the same in a civil lawsuit but lower than the “beyond a reasonable doubt” standard required for a criminal conviction.
What Is the Role of Campus Law Enforcement in Campus Sexual Assault?
Campus police in California must follow certain procedures when investigating sexual assault claims. In most cases, campus police must coordinate with local law enforcement agencies to prevent further harm to the student body.
First, California law requires campus police to notify local law enforcement agencies immediately after receiving a report of sexual assault. Early reporting ensures that survivors receive prompt and effective medical care and support. It also provides a coordinated response to the incident, especially in severe cases.
In addition, California law requires campus police to train in investigating and responding to sexual assault and domestic violence. They must collaborate with advocates, medical personnel, and other support services to ensure survivors receive appropriate care.
Overall, campus law enforcement should aim to keep students safe and prevent sexual violence. In California, the law requires them to take action to support survivors after a sexual assault. If your university failed to take action after you reported an assault, a college sexual abuse attorney in California at Boucher LLP can help you speak out.
How Can a California School Sexual Abuse Lawyer Help?
Boucher LLP is a team of compassionate and dedicated attorneys who focus on representing survivors of sexual abuse. Our goal is to provide our clients with a sense of inner peace and closure and help them heal from the trauma they have experienced.
Here is an overview of some of the ways a University sexual abuse attorney in California can assist survivors:
- Provide legal advice and guidance. Our attorneys help survivors understand their legal rights and options and guide them through the legal process. We also provide connections with medical professionals and other resources to help you build your case and manage the aftermath of an assault.
- File a lawsuit. Our attorneys can help you file a lawsuit against the university or other parties that may be liable for the assault. A lawsuit allows survivors to seek compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, and emotional distress.
- Negotiate a settlement. Our attorneys can negotiate a settlement with the liable party. A settlement can help avoid the stress and uncertainty of a trial and can result in a faster resolution to your case.
- Assist with Title IX complaints. Our attorneys can assist you with filing a complaint with the Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights, which prohibits sex discrimination in education. A Title IX complaint can help you seek remedies like changes to university policies, accommodations, or disciplinary action against the perpetrator.
- Provide emotional support. Our attorneys provide emotional support to survivors throughout the legal process. We can help you understand what to expect and provide security and comfort during a difficult time.
As college sexual abuse attorneys, we help survivors of sexual assault seek justice and hold responsible parties accountable for their actions. We will provide the guidance and support you need to achieve a fair outcome in the legal process.
Boucher LLP: Helping Survivors of Sexual Assault on College Campuses Throughout California
At Boucher LLP, we understand survivors’ hesitation when coming forward and seeking justice. We start by listening to and working closely with our clients to tell their stories. We will convey to the decision maker how the abuse has affected you, including any physical injuries, emotional trauma, or psychological effects that may have a tangible financial impact. Throughout a case, we take a tactical approach and make sure you feel comfortable and supported.
Our attorneys are experienced and determined to help our clients seek justice and are willing to take a case to trial if necessary. We don’t get paid until you reach a settlement, and we work tirelessly to support our clients on their journey. Our greatest success is mending our clients’ hearts and minds and showing them they are not alone. Contact our California college sexual abuse lawyers to discuss your case today.