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Struggles for male students after being cleared of sexual assault

Many college students accused of sexual assault are later cleared, but the stigma of the accusation remains. These men face numerous challenges that were not present before, and getting their lives back on track can be incredibly draining. If you are in such a situation, it is good to know about the obstacles you may face.

Reduced employment opportunities

Thanks to Google, it is easy for prospective employers to research job applicants. Accusations of sexual assault, even if they were false, rarely look good. They can cause an employer to doubt a candidate's trustworthiness and ability to make sound judgments. Also, employers may not want others at the office to feel uncomfortable working with someone previously accused of a sex crime. Furthermore, a lack of employment opportunities can spill over into many other areas of your life. For example, no income or reduced income means less money to support yourself and your family.

Broken relationships

Accusations put relationships, no matter what kind, under severe strain. The parent-child relationship and the boyfriend-girlfriend relationship are fragmented. Even your best friend may have been hesitant to lend his or her support during an investigation, and it is natural for you to feel betrayed or abandoned, or that you find it hard to trust people.

Similarly, cultivating new relationships can be difficult. Just as prospective employers may Google you, the same applies to potential new romantic partners. Accusations certainly have a way of slowing or stopping a burgeoning romance.

Possibility of future charges

Another problem is that being cleared of sexual assault does not mean charges or another university investigation will never happen. New evidence may come to light, or another investigator may take over a case. It is difficult to live your life wondering every day about possible charges that could require sex offender registration and years in prison.

Starting over at a new school

Even if you are cleared of assault, you may prefer to start over at a new school. Perhaps the old one handled your case unfairly, or you feel like a campus pariah. However, being accepted to a new school can be tricky, as can be fitting in and navigating social circles.

If you have been cleared of sexual assault, talking with an attorney can help you determine if you want to pursue remedies. On the other hand, if you are currently accused of sexual assault, speaking with an attorney as soon as possible helps ensure your rights are upheld.

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