It was only 15 months ago that a former police sergeant who was working as a guard for the Human Resources Administration held a woman captive in the administration’s office and sexually assaulted her. Now, the survivor is opening up about her fight for justice from the city, and the lingering trauma that she experiences daily since the attack.

Last May, the 36-year-old artist went to the Human Resources Administration’s office to ask about a check that she had not received. A guard locked her in a separate room for two hours, handcuffed her to a chair and repeatedly assaulted her. The guard pleaded guilty and was sentenced to five years in prison. But the victim is still trying to hold New York City accountable for its part in the crime. Although she and her attorneys filed a lawsuit against the city, its representatives claim that it has immunity from damages.

The city’s attempts to dodge culpability have only added to the woman’s suffering and trauma. In a recent interview, she opened up about her suffering. She states that because or her ordeal, her hair has fallen out, she can’t sleep and her work has suffered. Despite this, the city insists that the woman has failed to state a valid claim for compensation.

Sadly, this scenario is far too common for survivors of sexual abuse. For some people, reporting an assault may feel as traumatic as the incident itself. Many survivors say that after they report a sexual assault, they experience additional trauma from law enforcement officers who do not believe them and a legal system that treats their case callously. However, reporting sexual abuse is a crucial step to bringing the perpetrator to justice, obtaining compensation and receiving closure. Working with an attorney can help victims protect their rights, navigate the legal system and seek compensation for their damages.