Etobicoke Sexual Abuse Lawyer
Sexual abuse is devastating crime that has been reported to affect more than 10% of Canadians. Most often wrought by a person in a position of trust and authority over a vulnerable party, such as a parent or guardian abusing a child, the long-term effects of sexual abuse can be profoundly disruptive and destructive for a survivor.
Perpetrators found guilty of sexual abuse in criminal court may face substantial prison time in accordance with the Criminal Code of Canada. Additionally, survivors of sexual abuse may be eligible for financial compensation to help cover the costs of medical and psychological treatments they have had to seek out as a result of their trauma, as well as income they have lost due to time they have had to spend away from work and other possible damages incurred as a result of their abuse.
If you have been the target of sexual abuse at any point in time, even many years ago, there may be financial support available to you. Contact our Etobicoke sexual abuse lawyers today to speak through the specifics of your case, and see how we might be able to help you.
How Sexual Abuse is Defined
Sexual abuse refers to a recurring pattern of sexual assault perpetrated within a relationship that hinges on a power imbalance. Sexual assault is any sexual act to which all involved parties do not provide informed consent. This includes both physical and non-physical behaviours, from unwanted intercourse to touching to verbal harassment and acts of voyeurism.
A power imbalance exists within a relationship where one party holds a position of trust and/or authority over another. This may be a parent or older family member abusing a child, a teacher abusing a student, a member of the clergy abusing a parishioner, and more. It can also be seen in contexts among adults, such as the relationship between a medical professional and patient, the staff and residents of a nursing home, and other relationships in which one party has authority or power over another. Sexual abuse is likewise possible within the context of a spousal relationship.
Because the perpetrator is frequently in a position of trust and authority, the target of sexual abuse may not be empowered to speak up and disclose the truth of the abuse at the time that it is happening, and perhaps for many years after. Layers of silencing, shame, and social stigma often work together to prevent a survivor of sexual abuse from seeking the justice they deserve.
Adverse Health Effects of Sexual Abuse
Studies have shown a range of impacts that childhood sexual abuse and sexual assault can have on survivors. The trauma of sexual abuse increases the likelihood that an individual may experience substance abuse issues, as well as mental health disorders, including:
- Chronic anxiety
- Suicidal ideation
- Panic attacks
- High stress levels, which may lead to hypertension
- And more
Compensation Available to Survivors of Sexual Abuse
The resulting costs incurred by sexual abuse victims can be substantial. By filing a civil claim against their perpetrator, survivors may be eligible to recover compensation for the losses they have already paid out of pocket, as well as damages they might incur in the future.
Because the nature of sexual abuse often involves the silencing of survivors, it may take many years for an individual to come forward. Because of this, Ontario law waives the statute of limitations on cases of sexual abuse. This means that you may be eligible to file a claim even decades after the abuse took place.
Contact Our Etobicoke Sexual Abuse Lawyers Today
If you have been impacted by sexual abuse, there may be financial compensation available to help cover costs incurred as a result of the trauma. Our team of Etobicoke sexual abuse lawyers would be happy to answer your questions.
At Preszler Injury Lawyers, we are committed to providing compassionate service to all our clients. We have respect for the vulnerability and courage it takes to come forward with your story. Contact us today and book a free, confidential, no-obligation consultation, and see how we may be of service to you.