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Seattle Lawyers for Campus Sexual Abuse Claims

Tough representation for college and university students who are sexually assaulted or raped on or off campus

Seattle has many wonderful universities and colleges. There are many more great schools for young adults across Washington. The students who attend or visit these schools have an absolute right to feel safe when they’re on campus or participating in activities away from campus. If you or your child are sexually assaulted, abused, or raped while on campus; it’s not just the perpetrator who should be held liable. At Smith McBroom, we work to show the university or college had a duty to protect your child and failed to do so. Our Seattle sexual abuse lawyers are skilled at holding colleges, universities, teachers, students, coaches, and others accountable for sexual abuse. We’re ready to help students who have been sexually attacked today.

Founding partner Matt Smith obtained $7.6 Million for a disabled student who was sexually assaulted by another student. The District failed to protect her. JH v. Sumner-Bonney Lake School District, 2023

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Call 206-677-5941 now or fill out the form above to receive a free, confidential consultation.

How common are sexual assaults on university and college campuses?

The Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN) states that

  • 13% of all undergraduate and graduate students have experienced sexual assault or rape through physical force, incapacitation, or violence.
    • This statistic includes 9.7% of women and 2.5% of men at graduate and professional levels.
    • 4% of women and 6.8% of men at undergraduate schools experienced sexual assault or rape through physical force, incapacitation, or violence.
  • About 20% of college-aged females have received help from a victim services agency.
  • 1% of TGQN (transgender, genderqueer, nonconforming) college students have been sexually assaulted.

Many acts of sexual assault and rape are unreported.

According to the American Psychological Association, 43% of on-campus crimes involve campus assaults. That means there are eight forcible sex offenses for every 10,000 students.

Why does sexual abuse occur at Seattle universities and colleges?

Sexual assault on campus, according to the National Institute of Justice involves:

  • Unwanted sexual contact. This category of sexual assault includes unwanted fondling, petting, kissing, or “other sexual touching using physical force, threat of physical force, verbal coercion or a combination of these, but excluding vaginal, anal, and oral intercourse.”
  • Sexual coercion. This type of sexual assault includes unwanted sexual contact or “completed vaginal, anal or oral intercourse through nonviolent means (such as intimidation, pressure, lies, threats to end a relationship or continual arguments.”
  • Sexual assault due to incapacitation or alcohol. This type of sexual assault includes “completed vaginal, anal or oral intercourse while the victim was intoxicated or on drugs.”
  • “Broadly defined sexual assault.” This category of sexual assault involved different types of sexual victimization, including “rape, sexual coercion, incapacitated or alcohol-related sexual assault, and unwanted sexual contact.”
  • “Physically forced completed and attempted rape.” This type of sexual assault includes vaginal, anal, or oral intercourse using physical force or threat of force.

Why are universities and colleges liable for sexual assaults in Seattle?

University and college campuses need to take proactive steps to stop sexual assault and sexual abuse before it occurs and respond quickly to help and protect students when it happens. Universities and colleges may be liable for sexual assaults or abuse if they fail to:

  • Establish policies and procedures for protecting students from sexual assault and abuse
  • Keep dorm areas and parking areas well-lit
  • Require proper identification for access to college dorms and other buildings
  • Investigate complaints of sexual assault and abuse at Greek houses, on-campus events, off-campus activities, and all other complaints
  • Enforce alcohol and drug laws, especially for minors
  • Install surveillance equipment
  • Hire and train security personnel

Alcohol and drugs are not justifications for sexual assaults or rape. The person who commits a nonconsensual sexual act must know that anyone under the influence of alcohol or drugs cannot give consent to any sexual act.

What laws govern sexual assaults on campus?

At Smith McBroom, we work to show that universities and colleges filed to follow federal and Washington state laws about sexual assault and abuse. Some of the laws our Seattle campus sexual abuse lawyers use are:

  • Title IX of the Education Amendments Act of 1972. This federal civil rights law prohibits sex discrimination in education. The law applies to all colleges and universities in Washington that receive federal funding. Title IX:

Includes any sexual contact that is not welcome – such as request for sexual favors, sexual advances, and any type of sexual contact. Title IX also applies to sex-based harassment and acts of sexual violence.

  • The Cleary Act. This federal law mandates that colleges and universities keep data about sexual assaults and other campus crimes.

Washington has many different laws that criminalize rape, sexual assault, indecent acts, and other offenses.

Who is responsible when a student is sexually assaulted on campus in Seattle?

Any person who commits a sexual assault on any campus or university in the Seattle region deserves to be held accountable criminally and civilly. At Smith McBroom, we understand how to coordinate your civil claim for financial damages with the prosecution’s criminal case. The people who commit sexual assault or abuse may include students, professors, contractors, school employees, coaches, and visitors.

The campus and university may also be liable if they violated Title IX or any federal or Washington laws. They can also be held liable if it can be shown they had a duty to protect the student from sexual assault or abuse (schools generally have this duty), that they breached their duty by failing to implement or follow proper safety procedures, and that their breach of duty caused the sexual assault.

Our Seattle campus sexual assault lawyers demand compensation for the student’s current and future:

  • Physical pain and emotional suffering
  • Medical expenses, including psychological and emotional counseling
  • Loss of income
  • Inability to enjoy life’s pleasure
  • Other financial and personal damage

We generally seek punitive damages against the perpetrator because sexual assault is so unconscionable. The college or university may also have to pay punitive damages.

Do you have a Seattle sexual abuse lawyer near me?

Smith McBroom meets clients (parents and students) at our Seattle office at 16400 Southcenter Parkway Suite 210. We make alternate arrangements when necessary, including in-person visits, phone conferences, and online consultations.

We understand how frightened and angry you are. We’ll guide you calmly and clearly through each step of the claims process.

Contact our respected Seattle sexual abuse lawyers today

Sexual assault, abuse, and rape are intolerable. Universities need to protect their students They should have policies and procedures in place to stop attacks and provide prompt medical and disciplinary responses when nonconsensual contact occurs. At Smith McBroom, we’ve obtained numerous strong verdicts and settlements of sexual assault claims. Our Seattle lawyers are skilled sexual abuse at university attorneys. We’ll fight to hold every responsible person and entity accountable. Call us or complete our contact form to schedule a free consultation. We represent sexual abuse victims in Tukwila, Seattle, and across Washington state.