It is estimated that approximately one of every six American women during their lifetime will endure an attempted or completed rape. Many of these instances are attributable to a failed security policy in an area or location where the survivor justifiably felt safe.
Security failures can occur due to negligent maintenance, ineffective security devices and/or a lack of security devices on the property. Studies show that survivors of violent sexual attacks are more likely to suffer from severe emotional trauma (including Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (“PTSD”)), depression, anxiety, suicidal thoughts, attempted suicide, interruptions in interpersonal and familiar relationship and substance abuse and addiction. Further, the lack of trust and the sometimes-insurmountable psychological effect of sexual violence can adversely affect a survivor’s ability to achieve intimacy with others.
Common security failures include:
- A lack of security personnel or the understaffing of security personnel
- Failed building alarms
- A lack of security cameras
- Broken locks or the absence of sufficient locks
- Broken windows and doors
- Broken lights or the absence of sufficient lighting
Property owners have a legal responsibility to protect the residents and tenants in their buildings and on their premises. This obligation includes regular maintenance of security systems, ensuring that safety features (e.g. locks, cameras, and gates) are in working order and an ongoing assessment of whether the security needs of residents and tenants are being met.
When property owners refuse to be held accountable for their negligence in ensuring that safety measures are in place, it is important to gather information and documentation as to these failures as soon as possible. An attorney’s investigation would likely include interviewing witnesses, conducting a site inspection, reviewing camera footage, obtaining records regarding the security systems that were—or were not—in use at the time and researching any prior complaints.
Slater Slater Schulman LLP is dedicated to the confidential representation of individuals who suffered sexual violence as a result of a security failure. If you or someone you love has suffered this form of abuse and wishes to file a claim, please contact Slater Slater Schulman LLP for a free, confidential consultation by filling out the form on this page or by calling our office at (800) 251-6990.