If you’ve been sexually assaulted, you might feel alone or confused and scared. You might be unsure about what your next move should be. This article aims to answer some of the most common questions about sexual assault law in the UK with the hope of making things a little bit clearer for you. If you have been accused of committing sexual assault, please contact a sexual offence solicitor.
What is sexual assault?
Sexual assault is any kind of sexual touching that you don’t agree to. It can happen regardless of whether you’re a man or a woman, and it can happen even if the person who assaulted you is of the same sex as you. Sexual assault can also occur if someone forces you to have intercourse, but this is usually classed as rape.
What should I do if I’ve been sexually assaulted?
If you’ve been sexually assaulted, the most important thing is to get to a safe place. Once you’re in a safe place, you can call the police or a support group like Rape Crisis or Survivors UK. It’s also important to get medical help as soon as possible, even if you don’t think you’ve been injured. The sooner you get medical help, the better your chances are of getting evidence that can be used in a court case.
What will happen if I go to the police?
If you go to the police, they will ask you to give a statement about what happened. You may also be requested to provide evidence such as your clothes or any weapons that were used. Once the police have your statement, they will decide whether or not to charge the person who assaulted you.
What happens if I go to court?
If you go to court, you will have to testify about what happened; this can be a very difficult experience, but there are support groups that can help you through it. The jury will decide whether or not the person who assaulted you is guilty. If they are found guilty, they will be sentenced by the judge.
I’ve been accused of sexual assault?
The first thing to do is remain calm and seek the appropriate legal advice from a solicitor who is trained in this area.
They will be able to assess the severity of your case and start building a legal defence for you. They will also work with the police to have any charges against you dropped, or they may attend court with you to plead your case. It is worth noting that while you may feel embarrassed about disclosing information, you shouldn’t be. Solicitors trained in this area are professional, supportive and compassionate and will always do their best to ensure that your legal rights are met without judging you. Hence why you will need to tell them everything you remember and potentially bring along photographic evidence, text messages or emails when you go to your first appointment with them.
Remember, your legal rights matter. So, if you’ve been accused of committing a sexual offence, you should seek legal advice as soon as possible.