Belleville Sexual Abuse Lawyer
Sexual abuse is a deeply traumatic crime that, unfortunately, often goes unreported. A 2014 study revealed that 10% of Canadians report having been targets of sexual abuse as children. However, 93% of cases do not reach police or child welfare services. This is often because of social stigmas and the deeply nuanced manipulation at the root of sexually abusive relationships.
Survivors of sexual abuse are typically dependent upon their abusers in some way at the time of the abuse. For instance, a child dependent on the care of a parent, or a student dependent on the guidance and support of a trusted teacher could fall prey to the manipulative and exploitative tactics of an untrustworthy abuser. Sexual abuse is not isolated to adult-child violence. Trusted figures within religious organizations, staff in nursing homes, spouses within a marriage, and other people in positions of authority over others could use this imbalance of power to commit sexual abuse.
If found guilty of committing sexual abuse in criminal court, perpetrators of sexual abuse could face substantial prison time, as outlined within the Canadian Criminal Code. Additionally, survivors of sexual abuse may be elgibile to claim financial compensation for expenses they have incurred because of their trauma. If you are a survivor of sexual abuse, contact us today to schedule a free, confidential, initial consultation with our Belleville sexual abuse lawyers, and see how we might be able to help you.
What Constitutes Sexual Abuse?
Sexual abuse is an ongoing pattern of behaviour in which one party inflicts unwanted sexual attention upon another. This may be non-consensual physical violence, such as sexual assault, or it may be non-contact violation, such as sexual exposure, voyeurism, stalking, threats, harrassment, and more.
An imbalanced power dynamic is a common factor in cases of sexual abuse. Often, a perpetrator exploits their position of power, trust, or authority in order to enact or elicit sexual behaviour. Because the target of the abuse is often dependent in some way on the abuser, it is often tremendously difficult for them to escape the abuse.
The Consequences of Sexual Abuse
Survivors of sexual abuse respond in different ways, and no two cases are the same. However, studies have shown a disturbing correlation between the trauma of childhood sexual abuse and substance abuse, as well as a number of mental health disorders in adulthood. Here are just a few of the possible adverse effects that have been observed in survivors:
- Panic attacks
- High blood pressure
- Suicidal ideation
- And more.
Because of the deeply sensitive nature of sexual abuse, and because many survivors do not come forward until a long time after the abuse has ended, in Ontario, there is no statute of limitations for sexual abuse cases. This means that you could be entitled to file a lawsuit against a perpetrator at any point in time, even decades after they committed the crime.
Contact Our Belleville Sexual Abuse Lawyers Today
By coming forward and speaking out about the abuse you were forced to endure, you could be taking the first step towards holding the perpetrator accountable for their criminal actions and towards securing the compensation you rightfully deserve. Financial restitution for survivors of sexual abuse may include funds to help cover medical bills, the costs of therapy, recompense for income lost due to your trauma, and more.
Our Belleville sexual abuse lawyers understand and appreciate the courage it takes to step forward, and are dedicated to compassionately listening and supporting our clients through every case. To speak with our team and see how we might be of service to you, call us at 1-800-JUSTICE or contact us through our online booking form and schedule a free, confidential, no-obligation initial consultation today.