The term “sexual violence” encompasses a range of actions that violate someone’s trust or safety and involve sexual intent. This category includes both physical acts and non-physical acts. Physical acts of sexual violence can include forced sexual intercourse or unwanted touching. Non-physical acts of sexual violence can include secretly watching someone (voyeurism) or exposing oneself inappropriately.
In Wisconsin, “sexual assault” is the catchall legal term for all illegal sexual activities and acts of sexual violence. Its meaning is outlined in Wisconsin law and covers various actions considered illegal and punishable under the law.
How Does Wisconsin Law Define Sexual Assault?
Wisconsin’s sexual assault law classifies four different degrees of sexual assault, each with specific conditions and penalties:
- Fourth-Degree Sexual Assault: This is a Class A misdemeanor. Fourth-degree sexual assault involves sexual contact without consent.
- Third-Degree Sexual Assault: This is a Class G felony. Third-degree sexual assault includes sexual intercourse without consent.
- Second-Degree Sexual Assault: This is a Class C felony. It is sexual contact or intercourse without consent involving the use of force or threat or causing injury or mental anguish needing psychiatric care. It could also include nonconsensual sexual contact or intercourse with a person who cannot understand or resist due to mental illness, intoxication, unconsciousness, or who is a patient in certain facilities. It also includes assault by correctional staff on inmates and by probation, parole, or supervision agents on individuals under their supervision.
- First-Degree Sexual Assault: This is a Class B felony. It includes forced sexual contact or intercourse without consent that results in pregnancy or great bodily harm or that involves a dangerous weapon. It also includes assault aided by others or against a person 60 or older.
What Should I Do If I Have Been Assaulted in Wisconsin?
If you have been the target of sexual assault in Wisconsin, remember that what happened is not your fault, and there are resources available to support you. Here are some steps you can take to protect your safety and rights:
- Preserve Evidence: Avoid showering, changing clothes, or cleaning up until after you have undergone a medical examination. This helps in preserving crucial evidence.
- Seek Medical Attention: Visit a doctor or a hospital as soon as possible, even if you do not have visible injuries. Medical professionals can provide necessary care, check for hidden injuries, and collect important evidence through a forensic examination.
- Consider Reporting the Assault: It is your right to report the assault to the police, but this not a decision you necessarily have to make now. You can always have a forensic exam and decide later about reporting.
- Contact a Lawyer: Consider speaking with a lawyer who handles sexual assault cases. They can advise you on your rights and options and assist you if you choose to pursue legal action.
- Reach Out for Support: Connect with a local sexual assault service provider for counseling and guidance. Wisconsin has numerous organizations dedicated to helping sexual assault survivors.
Contact a Sexual Assault Injury Attorney in Wisconsin
At J. Kippa Law, LLC, we understand that talking to a stranger can feel overwhelming after a traumatic event like sexual assault. But taking that first step can be a courageous move toward healing and justice.
Our commitment is to stand by your side, help you understand your rights, and explore the best legal options available to you.
We believe in empowering our clients through respectful, compassionate, and confidential legal assistance. Contact us today to learn more about your rights in an initial case review.