In Australia, anyone 16 years old or younger is typically considered to be under the age of consent. Furthermore, anyone over the age of 16 has the right to consent to or refuse sexual attention and to be free from sexual harassment or sexual assault.
Sexual assault is defined as any unwanted or uninvited behaviour of a sexual nature, including instances of physical, emotional or psychological coercion. Most people who are sexually assaulted are victimised by people they know, often family members or persons in positions of authority.
Estimates of women who have been sexually assaulted are as high as 1 in 2, and estimates of men who have been assaulted are as high as 1 in 5. Many people are sexually assaulted as children:
Women are the most likely group to be sexually assaulted, with younger women and female children being the most targeted subgroup.
Also, 93% of sexual assault perpetrators are male. Most male victims of sexual assault are the victims of other men, and men who have been sexually assaulted are more likely to have been targeted in childhood than as adults.
While it is recommended that a claim be brought as soon as possible after an assault, cases can be successfully prosecuted years later, particularly if the assault happened to a child. It’s best to consult with a lawyer who is experienced in sexual assault claims. If a criminal case has been filed, any claim must wait until the charges are resolved.
There are several ways to receive compensation for sexual assault. A claim can be brought against the person (or an institution that knew or should have suspected that assault was occurring), and a private settlement attempted. A child sexual abuse claim can also be made against the National Redress System for a payout, but it may be less than you could recover privately, and if you accept recompense from this source, you cannot pursue further action.
If you have been sexually assaulted, it isn’t your fault, and you may have the right to compensation. Contact Gerard Malouf & Partners Compensation, Medical Negligence & Will Dispute Lawyers today.