Civil court is the only place where the victim of sexual assault can find compensation for what he or she has suffered. It is a place where they can assert their rights and see some effort to make good on the harm that has been done to them. And most states allow the sexual assault victim to file a lawsuit anonymously.
There is, however, no way to sugarcoat this: it can be hard. No one wants to have to relive one of the worst moments of their life over and over again, and that is exactly what the defendant is counting on–to keep you from seeking justice. But justice can result from catharsis: by telling your story again, even if it is painful to do so, this not only can promote healing, it can legally benefit deserving victims.
What is hard may be necessary, especially if the victim of the assault is someone you are responsible for (a minor child or a loved one). In the first days and weeks after the trauma comes to light, you might not be thinking about their rights under civil law, but it is something that has to be considered before it is too late.