Barrie Sexual Abuse Lawyer
Sexual abuse is a traumatic type of personal injury an individual could suffer. While many victims may think that reporting the crime to the police and taking their case to criminal court is the only answer, they have several more options than that.
The law in Ontario surrounding sexual abuse has changed drastically over the last several years. If you have experienced sexual abuse at any time, it is important you speak to a Barrie sexual abuse lawyer that can help you with your case. A compassionate Barrie lawyer is updated on the laws and can help you pursue compensation for this crime.
Sexual Abuse and Personal Injury
When a person has been sexually abused, they have the option of taking their case to criminal court and/or civil court. In criminal court, a Crown lawyer assigned by the Crown Lawyer’s Office will prosecute the case. If convicted, the accused will face fines and most likely, jail time. The victim will not receive any personal compensation other than knowing their perpetrator has received justice.
If victims wish to seek personal compensation for the injuries they sustained, they may do so in civil court by filing a personal injury claim. Most often, the injuries sustained in sexual abuse cases are psychological, but compensation can also be sought for any physical injuries sustained after the abuse.
Under personal injury law, sexual abuse is categorized as either battery or assault. Assault includes any uttering of threats or gestures that are meant to instill fear in the victim. In assault cases, there does not have to be actual touching in order for it to be considered sexual abuse. Battery, on the other hand, must involve an actual action such as unwanted touching or an act of rape. If a person has been touched inappropriately in any way, the courts will consider this an act of battery under sexual abuse personal injury law. When victims have sexually abused, they should speak to a sexual abuse lawyer in Barrie that can help them with their case.
Statute of Limitations
In the past, the statute of limitations on sexual abuse cases in Ontario was two years, the same as other types of personal injury cases. Recently, however, Ontario courts have recognized that injuries, especially psychological injuries, can remain long after this period of time.
For this reason, the courts have most recently overturned and completely removed this statute of limitation. Now, sexual abuse victims may file a claim anytime, even decades after, sexual abuse has occurred.
Of course, the reason victims take their sexual abuse case to civil courts is so they may claim personal compensation. They may receive compensation for any medical expenses including the services of a psychiatrist or psychologist, and for pain and suffering. But while the courts have overturned the statute of limitations on sexual abuse cases, they have not yet overturned the cap placed on pain and suffering relating to negligence.
In some cases, victims want to seek compensation but do not want to relive the crime by going to civil court. In these instances, they may be able to seek compensation from the Criminal Injuries Compensation Board in Ontario.
Like the civil statute, there is no time limit for making a claim to the Board, but the crime must have occurred in Ontario. It is also advisable that victims still speak to a Barrie sexual abuse lawyer that will be familiar with this process.
Contacting a Barrie Sexual Abuse Lawyer
If you have been the victim of sexual abuse in Ontario, it is important to know that you have many options available in order to seek restitution and compensation for the crime.
In order to get the full amount of compensation you may be entitled to, and to have more peace of mind, it is important that you speak to a Barrie sexual abuse lawyer that can help you with your case.