Dryden Sexual Abuse
An abhorrent crime that has affected over 1 in 10 Canadians, sexual abuse is a criminal offence under the Canadian Criminal Code, punishable with significant jail time. Despite its frequency, only about 7% of sexual abuse cases are reported to authorities. This is often due to the layers of social stigma associated with sexual crimes, as well as the manipulation at the root of an abusive relationship which can compound to silence survivors.
Perpetrators of sexual abuse, when found guilty in criminal court, may face punitive justice in the form of imprisonment. However, something of which not all survivors of sexual abuse may be aware is the possibility of compensation through a civil lawsuit. This means you may be eligible for financial support to help cover the costs of medical and psychological care as well as income lost as a result of your trauma.
If you have survived sexual abuse at any point and would like to learn more about your legal options, contact us today. With compassion and respect for the courage it takes to come forward, our team of Dryden sexual abuse lawyers would be happy to see how we might be of service to you.
How to Define Sexual Abuse
Sexual abuse is a term that refers to an ongoing pattern of sexual assault, often within a relationship built on a power imbalance. Sexual assault is when one person uses force of any kind (physical or non-physical) to elicit or push sexual behaviour upon another. Put simply, any sexual act to which all parties do not consent may be considered sexual assault.
The power imbalance at the root of sexual abuse is often one where the perpetrator leverages a position of trust and authority in order to manipulate a target, who is often in a vulnerable position. This may be a parent or guardian abusing a child in their care, it may be a teacher targeting a student, or it could be another adult in a position of trust or authority manipulating a minor in their care. Due to the power imbalance, and the intricacy of social ties, a survivor of sexual abuse may not be able to disclose the truth of their abuse at the time it is happening, nor perhaps for a significant time thereafter.
Adults can also be the targets of sexual abuse. This has been reported in instances of nursing home staff abusing seniors in their care, between spouses, or in other relationships or dynamics where one adult is in some way dependent upon the other.
The Lasting Effects of Sexual Abuse
Numerous studies have shown a link between childhood sexual abuse and the prevalence of adverse health effects in adulthood. Whether or not a survivor of sexual abuse has acknowledged or disclosed the story of their abuse, they may face a higher likelihood of developing chronic depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, self-harming behaviours including substance abuse and addiction, panic attacks, and more. The costs of medical care as well as psychological treatment can add up to significant amounts, creating additional stress that, in turn, exacerbates mental health conditions.
Compensation May Be Available to Survivors of Sexual Abuse
There is no need to suffer in silence. In Ontario, there is no statute of limitations on opening a sexual abuse case. That means that a survivor may be eligible to file a lawsuit against their abuser at any point in time after the abuse has taken place. Even if many years have passed, you may be eligible to receive financial benefits to support your costs of treatment, lost income, and more.
Call Our Dryden Sexual Abuse Lawyers Today
At Preszler Injury Lawyers, we respect the tremendous courage it takes to step forward and seek justice in a sexual abuse case. Our team of Dryden sexual abuse lawyers understand the personal, sensitive, often deeply vulnerable nature of this subject. We are committed to providing compassionate service to all our clients. If you have survived sexual abuse and would like to learn more about financial compensation that might be available to you, call us today at 1-800-JUSTICE or contact us through our online booking form and schedule a free initial consultation.