If there is anything positive to be taken from the horrific Harvey Weinstein revelations, it's that more victims of rape, sexual assault, and sexual harassment -- both male and female -- are coming forward with their stories. And as more stories are told, more lawsuits will follow.
And that will leave many people wondering whether you can sue for sexual assault or harassment, and who, other than the perpetrator, might be responsible. Here's a look:
Generally speaking, rapes and sexual assaults are prosecuted (hopefully) in criminal courts. And sexual harassment claims are handled by workplace policies. But civil lawsuits based on rape and assault claims are still available.
Medical professionals and personnel, as well as the hospitals, clinics, and other care providers that employ them, can be found liable for sexual assault.
Sadly, sexual harassment in the workplace is not confined to a single industry, and is as common in new-school tech startups as in old-school offices.
And tech companies and app makers have been targeted by customers who've been the victims of assault and rape.
And lawsuits can target both the app maker and the perpetrator.
As with workplace harassment and assault, there has been a rise in reporting crimes by church leaders and the clergy.
Even the toughest among us -- our police and first responders -- can be victims of harassment and assault. And accusations against public employees may be more complicated than private individuals.
Given the stereotype of the average convict, you may not think of prison inmates as being a vulnerable population. But confinement and the imbalance of power behind bars can leave many inmates susceptible to abuse.
With the spike in on-campus sexual assault reports, schools are put in the position of investigator, judge, jury, and protector -- one that we're finding they are ill-equipped to handle.
And with the increase in accusations of sexual assault, there is bound to be a backlash of lawsuits claiming defamation based on those allegations.