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Taking Legal Action Against a University After Assault in Boston

Published in Campus Safety on August 28, 2015

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Many students on university campuses around the world have to take a proactive stance against assault, and sometimes even the best laid plans go awry. If you have been assaulted on a university campus, you may feel betrayed by the school or unsafe on its campus. Depending on the circumstances of assault, a victim may be able to take legal action against a university in Boston.

Proving Negligence on the Part of the University

A university is not always responsible for assault on its students. For instance, if you are off campus somewhere or if the university took every reasonable precaution to ensure student safety, it may be difficult to prove the university played a role in the occurrence. However, a university may be found partially liable in an assault claim if:

  • It failed to provide reasonable safety precautions, like 911 call stations, lighting, or adequate security on campus.
  • The perpetrator of the offense was a university employee.
  • The university takes unfair actions to protect the perpetrator instead of the victim after the fact.
  • The university failed to respond in a reasonable manner.

There may be other ways universities can be found liable for student assault, but these are some of the most commonly known and talked about ways universities are responsible for protecting their students.

Talking With an Attorney

Proving university fault after assault can be tricky. Every individual is responsible for taking reasonable safety precautions, as is every university. When someone fails to use the safety precautions in place by a university, a case against a university may be difficult as cases on university campuses are public areas. An attorney can evaluate your circumstances and apply the appropriate laws to determine actions you can take against the university.

More and more lawsuits regarding assault on university campuses are popping up every day, and changing the legal ramifications universities face for not creating a reasonably safe space for students to live and learn in. If you are a victim of assault and your university could have made your environment safer or have responded to the incident in a more reasonable way, you may have grounds to sue them.

Staying Safe on Campus

There is no good way to see if the increased media exposure is highlighting a new trend in assault on college campuses or if the pattern has always been there, but there are steps you can take on Boston campuses to stay safe:

  • Use the safety precautions in place. Call centers, available security, and school transportation are all there for your safety. If you feel any of the provided measures are currently non-secure, talk to school officials about changing their approach to safety.
  • Understand your rights. You are entitled to fairness on campus as a male or female under Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972. That means you have a right to reasonable protection from violence, discrimination, or harassment on campus.
  • Use safety apps. There are several excellent apps available to help you stay safe when walking from place to place or if you are in an unsafe environment. Some require you to put in a code at the beginning and end of your journey, and if you fail to do so within a recommended timeframe, the app will call 911 on your behalf.

Every campus environment is different, but all face the threat of assault and violence, particularly in metropolitan areas. Protect yourself and stand up for your rights if you are the victim of assault in Boston. Talk to an attorney about your courses of action. Taking action may be the only way to protect others from experiencing the same situation.

For more information, call our law office at (617)-391-9001. Or if you would prefer to email us, then please visit our contact page.

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