Every 73 seconds, an American becomes a victim of sexual assault. Although this is a horrible reality, the frequency of this problem means that it’s important to know how to respond. If you believe you have been impacted by sexual assault (defined as any non-consensual, sexual touching), you have a right to pursue justice. Here’s what you need to know.
How long do I have to make a report of sexual assault?
Experiencing a sexual assault can be extremely traumatic. You have no obligation to make a report before you are ready. However, there are some important things to consider when deciding whether to report.
- Sexual assault cases are greatly aided by DNA evidence. Your perpetrator has a much higher chance of being brought to justice if you report promptly. DNA samples can be taken from the scene of the crime, your skin, and clothing — evidence that may be lost with time.
- State statutes of limitations. Although South Carolina does not have any criminal statutes for reporting, you may run into problems if you choose to pursue civil litigation. Typically, you’ll have around three years to file a civil claim but could have more time if you were a minor or suffered familial abuse.
- Your personal healing process. Many choose to put their attack out of their mind. However, for some, seeing your abuser face consequences is a valuable part of finding healing and peace.
What will filing a sexual assault report look like in South Carolina?
If you are assaulted and choose to call the police, you will be brought in for questioning. This procedure is not to determine whether or not you are lying — rather, the officer will simply gather the facts of your case and help ensure that you are safe and okay.
You may go on to have a medical examination that can check for any additional trauma or DNA evidence. The more information you can remember and provide to the experts, the more likely it will be that your assaulter is caught.
Bailey Law Firm
No one should have to navigate trauma alone. At Bailey Law Firm, we can provide expert advice on how to report your experience and get justice. Contact us today for more information.