Victims Forum

‘What Were You Wearing’ Exhibit Addresses Myth Behind Sexual Assault

photo: The Spectrum

Perhaps as old as the act itself is a question survivors of sexual assault are often asked:

“What were you wearing when you were attacked?”

A traveling art installation seeks to answer this question – with clothes. The “What Were You Wearing” exhibit displays the outfits of 18 rape survivors to show what they were wearing at the time they were assaulted. Continue reading

Jessica Pride by Jessica Pride
April 12, 2018

Woman Alleges Rape by La Jolla Restaurant Owner

A Job Interview Gone Awry

An anonymous woman from La Jolla, California claimed she was drugged and raped while on a job interview on the night of April 27, 2015, at La Jolla restaurant Voce Del Mare.

It all started when the woman was looking for a hostess job on Craigslist and answered a job posting. She arrived at the interview at 9:30 p.m. and was greeted by the restaurant owner, Daniel Dorado. During the interview, Dorado offered the woman some wine, and she agreed to a glass.

Sipping the wine was the last thing she remembered.

Continue reading

Jessica Pride by Jessica Pride
March 30, 2018

Jessica Pride Forms AAJ Sexual Assault Litigation Group

Jessica Pride is an experienced sexual assault attorney and the managing partner at The Pride Law Firm. She has dedicated her legal career to helping victims of sexual violence become survivors of a criminal epidemic that the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN) says occurs every 98 seconds.

Ms. Pride has settled several high-profile cases for her clients in excess of seven figures. She has won The Daily Transcript’s Top Attorney Award, was named a Top 40 under 40 Professional by San Diego Metro Magazine and was recently selected from over a hundred applicants to speak at the International End Violence Against Women conference on the civil legal resources available to assault victims.

About AAJ Litigation Groups

Litigation Groups are made up of plaintiff’s lawyers through the American Association for Justice. These groups provide critical tools for colleagues to share resources, knowledge and experiences amongst their peers. Continue reading

Jessica Pride by Jessica Pride
February 16, 2018

Male Figures Accused of Sexual Assault in 2017: A Timeline

male celebrities accused of sexual assault

Many prominent male figures in show business, the media and politics are falling swiftly from grace as countless women (and men) come forward with accusations of sexual assault. What began as one report from several A-lister starlets has now become an unceasing flow of new allegations almost daily. The public has seen an instantaneous surge of sexual assault and sexual misconduct allegations alike, ousting one male celebrity after the next from positions of power and influence. After decades of being stifled, accusers are sharing their stories and demanding answers.

The slew of sexual assault allegations began on October 5th, when the New York Times published an article revealing several women’s accounts of being sexually assaulted by media mogul Harvey Weinstein. Continue reading

Jessica Pride by Jessica Pride
December 21, 2017

TIME Names The Silence Breakers as 2017’s Person of the Year

silence breakers 2017 persons of the year

credit: TIME Magazine

 

TIME has released its choice for 2017 Person of the Year, and it’s more than one person. A group of women  – straight faced and dressed in black, who have come forward in recent months with harrowing stories of sexual harassment and assault – adorns the glossy cover. They are named by the magazine as “The Silence Breakers.”

Pictured are celebrities Taylor Swift and Ashley Judd, former Uber engineer Susan Fowler, lobbyist Adama Iwu and Mexican immigrant strawberry picker Isabel Pascual, whose name is changed to protect her identity. The cover also includes a faceless, nameless woman with only her sleeved right arm in the frame.  Her anonymity as an act of solidarity for other victims who are fearful that exposing their identity could endanger themselves or their families.

The photo alone speaks loudly about the indiscriminate truth of sexual assault. The Silence Breakers could not vary more Continue reading

Jessica Pride by Jessica Pride
December 19, 2017

#MeToo – My Story of Sexual Harassment

In one of my first “real” jobs out of college, an older, male colleague sexually harassed me.

He worked in a different department than me. We had little reason to interact. Yet, for a period of time, I would receive daily emails from him to go out to lunch. At first, the invitations seemed innocuous. I politely declined. Over time, however, the invitations felt more forcefully flirtatious. After a period of several weeks of repeated, polite declines he didn’t seem to get the hint – I wasn’t interested.

opening up about sexual harassment at workI started to make excuses: “My ‘boyfriend’ wouldn’t like it if we went out to lunch” – no boyfriend existed. “I have too much work to do” – I didn’t. “I already made plans to go out to lunch with X” – I hadn’t. Still, he persisted. He said he would treat me better than my “boyfriend” – though I had provided no details about our “relationship.” He said how important I must be to my department and how he’d love to sweep me off my feet, away from my duties – I wouldn’t respond. And whenever I had plans with someone else for lunch, he would beg for a chance to be one of my “lunch dates” because I wouldn’t regret it. I regretted every email he sent me. Continue reading

Stephanie Sandler by Stephanie Sandler
December 2, 2017

Massage Envy Faces Sexual Assault Claims From More Than 180 Women

massage envy spa sexual assault allegationsMassages are meant to be a relaxing way to release tension and stress from the body. And for many, the service of a skilled massage therapist can be a blessing. But what happens when a massage turns into something else—something uninvited?

This is the case for popular massage franchise Massage Envy, who is at the root of over 180 sexual assault claims by female clients. The billion-dollar spa chain also faces allegations that massage assault claims were mishandled and in some cases even ignored.

Massage Envy spas adopt a business model similar to that of a fast food chain, providing timely, affordable service for paying customers by staffing massage therapists and managers by the numbers. With this quick pace of business, Massage Envy appears to have sacrificed hiring standards to meet demands. The result is a combination of newly graduated massage therapists often working under inexperienced managers, an atmosphere that has proven unsafe for many vulnerable clients. Continue reading

Jessica Pride by Jessica Pride
November 28, 2017

The Weinstein Scandal: Breaking the Silence Over Sexual Assault

harvey weinstein accused of sexual assaultTwo decades ago, in what was supposed to be a business breakfast meeting at the Beverly Hills Hotel, Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein told actress Ashley Judd to meet him in his room. Appearing in a bathrobe, he told her that she could watch him shower and asked her if he could give her a massage.

On October 5, 2017, The New York Times publicly announced that it found three decades worth of other undisclosed allegations against Mr. Weinstein. The allegations asserted that Mr. Weinstein used his status as a top Hollywood producer to sexually harass, assault, oppress, and manipulate women such as Ms. Judd. For thirty years, Mr. Weinstein had managed to cover up an abundance of dirt; his sexual misconduct was documented in emails, legal records, interviews with current and former employees, interviews with film industry workers and internal documents from Mr. Weinstein’s businesses, Miramax and the Weinstein Company. Continue reading

Teri Gibbs by Teri Gibbs
October 18, 2017

What The Taylor Swift Lawsuit Means for You

Taylor Swift often receives a lot of criticism in the media. She dates too many guys or she’s not as good as Beyoncé – but by far Swift critics tend to chide her the most for her delayed responses to feminist issues, including sexual assault.

Now, Swift has spoken out about her own sexual assault. In 2013, radio DJ David Mueller allegedly lifted Swift’s dress and groped her during a photo op. Swift reported Mueller’s behavior to Mueller’s boss. In response, the radio station terminated Mueller. Two years later, Mueller sued Swift for $3 million, claiming her allegation cost him his $150,000 job at the radio station.

Faced with a lawsuit for reporting Mueller, Swift counter-sued Mueller for assault and battery. Continue reading

Stephanie Sandler by Stephanie Sandler
August 17, 2017

What You Need to Know About Uber & Lyft Sexual Assaults

Updated August 3, 2017.

In March of 2016 we wrote a post about the dangers of using a ride-sharing services like Uber and Lyft.

Later in April 2016, a district attorney in San Francisco sued Uber for falsely claiming they had used “the most comprehensive screening of would-be drivers available.” It was later revealed that these screenings did not include fingerprinting for past convictions, and Uber settled the case for $10,000,000.

Update: October 2017

california sexual assault lawyer

Be aware that there are general personal injury lawyers claiming to assist sexual assault victims who have little to no experience in this field of law. Our firm founder has released the following statement: “Sexual assault is not as common as a car accident, and the treatment and procedure required to begin healing and become a survivor of a sexual assault varies for each individual. If someone has been sexually assaulted whether by an Uber or Lyft driver, or otherwise, I encourage them to speak with a lawyer who specifically handles this area of law.”

Uber’s code of conduct at the time included the language: “Furthermore, commenting on appearance, asking overly personal questions and making unwanted physical contact is inappropriate.” Uber and Lyft have both come under scrutiny for their drivers who have committed violent acts or sexual assault. Continue reading

Jessica Pride by Jessica Pride
July 12, 2017