What Is The Difference Between Sexual Harassment and Sexual Assault?November 2, 2021
Sexual harassment and sexual assault are often associated with one another, but in reality, have different legal definitions in the state of California. If you have been the victim or accused of sexual harassment or sexual assault, it is vital for you to know the differences between these two forms of abuse so you can hold the responsible party liable. An experienced Santa Barbara sexual harassment and sexual assault lawyer can help.
Sexual harassment usually applies to conduct that occurs in the workplace and constitutes actions like verbal intimidation or sexually offensive language. Sexual assault can occur in any place and involves physical sexual contact that is non-consensual.
Sexual harassment is defined as “any unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and any other physical or verbal harassment of a sexual nature.” Sexual harassment may include any of the following forms of behavior:
- Sexual jokes directed at a specific person
- Suggestive comments about a specific person’s body parts
- Physical invasion of a person’s personal space
- Unwanted grabbing and touching of a person’s body parts
Sexual harassment can often result in employment law cases, and our employment lawyers can evaluate your situation. If you have a sexual harassment claim due to a hostile work environment, and your employer did not address the situation, you have the right to seek compensation. The same is true if a supervisor engaged in “quid pro quo” harassment, and in this case, there is no requirement that your employer had notice of the harassment first.
Sexual assault is a criminal offense, and it is punishable by incarceration, among other serious penalties. If a person commits sexual assault, they have made intentional sexual contact with another person through abuse of authority, intimidation, or force.
Sexual includes all of the following acts:
- Physically touching a child in an inappropriate manner
- Lewd acts
- Statutory rape
- Unwanted groping, touching, or kissing
Sex crimes are serious offenses in the State of California, and anyone accused needs the strongest possible criminal defense. If you are the victim of personal injury due to sexual assault, then you can file personal injury claims against the perpetrator. If you are victimized at your place of employment, then you may be able to file legal claims against your employer, especially if the assailant was a boss or manager.
Speak with a Santa Barbara Attorney
You need to hire an experienced attorney if you are sexually victimized by another person. If you are being charged with sexual harassment or sexual assault, then you need to hire an experienced attorney to advise you of your rights and the possible consequences associated with being convicted of a sexual offense in the State of California.
Contact Bamieh & De Smeth today to schedule a free and confidential consultation during which we can discuss the facts of your case and the legal options available to you.