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We often hear stories of people being sexually assaulted in unfamiliar places or while traveling abroad. It’s a typical story, especially amongst those who aren’t used to traveling alone or in certain areas. Despite a person’s social class, sexual orientation, ethnicity, race, gender, or age, they can still be victims of sexual assault, even if they’re on vacation. Whatever happens on your vacation, you have to remember that you always have options that can help you get back on your feet. It’s within your constitutional right to seek compensation for damages. Here’s a guide on what to do when sexually assaulted on vacation!
What is Sexual Assault?
Sexual assault is the act of tricking, coercing, or forcing someone into engaging in sexual activities when they don’t want to. It’s also a kind of sexual violence that covers many unwanted behaviors involving people you know or strangers. If you think someone is sexually assaulting you, never assume that it’s your fault. Most importantly, no one should force you into doing something that you’re uncomfortable with.
Sexual assault may have different classifications, but the emotional damage it causes is often the same. Fortunately, you can cope and move forward healthily after being assaulted. Understanding and practicing healthy coping techniques will help you get through it, so you can live your best life and move forward down the road.
What Constitutes a Sexual Assault?
Sexual assault is unwanted sexual behavior that makes an individual feel scared, threatened, or uncomfortable. It may consist of:
Incest – sexual contact or intercourse between family members
Sexual interactions with minors, whether consensual or not
Unwanted sexual touching that may result in personal injury
Forcible object penetration – the act of penetrating someone’s anus or vagina or forcing someone into penetrating themselves against their free will
Forcible sodomy – oral or anal sex against one’s will
Rape – non-consensual sexual intercourse
Other sexual crimes may include:
How Sexual Assault Happens on Vacation
While inappropriate behavior may be noticeable, other actions may be subtler. Bear in mind that even simple invitations or jokes can be a means of inflicting unwanted sexual behavior. Whether other people’s actions are direct or indirect, the main problem is when they’re making you feel uncomfortable and unwanted.
Not every unwanted behavior qualifies as sexual harassment. It’ll be helpful to speak to a lawyer as soon as possible to determine whether that action fits the legal definition of sexual assault.
Find Out What to Do in the Event of Sexual Assault
Minimize the Risks of Being Sexually Assaulted While Traveling
Despite your social class, sexual orientation, ethnicity, race, gender, or age, you can become a target of sexual assault. More often than not, sexual assault happens to individuals traveling to new or unfamiliar places.
Disclose your travel information.
Don’t forget to disclose your travel information to your family and friends! It’ll be helpful if you keep them updated on your whereabouts or itinerary. You can include the local address and contact information of the hotel you’re staying in and flight information.
Know the local modes of transportation.
Determine which rideshare companies are available in the area and which ones are trustworthy. If you’re taking public transportation, look for an accessible app containing real-time information about the transportation system at your destination. It’ll help if you don’t want to wait for a bus in isolated areas.
Learn about the tourist destinations.
Use Google Maps or other similar applications to learn more about the destination’s surrounding areas. Ensure to check if the area has local shopping centers or bus stops where you can quickly get a cab. If you have plans of going out at night, make a plan!
Set your boundaries.
If someone makes you feel uncomfortable or crosses the line you’ve set, then tell them early on! Your polite approaches and actions may be ignored, or worse, misunderstood. Be clear with what makes you uncomfortable and what not. If they don’t respect your boundaries, stay away from that group immediately.
A person’s passive action may often mean consent, but that shouldn’t be the case! Be firm and determine if you think someone is sexually assaulting you. Inform your friends of your boundaries and stick with that decision! Both sides must always have content – consent to one thing doesn’t imply another.
Go with your guts.
If you feel you’re being tricked, coerced, or forced into something you don’t want, then maybe you are! Go with your guts if you feel threatened or uncomfortable around your partner or a friend. You could talk about things if you misunderstood someone’s actions.
Sexual assault is a problem you can see anywhere, especially if you’re in unfamiliar places. It may happen to you or the people you know. If you know someone suffering from sexual assault, it’s best to call an experienced lawyer specializing in sexual assault in Canada.
Inform the Authorities About the Incident
Filing a report is the best way to make sure local authorities learn everything about what happened. It’s important to file a report, especially if the attack involves other people. If you decide to file a report and cooperate with local authorities, you can get financial compensation to help cover the expenses.
Seek Help From Personal Injury Lawyers
If you get assaulted while traveling, remember that help is always available. To speak with a trained professional, call an experienced lawyer from Diamond and Diamond.
“There’s nothing wrong with relaxing and putting your worries on hold, but you should not let your guard down. Many vacation destinations can create a false sense of security. The people you meet might quickly become your friends, but you need to give them time to earn your trust.”
Sexual Assault on Vacation FAQs
If someone assaults me in another country, where can I file a lawsuit?
You have different options for reporting sexual assault:
Call the local authorities. Visit the local police station or call the direct line of the local police department to report the incident.
Visit a clinic or hospital. If you’re suffering from injuries resulting from sexual assault, then it’s best to inform the doctor that you want to file a complaint. You also have the option to undergo a sexual assault forensic examination. To find the appropriate local health facility specializing in these problems, ask the local law enforcement agencies.
Who do I call in Canada if I get sexually assaulted in another country?
You can get help by visiting the nearest Consulate or Embassy. You also have the option to call the State’s Department emergency hotlines.
From the U.S. & Canada 1.888.407.4747
From Overseas +1 202.501.4444
What types of expenses are covered in victim compensation?
Undergoing a sexual assault forensic examination should be free, but state guidelines about this aspect differ. By law, most states should conduct sexual assault forensic tests via reimbursement or for free. Healthcare facilities don’t have to charge for this examination and should ask victims to file for reimbursement through their insurance provider later.
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