Fort Frances Sexual Abuse Lawyer
Sexual abuse often inflicts damage upon survivors for many years after the crime. Not only is it a profound violation of an individual’s personhood and sexual integrity, the social circumstances that surround many cases of sexual abuse contribute to the silencing and isolation of survivors.
There are resources available for survivors of sexual abuse. If you have been the target of sexual abuse at any time, not only might you be able to pursue punitive justice for the perpetrator, but you might also be entitled to financial compensation to cover the costs of medical bills, psychological treatment, income you have lost as a result of this trauma, and damages you might incur in the future because of the abuse you suffered.
It can be challenging to navigate the legal system alone, especially when dealing with this sensitive, personal issue. Our team of Fort Frances sexual abuse lawyers appreciate the courage it takes to come forward. We are dedicated to serving our clients with compassion and respect. If you would like to discuss the specifics of your case, contact us today and see how Preszler Injury Lawyers may be of service to you.
What is Sexual Abuse?
Sexual abuse is a criminal offence. If a perpetrator of sexual abuse is found guilty in criminal court, their crime could be punished with significant prison time.
Sexual abuse occurs when a person in a position of trust or authority leverages their power to force another person into unwanted sexual activity. The two key components are a relational power imbalance and the lack of consent. As with all sexual assault, the perpetrator’s forceful behaviour may involve physical actions, including rape and/or unwanted touching, or it may involve non-contact acts of violation, such as verbal harassment, voyeurism, and stalking.
Consent is defined by Canadian law as “the voluntary agreement of the complainant to engage in the sexual activity in question.” There are laws in place to protect the safety of minors in the context of sexual conduct. When an adult engages in any kind of sexual behaviour with a child, this is sexual abuse. Even teenagers who have reached the age of consent are not legally capable of providing consent for sexual activities to an adult in a position of trust or authority.
Sexual abuse can occur also between adults, often within a toxic spousal relationship, in a nursing home, or another dynamic wherein one adult is dependent in some way upon another. However, sexual abuse most commonly refers to situations wherein an adult abuses a child. This typically involves a pattern of abusive acts carried out over a period of time. Perpetrators of sexual abuse commonly practice grooming behaviours, a calculated process of manipulating the target into a sexual relationship while keeping the behaviour shrouded in silence.
Long-Term Effects of Sexual Abuse
Every individual case is unique, and every person experiences trauma in different ways. However, studies have shown a link between the experience of sexual abuse and a survivor developing serious mental health conditions such as depression, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorder after the fact. Higher instances of substance abuse have likewise been observed among survivors of sexual abuse, as well as higher stress levels, which could lead to medical conditions like hypertension.
Filing a Civil Claim
There is no statute of limitations on sexual abuse cases in Ontario. This means that an individual who has been the target of sexual abuse may file a criminal and/or civil claim against their assailant at any point in time, even if many years of have passed since the crime was committed.
By working with our Fort Frances sexual abuse lawyers, survivors might be able to receive the compensation for damages they have incurred as a direct result of their abuse, including:
- Medical treatments
- Psychological care
- Physical therapy
- Lost income
- And more
Contact Our Fort Frances Sexual Abuse Lawyers Today
You do not have to navigate the legal system alone. At Preszler Injury Lawyers, our team is committed to serving all our clients with compassionate dedication. We respect the vulnerability and courage it takes to come forward and speak out against your abuser.
If you have any questions about the legal process or would like to discuss the specifics of your case, call us today at 1-800-JUSTICE or contact us online and book a free, no-obligation initial consultation with our Fort Frances sexual abuse lawyers.