Laid out below are commonly asked questions and answers to help facilitate your journey to justice.  If you have a question that is not listed below, ask it here and Jessica will try to get a response to you as soon as possible.

What is sexual assault?

Sexual assault is defined as any unwanted touching.  It can range from something as simple as someone uncomfortably brushing up against you to forced penetration.  No matter what you did before this happened to you, sexual assault is never something you caused.  It can be one of life’s most traumatic experiences, and there’s help available to get you through it.

Was it sexual assault if it was my friend or my husband or my ex-boyfriend?

It doesn’t matter who violated your trust.  If you didn’t want that person to touch you, it was sexual assault.  It could have been your friend, girlfriend, ex-husband or even a blood relative.  Just because you previously knew the person who did this to you does not mean the pain or the feelings of confusion are lessened in any way.  But Jessica Pride can help regain your power.

Will I get in trouble if my boss sexually assaulted me?

In California, the law says some companies can be held accountable for the improper actions of employees.  Dealing with the fear and confusion of sexual assault is difficult enough without having it pose difficulties to building your career.  Jessica Pride can ensure your employer faces the consequences of this unacceptable behavior.

What if I’m in the military?

Active duty military personnel have several options for reporting sexual assault.  A restricted report will get you help to get through this, but won’t hold your attacker responsible or report the incident to your superiors.  An unrestricted report will be passed along to your commander and the appropriate military criminal investigative agency.  More information on the options can be found in the Department of Defense’s Safe Helpline website.  Sexual assault is already a traumatic experience that’s only exacerbated when you’re trying to defend our country, but there is hope and there is help.

How is a criminal case different than a civil case?

If you were sexually assaulted, you can sue the person who assaulted you in a civil case to seek monetary damages. Sexual assault is also a crime for which the state can prosecute the perpetrator, resulting in potential jail time.

How much will it cost me?

Jessica Pride works on a contingency basis, which means that you do not pay Jessica for her services unless she wins. The contingency fee that she charges is calculated as a percentage of the verdict or settlement that’s won. Jessica also pays the upfront cost of filing a lawsuit.

Is my conversation confidential?

Yes. Jessica takes the utmost precaution to make sure all conversations with victims are confidential. Jessica understands how important privacy is to a victim of sexual assault. Victims can speak to Jessica about their experience; however, it’s up to the victim to decide whether or not to move forward with legal action.

What if I was under the influence of drugs or alcohol when it happened?

If you were intoxicated or took illegal drugs before someone sexually assaulted you, it’s still not your fault.  The state of California says “positive cooperation” is required before consensual sexual activity between two people.  If one of them is intoxicated, he or she could not give consent.

What do I do if I think I was sexually assaulted?

Sexual assault can be one of the most agonizing experiences of your life.  But the best way to sort through the feelings is to get help.  Immediately afterward, you can call the police, go to your nearest emergency room, or, in San Diego, call the Center for Community Solutions.  The center has advocates who can talk to you 24 hours a day and find you the help you need.

Does sexual assault happen to men?

Absolutely.  Sexual assault can happen to men and can be perpetrated by women and men, though more commonly by men.  It is normal to feel like you’ve lost your manhood after a sexual assault.  But just as there are resources for women, men can become survivors, too.  Jessica Pride can help you get justice and help restore your power so you can get through this.

How do I get through the emotional trauma of sexual assault?

Sexual assault doesn’t have to be a trauma you suffer from for the rest of your life.  There are ways you can become a survivor.  Counseling can help you sort through your feelings.  In San Diego, you can call the Center for Community Solutions, which has staff 24 hours a day to help sort through your feelings.  If you are questioning what happened, feel guilty or ashamed or don’t know whether calling the police is a good idea, the Center for Community Solutions can help you find a path to healing.

Are there groups in San Diego to help me cope with sexual assault?

The Center for Community Solutions is staffed with advocates who can take your call 24 hours a day.  San Diego Trauma Therapy is a network of counselors who specialize in helping victims get through their trauma.  Sexual assault is a painful experience, but it doesn’t have to define you.

How is sexual assault different from sexual battery and rape?

In California, the law defines sexual assault and sexual battery as the same thing: unwanted touching.  Rape is defined as intercourse in which one person did not consent, regardless of whether it was through violence or whether the person was unconscious, disabled, asleep or intoxicated and unable to give consent.Sexual assault and rape are never anything the victim provoked.

How can Jessica Pride help?

Jessica Pride helps victims of sexual assault regain their power through the civil court system.  Even if your case is making its way through the criminal courts, Jessica can simultaneously begin a civil case to get you justice and hold your attacker responsible.  Jessica will stand by you through the entire process.  Contact her today to make sure the person who did this to you is held accountable.