A Criminal Justice Guide: Legal Remedies for Adult Victims of Sexual Assault [pdf]

This manual is current as of September 2005. It is intended as a guide for attorneys served under the Sexual Assault Coalition Technical Assistance Project to help them develop their own, state-specific manuals. Nothing in this manual constitutes legal advice.
The purpose of this manual is to provide an overview of a sexual assault survivor’s rights within the context of a criminal prosecution, and to describe how a survivor and her attorney can seek to ensure the enforcement of those rights. The manual is intended to create a comprehensive framework that is applicable to all jurisdictions, with the hope that it will facilitate a formal collection of laws in each jurisdiction. While it is not designed as a detailed compendium of all the applicable laws in every jurisdiction, it may serve as a template that will aid in developing a state-specific guide.
In addition to providing an overview of both general crime victim and sexual assault specific rights, this manual identifies a variety of laws and policies that may be beneficial to a survivor, but have not yet been enacted in her particular state. This will enable the victim and her attorney to formulate arguments that will best protect the victim’s rights. The manual will also briefly discuss victim compensation, which is an important tool for a victim seeking financial redress for her injuries and losses.
Next, the manual navigates the reader through a step-by-step examination of criminal court procedures and identifies the key questions and issues that a sexual assault survivor and her attorney may encounter during the course of a criminal trial. Information symbols are located throughout the text to indicate additional information or research leads on specific issues. Additionally, there are text boxes titled “Victim Counsel and Remedy” which provide additional information regarding how to obtain counsel, utilize counsel and the remedies available to victims.