One of the most common decisions survivors of sexual violence need to make is whether or not to “press charges” against an abuser. For most survivors, the criminal justice process can be complex and intimidating. The criminal justice system is designed in such a way that you are expected to handle the majority of the process on your own or with the help of a non-lawyer advocate. This prospect frequently results in survivors dropping their cases or not participating in formal prosecution.
If you are a survivor of sexual violence, your role in a criminal investigation and prosecution is that of a witness. The state, which includes police officers and prosecuting attorneys, depends on your testimony to punish someone who is a danger to society at large. As a key witness, you may be required to give multiple interviews and depositions as well as sign releases for your personal healthcare records and other documents. The process can be lengthy and overwhelming, causing some survivors to wonder if they should even file a police report to get the investigation started.
At Jane Doe, lawyers are prepared to guide you through the rigorous processes of the criminal justice system.A lawyer at Jane Doe is happy to help you navigate the process, which my include the following:
- Initial consultation to discuss the criminal justice process and help decide whether you want to “press charges” by filing an initial police report
- Assistance communicating with law enforcement personnel including police officers, detectives, and prosecutors for the duration of the case
- Prep sessions for interviews and depositions
- Off-record representation for the duration of the case
- Coaching sessions to answer questions on an as-needed basis
For child survivors, services may extend to involvement with counseling professionals and coaching sessions with parents.
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To speak with a lawyer about witness representation, please call 314.329.5339.
If you or your child have been sexually abused and you want to schedule a safe time to speak with an attorney about pressing charges, please click here to visit our online scheduler.