The worst violation of individual safety, freedom, and autonomy is a sexual assault. Sexual assault is any unwanted sexual contact. Sexual assault takes many forms and the impact to the victims is lifelong.
At Tysons Trial Law, your sexual assault claim will be handled with the greatest level of sensitivity, care, and from a trauma informed approach.
Amy Griggs has experience guiding clients through sexual assault cases against religious institutions, educational institutions, and against individuals.
Anyone of any age, sex, or demographic characteristic can be a victim and impact by sexual assault.
Tysons Trial Law is ready to guide you through the process of proving your claim and achieving the justice you need to move forward.
How will Tysons Trial Law approach my case with trauma-informed techniques?
A trauma-informed approach in sexual assault litigation recognizes the profound impact that sexual assault can have on an individual's physical, emotional, and psychological wellbeing. By implementing this approach, legal professionals can ensure that the justice process is as accommodating and sensitive as possible to the specific needs of survivors.
Here is how we employ a trauma-informed approach at Tysons Trial Law:
Education About Trauma: This approach begins with extensive education and training for lawyers, judges, and other legal professionals about the nature of trauma, its potential impacts on survivors, and how these impacts might manifest in the context of the legal process. For instance, this might include understanding that trauma can affect memory, making it fragmented or non-linear.
A survivor may not be able to recall events in a clear, chronological order, which is often expected in a court setting. This will be critical when preparing a client for deposition or court testimony. Sometimes there has been a long passage of time between events and the lawsuit and it is important to consider the impact of trauma on memory.
Education about trauma can help prevent misunderstandings or misinterpretations of a survivor's testimony or behavior.
Empathetic and Respectful Communication: Communication that is sensitive, respectful, and free of judgment is crucial in a trauma-informed approach. We refrain from asking unnecessarily detailed or graphic questions about the assault that could re-traumatize the survivor. Instead, we ensure that the survivor feels heard, respected, and validated throughout their interactions.
There may be a time where detailed exploration of the traumatic event is necessary and we know how to safely guide clients in the process, often working at the advice of the client’s treating mental healthcare providers.
Establishing Safety and Support: Trauma-informed legal professionals should strive to create an environment that feels safe and supportive to the survivor. This might include advocating for accommodations during court proceedings, such as the use of video testimony, protective screens, or support persons. In addition, legal professionals should work collaboratively with therapists, social workers, and victim advocates to ensure that the survivor is receiving appropriate support throughout the process.
Promoting Autonomy and Control: Survivors often experience a profound loss of control as a result of the assault. A trauma-informed approach works to restore a sense of control by actively involving the survivor in decisions about their case and respecting their choices. This might involve discussing possible legal strategies, explaining the potential outcomes of different choices, and ensuring that the survivor's voice is heard.
Avoiding Re-traumatization: Our goal at Tysons Trial Law is to conduct the litigation in a way that minimizes the risk of re-traumatization. This could involve strategies to minimize the number of times the survivor has to recount their experience or challenging any victim-blaming attitudes or behaviors that arise during the process. The focus is on creating an environment where the survivor does not feel re-victimized by the very system that is supposed to provide justice.
A trauma-informed approach requires a shift in attitudes, practices, and policies within the legal system. While it necessitates a significant commitment from legal professionals, the potential benefits are substantial. By respecting and accommodating the needs of survivors, the trauma-informed approach can make the legal process more accessible and less damaging, and ultimately contribute to better and more just outcomes.
We commit to employing a trauma-informed approach for our clients at Tysons Trial Law. Contact us now to see if we are able to help you pursue a claim for sexual assault.
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