Cornwall Sexual Abuse Lawyer
Sexual abuse is a criminal offence in Canada, punishable with significant prison time. It is a devastating crime whose effects may enact irreversible damage on a victim, from their physical and psychological well-being to their ability to enjoy a reasonable quality of life. Manipulative in nature, sexual abuse is frequently enacted by a person in a position of trust and authority, taking advantage of a vulnerable person such as a child or dependent adult.
While it can be difficult to determine the exact statistics surrounding the prevalence of sexual abuse, some studies have reported 1 in 10 Canadians to have been sexually abused as children. However, only about 7% of these cases reached police or child welfare services. Social stigmas and the manipulative nature of the crime contribute to the silencing of survivors. In many cases, the sexual abuse may not be disclosed for decades after the fact, if at all.
There are legal options available to survivors of sexual abuse. In addition to pursuing punitive justice for the perpetrator through a criminal case, a survivor of sexual abuse may also file a civil claim and seek compensation for financial losses incurred as a result of the perpetrator’s abuse. If you are a survivor of sexual abuse, know that you are not alone, and there may be help available for you. Contact our Cornwall sexual abuse lawyers today to see how we may be of service in your case.
What is Sexual Abuse?
Sexual abuse is when an adult or adolescent, typically in a position of trust and authority, violates the sexual integrity of a child or vulnerable adult. This may involve an ongoing pattern of sexual assault, which is defined in Canada as unwanted sexual activity, including but not limited to forced intercourse, unwanted sexual touching, and verbal harrassment.
Sexual abuse often hinges on a power imbalance between perpetrator and target, in the target is dependent on the perpetrator in material, emotional, and/or financial ways. A perpetrator may be a parent, for example, or a teacher, a representative of a religious organization, or other adult in a position of authority. Because of the social or even familial ties that connect survivor and perpetrator, survivors may experience a range of complicated feelings about the abuse and the profound betrayal that it represents.
Lasting Impacts of Sexual Abuse
Everyone responds to trauma in different ways, and no two cases of sexual abuse are the same. However, there are some common impacts that have been observed among survivors of sexual abuse, including a higher likelihood of developing mental health disorders. These may include:
- High stress
- Panic attacks
- Post-traumatic stress disorder
- Substance abuse
- And more
Not only may the challenges of living with a mental health disorder be painful on their own, various treatments and rehabilitative strategies can add up in cost, layering additional stress on a survivor of sexual abuse. The financial consequences of having to take time off work in order to treat psychological injuries may likewise be substantial. These are just some of the costs that a survivor of sexual abuse may incur as a result of the injuries inflicted upon them.
Contact Our Cornwall Sexual Abuse Lawyers Today
At Preszler Injury Lawyers, we are committed to providing dedicated, compassionate service to our clients. We believe that no one should have to bear the financial burden of someone else’s crime. If you or someone you love have been targeted by a perpetrator of sexual abuse at any point in time – even decades ago – you may be eligible for compensation. Contact us online through our case evaluation form or call us at 1-800-JUSTICE today to schedule a free initial consultation and see how our Cornwall sexual abuse lawyers may be able to help you.